State of the Blog: August


seriously though Meltan is coming on Wednesday and then we’ll be DONE! Done with generation VII! Except not really because I still want to write articles on all the major characters and the Alolan forms and some other stuff and frankly I don’t know if there’s time for all of it before Sword and Shield come out but DONE!

This month, we’ve had reviews of Magearna, Marshadow and Zeraora, as well as a retrospective on my generation V reviews. I’ve also answered readers’ questions on, among other things, the logic of creating a slimmed-down type chart and the problem of why all Pokémon dads are terrible. For the month to come, I’ll be working on articles on… hmm. I suppose I need to make up my mind about that. Well, unless something truly outrageous happens, for the moment let’s say I’ll be doing my now-traditional character profiles of the villains: first Guzma and Team Skull, then Lusamine and the Aether Foundation (I don’t know if there’s going to be time for Team Rainbow Rocket, so we’ll leave them until the end). After that I’ll aim to have something on Hau for the first week of October. Jim the Editor and I are also working on another of those dialogue-form retrospective things, which will materialise at some point in the next week or so. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while and there’s something in particular you’d like us to revisit next, let us know in the comments. In addition, I currently have no reader questions awaiting an answer, so if you’ve been sitting on something you want to ask me about, now’s the moment to check out the question box!

I am also going to be starting a Thing, which I hope will become a weekly thing, this Friday. I don’t want to talk much about the nature of this Thing, because I think it will work better if I let it speak for itself. For now, let’s just call it an experiment in interactive storytelling – something I haven’t done before that I hope will be fun, and involve my readers in its creation.

I think that’s all for the moment. Special thanks are due as always to my patrons on Patreon – Bradley, James Crooks, Esserise, hugh_donnetono and Hamish Fyfe – whose generous donations pay for the cost of maintaining this site on WordPress. If you enjoy my work and want to support me in my “deranged libertine writer” lifestyle, consider signing up to toss me a buck or two every month. And of course, slightly less special but still deep and heartfelt thanks go to everyone who reads this blog – you are the proverbial wind beneath my metaphorical (FOR NOW) wings!

pokemaniacal maniac asks:

fwiw i really really love the first half of the pokemon reviews. I would read entire books about what you had to say lore and inspiration-wise on pretty much every pokemon. i dont play competitively, so the second half is always Just Info to me, but even that has helped me understand the meta as it is, which is also interesting! personally, i would rank the reviews as my favorite thing (and like you said, the sheer scope and the worldbuilding analysis you extrapolate from the pokemon themselves should make you proud) and your If I Ran The Zoo type stuff my second favorite. this is long and rambling but i just have been a long time fan and youre a bright spot on a dark internet and thanks!

[This submission is a response to this]

That’s actually really helpful feedback; thanks!  After frankly kind of flubbing generation VII (due in part to unavoidable real-life circumstances, but also due to mismanagement on my part) I want to revise my approach to generation VIII.  The first thing is that I don’t think I should write a full narrative-based playthrough journal the way I did for White 2, X and Moon – because that’s fun, and I know a lot of people did enjoy them, but it takes so long, and I think the Pokémon reviews ought to be the highest priority.  It would be better, I think, to start those within a month or two of release.  And then the reviews themselves I think have become too expansive, and don’t play to my strengths.  If I could cut down the competitive stuff (there are better places to go on the internet for that kind of advice; no one needs me for that), and limit that side to just discussion of signature moves and abilities, or moves that cast a particularly interesting light on a Pokémon’s character design, then that, I think, would be a worthwhile economy to pursue.  I really want to commit to making sure that this blog’s future includes more of the theoretically dense worldbuilding and games-as-storytelling stuff that inspired “If I Were In Charge,” so trying to slim down the Pokémon reviews and “get them out of the way” is probably a good idea, as long as I can keep the parts of them that my readers value.

Anonymous asks:

How do you feel about doing occasional reviews of Pokemon á la Gen 5 & 6 at a leisurely pace with no expectations for you to do them all? Basically just when you feel you haven’t posted in a while or had that particular Pokemon on the brain? Like “today I’m gonna share my thoughts on Wingull and Pelipper because I saw some seagulls at the mall today” or something like that.

No, but not because it’s a bad idea.

Where I am at the moment is… if I’m not posting things it’s not because I have nothing to post; as well as covering Generations I have to finish the story of my X Nuzlocke at some point, and I would prefer for that to happen before I start reviewing the generation VII Pokémon (which will be after I’ve finished playing the game and talking about the story, which itself will probably begin a couple of weeks after the game actually comes out), and if I ever do feel like I have nothing to post I’ll just do more anime commentaries. I’m just too damn busy right now.

Having said all that, I actually have recently come around to the idea of eventually doing something with the generation I-IV Pokémon, starting immediately after my inevitable reviews of the generation VII Pokémon.  This won’t be reviews in my accustomed style though; it’ll be something else whose precise format I’m still working on.  More on this at a later date.

Anonymous asks:

Are you going to do the series where you decide whether a Pokemon is actually good or not for Alola?

Good question.  I mean, I’ll do some sort of individual review for each Pokémon once I’ve played the game, definitely.  I don’t know how much I want those to look like what I did for Unova and Kalos, though.  I think that depends on how I react to the overall feel of the whole group of 7th generation Pokémon.  Like, when I did Unova, a lot of the way I wrote those reviews was the result of my being frustrated about one particular decision and its consequences – namely, that Game Freak chose to use no pre-5th-generation Pokémon in Unova, but simultaneously undercut that decision by including so many designs that felt like one-for-one replacements for 1st-generation Pokémon (this one is here because they couldn’t have Pidgey, this one is here because they couldn’t have Geodude, this one is here because they couldn’t have Muk… etc).  And that’s why I did the whole “I hereby affirm/deny this Pokémon’s right to exist” thing, of course, because I had really strongly polarised feelings about… well, really everything in Black and White, not just the Pokémon designs.  I had very different feelings about Kalos; the Pokémon were… not better, Unova at its best is just as good as Kalos, but more consistent; I had trouble finding anything to seriously dislike in Kalos.  Well.  Except Dedenne.  But f%&k Dedenne.

So yeah, we’ll see what I think of Sun and Moon as a whole and go from there.  Honestly I’m even kind of toying with doing something really weird, like some sort of in-universe in-character discussion of the different Pokémon that just totally jumps off the deep end with respect to, like, being a review.  But I would have to see if I can make that work, or if I even like it.

Anonymous asks:

I’m not sure if this has been asked before, but do you have plans to review the previous generations of Pokémon? And when the new game comes out, do you intend to review those Pokémon as well?

I’ve never wanted to commit to doing old generations because I would die before ever finishing.  As for the new ones, well, I feel like I’m expected to, and I probably should, but I honestly don’t know if I want to because I’m just not convinced my Pokémon reviews are my best work anyway, so… I don’t know.  I suppose I probably will but I’m thinking about trying to come up with a different approach to generation VII.  We’ll see.