Micael Andrei Diaz de Rivera



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Early Release

Here's a quick Pokémon update from the Philippines. I'm posting this here since I decided to stop posting news at Pokémon-PH until I finish designing a new concept for the site.

Hobbes and Landes is already selling Pokémon TCG Diamond and Pearl - Mysterious Treasures ahead of every store here in the Philippines. We got Nidoqueen, Uxie, Gyarados, and Alakazam in the booster packs we got.

Hobbes and Landes
Pokémon TCG Diamond and Pearl - Mysterious Treasures
Booster Pack - 180 Pesos (10 Cards)
Pre Constructed Deck - 600 Pesos (60 Cards)


The Pokémon-PH Headquarters

I'm really surprised with all traffic my sites (Spell Micael and Pokémon-PH) have been receiving even if they don't really deserve to have it as of this time.

SpellMicael.com gets around 30 unique hits a day while Pokémon-PH gets more than 50 per day. Those are not stellar numbers but if you consider my lack of updates lately that is unbelievable.

I still have not decided on what to do with Pokémon-PH. The Joomla 1.5 beta solution for the site is giving me a hard time setting up a forum. The site feels more like an extension of my blogging here in SpellMicael.com rather than a totally different site.

I guess SpellMicael and Pokémon-PH are really brothers. My room is also the Headquarters of Pokémon-PH by the way and I would like to share to you some inexpensive old Pokémon movie posters in frames that we got a while ago. These three framed poster will soon hang together with other Pokémon stuff in the headquarters of Pokémpon-PH.


Impulse Buying

When it comes to uncommon authentic Pokémon merchandises I seem to have developed a habit of getting it before someone else does (as if someone is as crazy as I am about Pokémon in the country). I just arrived from UPLB awhile ago and because of the news article posted at PKMN-ph.com last week about sightings of the Pokémon Adventures/Special manga at Fully Booked stores I made a detour to the said bookstore before returning home.

I still didn't have volume 21 onwards in my library of Pokémon Adventures Graphic Novels so I told myself that I would get 21 if I see it. Guess what? They had Volume 21 in stock and so was 23 and 24! One graphic novel costs about 299 pesos and I bought 21,23, and 24!


Early Release?

In some weird turn of events it seems that we already have Diamond and Pearl cards here in the Philippines.

According to Mr. Rhian P. Famaran of Pokémon Skillze I qoute:

"DP boosters is now available in limited stocks only now in all NG stores. Per booster still cost 180 pesos."

K-Zone Philippines in their Ka-Blog also posted something about the set (The picture together with this post is from the K-Zone Blog). I qoute:

"Neutral Grounds gave us a sneak peek at four 10-card packs from the D/P set."

It looks like we can get the cards early after all. I'll be going to Robinsons Galleria tomorrow to check out this myself.


The journey of Turtwig

I'm getting Piplup, a penguin water type Pokémon, as my starter when I get my Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games this week but it was Turtwig who stole my heart with its performance at yesterday's game launch at NYC.

That's the best mascot performance ever. Super Cute! I'm still getting Piplup though.


Another Nationals

I just came home from the Pokémon TCG National Championships. The player turnout was not as good as last year but it was really not that bad.

I will post the event pictures on PKMNph later. If you are interested in knowing what happened in the event just visit that site.

I didn't play in this year's national tournament but it was still a blast. I was able to add more data to my Pokémon TFG research while waiting for the event to finish. I'm very glad we that there were a lot of kids and supportive parents in the event. More power to the younger fans of Pokémon.

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I can hear you

The official Nintendo DS headset is coming to stores near you days before the release of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. Some sites have even offered a great deal of packaging the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games with this headset for a small fee.

As I have already discussed in a previous post, voice chat is one of the coolest feature of the new Pokémon games.

The reason why we haven't bought any DS games lately is because of this headset and because of the Diamond and Pearl games.

If Philippine stores can set up a lot of Wi-Fi spots in the country (think of Japan) then Pokémon can be a very cool alternative to your mobile phone calls.

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The Popular Voice

Ootani Ikue as the beloved Pikachu.

Someone from the Pokémon fan community sent me this amusing video that I know everyone would enjoy. I could have posted the raw video but I choose to post the one with the sub titles since I know not everyone who reads this post understand Japanese.

