Saturday, July 6, 2013

Screw Clever Titles: I'm Talking About Pokemon Stuff

For some reason, I've really got it in my head recently that I should try to update regularly. Whether or not this will actually happen is anyone's guess, but if it does, I guess I'll try to update once a week, or something like that. And since today's Saturday, I guess that might mean that Saturday is my tentative day for updating. So if you're a fan of disappointment, be sure to check back here next Saturday.

Of course, the problem with regular scheduling is that I have to write an entirely new post every week, which puts a major strain on my incredibly tight summer workload of playing adventure games, catching pneumonia, half-heartedly writing romance stories, and being too beta to steal my brother's job. But the biggest challenge of writing a new post every week is by far coming up with new things to write about. As I've reiterated many times before, I am terribly bad at thinking up things to talk about (half the time I end up talking about exactly that). So sometimes, I just decide "To hell with it: Pocket Monsters". This is one of those times. And it's definitely because I'm lazy, and not because I'm an attention-grubbing asshole who happened to notice that my first post about Pokemon managed to net more than double the views of any of my other posts.

Nothing too major has been announced that hasn't been discussed elsewhere on this blog, but a fair few Pokemon have been revealed that I could probably say some things about. The first is the most recent Pokemon to be announced, Honedge.

"Master, I predict a 70% chance that no one will get this joke."

As you can see, Honedge is a sword, as well as a name that kind of seems like it's trying to be a pun, but just isn't trying hard enough. And a sword is a pretty cool thing to be, as long as you try not to think too hard about how it gets around. Does it just float around while physics looks the other way, like a Geodude? Of course not! It's a ghost, so it probably floats around because it's a ghost. Nothing unreasonable about that. Premiering as the world's first Ghost/Steel type, this thing has a pretty mean defensive typing, which is pretty ironic for a Pokemon that is literally a weapon. It also ruins the opportunity for a Fighting/Dragon to come along and wreck everything with unresisted STABs. (Same Type Attack Bonus, referring to the 50% bump in power that comes when an attack's type is the same as a Pokemon that uses it. So a Fighting/Dragon's STABs would be Fighting and Dragon.) It does nothing, however, to change the fact that a Fighting Dragon would cooler than Kyogre's OHKO move, so Gamefreak should still make one posthaste.

This thing is a panda that fights. It's pure fighting, but I'd say there's at least a chance it'll evolve a Grass secondary typing, or perhaps a Dark typing, with that attitude it's clearly sporting. It's name is "Pancham", which I have no strong feelings about one way or the other. What's really important about this Pokemon, though, is a new move that it learns, "Parting Remark". I'm about to talk about some high-level concepts in Pokemon theory, so you may want to step outside if things get too hot and heavy. Parting Remark is similar to U-turn or Volt Switch, in that it is a move that forces the user to switch out. However, instead of doing damage, it lowers the opponent's Attack and Special Attack. I'm honestly not that good at Pokemon. And even the top minds in the field have difficulty accurately predicting what Pokemon and moves will impact the metagame. But it seems to me like this could be a Big Deal. If properly used, this move could allow a player to safely bring in a setup sweeper against a weakened enemy. While the enemy is all but forced to switch out, the player gets a free turn to boost his Pokemon's stats. (With moves like Swords Dance, Quiver Dance, Calm Mind, and an assortment of other moves that you probably never used when playing the actual game.) I earlier compared it to U-turn, but it's actually more like Memento, an oft-forgot move with a similar effect except that it harshly lowered the enemy's offenses, and instead of switching the user out, it straight up killed them. I can't say for sure that this will revolutionize Offensive playstyles in Pokemon battling, but if it does, just know that I totally called it. Anyway, thanks for bearing with me and reading that whole rant. As a reward, here's a really good and funny song that isn't terribly safe for work.

The new generation has a bird Pokemon. It is Normal/Flying. It is based on a robin. I thought of using this as the basis of a "Holy ______, Batman!" joke, but decided against it. There is nothing remarkable about a new Normal/Flying bird, because there's one in every generation. What is remarkable, however, is what it evolves into...

Talonflame, the Pokemon whose name fully convinced me that the death of Pokemon's creativity is nigh. As you may have guessed from its flame decals, it is a Flying/Fire type. And it looks like Gamefreak did its homework for this one, because those flames clearly allow it to go a lot faster: 310 mph, which is about the speed at which a nerve impulse travels. This means that if a Talonflame flew straight through you length-wise, from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, by the time the signals registering pain from your feet reached your brain, your entire body would be immolated. It is for this reason that death by Talonflame is considered the most humane method of execution in the Pokemon universe. Unfortunately, despite it's fearsome appearance and award-winningly badass classification as the "Deterioration Pokemon", Gamefreak decided to set it apart from the rest of the generic birds by giving it the worst possible secondary typing. With a double weakness to Stealth Rock, this thing can bank on losing a good half of its HP whenever it switches in. In competitive battling circles, this kind of Pokemon is referred to as a "pizza". Pizza shit.

