6/10/2017

Mai feverit pokemun generations

I can't bring myself to do anything so it's time for a blog with a premise so pointless, I could never bring myself to make it into a video. So this is probably going to be two lists.

The first list will be a brief look into the mainline RPG titles in the Pokemon series (spin-offs and remakes excluded). The second list will be scrutinizing the actual creatures themselves. Why do I do this to myself? Eh. People read it. I am curious to see agreements and disagreements though considering people I have met in my actual offline life have come to some interesting points occasionally.

I am also going to exclude Generation 7 because I haven't played Sun and Moon. That would be unfair to compare them here because all of my knowledge of Sun and Moon is based on heresy and minor Google searches. I do like Salazzle and Lunala though, if that means anything to you.

FAVORITE GAMES:

#6: X and Y (Gen 6)

The thing with Pokemon, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing, is that its core gameplay in the main series has remained unchanged. It is so unchanged, in fact, that most of the stats of the creatures have not changed since 2001. Since all of the main games are turn-based RPG's, and the stats remain the same, it has been difficult to make a Pokemon game a chore to get through.

Welcome to X and Y, where aesthetics and gimmicks are the focus instead of comfort and any form of reward to the player! Yeah, so, a lot of the gripes you'll hear on these games from me specifically may be exaggerated to get a point across. I tend to do that. But I can assure you of my sincerity when I say that I hate X and Y, and out of all six main Pokemon RPG's, I can say with certainty that it is the only one I can say I truly don't like. It did revamp the Exp. Share system and did a lot of things that were brought to their full potential in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (which by the way are goddamn incredible games), in X and Y they just brought ease to an already watered down version of Pokemon. If you didn't know, Pokemon's main stories are already pretty easy to get past. The story depiction in X and Y is tryhard but directionless, the game gives you handouts even up until you catch Mewtwo, and the roller blades are garbage. These should be optional items to put on a la the bicycle in umm.... hmmm... EVERY OTHER GAME SINCE GOLD AND SILVER! The bicycle in X and Y functions but you can't use it everywhere and most of the places you can are not necessarily beneficial to use the bike in. In other words, X and Y forces you to use its most unattractive gimmick. Don't even get me started on the stupid 3D city where the controls make 3D Sonic look reasonable. Holy wow!

Traversing areas needs to at least be functional in a Pokemon game because it is the mechanic in the game that gives players a sense of choice and the illusion that they have gone on a journey. If this aspect isn't fun, then crunching numbers is all that's left. I mean, the visuals look great, but I think I've established by now that in the grand scheme of this game, it really doesn't matter.

#5: Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum (Gen 4)

I had Diamond but got so bored with it that I ended up selling it back after a few months. I know they were going for an online Pokemon experience but added too much fluff and unnecessary design choices on paper to make a great game. I'm mainly griping about little things like the transfer system that puts arbitrary time caps on things based on real time for no real reason. This and some things I don't fully remember from the underground mini-game portions are what brought Diamond and Pearl back. They were just overly ambitious games in a franchise that was already at its prime and didn't need to try this hard to win people over. There are a lot of things I do have to commend though.

As much as most people probably don't like the designs of some of the new evolution Pokemon such as Honchcrow, Gliscor, and Mamoswine, their inclusion in the game is actually very smart and something I would kind of like to see more of in future installments. For example of this, Generations 3 and 4 revealed some pretty powerful Pokemon, making the pool of powerful Pokemon that were once taken over completely by Pokemon such as Articuno, Dragonite, and Entei seem a lot less intimidating in relativity. Even in a slightly lower tier, a lot of Pokemon with cool ideas that could possibly survive some high-end battles in Generation 2 were later nearly useless. These are basically just updated Pokemon, and the challenge of evolving and teaching specific moves is still there too. So if you really like Sneasel, you probably shouldn't use Sneasel in most forms of competitive play, but certain tiers could be a good opportunity for Weavile, which is close enough. Touch screen functions in Pokemon are fantastic too. Controlling a Pokedex or even your fighting team with PDA-like controllers was a great idea that only got better as time went on. These reasons alone and the fact that, again, the Gen 4 games didn't try to fix too much of what wasn't broken, make DPP obviously better than X and Y... I think anyways. I know a lot of people will probably disagree because I didn't want to believe it myself, but after restarting X and Y several times to leech its starters and legendaries, I can't help but see it for its flaws, even in comparison to what used to be my least favorite: DPP.

