So you’ve been at this a while…. What are you most proud of?
That’s a tough
To be honest, I don’t much like thinking back to things I’m proud of, because most of them are quite a long time in the past and it just makes me feel as though I peaked a while ago. By the time I finish reviewing all the generation VII Pokémon it will have taken me almost two years, and there’ll probably be precious little time left before I have to start doing something about generation VIII (which is coming; you know it’s coming; there’s always another bloody one coming). In some ways it’s sort of justified, because my Alola reviews are twice as long and much better researched than my Unova ones, and I wasn’t taking regular questions from readers when I did Unova, so of course it takes me longer, and there are quite a few more new Pokémon in Alola than in Kalos, so of course it’s longer than that generation too. The trouble is that Pokémon reviews feel very routine, very business-as-usual, and they’re a bit formulaic in format (especially the mechanics/competitive second half). They’re good, and frankly I am proud of how much better they are than the Unova ones, but they don’t make me feel like I’ve written something important and challenging, like when I used to write about the ethics of Pokémon training. I think the most important and significant thing I’ve written recently was a couple of months ago, when I wrote about why Pokémon may need – may have a moral obligation – to embrace a more pessimistic worldview than has always been its preference. I don’t feel proud of that, though, because I don’t feel like it accomplished anything – just set out something that needs to be accomplished, that perhaps I need to find some way to do myself.
Continue reading “Long time; second time asks:”
I’m a big fan of episode 16 of Generations; 15 is nothing special, but it covers characters who were already quite interesting, so it’s worth looking at anyway. 15 is the last of the generation V episodes, and focuses on the confrontation between N and Ghetsis in Black and White 2, while 16 is the beginning of generation VI, and is all about the characterisation of X and Y’s main antagonist, Lysandre. 15 follows the games quite closely, but 16 is a bit more exploratory, and it’s when Generations tries to depart a little from the games, and show the bits of backstory that we haven’t seen before, that it does its best work. Let’s take a look.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episodes 15 and 16”
This episode of Generations features Team Plasma’s assault on Opelucid City from the second half of Black and White 2, in which the city is frozen by blasts from their flying ship’s Kyurem-powered cannons. It’s another one of those episodes that is basically showing us something we’ve already seen and know about, but manages to make it just that little bit more evocative through the cartoon medium than the games could originally manage.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episode 14”
The last two weeks’ Generations shorts were… less inspiring to me than the previous couple, although I will admit that this may be partly because I have irrational hatred for Looker, who once again appears in a central role in episode 12. Then again, 12 at least does something different, even though I’m not entirely sure what it’s supposed to mean; 13 seems like it’s going back to Generations’ now-accustomed role as a cheerleader for the games. Let’s take a look.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episodes 12 and 13”
Oh, now this one is interesting.
Episode 11 of Pokémon: Generations is a new take on the fate of Cyrus, the boss of Team Galactic and major antagonist of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. Cyrus’ ambition, to quickly recap for people who either never played those games or don’t remember them very well, was to outshine every other Pokémon villain who ever had been or ever will be, by unmaking reality itself and becoming a god in order to create a new universe that would be free from the weakness and imperfection of the soul. Let’s see how that turns out for him.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episode 11”
Right, for a brief period there I was literally dead, for tax reasons, but I’ve now clawed my way out of hell and back into the world of the living to keep doing… um…
…what… exactly is it that I do here, again?
Oh, Christ, this nonsense. Well, let’s see if I can catch up by the end of the week, shall we?
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episodes 9 and 10”
How do you feel about doing occasional reviews of Pokemon á la Gen 5 & 6 at a leisurely pace with no expectations for you to do them all? Basically just when you feel you haven’t posted in a while or had that particular Pokemon on the brain? Like “today I’m gonna share my thoughts on Wingull and Pelipper because I saw some seagulls at the mall today” or something like that.
No, but not because it’s a bad idea.
Where I am at the moment is… if I’m not posting things it’s not because I have nothing to post; as well as covering Generations I have to finish the story of my X Nuzlocke at some point, and I would prefer for that to happen before I start reviewing the generation VII Pokémon (which will be after I’ve finished playing the game and talking about the story, which itself will probably begin a couple of weeks after the game actually comes out), and if I ever do feel like I have nothing to post I’ll just do more anime commentaries. I’m just too damn busy right now.
Having said all that, I actually have recently come around to the idea of eventually doing something with the generation I-IV Pokémon, starting immediately after my inevitable reviews of the generation VII Pokémon. This won’t be reviews in my accustomed style though; it’ll be something else whose precise format I’m still working on. More on this at a later date.
The past two weeks have given us Generations’ view of Teams Magma and Aqua.
In the Team Magma episode, we see the organisation’s base being cracked open by Brendan, the male player character of the third generation games, in the company of his powerful Sceptile. Maxie and a collection of his grunts make their way calmly to the base’s submarine bay as Tabitha, one of the admins, monitors Brendan’s progress on a tablet. As the grunts board the submarine, Maxie addresses his other admin, Courtney, ordering her to stay behind. Courtney is taken aback at first, but warms to the idea when Maxie explains that he needs her to stop Brendan, apparently honoured by his trust in her, and prays that he will succeed in changing the world. While Tabitha and the grunts fire up the submarine and Courtney waits for her opponent, she stares at the red lights of the base’s emergency sirens and… kinda trips out? The brilliant red colour causes her to have what seems to be a vision of the future, or at least a possible future – Primal Groudon awakened, raising volcanoes, searing the land and ocean alike with devastating Solarbeams, and finally turning on Maxie and Tabitha as they try to stop it. Courtney is disturbed and shaken, but before she can process her vision, Brendan and Sceptile arrive, returning her focus to the present. As the submarine leaves, she taunts Brendan for being too late and prepares to battle, calling on her Camerupt (who… rears up and neighs like a horse…?). “There’s more work for me to do… I’m going to have to stop you. But now I just want to…” she giggles, “engage you and see what happens! I want to… analyse you!” She gives Brendan a wild-eyed grin and another manic giggle, and their battle begins.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episodes 7 and 8”
Two episodes, okay; let’s do this thing. Today we’re looking at two of the supporting characters from the Johto games: the rival character, Silver, and the “mystery man” pursuing Suicune, Eusine. Jim the Editor and I have discussed Silver at some length in the past, as part of a series on all the rival characters of the core games. Eusine I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about in detail before; he’s not a terribly deep character in his own right, but he’s sort of interesting as a prelude to the rapidly expanding role that legendary Pokémon have in the games’ storylines from the Hoenn games onward. So here we go: Silver.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episodes 5 and 6”
Maybe Origins encouraged me to set my expectations for this series too high. After all, a four to five minute short doesn’t exactly lend itself to novel and nuanced interpretations of beloved but two-dimensional characters. It seems quite plausible that I’m being overly critical here.
On the other hand “overly critical” is pretty much my schtick so let’s do more of it.
Continue reading “Pokémon Generations: Episode 4”