Thursday, January 24, 2013

XYZ Affair

The first thing they teach you at blog school is to stay topical. As it turns out, the adjective  that means “having to do with topology” is topological, so I can’t make a joke about that. Sorry. In reality, this means that I’m going to be talking about recent events. This is recommended so that when future bored-people read the archives of your blog, and see the kinds of things that were considered important in the past, they can have a good laugh at how silly we are here in the past. Also, if any of you out there are really excited to go to blog school, I’d really advise against it. I mean, I dropped out after they taught me the first thing, and look at how successfully I’m doing!

For awhile now, Nintendo’s been saying that they’re going to drop some juicy deets about Pokemon on January 8th (The day this was written). Despite being a Pokemon fanatic, more or less, I didn’t really much care. I thought for sure they would just announce remakes of Ruby and Sapphire, like everyone knew they were going to do. All that was left was to learn what the names were, and whether or not they’d finally nut up and release a Pokemon game for the 3DS. Personally, I was rooting for “Rapturous Ruby” and “Sinful Sapphire”, but that wasn’t the announcement. We still haven’t learned the names of the remakes, so it’s up to you guys, in the future, to figure it out for us, trapped here in the past (Don’t even pretend that there’s a chance that they won’t remake Ruby and Sapphire. That would be like if Call of Duty stopped being a yearly cash-grab bonanza. I really hope that joke seems prophetic in the future). But we do know that Game Freak’s deciding to elevate those nuts with a 3D Pokemon (Pokemon Rumble Blast doesn’t count, as evidenced by the fact that you’d never heard of it before now). Because, you see, Nintendo announced something that I never would have dreamed of: Gen VI.

That’s right. A new generation of Pokemon, within the end of the year. October 2013 is the worldwide release date. The names of the games are “Pokemon X” and “Pokemon Y”, presumably so they can release a “Pokemon Z” as a third title. Because the games are in 3D, this will be very mathematical and nice. Certainly, the rational part of my brain is thinking “Wow, that’s way too soon after the previous Generation. Only 3 years? That’s pretty sketchy”. But as anyone who knows me will know, the rational part of my brain is easily overpowered by the part that shouts “OH MY GOD NEW POKEMON NEW MOVES NEW ABILITIES NEW MUSIC NEW BASE STATS TO MEMORIZE”. So it seems that, against my better judgment, I’m excited for this. In addition, starters and title legends have already been revealed, with names for the former.

I guess I’ll start off with the grass starter, the way it’s always been done. As you can clearly see, it’s a… Pokemon. Honestly, I have no idea what it’s supposed to be. An internet friend suggested that it might be a chipmunk, but I’m not entirely sure that’s even a real thing. Regardless, this is probably my least favorite of the starters, as I have no idea what it even is. As a result, I also have no idea what the name is supposed to mean. Overall, pretty disappointing. However, it seems to be the very first grass starter that isn’t a reptile of some sort (Go ahead and review all the previous grass starters in your head. I’ll wait). So that’s something. If I had to make a prediction for the dual-type of this guy’s final form, I guess I’d go with… mono-type? Most Grass starters have been mono-type so far, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this fellow followed their dismal example, as I can’t really imagine what secondary type he’d have.

The Fire starter seems like it will probably break the long-standing trend of fire-fighting starters. While this is good from an originality perspective, it kind of sucks for the Pokemon itself, because fighting is one of the best types that fire can be paired with. As you can plainly see, it looks like a fox. Like the web browser. But a friend of mine seems to believe that it is a deer, a belief whose validity is greatly damaged by the existence of something called a “Fennec Fox”, which this thing’s name seems to be a reference to. It looks pretty cute, which is the best a starter can strive to do, but it reminds me too much of Vulpix to be my favorite. If I had to hazard a guess as to the secondary-type of this one, I guess I’d say fighting, because I really have no idea what else it would be, and it would be kind of funny if Game Freak decided to stone cold troll us like that. A different friend conjectured that it could be fire-psychic, which would be pretty bitchin’.

And finally, we have the water starter, my personal favorite. Maybe it’s the white puffs that look kind of like a beard, or the white dots that look kind of like tiny little spectacles, but there’s something about this Pokemon that just seems classy to me. Water starters have often been my favorites, and it seems that “Froakie” is no exception. As it turns out, my complaint about Fennekin (which sounds kind of like a knock-off beer brand, now that I think about it) being unoriginal is completely hypocritical, as Froakie is the third water-type frog Pokemon, after Politoed and the Tympole line of 5th gen. The one that ended with a frog made of tits.

