Robin asks:

You already did a Top 10 worst/least favourite Pokémon, but is there any chance you’d do a Top 10 best/favourite Pokémon?

Probably not, mostly because I don’t think I would be able to come up with a good rationale for it. When I did that top 10 worst Pokémon list, I chose Pokémon that were both extremely weak and (in my estimation) poorly designed or bland – and there’s really not that many of those. If you set something like Kricketune as your standard for power, you’re eliminating the vast majority of Pokémon right off the bat, and then it’s fairly easy to sort through what’s left and decide which ones are interesting enough to be redeemed on design grounds. That doesn’t really work for picking the best ones. I could start by getting a list of all the most powerful legendary Pokémon – Kyogre, Necrozma, Mewtwo, Reshiram, and so on – and maybe a couple of other top-tiers like Blaziken and Aegislash, then pick ten that I think are well-designed, but… well, for one thing, at that point we’re basically doing a list of the top ten coolest legendary Pokémon, which I don’t think is really what you’re suggesting, and for another, I don’t believe those Pokémon are actually good for the game. Well, obviously then I should start by ruling out all the Pokémon that I think are unreasonably powerful and start picking the best-designed ones from the upper echelons of what’s left. The problem is, I don’t actually know where that point is – and even if I did, I’m not sure how I would convince anyone to agree with me. The “worst Pokémon” list made sense because it was a way of talking about what makes a Pokémon bad, and how to fix the kinds of problems those Pokémon had in common. A “best Pokémon” list… ultimately would probably just be a list of my favourite Pokémon, which I don’t actually think is particularly interesting.

A rambling chat about game balance

In lieu of a Pokémon review (because what even is my life right now, arghghghl; next weekend my students are handing in essays and I have to write an exam for the week after that), here is a message log with a conversation between me and Jim the Editor about game balance in Pokémon (and elsewhere).  This is the kind of thing I might post regularly to a Patreon page, if I ever actually create one?  So, comments would be useful.

Screenshot 2018-10-21 at 6.41.51 PM.png Continue reading “A rambling chat about game balance”

Komala

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Komala

Back in the day, we had Snorlax, a Pokémon whose sole purpose in life is seemingly to eat (everything) and sleep (for weeks). Snorlax was, for many of us, an aspiration: a promise that, if we worked hard and gained enough weight to tip the scales at 460 kg, we too could spend our days in blissful slumber, waking up only long enough to blunder into a supermarket, scarf down some chips or chocolates or whatever else takes our fancy, crash out through the wall without paying, and then stumble back to bed for another month. Or… maybe that was just me. In any case, Snorlax has now been convincingly one-upped by a Pokémon that is lazier still: the coma koala Pokémon, Komala. Continue reading “Komala”

Bellossom asks:

Have you ever wondered if I have feet under my leaves or if my leaves do the “walking” for me?

HOLY $#!T A TALKING BELLOSSOM

…well, Bellossom, I think we can extrapolate from when you were an Oddish. The Pokédex describes Oddish’s feet as actually being “roots” – and, well, presumably you do still need roots to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. They might not look exactly like an Oddish or Gloom’s, but I’d say you probably have some sort of tuber-like structure under there somewhere.