So what do you think of the mystery dungeon games?

Well, I only ever played the first one and have incomplete secondhand knowledge of the plot of the subsequent titles, so anything I say here applies only to Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue and should be taken with a grain of salt.  I like the feel of them a lot.  It’s nice to have Pokémon games that are just about Pokémon, without any of those pesky humans to get in the way (even if the plot felt it was necessary to have humans exist… somewhere else… without ever really explaining their relation to the world we were actually playing in…).  It’s just cool to have Pokémon working together to solve their problems and protect each other, although some more effort could have been spent on explaining why exactly their problems seemed primarily to be “other Pokémon” (“they’re really mad at everything because of the natural disasters, okay!”).

The gameplay was… flawed in a number of ways, though (and here I will remind you that I’m going purely off the first titles in the series; many or all of my complaints may actually have been addressed later, I don’t know).  Adding new Pokémon to your team happens entirely at random, which is frustrating.  The dungeons themselves very quickly start to feel like they’re all the same – you wander through a randomly generated maze hitting anything that gets in your way until you reach whatever it is that you’re there for.  Tactical positioning doesn’t play nearly as much of a role as you’d think.  Sometimes your companions’ AI just does incredibly stupid things, like running off down a long corridor in pursuit of… something… and not being able to find you again.  Some moves are either crazy overpowered or completely useless: Silver Wind just damages everything on the screen (in addition to its side-effect of sometimes raising all the user’s stats), so sometimes you just die before you can even get close enough to attack whatever is using it, whereas your companions’ AI has no clue how to handle some support moves like Reflect, and will spam them every time you take a step until they run out of PP, which is not really helpful.  Each Pokémon’s level-up move list seems to have been directly copied over from Ruby and Sapphire without any consideration for how the strengths and purposes of the different moves are changed by the radically different demands of the battle system – I can understand not wanting to review every Pokémon, but surely it would have made sense to tinker with the ones available as player characters (I played as Psyduck, whose level-up list is appalling compared to what most of the starter Pokémon get, with no real advantages to balance that).  In short… there’s a lot of evidence in there of a general lack of effort in adapting the existing material of the Pokémon franchise to the game mechanics implied by the new concept.  Maybe it got better; I don’t know.  I hope so, because it was a very cool idea.

Why do some people equate Ash with Michael vick? Is it because of superficial judgment or real reasons with merit?

People keep bringing up this Michael Vick dude and I have no idea what he did (I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen anyone compare him to Ash either – just people objecting to that comparison).  I understand from what readers have told me that he was in the news a lot in the United States a few years back for something to do with animal abuse, so some of the stuff in my answer to this question might be of interest to you, but I just don’t know or care enough about this guy to say anything specific about him.

Do you think there should have been a Fairy-type that got Illusion as an ability? Not necessarily an existing one, just as a concept in general.

Hrm.  It makes sense, don’t get me wrong – fairies go well with illusion and deception – but I think the Illusion ability is something that it’s better to keep as Zoroark’s ‘thing,’ both for Zoroark’s sake (because, to be honest, it would probably not be difficult to come up with a Pokémon who gets more out of Illusion than Zoroark does) and to avoid the chaos that would be brought about by having both of them on the same team.  That’s not to say we can’t try to think of something that draws on a similar idea of deception, though… fairies from different cultures and different stories can have control over a wide variety of elemental forces, so… maybe a Fairy-type who can have several different secondary types, which the opponent can’t immediately identify.  It can be (say) Fairy/Fire, Fairy/Electric, Fairy/Water or Fairy/Grass, chosen at birth, and its appearance is the same for all four (maybe including elements from all four types), which means that the opponent has to fire off one or two “test” attacks to figure out what its weaknesses and resistances are.  Undecided on whether to have moves that are unique to each form or just give all four a wide range of attacks.  Could go either way there.

Klefki

Klefki.

And Game Freak said “let there be Klefki,” and old school Pokémon fans around the world cried out “the $#!t is this?” and “why is there a f@#%ing keyring Pokémon?” and “OMG Pokemans ruined 5evah.”  And Game Freak said “YOLO,” for they felt that it was good.