If I had to guess the secondary type of this Pokemon, I guess I’d go with Poison, like a poison dart frog. If Tentacruel is any indication, then Water-Poison is a pretty workable type combination, so I’m looking forward to this Pokemon.

And these are the title legends for Pokemon X and Y. As you can clearly see, one looks like a Y, while the other… also looks like a Y. Serebii assures me that their eye-glints reveal that the left Pokemon is the X one, and the right one is the Y one. I guess this means that I’ll be getting Pokemon Y, so I can name my legendary Pokemon “Y Wing”. Now, ever since 3rd gen, we Pokemaniacs have come to expect our Pokemon to stand for something. Land and Sea, Time and Space, Yin and Yang (Or Truth and Ideals, whatever that means). So what do these new Pokemon mean? Well, that’s what I’m going to speculate about. I think (hope) that the X Pokemon represents reality, while the Y Pokemon represents imagination. This is a pretty nice duality, but how does it relate to X and Y, you may ask? As in so many other instances, we turn to math for the answer. Those of you with memories of advanced math education may remember complex numbers. A complex number is merely the sum of a real number and an imaginary number. The complex plane is a Cartesian coordinate system (the “regular” rectangular coordinate system, with ordered pairs and all that) where the real part of a complex number is represented along the x axis, and the imaginary part is represented along the y axis. Hence, the X Pokemon including the domain of reality in its portfolio (I actually made a joke without even realizing it. In math, domain is like, all the x values of a function. So it's like a pun), and the Y Pokemon ruling over imagination. If this speculation comes true, I will cry tears of pure math. I don’t know how they will fit the 3rd axis into this, but I’m still not entirely sure how they fit Kyurem into Black and White, so I’ll just leave it up to Game Freak.
Now, this next speculation has little to do with anything that’s been revealed about 6th gen, but it’s an idea that’s been knocking around in my head since 4th gen. Most hardcore Pokemon fans are familiar with Arceus, the Pokemon that created the universe, while paradoxically having descended from Mew (All Pokemon descended from Mew, remember?) Now, as creator of the Universe, most people have assumed that Arceus is the God of Pokemon, and you’ll find few people disputing that belief. But nothing in the games actually says that, and I think it’s not just to avoid theological controversy. You see, Arceus’s official Pokedex classification is “Alpha Pokemon”. But God is not “The Alpha”. He is “The Alpha and The Omega”. So what if… there’s an Omega Pokemon? Just as Arceus is the being that created the universe, this Pokemon is the being destined to destroy it. Now, the mythology of Pokemon is all good and interesting, but there’s something even more important to consider: Competitive implications. Arceus is perhaps the most powerful Pokemon of all time, thanks largely to his incredible stats and ability to have any type. It would be foolish to assume that his brother did not have similar competitive capabilities. So I conjecture that, much like Arceus’s Multitype, Omegamon (I’m going to go ahead and bet a slowpoke tail that that’s already the name of a Digimon) will have an ability that allows him to be customized with plates. But, instead of changing his type, these plates will alter his base stats, allowing him to take on the role of a sweeper, wall, or tank as needed. Needless to say, this would be hella prime, as specialized Pokemon almost always fare better than generalized Pokemon with the same base stat total.
Anyway, sorry about that. That’s just something I’ve been wanting to get off my mind for awhile. Now, since this is going to be for the 3DS, you might wonder what the graphics will be like. Specifically, how 3D they will be. The answer is all the 3D. Ever since 4th gen, Game Freak has been talking good shit about how totally 3D their new games are. Well, those promises are finally coming to fruition, as these graphics are as three dimensional as Land Super 3D Mario. In addition, the battles themselves will be 3D, with the Pokemon actually doing the attacks that they’re doing. 
As you can see, the Player Character looks wrong, like a 3-dimensional Bomberman. I can’t really think of a better way to describe it than “wrong”, so I’ll just leave it at that. The battles look pretty neat, but you’d really have to see them in action to get a good idea of how they look, and I’m not really sure how to embed video in this God-Forsaken medium. I trust you guys to be able to Google ”6th gen Pokemon trailer” or, failing that, scroll up to the video of the trailer than I will probably link to.
In the end, Game Freak is promising new Pokemon, so I can’t really afford to not be excited.
0. If a Pokemon game comes out for the 3DS, that’s probably going to convince a whole lot of people to get a 3DS, because honestly, it hasn’t had “many must-have” games so far. Except for “Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward”. So the release of a new Pokemon game means that I might be able to more effectively plug the Zero Escape Series. This would bring peace to my heart.
That’s right, two different posts with the same twist ending. If I keep working at it, I could start writing stories for Professor Layton. Sorry Hershel, I’m just still a little sore over the ending of Diabolical Box.

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