April 17, 2015

"This one doesn't look like a Pokémon"

As soon as any amount of new Pokémon are revealed, whatever forum or community you experience it with, there is always someone who starts the "they don't look like Pokémon"-topic.

The thing is though... it happens every time (except at the beginning obviously) with every bunch of starters revealed, every set of cover-legends, every secret event legend, with new waves of mega evolutions etc.

I'm always flabbergasted when reading posts like those, because they either have no actual argument besides the assertion itself (which often happens to draw a line between whatever generation that person lost excitement in Pokémon at, ala "gen x were still cool, then it went downhill"), or the arguments are extremely flawed.

Yes it is literally trash, but it is also the cutest
and most thought through well balanced
living trash-monster design ever.
Often they would point out the weirder Pokémon, with a prime example being Trubbish. Now, when I first saw this Pokémon, I immediately loved it simply from realizing it will be the star of these topics, because it offers the most obvious pun ever: "it's literally trash".
Being a generation 5 Pokémon (a generation meant to show that Gamefreak can make fresh unique interesting designs even if they are direct homages to older pokémon, proving that even if they ever "ran out of ideas", that wouldn't stop them from making more Pokémon, but that's another of these topics), the hypocrisy is easy to point out however: one just has to realize Grimer is a thing, yet no one ever complained about it in that manner.

Taking a proper look at the vast number of Pokémon, it turns out that weird designs and concepts are actually quite common in the franchise and have always been part of it.

If pokémon only included generic animals with an element slapped on them, Or if they were only insects... or only dragon-like creatures, or only humanoid designs, only plants, only spirits etc. it would lose one of it's main aspects.
Instead the inspirations for the designs come from everywhere, with the result being that everyone finds some they like.

It's one of the aspects that give Pokémon so many levels of diversity.

I would argue that the designs usually picked on tend to be ones that are actually one of the more original and creative of them.

Pokémon would not be Pokémon without all the strange designs thrown into the mix.
Some fans like the cool badass dragon designs the most, some prefer the cute ones, some like ones because of particular themes, colors and details their designs combine, others like ones with darker or mysterious backstories... and some like the strange ones.

Personally, I embrace that whole spectrum and always find something likable about them and try to figure out what non-obvious interesting origin they might have.

So, keep expanding this colorful family Gamefreak :3

April 02, 2015

XY follow-up game prediction

It would not be surprising if we saw the next Pokémon games announced beginning of May (or not too many months later).

So here are my predictions about the basics of what it will be about. I tried to be as realistic and accurate as possible with the information, official and unofficial, that is available so far.

  • Zygarde as the mascot

(this should be self-explanatory)

  • 2 games, 2 Zygarde forms

The 2 forms will be meant to counter (at least plot-wise) Xerneas or Yveltal (who might get a new form, Mega, Primal or similar as well), depending on which one wasn't woken by Flare in the initial Version (X2=ZygardeX vs Yveltal, Y2=ZygardeY vs Xerneas). This quite specific prediction is implied by:
  1. hackers having found that XY/ORAS are programmed to be compatible with 2 more games (the pentagon symbol has 6 origin-region values, here is the source: pastebin.com/zPgwx6mb). Unfortunately for any Kanto-fans, this pretty much confirms that we aren't getting any more cash-milking nostalgia remake-business games ... for now.
  2. the 2 hidden moves "Thousand Arrows/Thousand Waves", as these are identical to Zygardes current only signature move Land's Wrath (all 90P spread-Ground moves) with an additional effect each (hitting airborne targets and trapping enemies respectively), not to mention the new moves have animations involving green hexagons flying across the screen. (It pretty much gives away that Land's Wrath will be like Kyurems Glaciate. It will change to one of the other moves when it changes form, Glaciate->Ice Burn/Freeze Shock, Land's Wrath->Thousand Arrows/Thousand Waves)

  • The Versions might be called XZ & YZ

if they're simply following generation 5s follow-up games (since Zygarde seems to follow Kyurems case almost too closely) they might just slap a 2 to each Version, resulting in X2 & Y2. However Gamefreak could cleverly make use of the fact that the letter Z resembles the number 2, and call them XZ and YZ. Not to mention Zygarde itself might somewhat resemble Xerneas/Yveltal in its design.

  • Third round of Mega evolutions

The only ones I am confident enough to write down about getting Megas, are the Kalos starters. Because GF would be stupid not to grab this opportunity to make the "repetition" of the newest starters in the sequel more interesting with a mechanic this generation introduced in the first place!

  • Battle Frontier!

If GF wasn't planning on adding it in ANY generation 6 game, the whole tease with the Battle Resort in ORAS would forever remain a big middle-finger with spotlights (lets face it, Delta Emerald is not gonna happen just for the Battle Frontier, even by Gamefreaks standards, that would be a new low, so that only leaves XZYZ)

  • Southern Kalos

a whole new part of the region will be explorable (likely even including the starting town), as well as a handful of new places, routes and dungeons popping up throughout the rest of Kalos.
This isn't merely self-explanatory from looking how the previous generation did this, this time there was plenty of places in XY already which felt unused or not fully explored, to imply that this is the case (Rhyhorn Race-tracks, all those locked Power-plants, Train stations..). And of course there is Kiloude City which is supposedly an example of southern-Kalos culture.

  • Changes in Kalos

Of course the path through the region (and some of the gyms, their types and leaders etc) will be radically different as there will be new protagonists and the story taking place years after XY, with a climax in the mascot-involved plot mentioned above.

  • Customization 

The wardrobe from XY will definitely make a return for Kalos-sequels at least, be adjusted to fit the new characters, as well as get expanded.

  • References to XY and ORAS

There should be plenty of familiar faces and references, obviously to XY with these being their sequels, but likely also some from ORAS. In particular, what's going on with Looker at the end of ORAS should be explained, as will probably AZs background (and his special Floette might after all be made available somehow, since it has unique stats compared to a regular Floette and a signatrue move called Light of Ruin). But maybe we could see even less expected ones, like Zinnia or Emerald-exclusive gym-leader Juan.

Going any further from here is pure speculation though, so I will stop here.