Dwebble and Crustle

Just out of curiosity, does anyone remember which Pokémon from Red and Blue was referred to in the Pokédex as the “Hermitcrab Pokémon”?  That’s right: it was… Slowbro?

huh?

No, I don’t know either.  I guess Slowbro could be said to take inspiration from hermit crabs in that he uses another creature’s shell as his own, except that in his case the other creature is still living in it too and the shell is obviously too small to fit anything more than his tail inside it anyway… so yeah; I’m not sure what they were smoking when they came up with that one (but Slowbro is still awesome).  I only bring up Slowbro because today’s Pokémon, some thirteen years later, actually is a hermit crab.

Took ya long enough! Continue reading “Dwebble and Crustle”

Larvesta and Volcarona

e2b1c-larvestaVisit an island near Nuvema Town, the starting location in Black and White, and you might meet a Pokémon Ranger with a mysterious egg to give away.  This mysterious egg will hatch into a fascinating insect, which will probably set you on fire.  With any luck this, like that regrettable incident between Ash and Pikachu, will signify the beginning of a lifelong friendship.  Unless you just decide to squash it.  Meet Larvesta, the torch Pokémon!

Personally I think Larvesta is cute but I could understand if she had her dissenters.  I don’t think there’s any question, though, that it’s a fun design.  The solar image created by her horns stands out nicely, and the idea of a larval insect that lives around volcanoes is just cool.  Combining the Bug and Fire elements is something Pokémon hasn’t done before and frankly I think it would have been a difficult idea to screw up, which illustrates something that I don’t think Game Freak have cottoned onto yet – there’s still a bunch of type combinations they haven’t tried yet, and just picking one at random is almost certain to suggest some interesting flavour as well as creating a mechanically unique Pokémon.  Continue reading “Larvesta and Volcarona”

Venipede, Whirlipede and Scolipede

95056-venipedeAfter having Sewaddle, Swadloon and Leavanny show the Bug/Grass dual-types of yester-year how it’s done, it’s time to try pushing our luck and seeing whether we can do the same for the half-dozen assorted worthless Bug/Poison Pokémon.  Here’s the latest addition to this already overfull type combination: Venipede.  To be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to say about Venipede or his evolved form, Whirlipede.  Their main defining feature is that they’re extraordinarily ill-tempered.  Beedrill were ill-tempered too, of course, but that was something they grew into – Weedle are perfectly sweet, if disturbingly pointy – and it was mainly about defending their nests from predators anyway.  Venipede, on the other hand, have deep personal grudges against just about everything, which they express by repeatedly and insistently poisoning you.  Continue reading “Venipede, Whirlipede and Scolipede”

Sewaddle, Swadloon and Leavanny

be2d0-sewaddleI knew it was coming.  When Game Freak put together Black and White, they decided to abandon all existing Pokémon in favour of new ones, which meant it was once again time to get out their sheets of formulae on how to design standard, comfortable everyday Pokémon, and one of these old standards is the caterpillar Pokémon.  So it is that we come to meet the obligatory caterpillar, Sewaddle, the obligatory cocoon, Swadloon, and the obligatory butterfly, Leava-

Wait.  That’s not a butterfly.  That’s a leaf insect.

Praise the gods, they did something different! Continue reading “Sewaddle, Swadloon and Leavanny”