Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 5 Part 10 - Klink line to Cubchoo line

Hey! It’s a line that everyone hates and I don’t like either! After seeing me throw G/S Balls at the Trubbish and Vannilite lines you might think I’m just a contrarian here to troll ‘Genwunners’ but I’m not, I genuinely think that much of Trubbish, Garbodor and Vanilluxe and simply don’t care what the majority has to say on the matter. I don’t really care what they have to say on the matter here either, except in the context of me mostly agreeing with it. Klink IS just two gears with faces slapped on them, and that does feel exceptionally lazy as a design goes for a ‘gears Pokémon’ which by itself is a fine concept and indeed a fine idea for an equivalent to the Magnemite line if you ask me. HOWEVER in the designer’s defence they at least gave it a fairly unusual face, with its blind eye and clown nose so at least they put some miniscule effort in and this – and the lovely Mr Men vibe it gives off – keeps me from outright hating it.
Klang is completely sensible, the magnet Pokémon evolves by attracting more magnets to it so the gear Pokémon evolves by combining with more gears, I’m down with that. It’s a shame that the second gear loses it’s face (I think it’s turned round, right?) to become the big nose for the third gear, it takes away some of the ‘aliveness’ (I am wordsmith) and I personally would have added a few more little gears but Klang’s cool enough.
Klinklang (which has the best name, it’s a bigger onomatopoeia that is in fact a combination of the two pervious names, just like this is a bigger Pokémon that is in fact a combination of the two previous forms, awesomness) is where I jump on the hate train. It’s less evolved and more using a power-up, in comparison Magnezone is a fucking spaceship, Klinklang… gets a spikey wheel, one that doesn’t even have a face! It’s not so much that it’s lazy or feels lazy (though it does feel lazy) or that’s wasted potential (though it is) it’s just that after training it for so much of the game, investing so much time into it, what you’re getting is something so, fucking, disappointing. That’s why Klinklang is getting the shit score, because it’s disappointing as a final evolution, because it’s just the previous ‘mon but wearing a bracelet.

This whole line feels a bit too much like a throwback to the Generation 3’s style for me to really get into it, middle stage Eelektrik is the worst, a straight up Klasky Csupo ‘mon with all the doofiness and random bits of Gen 3 at it’s worst. I will except ‘well lampreys are weird looking’ as an argument for it looking strange, but not for reverting back to the flaws of two generations past. Things are a bit better either side though, Tynamo is a little too simple for me to really get into but it is a wonderful confirmation of the idea that you can make anything cute, this is a fucking sea worm that sucks things to death and it’s just so sweet, look at it’s little butt-hole mouth and it’s big eyes! Cuteness. Actually these aren’t Water types by the way, they’re pure Electric and with the Levitate ability have no weaknesses, they’re good ‘mons to use even if I don’t like their designs so much.
Eelektross is the best of the three, it still suffers from Geneationthreeitus but it’s a huge grotesque windsock AND it looks like Repteel from Street Sharks:

So it’s hard to dislike it, it looses a lot of the issues of Eeletrik too, with everything flowing nicely, even it’s markings. If you’re a lamprey fan (like, say Bogleech is) you couldn’t’ really ask for a better final evolution, it’s lamprey-as-kaiju (or Street Shark) and it’s damn cool. For me, who’s never been into anything remotely worm or snake-like I’m lukewarm, but I can sit back and enjoy the objective badassness of it, because if Eeletross isn’t objectively badass, nothing is.

