Helioptile and Heliolisk

Helioptile.

Now that I think about it, it’s kind of strange that there aren’t really many Electric Pokémon based on real-world methods of electricity generation; for the most part they just conjure up electrical energy through – one presumes – a similar kind of biochemical process to that used by the electric eel, only turned up to eleven.  Well, either that or magic.  Let’s be honest; for at least some of them it’s probably magic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Helioptile.

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Skrelp and Dragalge

Skrelp.

I’ll be honest here; I’m not wild about these things.  My first impression of Skrelp during my X playthrough was ‘so, it’s a diseased Horsea?’ and I’ve not really moved past that in any major way (the fact that Dragalge is equally, at first glance, ‘a diseased Kingdra’ didn’t exactly help).  Nothing about them really offends me in any sense, but they’re not particularly ones for the ‘favourite’ pile either.  Still, may as well see what we can turn up.  Here we go.

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Binacle and Barbaracle

Binacle.

Well, this one’s just weird.  Don’t get me wrong, though – sometimes weird is really good, and this, I think, is the case with the latest additions to the stable of Rock/Water Pokémon, Binacle and Barbaracle.  I have to admit, when I idly dreamed in the lead-up to X and Y about what kinds of animals or plants I would have liked to see Pokémon based on, barnacles were not exactly top of the list.  But hey, whatever works.

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Amaura and Aurorus

Amaura.
Amaura

DINOSAURS

YES

I think everyone has a dinosaur phase, right?  Mine was… longer and more educationally rigorous than most, put it that way (my parents claim to this day that my first words as a baby were not the traditional ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ but the often tongue-twisting names of dinosaur species).  There actually aren’t all that many Pokémon who seem to be based primarily on dinosaurs, funnily enough, although several of the big superstar ones are represented: we have ceratopids (Shieldon and Bastiodon), pachycephalosaurs (Cranidos and Rampardos), sauropods (Bayleef and Meganium, Tropius), and of course the famous birdlike theropod Archaeopteryx (Archen and Archeops).  There are also a bunch of Pokémon that are probably influenced by dinosaurs, like Tyranitar, who seems to be a tyrannosaur via Godzilla, Charmeleon, who has shades of a small theropod, Torterra, who owes as much to ankylosaurs as to tortoises, and Bulbasaur, who… well, to be honest I don’t think even Game Freak really know exactly what Bulbasaur is but the –saur suffix definitely strikes a particular note.  X and Y give us two more fossils: the brutal tyrannosaurs Tyrunt and Tyrantrum, and these two loveable goofs.  I probably wouldn’t have chosen another sauropod, myself – I kind of want to see a hadrosaur – but I’m not about to complain about more dinosaurs, so here we go.

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Clauncher and Clawitzer

Clauncher.

I’m not sure what to think of these two.  Clawitzer, beyond a doubt, is an extraordinarily badass name (he has a howitzer claw; what more could you even want?) for an extraordinarily badass creature.  He has a metre-long cannon shaped like a dragon head for an arm, for heaven’s sake, and I suppose for many purposes that should really be more than enough.  The question I’m left asking of Clauncher and Clawitzer, though, is this: what do we do when a Pokémon is based on a real animal so astonishingly badass that even awesome elemental powers fail to make a comparable impact on my jaded psyche?  “Real animal?” you cry.  “What is this sorcery?”  Well, I’m glad I pretended that you asked…

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Inkay and Malamar

Inkay.
Inkay.

One of my companions for much of my X playthrough, Malamar is one of the more eccentric Pokémon out there.  Inkay has one of the weirdest evolution methods yet – reach at least level 30 while holding the 3DS upside down (heaven knows what that means from an in-universe perspective – possibly that Inkay’s evolution is, appropriately enough, completely unpredictable).  Add to that several unusual and subversive skills, a unique type combination, and a personality midway between Niccolò Machiavelli and Oscar the Grouch, and this Pokémon is anything but typical.  Let’s take a look.

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Sylveon

Well, this puts me in a rather awkward position.

Sylveon.
Sylveon.

See, my perspective on new evolutions of Eevee is pretty much diametrically opposite to the perspective of, as far as I can tell, the entirety of the rest of the Pokémon community – to whit, I don’t actually think we need any more.  I like Eevee as much as the next guy, but her individual evolutions are not, in and of themselves, terribly interesting – in fact the recipe seems to be “Eevee + generic powers of type x” – they’re interesting by virtue of their common lineage, and that point was quite satisfactorily made long ago.  Continuing to add more is just labouring it, I feel; I’ve never been able to think of Leafeon and Glaceon as anything other than Pokédex filler.  So, while everyone else was ecstatic with the revelation of generation VI’s new Fairy-type Eevee and then bitterly disappointed that it wasn’t accompanied by a Dragon-type one, I’m sitting here wondering what the hell is so great about the one we did get.  Right… now that I’ve made the majority of my reading audience utterly furious with me, let’s see whether I can redeem myself…

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