James Crooks [Patreon cultist] asks:

Now that you’re at the end of the Alolan Pokédex, can you tell us your favourite Pokémon, least favourite and one that you liked more after reviewing?

Tricky.

Spending more time on each Pokémon and each review tends to make me appreciate almost all of them more, because I come to see the references and the meaning in each design, and my feelings about the Pokémon itself come to be bound up with anything interesting I’ve learned during the process I generously call my “research.”  The exception, of course, is when there seems to be simply nothing to find, but I think those are rare in Alola.  And in another direction, over the course of doing the Alola reviews I’ve started trying to incorporate the anime’s portrayals of each Pokémon a bit more, so even if a design is ‘meh,’ I can develop some positive feeling towards it if that Pokémon’s episode is a good one.  I just put out my Zeraora article, and Zeraora’s frankly not a very interesting Pokémon, but it’s one of the stars of the 21st movie, The Power of Us, which I am not going to stop talking about because I think it’s easily the best one (aside from Detective Pikachu), and there is a certain degree of affection that just… well, rubs off on Zeraora.  Having said all that, of course there are winners and losers.  With some designs, I feel “rewarded” for the extra work I do in trying to break them down, because I feel like I’ve solved a puzzle that the designers have left for me; other times it just seems like there’s not much to find.  So there are Pokémon for whom my opinion of them, or at least my affection towards them, increased a lot as I reviewed them, and I don’t know if I can pick just one, but some good examples are Celesteela, Oranguru, Tsareena and Minior.

My favourite Pokémon of generation VII is a tough one, because there are a lot that I’m generally well-disposed to, but few that really stick out to me as brilliant.  It may actually be just one of the Pokémon I’m attached to because I used them on my first playthrough of Moon, probably Golisopod, Salazzle, or my starter, Decidueye.  Other than that… well, actually Dhelmise sticks out to me as a really weird and creative design that speaks to me on a kind of “what even is this?” level, and Wishiwashi has an interesting concept that creates a great moment in the game’s story.  As for least favourite… I’m sure I’m being very predictable here, but I’m still very down on Togedemaru, and to a lesser extent Gumshoos, for not doing enough to break free of Game Freak’s persistent habit of template-based Pokémon design (as Talonflame and arguably Diggersby did in generation VI, and as I think Toucannon more or less does in generation VII).

hugh_donnetono asks:

Out of all the early game rodents – Raticate, Furret, Linoone, Bibarel, Watchog, Diggersby, Gumshoos, and maybe Alolan Raticate too – which ones do you think are the most poorly-designed, both fluff-wise and gameplay-wise, and what would you change about those worst ones if you could? (I told you it’d probably be me.)

GOD DAMN IT HUGH

okay, let’s see

Diggersby is pretty much fine on both fluff and gameplay, to my mind.  Gumshoos is… fiiiiiine?  I mean, it’s weird, but I will concede there is something clever going on with the noir detective/mobster aesthetic between Gumshoos and Alolan Raticate.  It could do with an increase to its defences, and maybe a better priority move than Quick Attack (buffing the Stakeout ability would be nice too – maybe have it raise Gumshoos’ attack when something switches in against it?).

Continue reading “hugh_donnetono asks:”

Burrow Behind the Stars asks:

i have an idea on how to resolve the Yungoos and Gumshoos thing. What if there would be like a place in area where you could trade Yugooses and Gumshooses you caught for money or useful items or something? You would be told that the Pokémon are transported in their Pokéballs to their native region and released to wild, thus, in the long run, hopefully getting them all back where they belong. It’s just an idea though.

I kinda like this idea.  It does run into the slight difficulty of drawing more attention to Yungoos’ home region, which doesn’t exist yet, but otherwise, it presents a significantly more sane approach to an invasive pest that’s still compatible with Pokémon’s baseline ethical framework.

It’s Showtime Synergy asks:

Yungoos and Gumshoos have a “detective” theme because Rattata and Raticate have a “thief” theme! Notice the little moustache that Rattata has(like Froakie)it’s kind of a Japanese way to communicate “thief” because cartoonish burglars carry their bags over their heads and a cute moustache-looking knot under their noses. I think the idea is that Gumshoos is the detective who prowls for its prey at the wrong time of day,while Raticate is the fat mob boss whose underlings sneakily steal food for it.

Hmm; this works.  My approval of Gumshoos has risen!

Yungoos and Gumshoos

…so…

…it’s an angry mongoose detective…

…that… also kind of looks like Donald Trump?

sure?????

Yungoos.
Yungoos

Yungoos and Gumshoos, as their names and weasel-like forms indicate, are mongeese (this being, of course, the obviously correct plural form of the word “mongoose,” which I will extol and defend beyond all reason).  Although they look very like weasels, mongeese, as I only recently learned, are actually not part of the mustelid family (weasels, otters and badgers) at all, but part of an entirely separate branch of the order Carnivora.  They are related to cats, hyenas and civets, while mustelids are much closer to dogs, bears and seals.  This is probably the reason for Zangoose’s odd species designation “the Cat Ferret Pokémon” – mongeese are to cats what ferrets are to dogs. Continue reading “Yungoos and Gumshoos”

Pokémon Moon, Episode 6: In Which I Offer Charity To A Character of Dubious Virtue

When I reach the entrance to the quiet valley of Brooklet Hill, a Water Pokémon paradise, I am greeted by none other than the local Captain herself: Lana, a dreamy young woman with blue hair.  Lana needs help with something, and apparently won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.  Well, the sooner I make her happy, the sooner I can attempt her trial, and the sooner I can get out of here… I follow Lana down into the valley, past tranquil pools and rumbling waterfalls, until we reach a large pool being disturbed by a strange thrashing out in the deepest part.

Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 6: In Which I Offer Charity To A Character of Dubious Virtue”