Tuesday 31 December 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 6 Part 2 - Bunnelby line to Skiddo line

Just because I get a joke, doesn’t mean I think it’s funny. That sums up Diggersby just perfectly.
I get Diggersby “haha instead of turning sexy like Lopunny it turns into a fat old man haha”, it’s a joke based on subverting expectations and humorous contrast. I get it. But it’s still a doofy, goofy ugly fat thing in that particular type of humorous Japanese caricature art style I dislike with a really obvious haramaki and I hate it. I do like the idea of a rabbit having huge hand-ears to dig with, pity it’s attached to a doofy, goofy ugly fat thing. A let down for this Gen’s Normal type com mon.
Bunnelbey’s inoffensive, I’d’ve swapped out the brown collar for white:

Just out of aesthetic preference but whatever.

Smogonbird is here to mix things up! For the first time ever the regional bird for a generation becomes a typing other than Normal/Flying, with Fletchinder this line is Fire/Flying! I suppose it’s a bit of an indictment of the sameness of the Pokémon franchise that this is an exciting change but shut up, it really was. We’re easily pleased as a fanbase (and even easier annoyed), ok?
It was also one of the Gen Sixers I liked from the start, I wish they’d let Saya Tsuruta design more per Generation, they’re responsible for the Joltik, Fletchling, Goomy, Spritzee and Morelull lines and that’s a bloody good batting average. The whole set of three are just really solid designs, I’m particularly fond of how they used embers to replicate a falcon’s markings on it’s legs and stomach and how Fletchinder has an identity all of its own like a lot of earlier midvolutionS did (Wartortle, Charmeleon, Machoke, Kadabra, Haunter etc), Midvolution Syndrome is nowhere near this nice little mid-point between cute little songbird and badass bird of prey. All three birds are clearly their own thing but also clearly related to one another, at no point does Talonflame become ‘just a falcon’ but a bird of prey that has clearly evolved from Fletchling.
Oh and Talonflame is beloved by the competitive community because of its Secret Ability - every Pokémon can have two Abilities, their signature Ability they usually have (Ability) and one they rarely have (Secret Ability) – it’s called Gale Wings and means it’s Flying Type attacks always hit before the opponent’s Flying Type attacks, so TF’s mega useful. And yet amazingly it’s not included in the Generation 8 Pokedex, I think I’m starting to understand the National ‘Dex Controversy now…

For Mega Pidgeot see here

See Vivillion here? Vivillion is Spinda done right. If you missed my review of a fairly obscure single-stage Generation 3 Pokémon, Spinda is stupid because it has randomly generated spots with thousands and thousands of possible combinations to simulate a ‘every one’s unique’ gimmick and thus completely undermines the collecting aspect of the Pokémon franchise that has been there from the start – you cannot possibly collect ‘em all. Vivillion, the final stage of this line - another butterfly and the worst of the bunch if you ask me, I just dislike the ‘made up of simple shapes’ look it has, Pokémon if you ask me should be simplistic not simple, this is the sort of thing your mum would doodle – well Vivillion had 22 patterns, 20 that were based on the location of the player when they created their save file and 2 event-only patterns - I’m not reviewing them all one-by-one but know that I like Polar, Monsoon and Pokéball the best (Monsoon looks like every 1980s electronic good ever made). This actually encouraged trading and especially online trading as you could only get most of the patterns from people who were separated from you by large bodies of water. Vivillion is sensible, Spinda is dumb, I just wish I liked Vivilion as a design as much as I like Spinda (who is super cute).
Speaking of super cute, Scatterbug is super cute, the Pokémon franchise wasn’t crying out for another worm/caterpillar ‘mon but when it can be done this adorably and this uniquely (compared to the others), who cares?
Speaking of looking like shit from the 1980’s Spewpa, our cocoon stage for this line, looks like it’s wrapped itself in a physical embodiment of late ‘80’s design, every bowling alley, nightclub, fast food joint and Trapper-Keeper had a section that looked like Spewpa’s fluffy bits -and not many things can say that about their fluffy bits.
Conclusions? Sensible butterfly that I’m meh on but who’s getting a good score because it’s so sensible and two cute bugs before it, NEXT

For Mega Beedrill see here

For Cosplay Pikachu see here

For Mega Gyarados see here

For Mega Sharpedo see here

At last! How has it taken six generations to get lions? I like this line a lot - it’s just what I wanted from a Pokémon lion back in Generation 1, hell Pyroar looks like some Fakemon lions I drew back then, they’re very simplistic, very naturalistic and very Gen 2 and I love it, Gen 6 pleased a lot of Gen 1 fans (I shan’t use Genwunners here because I’m feeling nice, I’ve just had Spotted Dick – that’s a dessert, not a sex thing) and the art style used was undoubtedly part of it, like Gen 5 it’s such a nice return to the pleasing style of the original two generations but with a little modern twist, they don’t’ feel like they come from the 90s but they do feel like they’d fit with Kanto and Johto ‘mons. The gimmick here is of course, the lion mane as streams of fire and it looks great on Pyroar with a real sense of design and effort into giving it a unique shape (and thus unique silhouette, always a plus) but of course female lions and lion cubs don’t’ have manes, so what do you? You create an adorable little Pokelion and give it an adorable little tuff, and you give the female Pyroar a long ponytail – referencing box lion sexual dimorphism AND male and female hair styles. It’s perfect, you carry the gimmick throughout all the line and it makes total sense, as does it’s typing – it’s Fire/Normal because it’s mostly normal except for it’s fire bit, fits the design, lovely.
Also Lysandre from Gen 5 totally looks like a Pyroar:
Also also Pyroar is a badass name.

