Patch asks:

With regional variants no longer restricted to gen I Pokémon, it might be a good time to consider which of the Unovan Pokémon you rejected you would like to give a regional vatiant?

Hmmm… tricky…

There’s probably a fair bit you could do by building on the industrial revolution theme that some of the generation VIII material we’ve seen already seems to be going for.  I could see Heatmor getting some kind of region-specific evolution that builds up to a whole steam engine, maybe changing its type to Fire/Water or Fire/Steel (although the implied comparisons to Volcanion or Heatran would not be flattering).  Or even a Galarian form of… [ahem]… grbdr… that’s based on a sack of coal, making it a Fire/Poison-type that also gets Rock attacks.  Then, on another angle, we could have a Steel/Fairy form of Pawniard and Bisharp based on white pieces from the famous Lewis chess set from Mediaeval Scotland, to contrast the original black Unovan ones.  Possibly some sort of “royal” form for Swanna, but I’m not sure where exactly to take that.

Toucannon asks:

You’ve often complained about the unoriginality of bird pokemon, and you did a great job of suggesting ways to increase the relevance of the two most original ones of the bunch, those being Farfetch’d and Delibird. 

So, suppose you had the freedom to redesign all of the flying/normal pokemon in the game (Pidgeot, Fearow, Noctowl, Swellow, Braviary, Unfeazant, Staraptor, Chatot) and possibly Svanna, Mandibuzz, Honchkrow and Dodrio (although the latter seems original enough to me, and the others have the benefit of their typing to make them stand out enough that they at least don’t look like mere copy-pasted concepts), how would you do it?

You’re free to do anything – suggest altered looks, change the stat-lineup and/or typing, create new moves or abilities, modify the amount of evolutionary stages – other than removing them; each species ought to remain as something that exists in the game.

And I know I’m leaving a handful of birds out (the legendary trio, Pelipper, Talonflame, Hawlucha, Dartrix), but I feel those are original enough, and/or sufficiently competitive, as not to need any redesign.

Really looking forward to how you’d do that – your series on “upgrading the worst 10 pokemon in the game” was a really interesting read.

Hmm.

So… cut me some slack here; I can’t do all of these, because… well that’s twelve Pokémon to review and redesign, and think of the precedent it sets if I signal that I’m willing to throw together a project like that every damn week. Game Freak has a whole team of people who design 60-odd Pokémon every two years, and I’m one disgruntled archaeologist with a termite-infested soapbox and no artistic skills.  So what we are going to try to do here is make it very clear that I don’t want to make a habit of this, and then address the question by prioritising: get some kind of ranking system in place to isolate the worst of the suck.  Who most needs a buff or redesign?

Continue reading “Toucannon asks:”

Ducklett and Swanna

1176a-ducklettTwo more bird Pokémon enter the fray, these ones based on the humble duck and regal swan.  Are they interesting?  Probably not?  Are they powerful?  I doubt it.  Do I like them?  Heck no, but let’s look at them anyway.

Part of me assumes that Ducklett and Swanna are supposed to reference the fairy tale of the ugly duckling, the repulsive-looking baby bird who was shunned by his peers and the rest of the animal kingdom, suffered untold hardships in a cruel world he was not made to live in, grew strong from adversity by learning the true meaning of friendship, and died alone in the middle of a swamp, upside down with his head jammed into a hollow log filled with soft peat.  Or something like that.  I’m a little hazy on the finer details.  Anyway, I originally assumed that’s what Ducklett and Swanna are about, but I’m no longer sure that can be it because Ducklett really isn’t ugly.  She’s not flat-out adorable but she’s reasonably cute.  If that is what Game Freak were aiming for with this design then they picked a strange way to go about it. Continue reading “Ducklett and Swanna”