Klefki immediately forces us to open the old “inanimate Pokémon are dumb” chestnut, for which the arguments and counterarguments (such as they are; neither side really pulls its intellectual weight on that one, to be honest) have been done to death.  Game Freak have run out of ideas/We had Magnemite and Voltorb in the first generation.  Pokémon based on objects make no sense/Whereas ghosts, psychics, electric mice and dragons totally do?  But they’re not alive, goddamnit/But magic, goddamnit!  Then of course there are actually Pokémon based on inanimate objects which most people (I think?) would probably agree are really awesome, like Chandelure and Aegislash – the result of which is that I’m now wondering whether both sides have completely missed the point of that whole debate and what people are actually turned off by is not so much their status as ‘objects’ but rather the sheer mundanity of the things some Pokémon are based on.  Klefki, for example, is based on something you might actually have in your pocket as you read this – mine are sitting on the arm of my chair as I type.  Not only that, your keychain is probably not an object you are accustomed to according particular respect – you can contrast to that the mystique of a sword, or the ‘antique’ allure of an ornate lamp, mundane in its own time but a curiosity in an age of electric light.  The somewhat underdeveloped nature of Klefki’s anthropomorphising features don’t exactly help; when you glance at it, it really is just a floating keychain.  There’s probably a cultural disconnect in play there, though, because animated objects are in fact quite common in Japanese folklore – cool stuff like swords, of course, but also perfectly mundane things, from a tea chest to a pair of shoes to an umbrella, although I haven’t been able to find anything about keys or keychains.  Many types have their own names, but the whole class of them are sometimes known collectively as tsukumogami (“tool spectres”), and as with all folklore there are multiple interpretations of exactly how they’re supposed to work.  Often the object itself comes to life, but there are also stories where the object’s spirit is transformed into a new shape.  Traditionally they’re often downright malicious, seeking revenge for being misused, neglected or discarded by their owners, though modern Japan tends to take a more light-hearted view of them, as it does with many demons and monsters, and they tend to be more mischievous than vengeful.  Against that background, Klefki makes a lot more sense… although really, “it’s a living keychain,” “what does it do?” “well, it collects keys” does still sound just a trifle lazy, let’s face it; the antics attributed to the various genera of tool spectres are for the most part a little more entertaining.

 Since I have nothing else worth showing you today, here's thre first of three design bases to watch out for in future generations (or, hey, you like making fakemons?  Here's a fakemon): Kasa-Obake, a living umbrella with feet, one eye and a long slurping tongue.

Klefki is definitely one of the more benevolent sort of tsukumogami.  Besides being pretty cute, in a weird keychainy sort of way, it even helps people by holding onto the keys to safes, a task with which it is trusted because it “never lets go of a key that it likes.”  Presumably you’d give these keys to your own Klefki, so that they’d still be on hand if you needed them, otherwise things could get awkward.  Wild Klefki?  Well, I suppose they collect lost keys, or are even ‘born’ with them – a lot of tsukumogami come to life after being lost or abandoned.  Or maybe they just steal them; fairies do that.  The other interesting thing about Klefki is that, if you look at the official art, or at its model in the game, it carries four keys, two of which look modern, while the other two look more like old-fashioned ward keys.  Who knows how long it’s been carrying those.  There’s no real-world comparison that would help us to guess how long an animated keychain might live, but if a key’s owner died without attempting to reclaim it then Klefki would probably hold onto the thing pretty much indefinitely.  I wonder whether it only gathers literal keys.  I’m now imagining a Klefki getting weighed down by all the metal keys it’s collected over the years, or just plain bored, and starting to learn and memorise passwords, or steal the bits of paper some people use to write theirs down.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the Pokémon universe’s version of LastPass is just one spectacularly high-level Klefki with an internet connection and nothing better to do.  Or, to move in the opposite direction, maybe some really old Klefki still lug around things like seal-stones and signet rings.  There are a lot of twists you could put on this Pokémon, if you were of such a mind.  It’s not a terribly interesting design as-is – I mean, it’s literally just “a living keychain,” what more can you say?  Once you accept that there’s nothing inherently wrong with a Pokémon that is basically a possessed or animated object, it’s hard to make a serious objection to it, but – like some of the least-interesting animal Pokémon out there – it’s just a cartoon version of something we all have in our real lives, which now has to compete for our affections with adorable magic dinosaurs and three-headed murder-dragons.  The creativity is in taking something that’s not normally alive and making it alive, which is a good start, but not necessarily much more than that.

