There’s an interesting parallel in Gen I between Eevee’s three original evolutions and the three Legendary Birds in terms of typing. Fire, ice, and lightning are common elemental distinctions in RPGs with magic/energy/psionics/whathaveyou, so it makes sense that Pokemon would draw from this tradition for inspiration, though it’s a little odd that there is a discrepancy between Vaporeon (Water Type) and Articuno (Ice Type). Any thoughts on why that is? Furthermore, why didn’t Game Freak apply this logic to the starters, who are halfway there anyway? For something more varied/interesting? For a better justification of type balance?
Type balance isn’t exactly right, because I
don’t think it’s about fairness, or at least not entirely, but it’s something like that. Grass/Fire/Water has this nice
rock/paper/scissors relationship that serves as an easy and intuitive
introduction to one of Pokémon’s core mechanics, which is a pretty valuable
thing for new players. It doesn’t really
work if you try to shoehorn Electric in there, because thematically there just
isn’t an obvious relationship between Electric and Fire. Other games that use Fire/Ice/Lightning don’t
usually have “type advantages” in the same way as Pokémon does; several
iterations of Final Fantasy, for
example, have Fire and Ice being strong against each other, with Lightning doing its own thing (often being strong
against mechanical enemies); Final
Fantasy X adds Water as a fourth element to form another opposed pair with
Lightning. Pokémon just has different
needs to those games.
Continue reading “Dosidicus Giygas asks:”
Occasionally, once in a few generations, Game Freak will take the time to go back to the older Pokémon’s Pokédex entries and take the time to update and add new information to them, rather than recycle the same facts. My question is, do you think that it is worthwhile? How much effort do you think it takes to add new facts to an older Pokémon? Would that time have been better spent on refining the newer things? Or are the new Pokédex entries really not that important and noticeable?
I like it a
lot, mostly because one or two Pokédex entries aren’t really enough to cover
all the angles on what might make a Pokémon interesting or fully develop the concept. The fact that Pokédex completion, as of
generation VII, is now decoupled from any one save file (Pokébank can now
display all possible Pokédex information of all the Pokémon you’ve captured on
any of the games you own) I think helps to put all of this stuff
front-and-centre a bit more, and emphasise the accumulation of information
across multiple generations. A lot of
this stuff really helps to fill out the world and give us a sense of its
ecology and culture – especially in Sun and Moon, where many old Pokémon (even
those without Alolan forms) have Pokédex entries that describe how they live in
Alola or relate to Alolan Pokémon, in keeping with generation VII’s greater
focus on world-building and developing the character of the region itself. I’ve been thinking about doing a sort of
“Pokédex appreciation” series – trawling the Pokédex for interesting bits of
trivia we’ve learned about Pokémon over the years, because frankly I do
regularly learn new things about old Pokémon that surprise and delight me. Would that appeal to anyone?
I know this is pretty broad and vague, so no pressure to answer it super deeply and completely, but I’ve found it to be a pretty fun thing to think about and I’m curious to know what you would say to it.
Which specific set of Pokémon games do you think had the most missed opportunities, or could be some of the best games in the series but fell short? (That can be in terms of the story, the gameplay or anything else you think you’d want to be changed about them.)
And if you were put in charge, not of making a NEW set of games or changing the series as a whole but just of fixing up that one set of games, what would you want to do to it to take advantage of that potential?
(By “set,” I just mean a pair like Black 2/White 2 or a single game like Platinum, not a whole Generation or every game taking place in one region, haha.)
That is one confusingly recursive name you’ve given yourself there.
So… I feel like in almost all of them there’s something I would change. Heck, in almost all of them there’s probably something the designers would change if they could; no one ever gets to put everything they want into their game because time and budget constraints exist, even for a franchise as successful as Pokémon. And I have a really peculiar love/hate relationship with Black and White specifically, because those are the games that started me writing this blog, and I think they are in some ways the best games in the series but in other ways deeply “meh.” I guess a lot of my old “If I Were In Charge” article series is kiiiiiind of a response to this question with reference to Black and White, but also not at all. Assorted thoughts on why Black and White are interesting here, here, here, here, here and here, and although I don’t 100% stand by a lot of it anymore you can also pick up something of what annoyed me about Black and White from my assorted reviews of 5th generation Pokémon from 2011.
