Sunday, 28 April 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 3 Part 14 - Round-Up

Thank god that’s over with.
I mean it’s not Gen III’s fault I got my head illness came back but of all the places to be stuck, I think only Gen 5 could have been worse and then only because of the sheer number of ‘mons.  I still don’t like Gen III all that much, but I’m glad that it’s moved to apathy and/or begrudging acceptance rather than the naked hatred that was once there, because I don’t actually like disliking things in something I like, I’d much rather be indifferent to it.
As much as I may not like it, the Generation did have a very consistent feel to all of it’s new ‘mons – they all sit just on the pastel side of bright and despite how different they may seem you can clearly ‘feel’ that Zigzagoon, Trapinch, Lairon and Duskull are all from the same Generation, which is a good thing – remember that these are supposed to be all come from the same location so giving them an overall similar feel is just about right.
It’s also a surprisingly varied ‘dex, easily as varied as Generation 1 – with regular ol’ birds, bugs, cats and sharks sitting next to the likes of Claydol, Cradilly, Nosepass and Shiftry, when bulked out with Gen 1 and 2 creatures as it was, giving the region quite a few more reserved Pokémon to sit alongside the more bombastic Gen III buggers and Hoenn’s wildlife felt like a very complete Pokédex.
Gen III will never be my thing, it’ll always have a design aesthetic that I dislike but it does feature a bunch of favourites and actually racked up a good number of gold scores (more than I thought), albeit a lot of Gold 5 scores. What really notices for me is how inconsistent the lines are getting, with one stand-out ‘mon and two far less interesting ones.
Agreeing to disagree might be the only way to get on in the Pokémon fandom, and I agree to disagree with Gen III.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 3 Part 13 - Legendaries

For all of Generation 3’s faults, it’s Legendaries were fantastic.
Sinnoh’s untamable golems, made from the continents themselves and taken to a far-off land and buried behind irritatingly difficult puzzles both to keep them away from people and in the hope that one day a trainer clever enough to control them would find them, are but the first.  
These three are just design successes, even if their names are nearly as terrible as Zigzagoon and Poochyena’s. Even though I go back and forth on it, today I’m voting Registeel the nicest to look at, a mix of lovely curving metal monster recalling space-ships both modern and retro-futuristic this looks like a creature made out of new Tomorrowland that would also be at home in the middle of an Apple factory - no-one does robots better than Japan, no-one. And while Registeel looks fittingly man-made (steel is man-made, remember?), Regirock and Regice look thoroughly organic, both neatly recalling the formation style of their elements – Regirock is pulled straight a mountainside, big clumps of rock stuck together without a need for fineness or refinement, it doesn’t even have hands – just huge pestles for smashing and crushing, it’s as rocky as rock can get. Regice on the on the hand is almost all crystals of ice that look like they shot up or shot out of each other, even if I do find its legs kind of comical, not to critique your work Regigigas but, I mean, they’re just so stubby and ineffectual looking, they’re adorable and pretty damn funny, could you not have made him some feet at least?. And with their lack of faces and only vaguely humanoid shapes they really do feel otherworldy and thus not only very old but like the creation of something that isn’t human (their triomaster, the aforementioned Regigigas). So successful
But their names suck, they’re another of Gen 3’s so-damn-obvious-was-any-thought-put-into-this names, they’re just Regi and a word stuck together, I expect better than that from Pokémon (god knows why, but I do), I expect bad puns and obvious plays on words but not this obvious a  set of portmanteaus. Also the way of catching them in Ruby and Sapphire is bullshit, it requires you to know braille by sight – that’s not the point of braille!

