One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
So… I guess
it’s time to learn about native Hawaiian mythology, huh?
We’re on the home stretch of seventh-generation Pokémon now, and today
we’re talking about the four guardian deities of the Alolan islands: Tapu Koko,
Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini.
These four are deeply woven into Alolan culture and identity, and they
have a special relationship with the Alolan trial system and its
administrators, the four Island Kahunas.
They’re also the pièce de résistance of generation VII’s unprecedented
level of interest in taking inspiration from the culture, ecology and history
of the real-world region its setting is based on.
One of the
perennial hazards of modern life is having to keep all of our different wires
straight. Everything you own has a
different charging cable, and all of them, if they are ever moved or placed in
a bag or, gods forbid, allowed to come into contact with each other, will
instantaneously morph into eldritch spaghetti as soon as your back is
turned. Xurkitree is, as far as I can
tell, the result of letting too many of your different charging cables get
tangled up until they achieve a collective malevolent sentience, then steal
your Christmas decorations and elope with a bunch of zip ties. But now, just when you thought the lunatic
nightmare was over… Xurkitree has returned from outer space. For revenge.
Once more I am faced with my immortal enemy, the creeping darkness at the heart of Pokémon that threatens to bring down all that we hold dear…
…the Pikachu clones.
I don’t even think I’m allowed to just reflexively dislike these fµ¢&ing things anymore because of that damn Pachirisu that won a world championship; no, I’m actually supposed to have reasons now, whatever that means. Well… here goes nothing. Continue reading “Togedemaru”→
I do not have a good record with anything capable of earning the title of “gimmick” Pokémon – Pokémon whose schtick is some unique move, ability or game mechanic that was so clever Game Freak felt they could stop there, and didn’t need to have the Pokémon be any good or the design make any sense. Today we decide whether Oricorio, the dancing honeycreeper Pokémon, fits that description. Four interchangeable and mostly cosmetic forms, a weird signature move, a weirder ability… the phrase “walks like a duck, quacks like a duck” comes to mind, but let’s take a closer look. Continue reading “Oricorio”→
Today’s Pokémon are probably the strangest thing Alola has thrown at me so far, and definitely spice up the early game a bit – electrical Bug-types with battery-like abilities, which (thank all the gods) conspicuously do not become butterflies or moths. We’ve had beetle Pokémon before – Heracross – and even stag beetle Pokémon – Pinsir – but Grubbin, Charjabug and Vikavolt have little in common with either, as we’ll see.
Grubbin is… well, a grub – a soft-bodied beetle larva. As far as I can tell, it’s not based on any one species in particular; beetle larvae mostly look pretty similar to non-specialist eyes (unlike caterpillars, which are often brightly coloured or have bristles, or eye patterns that make them resemble dangerous snakes). Grubbin instead achieves a distinctive look by exaggerating the mandibles of a beetle grub into two brightly coloured, striped horns as long as the whole rest of its body – in fact it kinda winds up looking like a stag beetle or Hercules beetle pupa. Continue reading “Grubbin, Charjabug and Vikavolt”→
Do you believe it possible that part of the reason for assigning type to a Pokémon – and a potential answer to the enduring question of what a type is and how those so labelled fit under its umbrella – might lie in some energy form infusing those Pokémon? I think of Voltorb, obviously a pokéball that came to life, and the question becomes, what is it “possessing” or animating this pokéball? Something alive and powerful – is it possible then, that electricity itself is animating the ball? Not mundane electricity but the – forgive me – “essence” of electricity, one of many underlying let’s say “mystical” life energies that associate with natural phenomena in this world? A pokemon’s type, then, is the form of such energy that permeates it, that it channels of draws upon, and which connects its biology (or geology, etc.) to this empowered form of “life”, bestowing on it its abilities?