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UDP#2 I See Pink

This is the second among a series of posts where I will talk about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. The UDP (Uncovering Diamond and Pearl) articles have been very popular with the readers and I have decided to not further delay the second article of this series. This is a Spell Micael Special and will not be posted by Micael in any other site.

I See Pink

Pocket Monsters, Pokémon for short, started out as a video game and video games were usually a thing just for boys in the old days. Because of Pokémon's popularity, it eventually got its own trading card game and trading card games before were also considered as something just for the boys. Pokémon is for boys and girls to enjoy but it is just recently that the whole world started to see this.

There are many reasons why I think Pokémon can be liked by girls but since this article is under UDP then I'll try to focus on the games.

1) The Nintedo DS has proven to be a hand held gaming device that favors both male and female players.
2) The game will still give you the freedom to choose from either a male or female main character.
3) Many postings on the internet have reported that contests have been really popular with majority of the female fans of Pokémon. Pokémon Contests were introduced in the Ruby Sapphire games. It was not the contest feature in the games that boosted the popularity of Pokémon to girls but it was the contest battles in the anime. Haruka/May, a Pokémon Coordinator (someone who competes in Pokémon Contests - think of the glorious dog shows with all those ribbons and stuff), has had a lot of time acting as main character because of these contests. The people, at least in Japan, loved it so much that the creators of the series had to bring in Hikari/Dawn (also a Pokémon Coordinator) when it was time for Haruka/May to leave. Contests have now become an essential part of the anime. The Diamond and Pearl games will not just have the Pokémon Contests but instead get the Pokémon Super Contests! The Super contest is an upgrade of the contest that we saw on Ruby and Sapphire. This time the Pokémon can play dress up and do some dancing.
4) I heard ladies love cooking and baking. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl players can engage in a mini game that produces some sort of bread to feed to the Pokémon to boost their stats used in super contests.

I once talked with a female gamer before and asked her about her preferences in gaming. Does she like games specifically made for girls? Her answer was that she liked all sorts of games and she told me that people should avoid labeling games into a boys game or a girls game because girls can like what the boys like and boys can like what the girls like. Pokémon has given many ways to traditional girls to jump into the Pokémon community and now it is just up to them and to everyone in the community to encourage them and not to alienate them into enjoying what the Pokémon fans have enjoyed for 10 years.

The first UDP article had one of the Japanese commercials of the game in it. The commercial showed a young girl talking and trading with her sister using her Nintendo DS Lite and her Pokémon Diamond/Pearl game. That commercial showed how serious was Pokémon on promoting the game to girls. For this article here is a video of girl power as seen on Pokémon Sunday (a weekly Pokémon show where real people talk about Pokémon).

That was an old ending sequence for Pokémon Sunday. One of the many Japanese female groups that I adore is Hinoi Team and that is where I discovered them. Now that's girl Pokémon power! I'll talk about the advantages and the consequences of the Wi-Fi chat capabilities of the game on the next article. A full version of Hinoi Team's dance can be viewed by clicking here. Well that's all for that. Stay tuned for the next UDP article!

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UDP#1 Tapping the Potential

This is the first among a series of posts where I will talk about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. These series of posts will be collectively known as the UDP (Uncovering Diamond and Pearl) Articles. This is a Spell Micael Special and will not be posted by Micael in any other site.

Tapping the Potential

The notable features of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games are the following:

Play online with anyone around the world through the Wi-Fi Connection.
Voice chat with your opponents using the built in microphone.
Perform tasks using the touch screen and stylus.

The reason why gamers, Pokémon and non-Pokémon fans, are very excited with these games is because it makes good use of all all the unique capabilities of the Nintendo DS that cannot be seen or experienced in any portable gaming device today.

Other best selling DS games like Brain Age, New Super Mario Bros, Nintendogs, and Animal Crossing: Wild World have made use of at least two of the three unique features of the Nintendo DS. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl made use of all three features and made them all sing together. No wonder why Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is the best selling DS game in Japan.

A Pokémon game is the best selling Game Boy game (Note: Tetris was packaged with the Game Boy). A Pokémon game is the best selling Game Boy Advance game. A Pokémon game will be the best selling Nintendo DS game.