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 3 Part 12 - Spheal line to Beldum line

Seel and Dewgong are some pretty boring Pokémon, so I didn’t – and don’t – mind Game Freak going back to the well when it comes to seals, especially as it results in a lot more memorable, a lot more creative and a damn cute little critter. Though I personally find that the more spherical a little animal becomes the harder it is to dislike them, as proof I present to you Zooballs, Squee-Zoo-Balls and those animals that Patamates used to put in the cuddly cranes, and Wailmer:

See what I mean? Make it spherical people, the public will fall for it. However in lieu of making it spherical, maybe because it’d make it too cute or your mother was killed in a tragic Madball accident when you were five or something you could always make it look like a killer clown, that works too.
So Spheal and Walrein are successes then, Spheal is cute, Walrein is scary and menacing and looks like, according to Universal Studio’s research, the most common fear in Florida, that just leaves Sealo and Sealo is…utterly boring. I like that it just straight-up has a moustache though, there’s a wonderful ‘fuck it’ appeal to that, y’know? Like someone went ‘fuck it, everything thinks of seals as having a moustache so let’s just give it a moustache’? A cutting through the bullshit that I can get behind. However, ruining it’s Dr Robotnik levels of ‘tache: the poor creature is suffering from Gen 3 Undesigned Markings Syndrome, those bubbles stuck onto the sides of it’s chest markings are just…so…fucking…awkward! Their placing is just so…awkward! You’re right that removing them would make Sealo look even more boring, but better boring than annoying.

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 3 Part 11 - Shuppet line to Snorunt line

That…that picture of Shuppet, Sugimori me ol’ son, that…well… well done on making Shuppet’s head look like morning wood mate.
Away from that: Shuppet is such a great way to do the typical sheet ghost, instead going down this somehow completely logical path of throwing in hand puppets, teru teru bozu and the concept of Tsukumogami which of course completely allows the first two to become Ghosts as it’s (at it’s very basic) an intimate object with a spirit in it. Shuppet being so damn adorable doesn’t hurt either, is it the cutest Ghost Type? It’s certainly the cutest Ghost Type so far and it’s had Misdreavus to content with.  
Then there’s Banette, who goes far more in the Tsukumogami direction on the surprisingly logical path and becomes a haunted doll that just so happens to look like someone that may or may not have once been found chained up in the basement of a pawn store where Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames may have been held captive once. Yes it does look a bit like a gimp, in fact I think it looks like a gimp version oooof…

It’s Gimp Zippy. That alone is scary, which is fine of course because this is a Ghost Type. Actually, looking at it all of Shuppet’s cuteness has been lost in the evolution process hasn’t it? All that’s left is creepy, creepy gimpiness, I think it’s those eyes, never seen eyes that shape on any cartoon critter of any kind before, and the big, gold smile.
Mega Banette is epic, but I don’t really know how to expand on that, I think just going ‘LOOK AT IT’ isn’t really acceptable but LOOK AT IT! it’s Banette turned up to 12, it has huge hot pink claws being released form mouth-like zippers for hands, it has a gorgeous colour scheme, it has the same upsetting face, it’s gloriously nightmarish in all the best Tim Burton-esque ways. And THAT is how you go LOOK AT IT in more words and trick people into thining you’re remotely articulate

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 3 Part 10 - Lileep line to Kecleon

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire will introduce the first new Fossil Pokémon and make ‘regional fossils’ a series staple form here on out! SWERVE! They’re plant starfish and arthropods. Was anybody who wasn’t either working for Game Freak or married to someone working at Game Freak expecting these for our next sets of fossils? A plant pot and Audrey II? And you know what, that’s not a complaint. It was a shock, but it’s not an issue, Crinoids (these are based on what normal folk call ‘sea lilies’) are still with us today but they go back to the days of the dinosaurs which makes them a pretty good fit for Fossil Pokémon – y’know, prehistoric Pokémon that you can still train today – and god damn do I wish all of the ‘REALLY Gen 3 design’ Pokémon looked like this. This is what it looks like when you take the style and colour palette of Generation III and put some thought into how you use it, not just sticking bits, markings and random pastel shades wherever you feel like before knocking off for lunch. You get two very pleasing weird deep sea plantthings.
I think I just prefer Lileep for its extra oddness, Cradilly having very identifiable dinosaur and Levi Stubbs elements which ultimately may make it more appealing and possibly even a better design (you can, after all, tell what it is) but much less strange and losing the appeal of its basis, at least for me, which is that they’re just so unanthropomorphised or animalistic. Lileep is so unlike anything it’s kind of hard to look at it. Of course Cradilly IS an ancient deep see venus fly trap-dinosaur-plant-starfish hybrid and that is cool all by itself.
They’re not me favourites, but I like ‘em.