Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 2 Part 13 - Space World '97: Manboo line to Kotora line

Ok, Manboo is programmed in as ‘Manboo 1’ not simply Manboo but I think we can all safely say that this was either a mistake or some kind of developer shorthand, maybe for a Nidoran male/female thing or something, I don’t think the Pokémon was actually supposed to be called Manboo 1.
Anyway these three don’t seem to make a great deal sense at first when thinking about them as something that evolves into something else, a fish, a shark and an angler fish don’t even seem the right order, with a shark being the obvious choice for the final stage because sharks are the ultimate predator etc but I think I figured it out – the line is going deeper into the ocean as it evolves, from a floating buoy-like sunfish to an anchor-shark to a mix of two of the things that dwell in the deepest parts of the ocean, often below where anchors would normally land, they’re all combinations of two things found deeper and deeper down. 
I can’t say I’m that crazy about them though, Manboo’s cute but feels lacking somewhere design wise, I can’t quite put my finger on where but something feels like it should have been done and it wasn’t. Ikari (the shark) is boring, sorry to say this about a shark with an anchor for an arse but it is, it’s just the front of a cartoon shark and an anchor on a chain and no attempt has been made to blend one thing into the other, to abstract things, to make it look anything other than half an organic creature stuck to half an inorganic thing. As for Gurotesu? It has everything about Gen 3’s design style going for it, everything I dislike about that style, from the face that’s clearly going ‘duuurrr’ to the random bits stuck on (it’s tail this time) to the overall Aaagh! Real Monsters art style. That said, because it’s supposed to represent something so weird and alien it’s a little better use of this style and it does do a better job of saying ‘deep, deep sea creature’ than Huntail, mostly because it’s not the colours of a carnival float. 

You remember me saying about how I think all Pokécats are inferior to Meowth and Persian and how it bugs me? Well Game Freak had the chance to avert that and they threw it away. What fools. What utter fools. Don’t they realise they exist to please me and me only?
Rinrin and Luna Berunrun are easily the closest later Generations have come to equalling the success of the Gen 1 cats, they’re just perfect little black cat designs, a cute, rounded little Kitty and a sleek, devious-eyed full-grown cat that looks absolutely nothing like any cat that may or may not have ever been in Sailor Moon. I was a little iffy about the seemingly  naturally occurring bells on these when they were first leaked but then I remembered that Meowth has a seemingly naturally occurring gold coin on its head so I shouldn’t worry – of the two I prefer Berunrun’s seemingly naturally occurring bell by the way, the choice of bell just makes it look far more like the tail ‘spreads’ out into it ala a lion’s rather than the jingle bell that looks a lot more ‘stuck on’ to Rinrin’s tail. 
These two were a perfect complement to the Meowth AND Houndour lines, I’m guessing they were cut because either 1) they thought they had a lot of Dark Types or b) they’d already done cats but neither are good enough as reasons for me, they didn’t have enough dark types and there’s hundreds of bloody species of cats – a fact Game Freak have been mining for ideas ever since. Actually that’s a point, including these would have also meant that Johto would have had its own regional cat, which in the end it didn’t have, these sort of trends hadn’t developed by that point of course so it’s no big crime but keeping these two would have solved that ‘oddity’ too!
What fools.

Well this was a surprise! Well it wasn’t a surprise that this was in the Space World demo, we’ve known about this design for a good while now and that’s where the surprise originates. Everyone had just decided this was a beta version of Ledyba or Ledian and sure enough when the demo was leaked Mitsuboshi was placed after Ledyba. But father investigation revealed that this ISN’T Ledian, in the demo Ledyba does not evolve into anything and Mitsuboshi doesn’t evolve from anything (all evolutionary lines are coded to evolve) and the two have unique moves (later stages of evolutionary lines that hadn’t been worked on yet have the exact same moves as their previous stages as placeholders). Mitsuboshi was it’s own thing.
Also Japan calls the spots on a ladybird stars, hence it having literal stars, a very sensible design choice.
Also I have this great idea right, if I had control of a new Pokémon game I’d do this: I’d have a trio single stage Bug Types, a kind of Legendary Trio but for normal Pokemon, a bit like the Elemental Monkeys but less shit, one would Mitsuboshi (renamed Hoshibug or something because its name is far too close to a car company to be taken seriously by anyone in the West) and the other two would be… Shadybug and Tricket!
Just me?

Bomushikaa, Bomushikaa, Bomushikaa-ya-ya-ya
There has to be at least one Kate Bush fan reading this, there has to be.
ANY-waaaaay Bomushikaa-ya-ya-ya seems to be quite popular but… I dunno, I find it quite plain and yet, still also confusing. We’re assuming that it’s an orange sealion balancing a flaming meteorite thing on its nose the way sealions do but I can’t really tell where it’s face ends and its nose begins, what if that it’s nose? Did it have a detachable nose that it could pop off like a Head Poppin’ Madball and bat at its enemies with its tail? I hope so cos I’d like it shitload more if that was the case!
Hmm, y’know if I had to pick one of these ‘mons that was held over from Gen 1 this would be the one I’d choose, it feels very much like a Red & Green sprite does it not? I guess in that regard it’s not that bad, it would’ve made a good counterpart to Seel and Dewgong, who also have very simple design and also fail to inspire much of anything in me.

These two are cool. Pokémon doesn’t often subvert the whole cute/fearsome thing when it comes to how animals are generally thought of and portrayed – animals the public consciousness decides are fearsome or badass will generally be the basis for fearsome or badass Pokémon, often final stage evolutions (Lanturn, for instance, being a rare exception) – so it’s interesting to see that they were going to do it with, of all things, a tiger – generally accepted one of THE badasses of the animal world. I like it, a subversion every so often is good for fans and good for showing off the talent of the design team - and it seems to fit here better than Lanturn, with Lanturn it feels odd, with these it feels a far better fit; as big and hard as Tiger are they’re still big kitties and that’s adorable. So we have an adorable little kitten that evolves into a still adorable but clearly more powerful and formidable Smilodon-tiger mix that looks like it’s jumping to give you the biggest, happiest hug in hugdom because you’ve FINALLY come home from work and it missed you. There’s a lovely Gen 1 feel to the style of ‘bigger but’ evolution with Raitora isn’t there? Isn’t that a nice throwback, even so soon as Gen 2? Not really because helixchamber are pretty sure that these ARE Gen 1 Pokémon (read here), two of the cut 40 Gen 1 ‘mons and two of the Gen 1 designs that were carried over to Gen 2, which means they got cut TWICE! Why would you do that? These are great, they have that Pikachu/Marril thing going for them, they’re tigers, why would you reject them twice?


No comments:

Post a Comment