State of the Blog – July

I made it! I’m back in the US, I didn’t die; I’ve written up some documentation of that body of ancient glass fragments I mentioned when I left, and I’ve brought back several samples for chemical analysis, which is exciting. I also learned how to make hummus. These things are clearly of similar degrees of importance.

The Magearna review is a little bit later than I wanted it to be, but it’s finished and will go up tomorrow. That leaves three more Pokémon for generation VII – Marshadow, Zeraora and Meltan, probably in that order. If all goes according to plan, all three will be done by the first week of September. That leaves, in principle, just over two months before the release of Sword and Shield, and probably another couple of weeks before I’m ready to start reviewing Pokémon. During that time, I’ll be writing articles on the story, major characters and worldbuilding of Sun and Moon, and I am also going to try for some quick takes on the Alolan forms of each of the Pokémon that have them. When that time comes, my extremely attractive and intelligent supporters on Patreon (currently: Bradley, James Crooks, hugh_donnetono, Esserise and Hamish Fyfe) will be able to vote on the order in which I take on all the topics I want to get to. If you yourself are extremely attractive and intelligent (as of course all my readers are), and that idea has some appeal to you, or you just feel like tipping me a dollar here and there to help me buy the black artefacts spell components souls bagels with cream cheese that sustain my existence, check that out using the link at the top of the page.

Jim the Editor and I are also working on a new Thing, a series(?) of retrospectives on my old writing, in the form of “interviews” between the two of us, beginning with a look at my reviews of the Unova Pokémon. I have mixed feelings about a lot of my older stuff, and I guess anything more than 5-6 years old I don’t 100% stand by these days, but it’s a shame to not do something with it, and I like the idea of re-examining all of it in light of everything I’ve learned since then and how my approach to writing for this blog. The first of these will probably go up on or around August 10. Later on, maybe around the beginning of September, I have in mind to start another Thing, something a bit more on the silly side than most of my work, and something that I hope will be able to involve readers in choosing its direction. More details to follow…

Albert Einstein asks:

You were right about Meltan…

I am as unsurprised to be proven right as I am unconcerned with the result either way, and equally so, I am pessimistic enough to point out that I was totally wrong (at least, given what we know so far) in predicting that Meltan would need to combine with different Pokémon representing other construction parts like washers, screws and bolts.

Honestly I think it’s sort of a shame Melmetal is just a big pile of hex nuts soldered together; there might have been some interesting “mechanical” (in multiple senses of the word) possibilities to be had with a modular Pokémon.  Melmetal might have several different possible stat profiles or movepool options unlocked by different combinations of “component” Meltan forms.  Of course, I suppose it’s possible that additional secrets will be unlocked in the generation VIII games.

oh god damn it; why won’t they LEAVE ME ALONE

Can’t they SEE I’m not done reviewing the seventh generation Pokémon yet!?

Sooo… Apparently this is a “mythical Pokémon,” meaning one of the subset of legendary Pokémon that can’t be obtained through normal gameplay.  It started appearing in Pokémon Go earlier this week… or rather, Ditto that have transformed into Meltan started appearing.  The workaround with Ditto is odd, but the idea of introducing a new Pokémon through Go is neat, and creates a cool feeling of discovery for people who stumble upon it without already knowing it’s there.  This is also a pretty clever way to quietly advertise generation 8 to players of the mobile game (many of them players who had dropped Pokémon for a number of years, and were drawn back by nostalgia and Go‘s low barriers to entry).

Meltan is apparently a Steel-type Pokémon made of living, liquid metal, capable of absorbing other metal objects into itself.  It’s apparently based on a hex nut, which is… weird… but the liquid body, and being based on something that is only a part of larger machines or constructs, could both point towards multiple Meltan being able to combine into more powerful entities.  There is a distinct and worrying possibility that Meltan will be only one of several weird-cute little Steel-types in the shape of machine parts, and then when you bring them all together they assemble into the fµ¢&ing dragonzord or something.  Where there’s a nut Pokémon, there must be a bolt Pokémon, and why stop there?  Washers, nuts, screws, the sky’s the limit.  THERE, I made a damn prediction about something; I hope you’re happy, because that’s officially 100% of my prediction quota for the leadup to generation 8.