One final note: according to the Pokédex, Klefki “threaten any attackers by fiercely jingling their keys at them.”  Well.  I know what I’m trying next time I get attacked by a wild animal.

 Our next tsukumogami to watch out for is the Biwa-Bokuboku - an animated... Japanese banjo-thing... who plays songs of lament over his abandonment by his owner.

Klefki’s defining feature as a fighter (aside from vicious jingling noises) has to be its ability.  Prankster is one of the loveliest things a support Pokémon can have; it lets you move first, ignoring speed, when using “status” moves – pretty much anything that doesn’t cause direct damage, which is a supporter’s stock in trade.  It also makes it much harder to screw over Klefki with Substitute or Taunt, which cause many or all (respectively) of your support moves to fail against a faster Pokémon (and Klefki is not fast).  A Pokémon with this ability lives and dies on its support movepool, since that’s what defines the types of horrible abuse it is able to commit against its enemies.  Like practically everything else, Klefki gets Substitute, and Prankster makes it very good at that; landing any sort of interference on Klefki can be difficult, and it’s also not an easy Pokémon to one-shot (especially with Fairy/Steel providing some lovely resistances).  To support your team, Klefki can set up Reflect and Light Screen to protect you and Spikes to damage enemies as they switch around.  It tends to be a little short of offensive presence, which is probably its biggest problem; it gets Thunder Wave, which is always neat, but anything that is immune or just doesn’t care that much about being paralysed is practically halfway to murdering Klefki, and its other offensive status moves are not a great selection.  There are worse Pokémon for using Toxic, though the same is not really true of Switcheroo; getting stuck with a Choice item by mistake would seriously ruin Klefki’s day, and it will generally value its own item – most likely either Leftovers or Light Clay – quite highly.  Then… I guess there’s Swagger, because Prankster and Prankstered Substitute do make it a pretty good Pokémon for confusion tactics, but it’s just kind of an obnoxious way to play Klefki since you’re basically amping up the luck factor and hoping things go your way, like using Double Team or Brightpowder.  Including actual attacks with this thing is sort of optional because it’s not terribly good at it, but if you want to, the Dark attack Foul Play uses the target’s attack stat in place of the user’s, making it is a decent way to ensure that Klefki can score solid hits against some Pokémon without diverting any effort away from training up its defences, though for obvious reasons many enemies will just shrug it off.  Most other attacks will be lacklustre at best since Klefki really does need to prioritise its defences, which are not that great naturally.  You could try a Calm Mind set with some combination of Flash Cannon, Dazzling Gleam and Psychic, but the fact is that Klefki’s just… not very good at that, compared to other Pokémon with Calm Mind.  Support is where its talents lie.

 Today's final wayward tool spectre is the Boroboroton: an evil futon that comes to life to strangle the owner sleeping on it.  Er... maybe we *won't* make a Pokemon out of this one...

There’s also a pair of interesting signature moves to talk about.  The first is Fairy Lock, which is one of those weird moves that don’t really look useful, but are.  It’s like Mean Look, Block, or Spider Web in that it stops its targets from switching out – except that it only lasts for one turn after you use it.  Pretty damning, you might think.  On the other hand, it affects all of Klefki’s opponents in doubles or triples, and it will still work even if Klefki is knocked out on the same turn (which would end a Mean Look effect), since Klefki is placing an enchantment on the battlefield, not maintaining a continuous effect itself… or something.  This means that your opponent is still trapped for one turn against whatever comes in to replace Klefki, and if that Pokémon is something that a) doesn’t feel particularly threatened by the trapped Pokémon, and b) can make effective use of a free set-up turn, then we have a recipe for fun times.  What’s more, thanks to Prankster, Fairy Lock is a priority move and relatively easy to slip in just before Klefki goes down.  The other signature move is Crafty Shield, and as far as I can tell this one is only useful in doubles and triples.  It’s like Quick Guard, Wide Guard, and Greninja’s Mat Block, in that it acts like a sort of Mass Protect, but with additional restrictions – in Crafty Shield’s case, it only blocks status moves.  On the other hand, unlike all the other moves of this class, Crafty Shield can be used repeatedly without incurring a chance of failure.  Taunt (which Klefki sadly does not learn) is probably still better, because it also stops status moves that are defensive in nature, and because you’re not going to be facing two support Pokémon at once all that often.  Crafty Shield is still an interesting little trick though, which pretty much sums up the way Game Freak have put this Pokémon together – it’s not great, but anything with Prankster is, almost by definition, going to be able to have a lot of fun with weird and clever support nonsense.