Every time Pokémon gets it’s extra-terrestrial on, things turn out well. We’ve had Clefairy, Solrock, Lunatone, Deoxys and now we have these two cuties! With Elgeyem Pokémon finally does ‘Greys’, but mixes it up with a look that recalls ancient alien technology and ancient relics to give it a much needed bit of originality (I am quite sick of Greys, especially ones smoking weed) and make it feel even more alien, good job lads. And then it evolves to better blend in with humanity, looking like a little chap in a hat and coat, which is genius just by itself, the alien blending it, but also of course (of COURSE, come on, you must all be UFOlogists or at least have watched several dozen documentaries on aliens and cryptids like I have) a reference to the various strange ‘men’ that often accompany UFO sightings, from the Men in Black to Indrid Cold and on that subject: the references! Elgyem means ‘L.G.M’ or little green man (pity it’s turquoise), it can cause headaches (a common symptom of people encountering UFOs) and is said to have first appeared in a crash in the desert 50 years before Black & White’s story, a clear reference to the infamous Roswell incident which is where the grey alien stereotype really began. Meanwhile Beheeyem is B.E.M. or bug eyed monster, can erase and rewrite memories which is common in UFO encounters AND make sit a living flashy thing Neuralyzer and communicates with colours lights, which Bogleech thinks is a direct reference to George Pal’s 1953 version of War of the Worlds but could also just be a less specific refence various coloured lights in the sky and other reports of coloured lights in UFO encounters.
TL;DR? These are STUFFED with references and it just adds to what are already two neat little alien designs that aren’t quite as cool as a space DNA monkey or as original as Clefairy but a lot more ‘classic’ and thus filing a niche that needed to be filled if you like aliens.

Well these came out rather well didn’t they? Gen 5’s equivalents of Gastly Haunter and Gengar are ghostly lights that suck souls actually look more gothic than Gothitelle! Like the Vanillish line Litwick and Chandelure managed to settle in that lovely place where they look like creatures who resemble objects rather than objects with faces, Litwick is as much a little white cartoon ghost (think: Casper) as it is a candle. This is, I think, while Lampent feels like it has a little bit of midvolution syndrome, it just looks less organic and…wait I’m just repeating what Bogleech said aren’t I? Goddammit I knew this would happen at some point, I’m not trying to plagiarize it’s just our opinions on something are exactly the same. Lampent’s still ok though, I think because those style of lamps already look like creepy little men and are already a little ominous? Just me?
Unlike the Vanillish line these guys were given a warm reception, hell Chandelure is the only Gen 5 Pokémon to make it to Pokken. My theory on why can be summed up in one picture:

Look at that! look how visually pleasing that is, that is a cool looking Pokémon.  I know I’m biased towards Ghost Types and ANYTHING Goth but that is just one awesome piece of design. I want one, even if it might eat my soul (who am I kidding? I have no soul).

Speaking of Midvolution Syndrome: why did Fraxure come out without its trousers on? I’d suppose the theory is that the armour is ‘growing’ to cover the ‘mon as it evolves, from Axew’s little neck and head bit through Faxure’s missing trousers to Haxorus’ complete covering but it does leave Faxure looking odd. Oh, Bogleech also commented on this too. Shit.
Anyway Haxorus is easily the most Yu-Gi-Oh looking Pokémon so far, again it’s not so much of an issue nowadays when we have Pokémon of all kinds of art styles but in this line, especially evolving from the VERY Pokémon looking Axew and Fraxure (Fraxure even has Bulbasaur’s markings!) it does stick out a bit. Still it IS a fully armoured dragon with axes for a face that manages to be detailed without looking busy and it IS a lovely colour scheme, it’s just a bit of a sore thumb style-wise.
In case you haven’t guessed I’m really not mad about these. I’m trying to find interesting things to say other than repeating ‘meh’ with varying numbers of ‘e’s but it’s just coming out as waffle. I like the idea of blades for tusks (fuck that, I want a pair for myself!) and Axew’s cute and Haxorus is badass but I’m just really, REALLY, indifferent on them personally.

These are just fucking gross.
Snot is fucking gross, it looks gross, it feels gross and if you’re ever unfortunate enough to taste it it’s bloody disgusting. Snot is not adorable, snot does not make a little polar bear cub sweet, it makes it gross, really FUCKING gross and a beard of frozen snot is so gross that I can’t think of an simile that does it justice, I’m going to have to make one up – Beartic’s snotbeard is as gross Furblegro, you got that? Furblegro! That gross.
I can’t believe I’m going to give the lowest possible score to something as cool as polar bears that can shoot Ice Beams

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