Patch asks:

With regional variants no longer restricted to gen I Pokémon, it might be a good time to consider which of the Unovan Pokémon you rejected you would like to give a regional vatiant?

Hmmm… tricky…

There’s probably a fair bit you could do by building on the industrial revolution theme that some of the generation VIII material we’ve seen already seems to be going for.  I could see Heatmor getting some kind of region-specific evolution that builds up to a whole steam engine, maybe changing its type to Fire/Water or Fire/Steel (although the implied comparisons to Volcanion or Heatran would not be flattering).  Or even a Galarian form of… [ahem]… grbdr… that’s based on a sack of coal, making it a Fire/Poison-type that also gets Rock attacks.  Then, on another angle, we could have a Steel/Fairy form of Pawniard and Bisharp based on white pieces from the famous Lewis chess set from Mediaeval Scotland, to contrast the original black Unovan ones.  Possibly some sort of “royal” form for Swanna, but I’m not sure where exactly to take that.

Robin asks:

What are some of your least favourite Pokémon, and for what reasons?

This is the sort of question that gets me into trouble.

I… try to muster a semblance of objectivity when I write reviews; of course I do, and of course that is impossible, and of course personal aesthetic sensibilities colour everything I’ve ever written, because if they didn’t, then it wouldn’t be me writing, and what would even be the point?  But there’s a couple of Pokémon that I have… issues with.  Issues which, I will hasten to point out, are personal and strange and in general offensive to people who actually like those Pokémon, but that does seem to be what you’re asking for.  So. Continue reading “Robin asks:”

The Philosophical Sheep asks:

Wouldn’t swalot be muk 2.0? And garbodor be 3.0?

Well, yes and no.  Swalot’s kinda dull, don’t get me wrong, and in terms of being a Poison-type blob it’s more or less the same idea.  Swalot’s schtick is different, though, in that it doesn’t have Muk’s industrial pollution theme – it’s a totally 100% natural formless blob – and instead is defined mainly by being essentially an ambulatory stomach with a face.

Anonymous asks:

If you could change one thing about Garbodor- other than the fact he exists- that would make you like him more, what would you do? For example, give him more moves, better stats, and evolution…

I have one major problem with Garbodor.

Well, two major problems.

…okay, three major problems.

The easiest problem is that he’s honestly just a terrible Pokémon.  Probably best fixed by adding some stuff to his movepool (probably support stuff, like Taunt and Slack Off – heck, maybe we could even get away with Thunder Wave? He already gets Thunderbolt, and Thunder Wave might actually be useful) and raising his HP a few points.  I should note that the addition of Drain Punch to Garbodor’s movepool via the B2W2 move tutors makes him significantly less terrible than when I first looked at him in ‘11, though he’s still not exactly good.

The second problem is that he’s conceptually very similar to Muk.  So similar, in fact, that I was never actually able to pick out any differences.  This is one of my pet peeves.  Now, this is where you probably want to look at Bogleech’s Garbodor article; he argues that Garbodor completes a land/sea/sky triad with Muk and Weezing, which… I don’t really believe, to be honest, or at least I don’t think that’s what the designers intended because, frankly, I think if that were the case Garbodor would have earth-related abilities (hey, that gives us an excuse to lump Earthquake on him).  I think Garbodor was intended to replace Muk and Weezing in Black and White, not to complement them.  That would certainly be a good place to start, though.  Aside from giving Garbodor earth-related powers, you could take some time to associate him with Muk and Weezing in some way other than merely having them in the same global franchise – set them up as rivals or something?  I’m of the opinion that if you really must copy an earlier idea to a t, you should at least reference the fact that this is what you’re doing.

The last problem I have with Garbodor is sort of a stylistic thing.  See, I think the knee-jerk reaction a lot of people have with Garbodor is that he’s dumb because he’s made out of trash, and this is not why I dislike him at all.  I don’t really have any issue with Muk, and I think Trubbish was actually surprisingly well done.  It’s more the ‘lobotomised chimpanzee’ look that bothers me.  Muk has an air of menace about him.  Garbodor has an air of ‘durrr…’

…let me tell you a story.

When I first encountered Garbodor, my thought was “that isn’t a Pokémon.  They would never create anything that stupid.”  Now, you believe I am exaggerating.  You believe that, obviously, when I met Garbodor in the game, the fact that he was in the game clearly must have proven to me, beyond doubt, that he really was a Pokémon and that Game Freak did create him, and that however much I disliked him I had to deal with him.

You would be wrong.

You would be wrong because the first place I ever encountered Garbodor was this cartoon.

Since this was before I had ever actually played Black version, I interpreted this as sheer exaggeration – “oh, look at the new Pokémon; they’re so dumb that even this piece of shit would fit in just fine.”  It honestly never occurred to me that this might be a real 5th-generation Pokémon I was looking at (the cartoon reached me without any explanatory caption, so I was deprived of that information).  When I actually met Garbodor in Black, my surprise and dismay were epic in their scope (and I am a classicist by training; ‘epic’ is not a word I use lightly).

Let me say this one more time.

When I first encountered Garbodor, I sincerely believed he was a parody created by Genwunners to mock recent Pokémon designs.

Let that sink in.

Is it really any wonder I have a problem with him?

Trubbish and Garbodor

No.

No.

These are not Pokémon and I refuse to let them be called Pokémon.

No.

What, you’re going to argue with me?

Okay, look.  Game Freak.  I’m being reasonable here.  I let you have Liepard, I let you have Stoutland, I let you have Woobat, I let you have Swadloon, I let you have Pignite and I let you have Archeops, but this is where I draw the line!  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Trubbish and Garbodor, the trash bag Po-

*ahem*

Pok- P- Poké- Poka-

Porcupines.

You heard me. Continue reading “Trubbish and Garbodor”