Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 4 Part 3 - Burmy line to Cherubi line

Bagworms are awesome, they’re worms that build themselves little protective cloaks out of any old shit (so they’re also eco-friendly) and the Burmy line is a superb way of Pokémonifying the concept, doubly clever for using only pre-existing things: the now Poké-standards of Formes, fainting, sexes and evolution (though Formes weren’t named until later in this generation): Burmy gains a new form depending on where it faints but these cloaks don’t do anything, until it’s time to evolve.
If it’s a lady Burmy it becomes Wormadam and when it evolves that cloak becomes permanent with three different types (Bug/Grass, Bug/Ground or Bug/Steel). This is a neat little feature that really, I feel, shows just how well the design team can work game mechanics into Pokémon design AND it makes players put some thought into fainting and evolution, things by the fourth generation we took for granted, if you were training a Burmy you would be left wanting it to faint so you could get the desired Womadam, a rare change of pace in that regard (though useless for Nuzlocking).
If it’s a boy Burmy though it becomes Mothim, which right up until today (when I re-read Bogleech’s review of this line, which is quite similar to mine through complete accident, we both just like bagworms) I thought was called Mothrim – I now totally understand it’s English name. This is because only male bagworms become moths in real life and Mothrim Mothim is thus a lot less creative than Wormadam but personally I can never decide if  like it or Beautifly more when it comes to the butterfly/moth Pokémon, it think it might be his face – I love the weird little faces on all three of this family and the fact that the whole line keeps the same face but just ever so slightly change the tone: from Burmy’s shocked alien little boat races to Mothrim’s serious angry old man visage – or maybe I just love a Pokémon if it’s the same colour and horrible 1970s wallpaper. I dunno, something about Mothrim just makes him this great mix of badass and cute and that just works for the moth and butterfly ‘mons for me.
These guys are seriously underrated and underloved. The fandom is not as on board with these lovelies as me and Bogleech - I saw one (horrible) video on sucky Pokémon that spent ages just making fun of Sandy Cloak Wormadam for looking like pepperoni pizza. I mean it DOES look a bit like pizza but I fail to se how that makes it bad. Of course that video thought that Wormadam was a cocoon so maybe they were just fucking idiots.
As for the forms individually? I like Plant Cloak Burmy the best, it just looks so…woody, and it has little sticks for legs and I like Sandy Cloak Wormadam the best because it looks like my favourite type of pizza. Nah I like it just because it has such a complimentary colour scheme. I don’t dislike any of the other two Burmies though, Sandy Cloak Burmy is being all different with it’s rocks instead of legs and its again a nice set of colours, and Trash Cloak Burmy is so weird and candy-floss-esque. Plant Cloak Wormadam’s flowers look like nipples, but other than that it’s lovely, Trash Cloak Wormadam REALLY reminds me of a drag queen I saw at London Pride one year, this is not a bad thing, but it does look weirdly feminine, not a problem as such because it’s a girl but…it’s just a little uncanny valley-ish (the drag queen did not have this issue).

Combee is another of the ‘example’ Pokémon, a Pokémon used to show off a certain feature in the game, it’s also a great example of how shoddily distributed the new Gen 4 Pokémon were and how that can affect things beyond making me annoying that I had to use a Buizel for so long. Combee existed to show off the honey mechanic; a way of attracting Bug Types (and Munchlax) that was so successful in annoying so many players it’s never been reused and most said players still aren’t over it, including me. Because Combee was the ‘demonstrative’ Pokémon for this mechanic it was only available through it, but it’s encounter rate was so low that it failed to be that demonstrative Pokémon, (Wurmple, a 3rd Generation Pokémon, ended up being the poster child for it in my eyes), failed to show off itself as a nice counterpart to Burmy (Combee only evolves if female)  and ended up being thought of as ‘that Pokémon that was hard to catch and totally wasn’t worth it’ rather than ‘the honey Pokémon’ *sigh*.
Combee is so cute and such a fun way to interpret bees and their relationship with one another and Vespiqueen is just damn awesome, a mix of bug, Blackadder and Kamen Rider with this huge dress/thruster/abdomen/honeycomb bottom half and she’s just so damn impressive looking *sigh*.
But they just had so much working against them – lines where only one sex evolve always seem to be unpopular thanks to how much extra effort you have to put into catching the right one (and because it’s not always apparent you need to do so), Combee was hard to find as it was (which only made it being a one-sex-evolver even less popular) and their stats are just ok, fine for early game bugs but not for ones that are so hard to catch that they just weren’t used as the early game crutches Pokémon with those stats are typically meant for. Combee has since reappeared as a standard ‘long grass’ ‘mon which has helped but by the time it did it’s day in the sun was over, those generations hard their own bugs *sigh*.
Dear Game Freak: bring back Mega Evolutions, give Mothrim, Wormadam and Vespiqueen them, thanks.

