Pie asks:

Did you ever get around to playing the Crown Tundra? Also, do you think the Hisuian variants/evolutions of some Pokemon you’ve ragged on before make up for the originals? (sorry if you get this twice, i think i accidentally deleted this the first time)

I did! I thought it was quite fun, and a decent answer to the honestly pretty intractable problem of “how do we fit all these goddamn legendary Pokémon into this game?” (to which my answer, frankly, would probably have been “don’t,” but we’ve seen the kind of response that strategy gets). I mostly just didn’t think I had anything particularly important to say about it. Broadly, I think the Isle of Armour and Crown Tundra are pretty similar to the kind of stuff that Pokémon used to add in its “third version” games like Emerald and Platinum, but priced as an expansion rather than a whole new game, which strikes me as a good deal less exploitative. It is what it is, it does what it promises to do, I don’t know that I think it’s anything special, but I did like the Calyrex storyline, so… yeah, sure. It’s fine.

As for the Hisuian forms… hmm… trying now to remember which of those I have ragged on… I dunno if this counts as changing my opinion on Basculin, who is still pretty silly, but I do think Basculegion is a nice addition and takes the shoal/school theme in an interesting direction. That’s probably the biggest one. Uh. What about Lilligant, was I mean to Lilligant? Eh, I dunno if I’m that big a fan of Hisuian Lilligant either, in any case; it’s kinda just “what if Lilligant were Tsareena?” Qwilfish…? Nah, I just refuse on principle to allow Qwilfish to settle into my long-term memory, no matter what they do with it. The name Overqwil is worth a lot of points, I’ll give them that.

5 thoughts on “Pie asks:

  1. I’d argue it’s more exploitative actually. Before if you wanted the improved version you could either just skip the previous two or sell them if you already had them, then get an upgrade at no extra cost. Now you have to buy both the original and the new version on top to experience it, and not only that it prevents any chance for improvements to the main game’s story and presentation.

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    1. yeah somehow that doesn’t surprise me

      That’s a weird stance to take, though, when they never guaranteed in advance that there was *going* to be a “third version” in each generation (and, indeed, there *wasn’t* in V or VI). Most people want to play a game when it comes out (a lot of people want to play it *on launch day*, which personally I think is a weird cultural thing that is *also* kinda anti-consumer, but isn’t specific to Pokémon by a long shot), so “wait 2ish years and see whether they make another one that’s the same but slightly better and also has a bunch of features that will quickly become crucial to keep up with the competitive scene, then buy that one if does happen” is… like, I think it’s very strange to say that an environment where that’s what you have to do in order to get a fair deal is preferable to one that more closely resembles the way *most video game expansions work*. Heck, I am on the record as saying, before the announcement that Black 2/White 2 would be full sequels rather than expansion-esque, that I would prefer for gen V to have a model similar to what Sword and Shield are now doing, rather than the Crystal/Emerald/Platinum model, because at the time it seemed pretty uncontroversial to me that Pokémon’s standard approach was a ripoff. And a lot of people buy games digitally now, so resale is much less common these days, which I’d agree is bad but also has nothing to do with choices specific to Pokémon (also I have no idea how you’d manage to resell a game without a loss after the release of a new game at the same price that was designed and marketed as an upgrade).

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      1. I mean, I did acknowledge that, which is why I included selling the previous versions as an option. Of course, I do have a priority list –
        Two without improvement < Two without improvement w/ DLC < Two without improvement with an upgraded third version that you don't need the previous two to run < Two that are great on their own with an even better third version < Two versions that are already great to begin with < A single game that they put all of their creativity, effort, and time into, and possibly DLC on top of it(A gold standard that so far only Legends Arceus has come close to)

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        1. And that gold standard is what we expect from every franchise except Pokémon. We should probably question why we still let them get away with any of the others…

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