One of my favourite sequences in the whole of the original Sun and Moon was Lana’s Water trial on Akala Island, which introduces Wishiwashi: a small, very weak and actually rather pathetic-looking fish Pokémon with apparently no special powers. Before you actually enter the trial grounds, Lana leads you through Brooklet Hill to investigate several commotions taking place in the area’s many pools. Each is apparently caused by a group of Wishiwashi, most of which flee at your approach, leaving one behind to take the rap, but if you catch one, you’ll get some hint of what’s going on by reading the text of its Schooling ability. The further you go, the larger the splashes in the pools become, slowly building a sense of menace around whatever it is you’re following, and Lana starts dropping hints about a powerful Pokémon that must be causing everything, even telling you at one point that Kyogre is said to live in Brooklet Hill. Continue reading “Wishiwashi”
Time for Alola starter number 3: the Water-types, Poplio, Brionne and Primarina. I have something of a history of being distressingly lukewarm on Water-type starters, whom I’ve often put in the “fine” basket with little further comment, and for a while it looked like Poplio was going to go the same way, if not worse. I know I’m not the only one who was less than enthusiastic about Alola’s Water-type starter initially. After all, we’re onto our fourth pinniped Pokémon now (that’s seal, sea lion and walrus Pokémon, for the uncultured masses), they’re all Water-types, and this is even the second starter among them. But even Poplio has design elements that show a different direction to Dewgong, Walrein and Samurott, which only continue to diverge through evolution, and this has turned out to be one of those Pokémon that feels weird to me at first, but makes more sense the longer I keep looking at it. Continue reading “Poplio, Brionne and Primarina”
The time has come (largely because I’m running out of anything else) to think about some more legendary Pokémon, namely the so-called “legendary musketeers,” Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo. These Fighting-type Pokémon have that name because, according to the designers, they are based on the eponymous French warriors of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel, the Three Musketeers, though personally I think it would be more appropriate to say that they are, if anything, parallel to the musketeers. You might be forgiven for not thinking that the connection is immediately obvious (in fact, I’m not convinced anyone could work it out without being told or simply getting very lucky with a wild guess) – both groups have (in brief) an old one, a fat one, and a gay one (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, respectively), plus an annoying kid who hangs around with them because he wants to join their club (d’Artagnan). They are also both renowned for swordsmanship – the Pokémon versions only in a figurative sense, in that they all learn Swords Dance and share a signature move called Sacred Sword; despite the name, they fight mainly by goring enemies with their horns. Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo are, furthermore, motivated by their ideals of duty and justice, which likewise sounds like a reference. Continue reading “Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo”
Two 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”
All right, guys; today’s Pokémon is Alomomola, the evolved form of Luvdisc, the heart-fish Pokémon from Ruby and Sapphire, and-
…what do you mean she’s not the evolved form of Luvdisc?
No, look; she obviously is. They’re similar colours and shapes, they both have a heart motif, they’re the same type, they’re both fish, they-
All right. Whatever. I’ll go fire up the old Pokémadex; back in five.
…okay, fine. Today’s Pokémon is Alomomola, who, to practically everyone’s disappointment and against all logic, is not the evolved form of Luvdisc. Continue reading “Alomomola”
I need to be up-front with you about this one. I really like Tirtouga and Carracosta. These turtle Pokémon are two of the fossil species of Black and White (the other two are Archen and Archeops, whom I talked about ages ago and allowed to live – perhaps a little generously) and the latest in a long line of prehistoric Pokémon resurrected by the miracle of SCIENCE. I think the artistic designs for Tirtouga and Carracosta are superb; Tirtouga is cute but also clearly strong enough to take care of himself, and Carracosta practically dares you to try attacking him. Both channel the “ancient” quality fossil Pokémon are supposed to possess exceptionally well. As well as having typical sea turtle qualities, like being able to safely dive to tremendous depths, they seem to be part-way through evolution into terrestrial turtles and can hunt prey on land as well. Continue reading “Tirtouga and Carracosta”
The time has come at last, my friends, to fill that nagging gap I’ve left behind me: time to talk about the third Unova starter, Oshawott. Now, I saw Oshawott for the first time back when Nintendo revealed the Unova starters last year (at the time, he had the fan nickname Wotter), and my first thought was that he’d pretty clearly been dropped on his head as a child. Tepig and Snivy are so much more expressive in the official art; Tepig is happy-go-lucky and cute, while Snivy is a smug bastard, but Oshawott just looks vacant. Personally I think someone dropped the ball on Oshawott’s official art and in-game sprite (which looks the same); in the show you can see Oshawott with actual facial expressions, making him look cute, proud, even devious – here, by contrast, he looks like a lobotomy outpatient. This is a shame because it made a lot of people, including me, dismiss Oshawott without serious consideration – and, moreover, before meeting his awesome evolved forms, Dewott and Samurott. The concept behind this line is that they’re samurai Pokémon. Continue reading “Oshawott, Dewott and Samurott”