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Five Years of PBZ.
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:15 am
Posts: 235
Post Five Years of PBZ.
I am happy to state that this website (Pokemon Battle Zone) has now reached it's fifth year on the internet. That's right, fifth. I suppose I'll give you all a history about my efforts regarding websites, since I'm going to move this site forward. (More info at the bottom!)


Long ago, back in 2009 I became brave enough to go on a forum for the first time. I heard every horror story about the internet at that point, and before then I was terrified to go anywhere on the internet that wasn't the official Pokemon or Nintendo websites. You may think that I was very young in that case, but in reality, I was actually 11 years old at that point. The sole reason why I was "delayed" in that regard was due to numerous bad events that happened during the first 8 years of my life, until early 2006, pretty much destroying my childhood in many ways. I was eventually rescued from those events by my father, grandparents and aunt, as I started a new life with them. Naturally in 2008, I was still untrusting of people, for many reasons. However, that fall, I grew an addiction to a fun little gamecube game known as Animal Crossing.

You see, I initially bought the game due to the inclusion of NES games, and nothing else. I tried my hardest to avoid every animal in the game, just wanting to see how fun games like Donkey Kong and Balloon Fight could be. However, the NES games ended up as one of the hardest items in the game to obtain, so I ended up using time travel to get a ton of them. While I did so, I eventually grew to like the game for what it really was, a life simulator. I grew attached to my villagers, and were sad when they moved, it gave me some of my trust back.

That inspired me to go onto a fun little forum I found one day, known as Animal Crossing Community. While I haven't been there in ages now, I do remember meeting my fellow staff members (Who have all left PBZ at this point) on there, and getting to know them very well. One day, I decided to try making a website on Webs in order to talk to them more. What was the website called, you may ask? Well…

Introducing the very long, very stupid name I came up with, DJ Mary's Super Pokemon Place. (DJ Mary is a radio announcer in Pokemon GSC and HGSS) As stupid as it was, I still had fun making small forums for me and my friends to talk about gaming, even though it was poorly made. Unfortunately, those happy times wouldn't last too long, as on October 13, 2009, a group of trolls came to the website, heavily vandalizing it and posting a lot of bad content, completely ruining my website to the point I had to close it. I dubbed this day "Sky Attack" since it happened on the same day I picked up my copy of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky at my local game store, and it came literally out of nowhere, in the same way that the Sky Attack move from the Pokemon games did.

Upset and on the verge of losing my trust, I decided to give it another go, making yet another poorly named website on Webs a month later. The name this time? The Goldenrod Radio Tower. (Yeah I know it's not creative at all. I have no clue why I liked Goldenrod city so much back then.) The difference with this website, however was the fact that I completely hid it away from everyone except my very close friends, I didn't even try to advertise it. I also had what I thought was a good way to report any trolls to the host of my website if something went wrong, everything seemed perfect.

Until November 8th, 2009. (Yes I sadly remember these dates) That is when the same group of trolls struck again, somehow finding their way on here and destroying my website. I tried to call my host for help, only to get a response of "blocking solves everything", words that have pretty much haunted me since. Upset, I closed the site down yet again. I lost my trust in others due to this incident, and decided that owning a website wasn't for me, especially one of those poorly made and poorly secured free websites.

Fast forward to March 2010. I still went on ACC off and on to talk to some of the friends that I knew, though I began to do it less and less, as I started to play Animal Crossing less and less as well. I was still upset about what happened five months prior, but was happy due to the impending release of HeartGold and SoulSilver (The latter of which I imported the previous September). I therefore decided to make another website, just for fun and for me and my friends to talk on. After searching for a while, I found a better host and got started! Right away I was blown away with all of the new things I could add, the better moderation system, ETC. this truly did help make it a place where we could just talk about our favorite games, and at the time, we all were excited for Pokemon. Therefore, Pokemon Battle Zone was born on March 19th, 2010.