I’m not really offended by Klefki in the way I think some people are, and as we’ve seen I have the heart in me to be a little bit inspired by it, but I really don’t think it’s a great design either.  Its shortcomings certainly don’t justify the hate because it’s far from being a terrible idea; I think they do partially explain it, though.  Well, that and the fact that a Swagger/Thunder Wave Klefki is one of the most annoying Pokémon in all creation.  I feel like it’s missing something, like there’s just a little extra flourish that would have made this a really unarguably great Pokémon, and it’s… not there.  Just not sure what that is.  Hmm.  Stick it on the potential Mega Evolutions list, I guess.

So I got mugged this afternoon

…by a bunch of, like, 14-year-olds, no less, and in broad daylight.  Thankfully I lost only my glasses (of which I have spares) and was rescued by passers-by who drove me home.  Jaw aches a bit from being punched repeatedly, but it’s been a couple of hours and I’m pretty sure I’m not seriously hurt.  Could have gone a lot worse, all things considered.  Nonetheless, next entry will be delayed as I plan to spend the next day or two doing absolutely nothing.

I submitted a thing to another thing

The premise of this blog is taking quotes from pop culture and tweaking them slightly so that they apply to characters from Homer’s Iliad (recently expanded to anything ‘classical’).  It amuses me.  You should totally follow it.  Y’know, if you’re a classicist.  The following is something that I actually wrote months ago and had hanging around uselessly until I discovered “OMG there is a Tumblr blog that is literally all about doing this.”

incorrectclassics:

H’okay, so, here’s the Aegean.  S’chilling.  ”Dang, that is a sweet sea,” you might say.  WRONG!  All right; ruling out the Hittites invading, a huge barbarian horde becoming crashed into us, the gods leaving, and Thera exploding, we’re definitely all going to stab each other.  H’okay.  So basically we’ve got Troy, Crete, Lydia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Thrace, the Amazons and us with demigods.  We’ve got about twenty-six hundred more than anybody else… whatever.  H’anyway.  One day we decides those Trojan sons of a bitches are going down, so we launch a thousand ships at Troy.  While they’re on their way, Troy is like “shit, shit, who the fuck brought Helen here?” “Oh well, Hector will save us!”  Then Helen is like “shit, Paris, that’s my husband; he’s coming!  Fire our shit!”  ”But I’m tired.”  ”Well… have a nap.  THEN FIRE YOUR ARROWS!”  Meanwhile, Italy is over there like “mamma mia, WTF?”  Lydia, Ethiopia and the Amazons send their guys, so now we’ve got heroes charging everywhere, passing each other.  Achilles is like “PATROCLUS, NOOOOOOOOO!”  Then Hector’s like “well, I’m dead.  Better get on with it.”  So now Greece is like “fuck, we’re dumbasses,” Philoctetes is like “wait, what the hell did I miss?” Italy is still like “mamma mia, WTF?” China is laughing at us, and some huge barbarian horde is like “well, fuck that.”  So.  Now we’ve got the fall of Troy.  Everyone’s dead, except Aeneas, and he’s like “mamma mia, WTF?”  And they’ll be in charge one day.  Fucking Romans.  But, assuming we don’t all stab each other, us Ithacans just have to work out Ithaca drifting away from the rest of Greece.  To go hang with Scheria.  Cyprus can come too.

– like, Homer or someone

Which is a reference to this, if you don’t recognise it.

Hawlucha

Hawlucha.

Right; I’m going to leave Carbink for now and do her with Diancie at the end, by which time I’ll hopefully be clearer on how they work, so that leaves only one Pokémon in the Coastal Kalos subregion: Hawlucha, the… lucha libre Pokémon… which is another one stricken from the list of phrases I never thought I would live to say.  Game Freak are responsible for a disconcerting number of those.  Funnily enough, though, Hawlucha’s been making more and more sense the more time I spend on this entry, and may even be one of my favourites of this generation now, which I didn’t really expect.  Let’s have a look.