Pachirisu is the proof that you should underestimate no Pokémon. Se Jun Park used this mostly forgettable non-evolving Pikaclone to great effect in the 2014 Pokémon World Championship – the real-world Pokémon World Championship – which he won, with Pachirisu becoming a crowd favourite and the player’s mascot. Since then, and with a proven viable strategy for competitive play, Pachirisu has become a lot more respected and a lot more used. My opinion still hasn’t changed though: it needed to lose that JUST ONE THING (the tail spikes) design-wise and needs an evolution. Its little face is so cute though, I’d totally have one as a pet (and cut the tail spikes off! I presume they’re just hair, I HOPE they’re just hair…).

I HATED the Buizel line when it was revealed/leaked and for a while it was all I could think of when people talked about ‘Gen 4 Pokémon’ and my example for how much I hated this generation’s ‘mons. Looking at Buizel itself now though I can’t see what problems I had with it, the only real issue it has is the unnecessary blue on its fins, which just seem a very odd colour choice and the fact that it’s tail seems to split in at a very strange time making it look a little awkward, you see it right? It splits sort of a third of the way down? But really these are nit-picks and ones that honestly aren’t that noticeable on its sprites or in-game models. So really it’s just a fairly average Gen 3-5 style com mon (albeit one whose typing wasn’t very useful in a game with about 1 Fire type) and quite a cute one at that. I’m sorry for all the hate Buizel.
Floatzel however, can still go fuck itself, god everything about’s design is just complte Gen 4 bollocks – three cases of unnecessary markings that look odd (head spot, belly drop, those black cheek markings – WHY AREN’T THEY CREAM??), it still keeps that completely odd and bulldog bollocks level blue fins and it’s floaty becomes this weird snake around it’s body that honestly looks really gross (I bet it’s gross to touch too) and make a Pokémon that already has weird proportions look to have even weirder proportions (his head is so small and his body so large…). I can’t even give it a quick off hand ‘it’s pretty useful though’ kind of send-off because I can’t say I know how it is in battle at all; I’ve never used one (I dumped my Buizel at first chance on my first playthrough and haven’t used one since) and no one ever talks about this line, even to bash it. Its stats are average but then so are Pachirisu’s and that thing’s a fucking world champ so that mean very little.

Though they debuted the generation before and weren’t named until mid-way through it (in HeartGold & Soulsilver), Generation 4 was the generation that really made Formes a common and major factor in Pokémon concept, design and battling. As I have previous stated, and I’m sure you remember this because you’re all hanging on my every word at every moment, I’m not a big fan of Formes when it comes to using them because they add an additional element of unpredictability I don’t like, I only really like forms that you can manually switch (like Rotom or Arceus’ formes) and Cherrim doesn’t work that way (it’s forme changes based on weather) but I don’t dislike it in an opponent Pokémon (it makes a battle more challenging) and I like it as a concept, I just don’t’ want to use many of the ‘mons who have it. What I flat out hate when Pokémon look rushed, uncreative or lazy because NO Pokémon is rushed and a lot of time, multiple redesigns and a lot of people’s opinions are put into the Pokémon that make the cut each development cycle. So Cherrim’s Overcast Forme can do one, it’s just Cherrim wearing a flower on it’s head. I thought this was a cocoon form for the longest time because, well, it looks like one, but no it’s what Cherrim – Cherubi’s evolved form – looks like when the weather isn’t sunny.  I never found out otherwise because I thought Cherubi was boring, a ‘Grass Weezing’ without the cool gross tumour thing gone for it, and there are numerous better Grass Types.
Cherim’s Sunshine Forme is just a little bit too fucking happy for my liking. This thing is made of happiness, it’s this bright sunny abomination that sweats diabetes, shits sunshine and coughs up kittens and it’s all just a bit too much for the clinical depression running through my veins. It’s happiness is just a bit too much and a bit too loud (and the body seems to have far too many ‘parts’ to it for such a small area, the green ‘tie’ then the pink ‘vest’ with the spiked bottom and then the yellow ‘legs’, any one of them could have been removed and it would have only improved things.). It IS cute though.
Also why does the Overcast Forme look nothing like the Sunshine form anatomically? The Overcast Form looks like Cherrubi, not Cherrim, the Sunshine Forme has a body, why doesn’t it look like a ‘closed’ Sunshine Forme rather than it’s prevo with a hat?

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