This Pokemon is called "Gogoat", and you've probably seen it, because OMG gaiz, you can totes ride Pokemon nao! I mean, you could before, but that was only when you were soaring through the skies, or effortlessly crossing large bodies of water. Now you can ride Pokemon in all the places that you can walk, which is clearly more exciting. Also, since this Pokemon clearly exists only for riding, and its combat abilities merit no discussion, I might as well take this opportunity to say that the Pokemon you ride aren't actually yours. You don't teach them an HM move or anything. You rent other people's Pokemon in order to ride them around. Because Pokemon totally isn't like slavery, you guys. We addressed that in the last game, remember?

Helioptile is another case of a Pokemon too stupid looking to not be given a Normal type. I guess the name is kind of OK, at least until you try to pronounce it out loud. As the name suggests to those of us familiar with  Greek roots, Helioptile is a reptile capable of photosynthesis, but totally different from every grass starter for every previous generation. Much like Pancham, Helioptile learns a notable new move, Parabola Charge. Despite taking the name of Parabola in vain, it's actually a pretty neat move. It's basically an electric typed Giga Drain. While Electric Pokemon usually aren't thought of as being too bulky, there are a few outliers. Washing Machine Rotom, who is already a top tier threat, probably stands the most to gain, as it is a bulky electric type that struggles to heal itself, and often only has Volt Switch as an electric attack. Parabola Charge could solve all of its problems, giving it a reliable electric attack, while also giving it a decent way to heal outside of Pain Split.

And for this generation's caterpillar bug pokemon, we have... Jesus Christ! Oh, sorry, I just lost my composure there for a second. The next Pokemon to carry on the heritage of Caterpie and Wurmple is not Jesus of Nazareth, though the truth might just be stranger. It's Scatterbug, which looks like it just dropped in to say hi on its way from some kind of horrific torture porn directly to your nightmares. In addition, its classification is the "Powder Blowing Pokemon", which, to me, is just aching for a cocaine joke.

And these are the Pokemon that Scatterbug evolves into, Spewpu and Vivillion. Besides the unmatched grossness of Spewpa's name, there isn't much to remark on. They're not as creepy as Scatterbug, but I still think there's something a little off about Vivillion. And Spewpu doesn't seem nearly crusty enough to be an intermediary between a crawling bug and a flying bug.

No, its eyes are actually placed right behind its nose, in an arrangement that does not seem very evolutionarily sound. That was the answer to the question that I'm sure you all asked, which is "Dear God in heaven, are those thing's eyes inside out?!" The "eyes" on Noivern's face seem to be membranes that it uses to hear, because that's totally what bats do, and it's probably a good thing that Bruce Wayne didn't try to emulate this. Noivern is a Dragon/Flying Pokemon with a pretty decent design, once you get past the freakish eye things. Next Pokemon.

Oh Gods, not this guy again. I've said everything I care to say about this thing. Next Pokemon.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took a Kingler, removed its ability to feel anything but hate, and changed it to an entirely different species? (A water gun, if the classification is to be believed) You'd probably get something pretty closed to Clauncher, who probably has the best name of any Pokemon revealed so far, though it's honestly not a tight competition. It actually might be my favorite Pokemon so far. There's just something magical about how legitimately pissed off it looks.

Using masterful camouflage, Skrelp disguises itself as a piece of kelp by making itself look like nothing of this Earth. Seriously, this thing could pose more convincingly as a Lovecraftian Horror than any kind of plant life. Also, while I understand that Pokemon are color coded for your convenience, being purple to indicate that you're poisonous is not a good business strategy for blending in. If I had to guess what this looked like, I'd say it kind of resembles an artist's rendition of a banana that was left in the refrigerator of The Bebop for too long. 

And for the last Pokemon of this post, we have Flabébé, the only Pokemon that I know of with accents in its name (Other than, you know, the actual word "Pokémon"). Flabébé is apparently the new smallest Pokemon, a recognition it won by swearing that the flower totally isn't part of its body. It's one of those new Fairy types you've probably heard so much about, and there seems a decent chance it'll snatch up a grass type when it evolves. It apparently comes with a variety of different colored flowers, making it kind of like Gastrodon and Basculin in terms of having differently colored sprites that aren't shiny. That stamen in the middle looks vaguely dirty, but you didn't hear it from me.

And that's just about all I have to say. I wanted to give this post a proper conclusion, so it didn't seem like I just quit as soon as I ran out of things to talk about, but I'm afraid that's exactly what happened.

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