Months went by with no problems at all, fun conversations were had, and even a short lived youtube channel was made, thanks to a good friend of mine (Known on here as Luna1997 AKA Amanda, but she left long ago). However, once again, it wouldn't last long. Eventually we all left to do our own things in life, hence why I'm still the only active member on the forums and why they aren't promoted as much anymore. However, I refused to give up, I had to use the website for something, but I didn't know what for! I ended up spending 4 years wondering what to do with my website, making numerous bad experiments along the way, from a fan-fiction section that lasted only a week, to going on a few websites I tried out, in hopes I would make new friends (And I did, thankfully, some of which I still know today. Unfortunately said websites I've mostly left except for a few.) and writing "reviews", which weren't anything like the ones I do today. (They were super short, terrible, and didn't give feedback to anybody. For your sake don't look at my oldest ones) After years of wondering what to do, at the risk of the site shutting down every month there was inactivity, I eventually found a piece of hope in the form of an unlikely source.

Enter BalrogTheMaster. No, this is not a joke, this guy helped me in more ways than he could ever realize. Back in July 2011, you see, I was interested in the newest Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions game that came out. However, I couldn't find any reviews of it that explained the game in the ways I was hoping for, so I was completely stuck on what to do! Typing in the game on youtube, I found Balrog, who gave a neat, if rather short review on every mode in the game. It sold me on the game, and I spent the rest of that summer playing it non-stop. I subscribed to him ever since, and watched him grow throughout the years, from just another small youtuber to one of the biggest ones I know. Seriously, my best friend ended up liking his videos a lot to the point that he would ask every time he came over, "Connor, when will Balrog upload the next video? He's so funny!".

In one of his videos, he mentioned a little place called "GoNintendo", which was a neat little site I heard about but never gave much thought. I visited it once or twice, and found it rather interesting. Many months later in early 2013, I decided to join the website to share my opinions on the latest news and games. One way I did this was through reader reviews, a fun segment GoNintendo would feature every so often at the end of the day. I gave a go with some games I played at the time (Bit Trip Runner 2, NSMB2, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 3DS, and a few others), and to my surprise, some of my reviews were featured! People seemed to like them, which inspired me yet again. However, I stopped doing them after a while due to lack of motivation and interest, once again back at square one on how to improve my website.

The answer finally came to me in June of 2014. At that point in time, indie developers were starting to release lots of games on the Wii U eShop, some of them releasing their very first video game ever. I got the idea one day, "What if I could help those indie developers in any way I could? But how? I can't develop a game… I know! I'll review their games for them, and give them feedback on what they need to improve one! After all, GoNintendo liked my reader reviews." And so, I asked the first developer I could find, which was Dahku Creations, who were going to release a port of their iOS game Chubbins to the Wii U eShop that week. I got a review code, and went to work, analyzing the game and looking for spots they could improve on, and things I liked. Once I posted the review and sent it to them, I felt rather good, as if I finally managed to help others in a big way.

One became many, and soon, what became a random summer event I wanted to do to help out developers in my free time became something I've worked hard on every weekend since, to the point I even got to review games for some third party publishers!

That finally brings us to today. I feel ready to take my website to the next level, help out more game developers and get into more game reviews! So I'm announcing…


Yes, I've decided to buy a domain for PBZ, making it no longer have the "freeforums" tag at the end of the URL, among other improvements. It's also getting a name change, but you'll find that out soon…

TLDR: Numerous people inspired me to write reviews to help others out, and now I'm ready to upgrade PBZ. Stay tuned for more info.

Thanks to the following people who helped me during this time:

ALL developers I reviewed games for
ALL developers I'm currently reviewing a game for
Amanda S AKA Luna 1997 (One day I hope we'll meet again so I can thank you!)
Pokefan2010 AKA Greg
Justin AKA JKMadu
All other former moderators and staff on this site!
Kevin Cassidy AKA RMC from GoNintendo
Wallid Kanaan AKA BalrogTheMaster
The Completionist AKA Jirad (For following your dreams and pursuing your passion regarding your show)
Shawn Long AKA "hey isn't that the cool guy from Nintendo Enthusiast"
Bradley AKA TheGamingPixelShow (For being another reviewer that I've enjoyed seeing improve over time)
Haedox (For being a new reviewer that has a lot of skill)
Always Nintendo for giving me advice for my site
Shawn Edwards from Nintendo Enthusiast for feedback
And MANY, MANY others I can't even list or else this list would never end. If you know me and your name is not up here, don't worry, I thank you too, if I've met you before at least.

Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:08 pm
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