For Mega Lucario see here

For Mega Gardevoir and Mega Gallade see here

While all of these ‘reviews’ (I use the term very lightly, too lightly for even inverted commas to truly do it justice) are subjective as subjective gets, this one is especially so; because I have, and have alwys had as long as I can remember – back to early childhood we’re talking here – hated the type of character design Flabebe uses, I don’t’ know if it has a proper name or even a TV Tropes name, it certainly doesn’t have one that I can find, but the design of having a small simple character clinging to a really big real world thing. It just seems…underdesigned to me, the effort always seems to have gone into the real world thing (which doesn’t need designing and ‘creating’ as it’s just a drawing of at thing that exists) and not on the little blob holding it, which is defiantly the case with Flabebe. The problem with this (other than making me look a nutter) is that this dislike - as well as just having issues with Flabebe’s design in general, I think the ‘crown’ looks really out of place, ‘stuck on’ if you will, and the whole thing looks like a Kinder Egg toy I’d throw away, very segmented and plastic – colours my whole view of the line and at the time, it coloured my whole view of the new Fairy Type, which this line was very much being positioned as the poster child for - being the first to debut and having the most story significance – and that’s unfair. Floette is really just ‘Fairy Farfetch’d’ and Florges is pretty, well, pretty as far as design goes, and there’s a lot to like about Fairy as a type:
As the ‘good magic’ Type Fairy was long-overdue to balance out Dark, now in Japan Bug and Fighting types being the ‘hero’ types makes sense because of their pop culture but elsewhere where this isn’t the fact (like Europe, here in Britain or most notably in America) we were all left feeling things were a little unbalanced and that the ‘Evil’ type (Dark) really could use a proper counter, thematically and in-game and Fairy does just that, it’s super effective against Dark Types and most of its ‘mons are their polar opposites, cute, pink, fluffy adorable, dare I say it ‘girly’ designs - like a little cute thing and it’s favourite flower, for instance, it also helped nerf the Dragon Type (it’s the only type that Dragon is weak to other than Dragon itself), so I thank it for that, I love me Dragon Types but fighting against them was a bitch pre-Gen 6. I liked a lot of the Pokémon this type was retroactively applied to (Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Gardevoir, Whimsicott) but I’m not that mad on the new ‘mons this generation brought in, most of them are I just think are ok, except Flabebe, which I hate because of long-standing bias which just means I’m weird.
Floette’s in that okay area, it still looks a little segmented and plastic but has become a little more organic, probably because it’s switched that crown for two scrunchies around it’s ‘ears’ and they’re less obvious in its design, hell they’re no less organic-seeming than Vector the Crocodile’s shoulder rings so I should maybe shut up about them and move on. I also like that it’s moved on from being a ‘little thing stuck to a big real-world thing where all the effort goes to drawing the real world thing’ to just another Pokémon with a weapon, and like all Pokémon with weapons that are easy to come by in the wild, it gets a pass. What I really like about it though is it’s other Forme – Eternal Flower Floette, pity we’ll never play as it legally isn’t it? Eternal Flower Floette is just a different colour Floette with a much nicer (read: more gothic) flower but it’s her backstory that makes her so great, the whole of X & Y’s story is based around a doomsday device that absorbs life energy, it turns out that a mysterious GIANT man named AZ built it because his beloved Floette died in battle during a war in Kalos, he built the machine to revive her and succeeded – making Eternal Flower Floette – but after all his hard work and sacrifice and grief she left him because? The machine used the life force of other Pokémon to resurrect her, AZ killed god knows how many Pokémon to save his own. X & Y was criticized for having a shallower story and shallower character than Black and White and I do primarily agree, except for this, this is awesome and heart-breaking, a brief look at how tunnel vision drives people to become worse than the things that set them on their path in the first place - AZ and Eternal Flower Floette rock. EF Floette is fully programmed into X & Y, you can hack the games and get it, it even has its own signature move (Light of Ruin) which is talked about in-game and is exclusive to this version of this ‘mon. BUT EFF has never been officially released, it’s likely it was planned as an Event Pokémon or for the never produced Pokémon Z. I really don’t’ get why they truncated Gen 6 so quick, I really don’t but it left EFE feeling very mysterious and cool.
God am I still talking about the Flabebe line? Oh it’s just Florges left and Florges is a marked improvement over the other two, having bonded with their flower (via Sun Stone, I guess? Gen 6 seemed to introduce quite a lot of stone/unique method of evolution Pokémon, no problems with that just thought I’d bring it up to make this even longer) and has become a fashional collar, perfect for France and it’s fashion-centric stereotypes – but Flores doesn’t become Grass Type which is either and odd design choice of fantastic camouflage, depending on how you look at it. A find Flores’ ‘legs’ and feet a little confusing still, it seems to not really have legs but a tail or single leg and those big leaves actually come out of its ankles, It’s just a bit visually bewildering is all.
It’s over.

For Mega Venusaur see here

For Mega Charizard X & Mega Charizard Y see here

For Mega Blastoise see here

I wasn’t looking forward to writing this because I cannot think of anything to say about these two other than ‘what a utterly solid pair of designs’ and that’s even more boring than my usual entries!
But that’s what I think of them, both became instant favourites with fans and they deserve it – Skiddo is a cute cartoon goat with a bush for fur and Gogoat is a some kind of antelope-goat-motorcycle hybrid that you can ride, in fact you can ride it in more than oen game, because who doesn’t want to rev up their Gogoat and fly around on hoofed bush? Their colour schemes are nice, their markings placed with apparent thought (or just inoffensive), Gogoat has a really good move pool. They’re utterly 5 ball ‘mons I just have very little elaboration or tangents or humour for them, they’re just good.

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