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.

Oh yeah! These exist.
They’re based on Anomalocaris, the big daddy of prehistoric arthropods. Which I’m pleased to say I recognised in them on my first playthrough (I all-but-lived at the London Natural History Museum as a child remember?) and perfectly reflecting my feelings on the Anormalocaris (and it’s whole section of the Natural History Museum, it used to be where the Megatherium skeleton is today), I don’t give a toss about these two whatsoever. 
For a long time I felt Anorith felt very out of place as a design, it’s very finely detailed in a way that Pokémon weren’t and generally aren’t, this was my only thoughts on the entire line really. but then Gen 7 rocked up with Wimpod and Gollisopod and they had the same finely detailed and Digimon-feeling style to them, completely sensible as they’re pretty much descendants of this line. So now Anorith fits nicely into the Pokémon world and I have nothing to say about it other than ‘aww, it’s so cute’.
Armaldo is just…there. A weird mish-mash of Blastoise, Kabutops and Chief Thunder that’s neither that threatening, nor that cute, nor that funny, it’s just…some boring place between these things. I will say that the false eyes spots on these worked, me and a mate having both stood in the bike park at Centre Parcs with Pokémon Go! running and going ‘wait, those AREN’T their eyes?’ for both lines.

It’s girl Gyarados!
Feebas looks like even more of a loser than Magikarp, the very shape of it all making it look terrified all the time. I wouldn’t say it was ugly, Bruxish is ugly, but Feebas sure feels pathetic, however it’s so forlorn that I do have a hard time imagining that people shun it in-universe - it’s just too loveable. it has a very pleasant Bulbasaur-eqsue style of markings, this doesn’t relate to anything but I slag off the markings so much I thought I’d better point out a time in this generation when I feel they got it right.
Now Game Freak were hoping that we’d remember Feebas as the Gen 3 Magikarp, as the worthless fish that evolved into the awesome sea serpent, but what Feebas instead became known for is being a prick. A prick to catch and a prick to evolve – it was only available on one tile (square of water) in one route and then you had to find one with the right nature and feed it poffins made from the right mix of berries (which necessitated the already fiddly, time consuming and boring berry farming mechanic) so that it’s beauty condition – which is related to Pokémon contests, Feebas is the only Pokémon to evolve due to something connected to the contests and not battling, trading or items – will reach above 170 before the ‘mon reaches the limit of poffins it will eat, do it wrong and you have to go get another Feebas and start again. And virtually none of this was explained in-game. Someone thought this was a good idea, hopefully they were fired and now live in a Mr Doughnuts box. 
So it’s not too surprising that this was changed, Feebas got an alternate way of evolving in Generation 5 (simply trade it while holding an item) and it’s been far more common in the wild in later games, so while telling you all that may seem irrelevant, I had to put up with it doing it so the least you can do it put up with reading about how complicated and daft it was.
Anyway Feebas’ preferable gimmick is that it evolves into the ‘beautiful’ sea dragon Milotic who is QUITE popular so I’ll choose my words very carefully: tell Harry to go fuck himself it’s ok. I like the front half, I like the tail – it looks like an exotic chocolate – I’m just not sure about the blue stained-glass window thing it’s got going on between these two things. It’s supposedly based on a mermaid’s tail and I can see that, I’m just not taken with the execution but I’m not going to bang on about Gen 3 and its undersigned markings AGAIN. It’s certainly not the most offensive case though and it does have that ‘wow’ factor to it overall, if I saw one evolve out of out a raggedy fish I’d gasp, so it does it’s job  just dandy, I would have just preferred a gradient or something instead of the stained glass window look.

I KNOW the whole of Game Freak’s design team have seen a woman, because at least one of them IS a woman. I know they know what tits are, where they fall on the body and what they’re shaped like. I also know that most of them have seen testicles, because most of them are male and OWN testicles. They know what balls are, where they fall on the body and what they’re shaped like.
So how exactly did they not see the issue with Castform? Answer: they can’t have missed it. Conclusion: they knew and did it anyway, because it’s a bit of a laugh innit? I mean these are the people that put THAT FUCKING SEASHELL BIKINI on Gorebyss. I don’t mind a Pokémon have stonking great tits but it is a bit hard to take poor Castform seriously when it’s rocking a massive pair, happily Castform only has it’s impressive assets in it’s normal form, unhappily it grows a third tit in it’s Sunny Day form. There I have no exhausted all the boob/ball related elements of this Pokémon, can we talk about other stuff now?
Cos I like Castform, not because of it’s great rack but because it’s a cute little cartoon ghost-cum-teru teru bōzu with three neat little designs for its alternate forms. I’m not big on form/forme changing Pokémon, it creates a level of uncertainty that my brain isn’t down with, if I must have form changing Pokémon I’d much prefer it to be like Rotom where you can manually change the form and it stays that way – complete with those Types and stats – rather than being changed by something out of my control like, say, weather effects. Speaking of which: Castform is our gimmick Pokémon brought in to show off the weather effects mechanic off (weather actually got introduced in Gen II), getting it’s Sunnyy Form, Rainy Form or Snowy Form and a new typing (Fire, Water or Ice, naturally) automatically depending on what weather effect is effecting things, or staying in it’s normal form when there’s no harsh sunlight, hail or rain.
I may not like the chosen way of getting ‘em but I do like the three forms you get. At a push I’d choose the Snowy Form as my least favourite, I get what they were going for and I applaud them for going with ‘icy wind’ over the more obvious snowflake but it feels like they’re doing a bit too much, they should have picked one type of wind effect and stuck with that, rather than having two. It’s still nice, and I like the little icicle which makes so much sense – it’s a floating thing that froze over, of COURSE it has an icicle. Rainy Castform wins points for not having a ‘base’ that looks like rude parts of a human body and for looking like an Iced Gem but I think like Sunny form the best, it’s big jelly sun is just so pleasant and squishy looking and I appreciate the use of balls for ‘rays’ rather than triangles, which would have felt too spikey. Of course given that they probably just nicked the idea from Mr Donuts again, maybe I shouldn’t give them too much credit.

It’s an odd little chameleon that looks like an Aztec wall carving and walks like an Egyptian – that’s ok. It’s very Gen III but it manages to (intentionally or not) use the style to create and overall look so meh. However they DO spend the Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon series as take-no-shit shopkeepers which endeared them to me a little, especially with one being a hard-as-nails bonus boss. They seem to suit this seemingly random role, I like to think they do this in the main Pokémon universe(s) too, outside of Fortree City they’re running little shops in the woods selling berries to Zizagoon.
I made them sound like litttle drug dealers didn’t I?
Eh, possible.


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