All that being the case, let’s talk a bit about a completely different set of games instead. Continue reading “[A Foursome with Chris Pratt, Grant Gustin and That Garbodor Evolution] asks:”
Have you had the chance to take a look at the recently leaked Space World ’97 demo of Pokemon Gold and Silver? I would love to hear what you think about each of the scrapped and heavily altered Pokemon designs. If you haven’t seen them yet, you can find them here: https://tcrf.net/Proto:Pok%C3%A9mon_Gold_and_Silver
Wellll, I saw it, and I kinda went back and forth on whether to say anything about it, and eventually just sort of waffled until it felt like the moment had passed, but here we are, so…
The synopsis for people who haven’t seen any of this yet is as follows: The Cutting Room Floor, a community that studies material from video game development that was cut from commercial release, recently got hold of a very early beta version of Gold and Silver. This version of the game was available to play at Nintendo’s Space World trade show in November 1997 – almost exactly two years before the games were actually released in Japan. Only a tiny part of the game was actually accessible in the demo without debug commands, but all the Pokémon and maps of most of the region (though nothing that tells us much about the story) are in the code if you know where to look, and the effects of those two years of development are pretty evident. It features a region apparently based on the whole of Japan (with Kanto being reduced to a single city – Pallet Town is intact, Pokémon Tower stands in the northeast, and we have the most important buildings from Saffron City and Celadon City, but the rest is almost unrecognisable; the Kanto Gym sits in the location roughly corresponding to the Indigo Plateau), Gold and Silver’s day/night mechanics and Pokégear with radio and cell phone functions, as well as 100 Pokémon that were not in generation I. Not all of these are the same as the 100 Pokémon that we actually got in the final commercial release of generation II. Some were already known from concept art that has leaked over the years, such as the scrapped Fire and Water starter Pokémon, or the early version of Girafarig’s design, but several are completely new to us. Continue reading “Joe Cool asks:”
Is it just me, or do Pokemon Black and White seem like they were intended to be a lot longer? Many Pokemon in the game reach their final stages well after they’d be useful (like Bisharp, Braviary, Hydreigon etc) and the ending sequence feels so rushed, with N’s castle popping up out of nowhere, and you catching your dragon in the very last scene. I know it’s a weird time to be talking about Black and White, but it’s always felt so odd…
Well, that is the only generation so far that included a direct sequel to its main title. Purely as a practical reality of development cycles, Game Freak must have decided that they were going to do Black and White 2 as sequels long before Black and White were actually released, but I wouldn’t be totally shocked if they had originally planned a more typical “Grey version” – Black and White with some extra bells and whistles – and changed course only when they realised there was too much material that wouldn’t fit in the initial release. So it’s plausible that there was something unusual about the writing process in Generation V that could be responsible for that truncated feeling you’re sensing. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”
If they made a region based on New Zealand, would you be a harsher critic, or an excited one? How would you feel? Especially if (no..if they did New Zealand, they will do it)if they design Auckland. Do you have a house/apartment there? Because if you did, wouldnt it be funny if there was a trainer named Chris in the Pokemon version of Auckland. Oh my goodness, what if they designed you as the archeology champion of New Zealand (first they’d have to contact you…of course..), Archaeology Champion Chris of the new zealand region: A moa pokemon, a thylacine pokemon, a LOTR Orc pokemon, Claydol, Sigilyph, and an Ancient version of Vileplume. The ancient version of Vileplume would be similar to the modern one, except it would be three times bigger, a more wilted looking version of the “body”, with ivy all over, and for the piece de resistance, perhaps instead of the rafflesia arnoldii, it would be a gingko biloba looking plant, or ferns, or other ancient plants…
I feel like I would probably be a harsher critic than I usually am, just because the rest of the world (including Japan) tends to have a very idealised vision of New Zealand as very pure and peaceful and enlightened that kind of feeds into our own denial of the real problems the country has, while also missing a lot of what makes our history and culture really interesting. So I think it would be very easy for a Pokémon region based on New Zealand to fail to meet my expectations.
I don’t think I need to be a Champion; I’m not that impressive, or that good a mascot for New Zealand, to be honest (and I should point out here that thylacines are Australian – New Zealand has no native land mammals except for bats). Wouldn’t mind having a Grass-type gym though.
All things considered (gameplay, graphics, nostalgia, Pokémon Roster, storyline, miscellaneous shit… you name it), what is your Top 7 Pokémon Generations?
Without getting into detail (because you could spend hours, maybe days, arguing about this without coming to a conclusion anyone would agree on, and I just don’t want to go there and don’t think it’s particularly useful): Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”