Sony's PSP (Playstation Portable), the rival of the Nintendo DS, recently dropped its price to boost its lagging sales. The DS is outselling the PSP right now around the world but they have a close match in the USA. The Nintendo DS has already won Japan where their hardware sales are greatly more than the PSP and that Japan's best selling games chart of every week (which includes both hand held and non hand held consoles games) is dominated by DS games. This recent move of Sony might weaken the sales of the English Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games but rest assured it wont stop Pokémon to rule the list.

A gamer reacted to this move of Sony by saying "I'm sure Nintendo would counter this. The release of Nintendo's cash cow is just around the corner. Oh I forgot. Pokémon is not Nintendo's cash cow but it is their double decker cash whale." What he wanted to say is that nothing can really stop this Pokémon phenomenon, not even Sony, from taking over the world once more.

I enjoyed that commercial for it demonstrates the capabilities of the game. Next article will be about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games and the girls.

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Let's talk Diamond and Pearl

Last summer I asked my parents for a Nintendo DS. I did get it and eventually upgraded to a black DS Lite. Why did I ask for it? The simple answer is Pocket Monsters or Pokémon for short. I wanted to have the device that can play the next generation of Pokémon games. I have been a huge Pokémon fan even before the anime series got aired in the Philippines. I was in my sixth grade when I first got into Pokémon. I'm now entering my fourth year in college and I'm still a fan.

Starting today until the English launch of the game, I will be writing a series of posts that will talk about the Diamond and Pearl Pokémon games and some related topics. No. I will not just copy and paste known information about the game. That would be boring. I'll talk about parental concerns with regards the game, possible effects to the whole Pokémon franchise, the return of former fans, Pokémon becoming closer to girls, and many more. I will still be posting many non-Pokémon related posts in this blog so don't worry.

Here's one Japanese commercial of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games.

Last year that commercial made me excited. I hope this commercial made you excited to read my future articles about this game.

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Ozine Fest '07

Today marks the first year anniversary of PKMNph: Pokémon Philippines but it was yesterday at the Ozine Fest that we celebrated the creation of this cool organization.

I arrived 10 minutes after 10 in the morning at the event site and the line to get in the trade hall was extremely long as expected (all the way down to a lower floor). The organizers of the event was wise enough to ask everyone to make two lines instead of one to shorten the line. We eventually did make it in the trade hall after a few minutes.

I played at the Pokémon TCG tournament there with my two younger brothers but I performed poorly in my first two rounds which both ended up in a loss. I decided to just drop out of the tournament because the rest of the PKMNph staff present in the event was already waiting for me. With two loses it was a pretty easy decision to make. After that, I wore my PKMNph anniversary shirt and the party started.

The event was a blast. I need not rant about anything after that. I did bad at the tournament but my younger brothers did well. My youngest brother even finished 3rd and received a TCG and TFG booster pack. We took pictures and some took pictures of us. It's really nice to be a fan. PKMNph has existed for more than a year now and we really had made a difference for Pokémon here in the Philippines. Now that's good reason to stick my tongue out and be happy.

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The Trading Figure Game

The Pokémon Trading Figure Game (TFG) is a very simple game that can become the next children's fad.

I played the TFG at the Ozine Fest 07 a while ago and yes it confirmed my speculations that it is a very simple game. The game was simple but it was fun!

How can the Pokémon TFG rise to become the next kids' fad:
1) It has to aggressively market the game. The best way in my opinion would be to have it shown in Cartoon Network here in the Philippines. Anything that gets promoted on that channel have this big chance of becoming popular with the children from class B to A.
2) It should be supported by league like meetings like what's being done with the Trading Card Game.
3) There should be a place for players to find or contribute information on the game. As of the moment there is no good one.

Maybe I should start a TFG Site Project.

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The day before Ozine Fest

Tomorrow's the big Ozine Fest convention and I would like to share the list of the things that I have done so far in preparation for tomorrow. But before that I would like to invite everyone to come join us at SM Megamall's Megatrade Hall 2 for this year's biggest anime fans gathering. The entrance fee for the event is 100 pesos only. If you see me in the event site please don't hesitate to say hi to me. So without further ado here is the list.

1) Have the things I want to discuss with the staff of PKMNph.com in paper.
2) Obtain three Ozine Fest 07 tickets for me and my little brothers.
3) Locate my old but playable Pokémon TCG deck.
4) Get the necessary proof of purchase from Neutral Grounds.
5) Prepare my Ash Cap for tomorrow.
6) Withdraw enough cash from the bank to pay for our PKMNph Anniversary Shirt.

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