Do you think it’s possible that GF don’t actually WANT to make Pikachu clones every gen, but they’re forced to by, I dunno, Nintendo or some such for marketing’s sake? A bit of Executive Meddling, if you will. Maybe Mimikyu hints at this by poking fun at the needless (and desperate?) attempt to capture Pikachu’s appeal and popularity?
I think if there were a top-down policy on that, we’d probably see more of them in promotional materials than we do, likely at Pikachu’s expense. That, and… well, I don’t know how Nintendo manages its creative teams, but I would have hoped Game Freak had earned a bit of independence by now. I think they do it specifically to annoy me. Having said that, this is an interesting way of looking at Mimikyu; I’ll have to talk about it in my review.
The thing about the pika-clones is that Gamefreak has stopped trying to use them to recapture pikachu’s popularity and seems to now be making them just for the sake of tradition, just like the generic birds and rodents. But at least diggersby and talonflame have had multi-dimensional designs, cool new elements, and awesome hidden abilities to make up for their low stats. So if Gen 7 has a new electric rodent, do you think gamefreak could do the same and make it actually interesting and useful?
Okay well first of all I don’t think VII having a new Electric rodent is an “if.” And certainly they could, and I hope they will. I agree that Diggersby and Talonflame (and I suppose to a lesser extent even Vivillon, I will grudgingly admit) prove that there’s scope for cleverness even within the “templates.” Emolga, I thought, was a good start, though Dedenne was a rather depressing return to form. And I suppose one could argue that Se Jun Park’s famously creative use of Pachirisu in the 2014 world championship gives them some justification for continuing to include Pokémon that demand a very… unconventional strategic approach, though not much (I believe we are still waiting on such championship-level breakthroughs for Farfetch’d, Delibird, Kricketune, Phione, Girafarig… you know, I’m just not going to list them). They may by this point actually regard competitive uselessness as an essential part of the template. So of course they could; that doesn’t mean they will.
What are your feelings in the whole Pika close thing? Like that fact that they keep making them, and do any of them really stick out to you?
Urrrrrrrgh. Eh. I don’t know. Like, it used to really annoy me, because I’ve been sick of them essentially reusing the same concept since generation III, but I’ve kinda moved past that now, not because I’ve come to think it’s any less dumb, more because I can’t be bothered getting annoyed about it anymore. Clearly they’re going to keep doing it, so maybe it’s a more productive use of my time trying to figure out why on earth it’s so bloody important to them that every generation have a small cute rodent or lagomorph with electrical powers, and try to look at them in isolation with a view to what is neat about each of them. I liked that they tried to do something different with Emolga, I suppose, by going with a flying squirrel. That was somewhat redemptive. I think they must do it, more than anything else, because they want someone to “carry the torch,” as it were, to say “no matter how much things change, this is still Pokémon.” And this is hardly the only or best way they have of doing that, but clearly it matters to them a great deal.