#4: Black and White (Gen 5)

Then we get into what I actually consider to be not just good, but great games. Black and White isn't the best, but a solid RPG that continues to remind me of why I fell in love with this cock-fighting series in the first place. Black and White also tried at a plot and didn't shit itself like it usually does when it tries a story. Not essential but it's nice to see. I didn't appreciate this the first time I played it, but after starting over about a year ago (again, to leech starters and legendaries) I realized that this game is really damn fast. This is one of the fastest-paced Pokemon games ever. It runs really fast, the combat I mean. Well, I guess also the text. It also just does everything DPP did but better, which sounds like it's more complicated than just saying that, but it isn't. BW just does everything that DPP did but better. I guess if you really loved fucking around in the underground portions then you will miss that, but that's about it from what I can remember off the top of my head.

Black and White being so fast-paced, despite consistenly-animated sprites in battle and several 3D effects outside of battle, is something I really appreciate. This makes grinding or just hunting down a specific Pokemon slightly less of a chore, which is a big deal for any RPG ever. To put in perspective, XY or ORAS for example have great-looking 3D models on screen with several animations for different attacks or reactions to other things that effect them. This is really cool but takes longer to load, even in between each and every turn you take. BW speeds through. I swear it is almost doubly fast. As an RPG, Black and White functions really well, and honestly if I knew someone who only had a DS and wanted to get into Pokemon for the first time without blowing the bank on a 3DS, I would probably recommend this one. Unless their DS is an old backwards-compatible model like mine, in which case I'm not a complete idiot: RSE and FRLG are way more simple for a newcomer.

#3: Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow (Gen 1)

That's not a typo, I did say that *gasp* RGBY is not the best Pokemon game ever! Oh MY! Seriously, why do people leap to defend this fucking game so much? Yes, it's revolutionary. Yes, it's still kind of fun. Yes, it's interesting to look back on. But as a fun game, remembering that fun is the point of games, the Gen 1 games have not remotely aged well. I feel like it should be without question, and yet it's still blasphemy to say it in public. It laid down the groundwork, the other games came in, cleaned up the debris, and built three malls and a group of classy restaurants. Even the stats are outdated; there wasn't very much balance even in comparison to Gen 2. Most of the Pokemon don't look that great, and even if they did, their names are almost all just various forms of grotesque wordplay.

But it's okay though because it's about the journey right? Remember that one... brick.... you walked past? Oh, or how about... cave? Seriously, Victory Road isn't even that visually appealing and it's building to the climax of the game!

Like I said before though, RGBY are interesting pieces of technology at the very least, and the character designs are pretty choice. Remember what I said about the previously mentioned games having unnecessary fluff? This was the first of its kind and it pushed the Game Boy technology nearly to its limits with how much information was stored, so fluff wasn't an option. Geez, I love cartridge games.

#2: Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (Gen 3)

This was the perfect evolution left off from the Gen 1 and Gen 2 games where almost everything was just bigger and better, especially if you are just talking about Emerald. Abilities changed the game forever, running shoes took away the only thing I hated about the games as a kid, and the plot in this one was delightfully over the top without being overbearing. After the giant rants on the other games, I have kind of run out of things to say about this one other than that. I like the characters, the Pokemon, the color palettes, the progression, the stupid PokeBlock mini-game that serves no real purpose but was still goofy. I love it all. But from sheer innovation, there is a game that trumps the rest.

#1: Gold, Silver, and Crystal (Gen 2)

I haven't played this one in a while but have sunk enough hours into it to have a decent grasp on what it's about. This one just mechanically revamped everything from the first games and added things that were innovative for RPG's. Some of the innovations were even unheard of for games in general for the most part. It was one of the first games ever to use actual real-world time to effect in-game events. So that's a pretty big deal. All in all there isn't much else to say other than you go back to Kanto from the first batch of games, so it has double the content, done smoother, and it feels welcoming to go do more in the game. So this one's pretty awesome. I also really like some of the Pokemon that were new here, which leads to giant list number 2!

FAVORITE POKEMON GENERATIONS:

#6: Generation 6 (Kalos)

Maybe it's just my general disdain for X and Y but X and Y's Pokemon were kind of a waste of space. Even the developers kind of knew this too: the starters are so lame that you get one of the starters from the first game not too long after you get one of the new ones. Even X and Y are those kids that go "fuck all that, original 151 are where it's at!" I do really like Greninja and there are a few other exceptions like Hoopa, but even those can't be saved from such Pokemon as Klefki, Inklay, or Honedge. When you have to start putting eyes on inanimate objects to fill more Pokemon slots, maybe it's time to stop making so many new Pokemon each generation and just focus more on making the games good. Is that too much to ask? Yes. I'm no game developer, I can fuck myself.

