Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 1 Part 7 - Tentacool Line to Slowpoke Line

I’ve finally decided what it is I find appealing about Tentacrool and Tentacool, because I’m not the biggest jellyfish fan and like most long-time Pokémon players I’m thoroughly sick of running into them every third second while surfing. What is this revelation? They look like heads walking on tentacles, like that one awesome effect from The Thing,
This is undoubtedly why I like Tentacruel more, because it looks more like a head on tentacles and less like a cartoon hat on tentacles, note that this doesn’t’ make Tentacool BAD in my eyes, hell hats with eyes were a great villain in Darkwing Duck and Lidsville is creepy as. Tentacruel’s front blade does look like a nose but as far as I can tell it isn’t one, it’s either a blade ala Wolverine or more likely the top of a huge pincer or beak, shit lads - this thing is already the Pokémon kraken (which does have a beak) and you give it a massive scissor face?  No wonder this is one of the few Pokémon my dad has ever expressed any liking for. 
That’s all I got, these are great, sci-fi jellyfish that look like heads and hats on tentacles, Pokémon kraken, good for tentacle porn, great stuff.

Pokémon like Geodude, Pokémon like Zubat, Magikarp, Goldeen and Magnemite, Pokémon who have been used so often, present a bunch of issues for me as a ‘reviewer’. I’ve become desensitized to them, any opinions I had on them I’ve thought so often for so long that I’ve become bored of them and pushed them aside. Then I have to ask ‘do I actually like them or do I just have Stockholm syndrome’. It’s not much fun really, far too much brain work.
So do I like Geodude, Graveller and Golem? Yeah I think I genuinely do, Geodude is nothing but a rock with arms but that’s ok, he’s the purest of Rock Pokémon that way, fitting for the first you’ll ever meet and for such a series mainstay - and he’s got a lot of personality in his grumpy little face. Graveller was the first of the three created and usually speaking those are the most interesting of the Gen 1 evolutionary lines that were built piecemeal, Graveller keeps this trend going: he’s everything Geodude is but cooler, harder and with four arms and loads of bumpy bits, if Geodude is Rock Type at its purest, Graveller is Rock Type at its most logically awesome – which makes it a complete success as it was created when Evolutionary Types were first introduced to be the embodiment of Rock Type. Meanwhile If you think that it’s weird that a four-armed rock becomes a two-armed turtle then don’t worry it is; the two were created as completely stand-alone creatures and thrown together at some later date to make an evolutionary line once it was decided that was going to be a thing. However while it is wildly different, I can’t say it’s disappointing - even as a Trade-Only Evolution (which, y’know, require a lot more effort and those ‘friends’ creatures to obtain), because a Turtle with a bolder for a shell is NEVER a disappointment is it? And Golem is awesome, I hate to do this but: just look at that bastard! That is a cool Kaiju, that is Godzilla opponent worthy, and the fact that it rolls into an Indiana Jones-scale boulder to attack is perfect, evoking a tortoise hiding in his shell and a unique attack for a Godzilla opponent, smashing (literally).   
This however is what I mean by desensitized, I’m sure I’ve had less generic and bullshitty thoughts on these throughout the decades they’ve been around but I’ve thought about them so much it’s all drained out of me.
Tell you what this hasn’t happened with? Their shitty Alolan forms!
Hahaha lets give them facial hair! Cos they’re magnets and magnets attract metal shavings! It’s an ok gag but it’s the SAME gag as the one that wasn’t that well received with Probopass generations before and the same gag that was used on Rattata. I suppose this does at least produce consistency, all magnetic rocks get Wolly Willy facial hair made out of metal filings in the Pokémon world, I just wish it actually improved something or at least made something as good though, because I never once looked at Geodude and thought ‘you know what this needs? Thunderbirds eyebrows!’. Graveller meanwhile can really be used to back up the argument that modern Game Freak think the best way to improve a design is to add more unnecessary crap to it, I’ll let the arm hairs and muton chops slide as part of the design theme of putting comedy hair onto the line but what’s the gold bits for? Gold isn’t even magnetic! That seems unusually unresearched for Pokémon. Golem tones the extraneous shit down (though still has that non-magnetic gold in its giant fucking magnet, the hell?) and I’ll admit that there’s something pretty cool about a magnetic Pokémon’s evolution just going ‘fuck it, big magnet’, if Blastoise can just go ‘fuck it: guns’ then I’ve no problem with Alolan Golem’s big magnet, it’s a simple ‘I don’t care’ kind of awesome. It’s the fucking facial hair though, with that beard hanging down like a fucking big hairy ballbag. It looks like when King Koopa used to wear a disguise in the Super Mario Show. Why would you want to make awesome things funny? Why? I. just. don’t. get it! It’s taking 10 steps backwards. Why doesn’t everyone think like me! Why? Whyyyyy!