Fighting Pokémon tend to be based on human martial artists, warriors or athletes: Sawk is a karate master, Throh is judo, Hitmontop is capoeira, Cobalion and friends are the three musketeers, Medicham is some kind of monk, and so on and so forth.  Hawlucha continues the trend, but picks an especially recognisable and outlandish sport – the style of Mexican wrestling known as lucha libre, which is literally Spanish for “free fighting” or “free wrestling.”  Hawlucha’s flight feathers flare out behind her like a cape in some elaborate costume (I, at least, can’t help but recall Jack Black in Nacho Libre), and the green pattern on her head with her eyes outlined in orange recalls the luchador’s trademark face mask; the orange feathers sticking out behind her head might also be meant to suggest the knotted ends of a cloth mask tied at the back of the head (also, YES, Hawlucha’s design parses as feminine to me for some reason; NO, I have no idea why).  Lucha libre is regularly described as exemplifying a “high-flying” style of wrestling that incorporates many leaps, somersaults, and other so-called “aerial” moves – flashy, impressive moves that require great physical agility – hence Hawlucha’s secondary Flying type, birdlike features, and emphasis on speed and acrobatic techniques.  In North American professional wrestling, this kind of style is favoured by smaller wrestlers to leverage their agility against the greater power of their bulkier opponents – just as Hawlucha uses it to compete with the likes of Hariyama and Machamp.  The lucha angle also kind of plays into my personal vague nonsense about Fighting-types, which is that many of them are distinctively preoccupied with the idea of fighting, and often with honour or glory, in a way which most other Pokémon aren’t.  Luchadores have, or claim to have, their own peculiar code of honour in which their masks hold particular significance, and the whole sport is curiously ritualised in a similar manner to North American professional wrestling, with fighters taking on ‘heroic’ or ‘villainous’ personas to give their matches symbolic meaning, but to an even greater extent, helped by the sense of mystery and drama created by the ubiquitous masks.  Overall, it’s… certainly out of left field for a Pokémon design, but it’s undeniably clever, and it’s one of those designs that just manages to be so damn weird I almost can’t help but like it, in spite of my normal aversion to Pokémon based on modern subcultures.  The blending of the Fighting and Flying elements works very nicely, and the fact that many luchadores actually base their ring personas on animals – including hawks, quite often – makes the whole thing even smoother.

 ...sometimes it's really better not to ask.

Some people also link Hawlucha’s raptor-like appearance with the costume of an Aztec eagle warrior, and while I’m not sure there’s any obvious tip-off there it would certainly make sense, since lucha libre and the history of the Aztec empire are linked by both being distinctive parts of Mexican culture.  Jaguars and eagles, both powerful totemic animals in Aztec culture, are for that very reason among the most common animal inspirations for luchador costumes and identities.  There’s another connection in that a lot of people say the luchador mask actually has its roots in Aztec ritual masks; as far as I can tell that’s not actually true (more likely they’re just derived from masked North American professional wrestlers), though the Aztecs certainly did produce a dazzling array of these things from a wide variety of often precious materials, some intended to be worn, others purely ornamental, and – as in many cultures – putting on a mask could be symbolic of taking on a new or changed identity, just as it is for the luchadores.  Even Hawlucha’s red and green colour scheme might conceivably be meant to recall the red and green of the quetzal, a bird held sacred by the Aztecs, who used its feathers to decorate their rulers’ headdresses.  Again, I don’t really think there’s anything about Hawlucha that definitively says “yes, they were looking to the Aztecs as an additional source of inspiration” because everything about the design makes sense without them, but there’s enough that it would hardly surprise me, and it makes for a cool extra dimension.  There’d also be some neat material in that to introduce a Mega Evolution in future generations, if Game Freak were so inclined…

 An Aztec figurine depecting an Eagle Warrior, a member of one of the elite warrior societies that made up a significant chunk of the Aztec upper class.