Fav Gen 6 Pokemon: Greninja (for anyone who cares)

#5: Generation 4 (Sinnoh)

I know I said that the evolutions of older Pokemon were a cool idea, and I still stand by that. But if we are talking about Pokemon I actually care about or like the look of, Generation 4 just doesn't have it. Even Generation 6 had exceptions, and 4 does too (Dialga, Weavile, Leafeon) but Pokemon is a game where you are supposed to be enticed by all of these different creatures. If the creatures are boring then you are just collecting data, and that's pretty lame. Their usefulness and the fact that I like a few Gen 4 designs way more than that of Gen 6 put it over Gen 6, just not by much.

Fav Gen 4 Pokemon: Dialga

#4: Generation 5 (Unova)

Generation 5 added in way too many Pokemon and I felt like most of them were really lame, while others were really cool. Lame: Trubbish, Pansage, Emboar. Not as lame: Zekrom, Victini (one of my favorite Pokemon ever), Hydreigon. There wasn't really much meta-game use for these losers either but at least out of the giant slew they shelled out after Gen 3, Gen 5 I like the designs of a lot more than Gen 4 and 6, even if some of the designs are literally garbage. A HAW HAW HAW HAW!!!! Seiously though, Trubbish? Really?

Fav Gen 5 Pokemon: Victini

#3: Generation 1 (Kanto)

Oh no, I've done it again! Some of my favorite Pokemon (Charizard, Mewtwo, Eevee) do come from Kanto, and even I can't knock the original 151. At the same time, much like a YouTube comments section, being first doesn't matter. Most of these things are just stupid puns (not that they got too much better later) and for my taste, I don't like the fact that they resemble real animals that closely. Pokemon takes place in a world of fantasy, and as such, I want to feel like all of the creatures that live there are noticeably different from the ones that we know here on Earth. You could argue that there are no flaming horses or giant three-headed birds, but there also isn't anything about most of these creatures that really make them stand out from the animals that they are obviously based on. Even when it comes to things that aren't animals, there are sentient rocks and magnets. Is that still cool? Was it ever cool? And before you retort, remember two things: 1) Voltorb is just an angry-ass Pokeball that can give off electricity 2) Electrode is supposed to be the evolved form of this, and it's just the same thing but slightly bigger and upside down.

Fav Gen 1 Pokemon: Mewtwo

#2: Generation 2 (Johto)

Gen 2 added more weird type match-ups and new types entirely that not only gave more variety but more balance to the game. On top of this I think the Generation 2 Pokemon look more fantasy than most of the other generations. All of the generations have Pokemon that are just directly based on animals but Gen 2 made them look more original in comparison to animalistic Pokemon like Pidgey, Michael Bay Transformers Pokemon like Giratina, and Klefki. Fuck Klefki. That's really all I have to say about it off the top of my head. I just feel like the Gen 2 Pokemon had more memorable designs and color choices than most other generations did.

Fav Gen 2 Pokemon: Umbreon? (hard to choose really)

#1: Generation 3 (Hoenn)

I won't lie, it is a close call for me between 2 and 3, so I had to go a little nitpicky. The one thing, and maybe the only thing, that I can argue Generation 3 over 2 is location. In GSC, geography wasn't much of a factor for where certain Pokemon would spawn. Baltoy appears in deserts, Zigzagoons and Sevipers appear in various patches of grass, Surskit can be found in grass but usually found easier on the water, and even Groudon is in a volcano. They did this to an extent in the other games too, but Gen 1 didn't have much variety in terms of setting anyways, and Gen 2 had the luxury of recycling Gen 1 Pokemon into that gimmick. Gen 3 also utilized that idea, but more importantly they used geographical placement to accentuate the adventure. In Gen 3 you can go "oh yeah, I remember that Pokemon, you catch it in this area" whereas most of the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Pokemon you think the other way around. Actually, I would go as far to say they haven't taken advantage of this design philosophy since Gen 3. Beyond that, just copy and paste what I said about Gen 2 and Gen 3 basically has that too.

Fav Gen 3 Pokemon: Sceptile


Sorry that this wasn't a particularly poignant blog. Usually, at the end, I try to emphasize a point to take away from all this but for this one, I think the point is that I have spent too many hours of my life playing Pokemon. That's about it.

More to come. The blog has been kind of dead, which is good. That means I have been more focused on more important things. At the same time, this blog is a good therapeutic tool that I have been neglecting, and that's not cool. So again, more to come.

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