What’s your favorite English Pokémon name, and why?
Tricky; it’s hard to pick just one… there’s quite a few that just roll off the tongue in a way I really enjoy, particularly Octillery and Galvantula; they have this wonderful sort of dactylic rhythm to them… Octillery is also an undeniably badass name (likewise Clawitzer, for much the same reason). I love the sonorous feel of Bronzong as well.
Which major character from the pokemon anime would you like to have on a team with you in a double battle? Who do you think they would use and what team would you have to complement theirs?
Hmm. Tough one. I’m tempted to say Ash, purely because I think having more Pokémon in play multiplies the amount of completely insane bull$#!t he can pull off – see his battle against Tate and Liza in Mossdeep City (if you know what I’m talking about, great, if not… well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise). Ash thinks ‘creatively,’ and that can be a huge asset in a double battle. Ash’s Pikachu has shown in the past that he works really well with mobile Flying-types who have the physical strength to carry him, so maybe something like Noivern? Both of them can lay down some serious hurt from a distance, and they’re both used to a very fast-paced combat style. Assuming we both have two Pokémon… well, Ash has a lot to choose from but when the chips are down he’ll very often call in a favour from Charizard. Charizard is something of a one-Pokémon show, and he’ll work best with someone who is very clearly there to help amplify his own magnificence, so I’d go with a tough supporter like Bronzong (who has the added advantage of being weak to an element that Charizard can easily tank against) – just hang back, use stuff like Light Screen and Confuse Ray to protect Charizard, and watch the fireworks.
What do you think of Allerglen, the fanmade game Pokemon Ethereal Gates take on Darmanitan’s zen form. I think it’s much more useful, since it has high speed so it can actually get attacks in (And a staff member has promised future updates will buff its special attack)
I’m not familiar with Ethereal Gates, but just looking it up quickly now…
Doing Zen Mode this way does make a lot more sense – part of the reason it just doesn’t work for Darmanitan is because Zen Darmanitan is trying to be a tank when it inherently starts with less than 50% HP, which is something of a recipe for failure. Allerglen can take hits with its fairly solid initial defences and then strike back hard in Zen Mode. The trouble is that you still have only one moveset that you have to use to fill two different roles. Allerglen’s initial attack and special attack are sufficiently awful that it wants support moves like Stun Spore so it isn’t just wasting its time before Zen Mode activates, whereas once it’s in Zen Mode it wants Quiver Dance and as many special attacks as it can think of. It’s definitely more flexible, and Zen Mode sucks a lot less for this Pokémon than it does for Darmanitan (who is so much better off without this unique and interesting ability that it’s just not funny anymore) but I suspect the problems with the ability are a little more systemic than that…
Would you rather be a Pokemon trainer or a Pokemon ranger?
Well, to be perfectly honest I don’t think I have the constitution or physical stamina for the kind of $#!t Pokémon rangers get up to. Trainer can be a hobby, while ranger is a job, and an extremely demanding one at that. In terms of the relationship the two groups have with their Pokémon, though, there’s actually a lot about the rangers’ way of doing things that appeals to me – like the stress on the more temporary, favour-for-a-favour nature of their relationships with most Pokémon, and the resulting emphasis on the more personal ties they have with just one partner. I think the rangers’ training style gets around a lot of the more ethically blurry stuff about living with Pokémon, which is probably a good thing. It also helps that they have a formalised code of ethics about how to treat Pokémon, but that’s more to do with them being all members of a centralised organisation with a definite purpose.
Are there any particular features from previous Pokémon games (like walking Pokémon or mid-battle dialogue) that aren’t in Gen VI that you miss?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I have trouble thinking of any features like that at all – which I suppose means that I don’t miss them, whatever they are. It would be nice to bring back the walking Pokémon from Heart Gold and Soul Silver, now that you mention it; they were a nice touch. I can imagine it being a bit of a drain on the graphic designers’ time and energy in the 3D world of generation VI, though. The hilarious glitches from Red and Blue give the games a certain je ne sais quoi…