Friday, 22 February 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 1 Part 14 - The Eeveelutions

It just seemed easier to put give these thier own page, so...

Okay, let’s do this shiz.
One of the things that bothers me sometimes with my way too literal mind when it comes to Pokémon is the fan reaction to new Pokémon as ‘gimmicky’ when they’re clearly using the word wrong as far as I’m concerned. A ‘gimmick’ Pokémon is surely one that is based entirely around one gimmick, design wise few Pokémon are gimmicky in-and-of themselves because they draw on multiple elements to make up their design, Clefki is not gimmicky, Vanilluxe is not gimmicky, hell actual gimmick Pokémon like Chatot aren’t gimmicky designs because they mix multiple things into their designs. As such the only ‘gimmicky’ Pokémon can be ones that are based around a sole gimmick right? Chatot is gimmicky, Delibird is gimmicky, Unown is gimmicky and some of the most popular Pokémon of all time are in fact, gimmicks – Ditto is gimmick and more relevantly, Eevee is gimmicky. And this isn’t an issue - at least not to me 0 creating a Pokémon solely to show off a new feature or gameplay mechanic or move – like evolution, Hidden Power, double battles, Transform, breeding, the DS Microphone, whatever - is a sensible way of getting people to take notice of and try out this new thing as far as I’m concerned and Eevee proves that being gimmicky does not mean you have to suck.

Because you may have noticed but Eevee is WAY popular, it’s popular enough to be comparable with Pikachu for the Let’s Go games, I’d argue that it’s in fact MORE beloved than the electric rat as Pikachu seems to receive way more backlash for its omnipresence and popularity even though Eevee pretty omnipresent and very popular – I think this is because Eevee has a much broader appeal. The Eeeveelutions are cute enough to appeal to casual fans, non-fans and Kawaii types, easy enough to make viable to appeal to casual players while their stats and customization allow them to appeal to competitive players and hardcore fans; design wise there’s an Eeveelution for every taste, from the ultra-cute Sylveon to the badass Jolteon to the disturbingly sexy Glaceon and in many of the most popular types AND they’ve been around since the beginning pleasing everyone from the most stereotypical of Genwunners upwards (really on Hoenn Babies might not have nostalgia for them, and then they were still in the Gen 3-era anime right?). it’s really no surprise that Eevee and its big siblings are so adored, I like them, and I’m still wanting more – I’m still waiting on a Ghosteon, a Poisoneon, a Bugeon and a Steeleon.
But what do I think of the ones that exist?
Ok, Eevee itself is exceptionally cute and more so a good ‘control’, it feels like the basis without feeling like it has room for improvement, instead like it allows for a lot of variants, that’s a hard thing to do and usually comes by accident (see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles again) so for someone to intend to create that and succeed is a feat in and of itself.
Of the original trio of Eeveelutions Vaporeon was my favourite as a kid, it’s the most creative execution of the concept of ‘element + Eevee’ for sure, giving us elements from most things that live in the water and water itself (it’s supposed to be able to become water isn’t it? Or has that been abandoned? Or was it only ever implied?). Jolteon is easily the most badass, it’s gimmick was that it could electrify it’s own needle like hairs and fire them and does indeed learn Pin Missile to prove it, it was the Eeveelution I used the most as a kid and was especially useful in the two Stadium games if I recall, but then electric types were generally pretty useful in those games, which seemed to throw out Water Types like candy from a paedophile’s van. I’ve never really bonded with Flareon and it’s the least useful in battle but as a design it’s Onyx levels of ‘that’s so obvious I should have thought of it’ with it’s fur all Mr Whippy’d up to resemble fire, a perfect execution of an idea if you ask me, so it looks good, I’ve just never wanted to own one. Plus all three present the classic Fire/Ice/Lightning trio common in RPGs (as do the Legendary Birds, so you could argue that one or the other was redundant, I’d argue KEEP THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY BIRDS ARSEHOLE)
Espeon and Umbreon, the Gen 2 additions really were a massive departure now I’m ‘forced’ to think about them – they didn’t evolve from stones, they came in a duo rather than a threesome (though we know that a third, Leafeon, was planned) and visually they were a huge change, sleeker, more cat-like than the foxy/fennecy style of the Gen 1 foursome and with their elements executed in far less obvious ways, going for ‘feeling like’ the element. They’re still very successful, Espeon looks like a Psychic Type and Umbreon looks like a Dark Type. I’m not an Espeon man, I’ve not really into cat girls (I’m more of a bunny girl kinda guy) and not really into psychic types, it’s pretty much the same as Flareon for me, I acknowledge it’s success as a design but I just don’t’ get enthusiastic about it. Umbreon however used to be MY BOY, I love the Dark Type because I’m a Goth stereotype of the highest order (you should see all my skulls, or my black bedroom, or just inside my wardrobe actually – it’s nothing but black t-shirts, studded belts, New Rocks, Boglins and Spawn comics, oh and Matermind, but to every rule there must be an exception that proves it) and giving me a Dark entry to the Eevee line, a line I already liked for the same reasons everyone else did – cuteness and options – was just the best, Umbreon even glows in the dark, I LOVE things that glow in the dark, I don’t think it’s the best design of the group  – Vaporeon and Leafeon beat it I think – but it’s the most me. 
Gen 4 rolls around and bring us another duo and really one of each style; Leafeon is very much in the style of Gen 1 with rougher coat and it’s element clearly a noticeably part of it’s design, it reminds me a LOT of Flareon. And this makes complete sense, we now know it was designed for Gen 2 very shortly after Gen 1:

And I really wish it would have kept the fur on its feet that looked like roots, that was a cool idea, but even without it Leafeon just WORKS for me, the leaf fur, the shagginess, the huge adorable eyes, it’s a great cute design and a great grass type design. Glaceon meanwhile is far closer to Gen 2 with its sleek and sexy design and it’s focus on feeling like the element rather than having fur like icicles or an Eskimo’s coat or something, apparently it’s based on Yuki-Onna to a degree. Actually on that and the sexiness thing, Bogleech had this to say: “but in practice, it accidentally panders to all those people who want to bone Eevees.” Mate, that weren’t an accident, where have you been? Pokémon have been furrybaiting since Gardevoir and Glaceon was in the generation that gave us Lopunny.    
And then there’s Sylveon, the Gen 6 Fairy Type. I saw (heard?) quite a few people making fun of PokéTuber Tamashii Hiroka for disliking Sylveon because it ‘ruined the family portrait’ but I actually totally get what she was getting at, Sylveon feels like a BIG departure in terms of design, hell it is literally a big departure – it’s taller the all the others. I can’t say I like it but I can’t say I actively hate it, it certainly screams ‘fairy’, further broadens the appeal of the Eeveeelutions to all the people who shop at Tofu Cute but, eh, I feel like it needed to be given a final redeign and maybe for it to not make me feel like I’ve eaten a whole barrel of sugar, but then I think it’s supposed to evoke that feeling isn’t it?


No comments:

Post a Comment