N asks:

Never have i seen a community turn around as fast as the pokémon community when they heard about gen 7. Things like having 2 games with slighlty different pokémon are now being touted as exploitative towards the consumer, critiques against the animations are aplenty. Your thoughts? Do you think the criticism is warranted or is the Internet being a bunch of crybabies again?

I don’t know if something specific prompted this question – “again” makes me think there’s been another change in the wind since I posted this, but I’m not aware of anything in particular?

The thing is… there are loads of legitimate criticisms of Pokémon, and I am totally here for criticising Pokémon; it’s what I do.  The whole “paired game” thing has always been weird and is frankly kind of obsolete, and the practise of releasing what amounts to an expansion as a full new game in (almost) every generation honestly is pretty consumer-unfriendly.  No one owes Nintendo and Game Freak their money or time, and we should all be prepared to criticise the media we consume.  The trouble is that the internet is a toxic cesspit that unfailingly reduces all human communication to corrosive bile sooner or later, which is why Jim the Editor should let me delete my Twitter account.  Even perfectly legitimate points just get subsumed into this appalling tidal wave of angry unreflective hot takes and reactions, because the internet is deathly allergic to nuance.  That’s not even the fault of any individual person involved in the discussion; it’s just the inevitable result of a structure that favours clickbait over substance and encourages us to outsource all our opinions to figureheads or group identities.  I’d like to decide what I think of this game after I’ve actually played it.  Not everyone can do that, because games are expensive and we don’t have infinite money, but you can pick a sensible reviewer, whose opinions on a range of other games are similar to your own, and wait for them to play it and decide what they think.  It’s okay if launch day arrives and you still don’t know whether you want to buy the game or not; I’ve never preordered a Pokémon game or started playing on day 1.  There’ll be plenty of time to make up our minds about what criticism is or is not deserved after that.

Herald of Opera asks:

So, apparently the National Dex is going away. For all the Internet riots that have been going on about this, wasn’t it pretty much inevitable that the series would eventually create more Pokémon than it could fit in one game? And I’m saying all this despite knowing my personal favorite is almost certainly getting the axe (sorry Piplup, but you’re a non-Kanto starter, your animal basis doesn’t live in the same hemisphere as Britain, and your anime appearance was an obnoxious spotlight stealer)

Okay, I’m gonna hijack this question to get out everything I think about this and be the one and hopefully only time I talk about it, so here goes nothing:

Continue reading “Herald of Opera asks:”

Name (required) asks:

So with Q-Fusion Hyper Abilities being a thing in gen VIII, how do you think they will impact the metagame?

Well, it was certainly a bold choice to give such a significant buff to all Pokémon with the letter q in their English names, but frankly it’s a pretty short list, and if you manage to fit two of those Pokémon onto your team, and manage to spend a turn fusing them, you deserve to get the ridiculous hyper-abilities.  Rayquaza would probably still prefer to mega-evolve than Q-fuse, but most of the others seem really powerful, and the beneficiaries are mostly Pokémon who haven’t gotten a whole lot of attention in the past.  Nidoquanid should be a powerhouse with Q-BubbleForce turning all its best attacks into super-powered dual-type Water versions that bypass immunity abilities.  Vespiqwilfish can stall forever since Q-Presstimidation drops the opponent’s attack stats every time they try to hurt you.  Eviolite Tranquilladin being immune to Flying attacks (as well as truly a ridiculous number of other things) thanks to Q-BigPecksProof makes it a really interesting counter to a lot of Pokémon.  Eviolite Squilava’s Q-FlashFireDish lets it heal not just from using Fire attacks or even being hit by Fire attacks, but from being in Sunny Day, or being in the party while someone else uses Fire attacks, or even just thinking about fire (and I admit it does seem a little excessive that the game will upgrade your Switch with a brain-scan capability just to facilitate this effect, but the flavour/design justification is so good that in my opinion it’s absolutely worth it).

Honestly these things are going to totally run away with the entire game if J-Armour GigaTech Moves turn out not to be the hard counter they’re supposed to be.

Dosidicus Giygas asks:

So apparently “Galar” is a Scots-Gaelic word that means disease. I wonder if Game Freak knows this?

Hmmm… whoops?

You know, I would love it if they did know this.  You could make it an early hint at a kind of hidden dystopian reality behind Galar’s very standard happy-go-lucky Pokéverse façade, where Poké-Scotland is being oppressed by the Poké-English bastards and they call the united region by a name that means “disease” to express their true feelings about it.  I’m just not sure Game Freak have it in them to be so delightfully subversive, though!  Jim the Editor says “Galar” reminds him of galahs, which are a sort of very noisy pink and grey parrot they have in Australia, and that’s probably not what Galar refers to either, but at least you could conceivably make a Pokémon out of it.

jeffthelinguist asks:

So… armored evolution. I think it’s not gonna be a thing and I think it’s stupid but… what do you think about the rumor? How would you feel if that was implemented?

I wouldn’t rule it out, honestly.  For those not following, the place this rumour comes from is a 4chan post from a few days before the announcement of Sword and Shield, which correctly predicted the names of the new games, and that they would be set in a region based on Great Britain, so it’s not wildly improbable that this person had some actual insider information (of course, even if they did, they might have had real information on the names and region, but then just made up other stuff to troll everyone, because… like… it’s 4chan, guys, come on).  One of the other predictions made therein is that Sword and Shield will introduce “armoured” evolutions, of Pokémon including Zeraora, Charizard, Flygon and Mewtwo.  And, I mean, you know you’ve wanted armoured Mewtwo since 1999, and Nintendo has just filed for the Japanese trademark on “Armoured Mewtwo,” and oh hey, they’re remaking that movie in 3D this year for some goddamn reason, and my respect for the Pokémon Company is just tenuous enough to believe that they would do that solely to plug an “armoured evolution” of Mewtwo.  A further prediction from the 4chan post is that Meltan will somehow be involved with all this, which… I mean, honestly, yeah; Meltan should start pulling its fµ¢£ing weight already.

Continue reading “jeffthelinguist asks:”

Blog Status: Good???

According to my WordPress stats, February has been my best month since moving here, and in part that’s probably down to the last week, which… well, it’s been a hell of a week. Sword and Shield were announced, ramping up the urgency of finishing my work on generation VII, and I blended the worlds of classics and cake decorating into possibly my greatest real-world achievement ever, the acropolis cake (if you’re someone who’s been drawn in by that – hello! Neither classics nor baking is what this blog is usually about, but I hope you stay anyway!). So thanks to everyone for reading and growing Pokémaniacal’s following, and an extra special thanks to my Patreon supporters, whose donations maintain the WordPress site. If you enjoy my writing and would like more opportunities to offer opinions about this blog’s direction (more extreme baking? stranger Pokémon theories? just want a say on what order I do my reviews in?), consider setting aside a dollar a month for the cause – with enough support, I can upgrade the site to make it more interesting and easier to navigate. Onwards, my minions, and we shall cover this world in darkness like it has never known!