Like a luchador, Hawlucha is agile, relying on her incredible speed to outmanoeuvre and destroy her enemies.  There’s precious little that can outrun her, and with the Unburden ability she can further raise her speed to ridiculous levels by using a consumable item – like, say, a Liechi Berry to make her attacks stronger as well.  Throw in Swords Dance, and you’ve got a damn threatening physical attacker in there, with a lethal Hi Jump Kick.  Probably Hawlucha’s most obvious flaw is that she lacks any powerful Flying attacks aside from Acrobatics, which is weak when used by a Pokémon holding an item but very powerful otherwise and therefore requires Hawlucha to be played in a certain way – fortunately, the potential of mixing this move with Unburden is obvious.  When and if elemental gems become a thing in generation VI, a Flying Gem/Acrobatics/Unburden combo is something of a foregone (and devastating) conclusion.  For now, though, the options are to have no item at all (suboptimal, but straightforward), use a Power Herb with Sky Attack (gives Hawlucha one extremely powerful shot, but basically leaves you with a dead moveslot thereafter), try to ensure that her item gets used up somehow, probably a Substitute/Liechi Berry combo (a bit awkward since she really needs the Swords Dance boost – a Liechi Berry just isn’t enough since her attack stat is good but not brilliant), or do what Game Freak was probably intending and use her signature move, Flying Press.  Flying Press… isn’t actually a Flying attack at all, but it kind of acts like one – it’s the first and currently only dual-type attack, which functions as a Fighting move for all intents and purposes (gets a damage bonus from a Black Belt but not from a Sharp Beak, only gets a single STAB from Hawlucha’s Fighting type, etc) except for calculating type effectiveness, where it acts as both a Fighting attack and a Flying attack.  Weaknesses and resistances stack – in theory, this means it can get a x4 or x¼ damage multiplier against a single-type Pokémon, though in practice the only time this is likely to happen is when Hawlucha is hit by Electrify and it becomes a Flying/Electric attack, since Fighting and Flying don’t actually share any offensive strengths or weaknesses.  In case there are more moves like this in future, I’m pretty sure the damage formula doesn’t allow for the weakness/resistance multiplier to stack any higher or lower than that, so we don’t have to worry about, say, Parasect getting hit by a x16 damage Fire/Flying attack in generation VII (…wait, actually that sounds awesome).  To be honest, Flying Press isn’t really a great move – by its very nature you’re going to get coverage that’s redundant with Hi Jump Kick and its power is only decent, but it does behave in some ways like a Flying attack, it’s just weird enough to potentially confuse a few people, and hey, it’s Hawlucha’s signature move, so what the hell.

 The resplendant quetzal, one of the holiest animals in Aztec culture, and... maybe the inspiration for Hawlucha's colour scheme?  I think?

Fighting/Flying is actually damn good on its own, but potential coverage moves of note that Hawlucha can learn are Stone Edge, X-Scissor and Poison Jab.  Rock-type coverage is generally good, but not particularly useful on Hawlucha; Bug and Poison are generally poor but get super-effective hits against Psychic- and Fairy-types, respectively.  Pick your poison.  Um.  But not literally.  Unless you want to.  Uh… anyway.  Hawlucha gets U-Turn as well, but despite having a good stat profile for it, her reliance on boosts, and particularly the volatile nature of Unburden, make her less than ideal since there will often be times she just doesn’t want to switch out.  Of course, you could just not use Unburden: her hidden ability, Mold Breaker has plenty of universal utility for circumventing defensive powers like Sturdy, Unaware, Solid Rock, or Dragonite’s Multiscale.  Hawlucha doesn’t benefit from it as much as some of its other users do, since she doesn’t use Ground attacks, or really anything else for which there’s a common ability that grants immunity, and some kind of Unburden combo is probably going to be the better pick most of the time, but if you want Hawlucha to use a Choice Band or something, or just don’t like any of the ways of triggering Unburden, it certainly isn’t a bad ability.  Taunt or Encore could see some use for keeping heavy defensive stuff like Hippowdon from healing, and Baton Pass is in there too if you want something else to make use of Hawlucha’s boosts, although she’s really pretty good at doing that for herself anyway and there are better Baton Passers out there.

All up, this is a very neat Pokémon, and I think one of the better ones of the generation – clever, offbeat design, fitting and unique abilities, and fairly strong too, whatever you’re trying to do with her, if not absolutely top-tier.  To be honest, I don’t really think there’s anything I’d want to change in either the mechanics or the design, other than maybe reworking Flying Press a little since it doesn’t really replace either Acrobatics or Hi Jump Kick – maybe allow it to function as either Fighting or Flying, whichever is better at the time, but reduce the power a little.  Not a significant criticism though; this one’s a keeper in my book – good place to finish Coastal Kalos!