On the last day of March this year, I set out to pass judgement on all one hundred and fifty-six of the new Pokémon of Black and White. I have spent the intervening nine months whining constantly about the general incompetence of Game Freak’s designers and the total unworthiness of the name “Pokémon” of such creations as Unfezant, Emolga, and (shudder) Garbodor. So, here’s the big question: what’s the final score?
Out of one hundred and fifty-six Pokémon, I have:
And shaken my head in confusion and given up on one.
Wait, that can’t be right! I’ve let almost half of them live! I must have been far too nice! Let me see those…
I let them keep Liepard? What was I thinking?
Seriously, though, that’s sort of the point of this blog. Everyone’s always saying that the ‘new’ Pokémon ruin everything (where ‘new’ is everything that was released after you personally stopped playing) – and, you know what? A lot of them do! A lot of them are utter tripe! But, believe it or not, there are still some good ideas in this mess, and I’ve been putting myself through this because I wanted to prove it… at least, as far as you can prove something like that. Before Black and White, when people were arguing about whether Pokémon had been Ruined Forever, they had to argue about the merits and failings of a couple of dozen different Pokémon from across multiple generations, which meant that everything was incredibly complex and very subjective. Now, thanks to Game Freak, you can just trot out bloody Garbodor and the argument is over, which I don’t think is very fair. This blog, and all of the entries within it in which I affirmed a Pokémon’s right to exist, are intended as a counterpoint to Garbodor. It’s taken me nine months, but I think I’ve done enough that you can point at Pokémaniacal and say “there, see! There are still good Pokémon!” and maybe, just maybe, you won’t be laughed out of the room and have to go and live under a rock for three years (as always, I am the very voice of optimism).
My quest is concluded, and my work here is done!
When I first started this blog it was basically for the amusement of my friends… and somehow I sort of imagined that working my way through the entire Unovan Pokédex would keep me busy basically forever, and then when forever was over, I’d be done. This has gotten a little out of hand. I have a blog now. I used to think it might just drift away and leave me alone, but I’ve finished and it’s still here. I have readers, for goodness’ sake; I had always quietly assumed that this would be a bit like having minions, but I am beginning to suspect that this is not the case.
I probably should have thought this through.
I’m certainly not going to commit to reviewing all four hundred and ninety-three other Pokémon; I think that might very well drive me mad…der. Then again, I’m certainly not going to stop here; like I said, I have the blasted blog now and there’s a dreadful queasy feeling welling up in the pit of my stomach that I’m starting to think might be loyalty to my readers. So… here’s what we’re going to do. I am going to take a couple of weeks off and maybe go to the beach, because it’s Christmas and I’ve earned it, damnit. In the mean time, you lot can use the comments section on this post to tell me what you would like me to write about. I have a couple of ideas rattling around in my skull for small projects that I could probably stretch out to a month or two if I had to, but I’d like to hear what everyone else thinks would be fun to look at, and I offer my heartfelt promise that I will do at least some of what you tell me to. Within reason. Until I become distracted by something shiny. Seriously, though, I’d love to hear where you think I should go with this.
I’d like to give a tremendously loud and appreciative thank you to my long-suffering proofreaders, Jim and Louise, for putting up with my rubbish, to Satoshi Tajiri and Game Freak for coming up with all this lunacy in the first place and for remaining oblivious to all the insults I sling their way, to Xous54 for letting me use his lovely artwork of Genesect, Meloetta and Keldeo, and, of course, to all the delightfully mad people out there who actually read this nonsense for indulging my delusions of grandeur. You may not be my minions, but if I can make you smile now and again, that’s good enough for me.
I’ll return some time in January, but until then, Merry Christmas from Pokémaniacal, and a suitably bizarre and eventful New Year to you all!