Justin McElroy: The first details are out on the return of the Pokémon Video Game Championships slated for this spring, in which players will compete for the first time using Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. To help me make sense of the gobbledygook on the official site, I turned to confirmed Pokémaniac Griffin McElroy. Thank you for joining us, Griffin.
Griffin McElroy: My pleasure. Also, please don't use my real name.
JM: Of course. I'll go with a codename, perhaps Thrusk Wenkmann. So, Thrusk, there are some controversial changes to the rules this year, like Pokémon of Level 51 or higher being downgraded to a 50. Why would that be important?
Griffin McElroy Thrusk Wenkmann: Well, for a number of reasons, the most important of which being that it should reduce the max stats of each participating 'mon, which should help the flow of battles move much faster than they would if the Pokémon involved were max level. It also makes the tournament incrementally more accessible -- instead of EV training and leveling your Pokémon to their highest possible level, you can get them ready for battle at Level 50.
JM:Those are all words that I comprehend both individually and in the order you've arranged them.
GM TW: I do what I can.
JM: I notice that Arceus, Celebi, Darkrai, Deoxys, Jirachi, Manaphy, Mew, Phione, and Shaymin are all banned from competition. Is this a case of blatant racism?
GM TW: Absolutely. No, actually, those are all Pokémon that you acquire in real-life events. This rule helps balance the battlefield by not giving players with the courage to leave their homes the upper hand.
JM: Well, I think I've gotten all I need here. Congrats to you and all other Pokémon fans for staring into those dual LCD screens that, for all their brightness, still reflect only the inky blackness that has replaced your souls and yet still managed to keep the pistol out of your collective mouths one more day.
GM TW: Thank... you? I guess?
Our thanks to Grif-- I mean, Thrusk. The official site promises more details on the championships coming near March 13, the release date for Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. We'll be sure to keep an eye out.