I have fuck all of any worth to say about these two, the sit firmly in that 3 Pokéball indifference range alongside Seel, Doduo and Horsea. Fire just works perfectly as manes for horses and ponies though doesn’t it?  In a game filled with elemental animals this was just a must, and they broaden the appeal of Pokémon by appealing to, well, little girls and people who like horses. 
Also Fire Unicorn.
Fire Unicorn is a good concept
Also there was that time the Ponyta evolved into a Rapidash mid-race in that one episode of the anime that was, in turn, adapted into the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, I reckon that must have tingled Ash’s balls - AT LEAST.

Game Freak really needed to learn to not put ‘koon’ in the names of their creations back in 1997.
Anyway Puchikoon is rubbish, it doesn’t even look any different from Ponyta (it’s just a different colour – maybe) who was already small and cute enough that it didn’t need to be made smaller and cuter anyway. Now all of the Babies got tweaked and redesigned between Space World ’97 and the final release of Gold & Silver but… nah, I can’t be arsed to be fair, this is uncreative to the point of ridiculousness.

This lot are far from my favourite family, but they’re one of the first generations most inventive and interesting and fun (and horrible)!
Slowpoke’s ok, it’s a cute thicko of completely indeterminate species - I’ve heard otter, mollusc, bear, hippo but like a lot of the first 31 (Slowbro being one of those) and those derived from them it’s just ‘a monster’ with maybe another influence here or there (Sazaeoni being a good guess) - and its tail looks like candy corn and is apparently even tastier.  The real creativity doesn’t start until it evolves, an act that by itself is fairly creative.
Slowpoke fishes with its tasty tail but sometimes a certain Pokémon – named as Shellder in some information but revealed to be a unique ‘mon called Taaban by the Space World demo – grabs on and NEVER LETS GO. Instead the two form a symbiotic relationship with the constant pain and venom of the shell is enough to keep its brain functioning at a close-to-normal level rather than the Homer Simpson level it was operating at before. Slowpoke improves itself by buzzing on pain and venom and it actually works!
BUT, but, but, but, but: if you use a King’s Rock you can get the Taaban to move up onto the Slowpoke’s head and inject this cocktail of drugs and sadomasochism straight into its brain and it becomes a genius! it has full command of it’s Psychic powers, it walks on it’s hind legs, in the anime it could talk! That’s Mewtwo level smart. I like any Pokémon connected to the second movie but what a cool idea for a cross-generational evolution: “well we’ve seen how smart and powerful Slowpoke can get if it bites one end, lets do what happens if it bites the other”
Slowbro’s cross-generational self-improvement odyssey ends with a joke, but it is admittedly a pretty damn funny one: Mega Slowbro! Wherein the Taaban just grows huge and eats most of the poor Slowpoke and look at its little face! Is it upset because it has a huge creature on it or upset because it has to balance on its delicious tail and is always wobbly? Either way it’s cute shit. This was obviously a joke someone (Sugimori? He designed all the Megas right?) thought up while working on Mega Evolution and threw it in but it actually stays completely within the established lore of the line and makes sense within that law: a much bigger shell means much more venom and much more pain and thus a much smarter Slowpoke and THUS a much more powerful one. And its arms are clearly sticking out of Taaban’s eye holes.

I am disappoint Game Freak. I am VERY disappoint. EVERYONE wanted to catch the thing on Slowbro’s tail as use it as a separate Pokémon and nobody believed it was a fucking Shellder and you’ve had a perfect design for it just sitting there, unused for all this time. Taaban is cool on it’s own, lookit that jaw! It looks like it could bite through a damn engine block and, check out it’s back sprite:

That’s Slowking’s thinking cap, with the gem and everything. Game Freak you literally thought of everything with this and you’ve never used it. You must have seen all the fan art, you must know how much people want this damn thing, you could have thrown it in in Generation 4 when you were sticking evolutions and prevolutions everywhere you could, and you didn’t. disappoint Game Freak. Disappoint!


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