Sunday, September 28, 2014

Candice of Snowpoint City

waitaminute, those socks - you don't suppose she wears -

There seem to be an awful lot of energetic school girls getting made Gym Leaders. But I can't say I dislike her design, it's actually pretty color coordinated and unique (as far as schoolgirls go)

Also interesting to juxtapose an upbeat personality with a frigid type choice - most other Ice trainers are cold and distant, but Candice ain't like all that. Good on her. Still reppin' the white and cyan, though. Traditional icy colors.

So she's a cutie, and her badge is sicknasty, but does she really look a gym leader? I took off points before for this sort of thing, so I guess I ought to again. I'm almost done with the 4th region, and I still don't really have a solid criteria for grading these things.

Also want to point out how awesome it was to walk around in the snow by her town.

Overall: 7/10

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Byron of Canalave City

Holy crap it's Simon: The Later Years

While his son may be a roody-poo candy-ass, Byron is one hardboiled dude. Note the tattered edges of his pants, cape, and face - he's been at this shit for years, and he wears the miner gear not because he just got off work, but because it's basically the only clothes he owns anymore. He left the rest along with the other soft parts of his life - in the mines. You spend enough time down there, it takes things from you. Friends, lungs, your mind. But you also find things. Like how to be a Man.

Seriously, Byron may be one of the most intense Gym Leaders of all time, and has a surprising amount of involvement in the lore. His aforementioned pansy of a son, Roark, is the gym leader of some podunk town or another. And his dad is simply known as The Underground Man, abandoning all traces of humanity to become one with the bedrock. There's also this anecdote about how he wanted Riley, strong trainer and noted Lucario fanboy, to become a Gym Leader but was reminded he had an actual son.

which I imagine went something like this:

"Riley, you're a badass. I'm gonna recommend you for that Gym Leader position."
"I thank you, but what about your son?"
"Son? I have no son."
"What about that one with the poor eyesight and crippling emotional issues?"
"Oh, that one."

Even his badge is awesome. It's three pickaxes, combining together and looking like one of those three-way Venn Diagram things.

I really don't have anything bad to say about Byron. He kicks ass and digs holes, sometimes in that order.

Overall: 10/10

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fantina of Hearthome City

I spent the most time in Sinnoh in Hearthome. Because that had the best stretch of straight ground, for egg-hatching pacing.

I've always felt Fantina's hair was incredibly silly. Also, she seems awfully overlooked, for being such a flashy character.

But you know what? She's actually pretty cool. High Fashion in all the best ways. I like how her style is totally referencing Drifblim, without going over-the-top and wearing a gigantic balloon suit or something. I guess that's what her hair is supposed to be - like balloons.

Problem is, though, the hair. She's like some sort of purple Yotsuba on steroids, and there's just SO MUCH PURPLE that it's a little overwhelming in its uniformity. If they were at least a different shade? or maybe a hairstyle that doesn't immediately make one think of a female villain from Star Trek.

The Relic Badge is neat. Swirly and sci-fi, looks like a mysterious vortex or whatever. Though on the whole, I feel like Fantina would be a better fit for my hypothetical Cosmic Type (that will never happen). I'm not really reading "Ghost" from any of her stuff, aside from the admitted big freaking red flag of dressing up like a Ghost-type. Or is it a Purple Flag?

In any case, I'm pretty damn sure they would have taken her character concept and worked it into a Fairy Type gym today.

Overall: 6/10

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crasher Wake of Pastoria City

holy frig get the shit out of the way

You see this man coming at you from up out the water, you better run. Or maybe not even. You'll still get thrown, possibly into a Kinniku Buster, or maybe an Ultimate Atomic Suplex. Mr. Wake is two tons of Lucha in a 30-pound sack.

This guy is as over-the-top as they come, but that goes with the territory, don't you think? I question how Water and wrestling tie together, but his costume actually pulls it off. It's just his gimmick.

Only problem with his design I have is his improbable mask - is the black parts his hair, or sitll part of the mask? why does he have so much skin showing? it's like he's wearing the thong equivalent of a mask. And not just any thong, the most exotic, daring thong of them all. The kind that actually doesn't cover any of the stuff you want to see.

His badge, the Fen Badge, is oddly subdued. It's actually really chill. Reminds me of like an oasis at night, or maybe a moonlit lagoon. That calm blue pool, and the palm trees touching overhead. It's watery, and I like it. Hey, guess what? you can use more than SOLID COLOR and SILVER when you make a badge, and it comes out great!

panties-on-head mask aside, Crasher is a badass dude. Or maybe he's more badass for wearing such silly headgear

Overall: 8/10

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Maylene of Veilstone City

Seichusen, Godan-tsuki!!

Maylene reminds me of Street Fighter's Makoto in a lot of ways. Athletic build, kind of short, and the hair is kinda-sorta-not-really-but-close similar. Though unlike Makoto, who is the very picture of stoic confidence, Maylene almost bubbles over with confusion. She doesn't seem to even understand how she got the job as Gym Leader, which makes me question the Pokemon League's hiring standards.

At any rate, her design makes it clear she's a Fighter. training gloves, baggy pants over some sort of underarmor, and those classic bandages. Or maybe they're cold compresses. Should ask Chief Arino about that.

Thing is, if I didn't know better, I'd think she was a Battle Girl NPC trainer, not a Gym Leader. I guess that's her conceit, that she's just a regular karate-crazy girl who somehow got the position? Eh. I would respond more positively if she hadn't looked so new-school. Tape your hands, don't use sissy gloves! PAIN IS AN ILLUSION

What the hell is this thing. It's not a fist, I can tell that much. It's called the Cobble Badge, so maybe it's cobble stones? or like a brick? because you break bricks in karate? I feel like the harder I try to make it look like something, the less it looks like anything.

Overall: 4/10

Friday, September 19, 2014

Gardenia of Eterna City

The last Grass leader we had just kind of wore a kimono and called it a day.

Gardenia at least steps it up by wearing some actual goddamn green. You know, the color that has historically been associated with plants ever since the world came into color in the mid 50's.

She's dressed like some sort of combination elvish ranger and army chick. Reminding me of Sami from Advance Wars in a big way.

I feel like she flies under a lot of people's radars, like just about every Gen 4 female character that isn't Cynthia or Dawn. But she's still pretty tough and cool! Not terribly exciting, no. But that doesn't have to mean "bad".

Now, this badge is the Forest Badge, and I guess it kind of looks like some trees? Man, I and really not digging how minimalist these Sinnoh badges are. But green actually goes with silver, so that's better.

Overall: 6/10

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Roark of Oreburgh City

You know, I'm just going to pretend like that last month didn't even happen. Nope, no gap. We just kept on going, right? right.

Continuing with the review of Gym Leaders, we enter the Sinnoh region. We again start with a Rock-type leader, just like Brock before him.

The difference, is that this little twerp can't make up his mind. Is he working as a construction... miner? or is he a gym leader? YOU CAN'T DO BOTH, mister. No man may serve two masters.

It just seems unprofessional, to me. You work hard to get there, and then he just comes in during his lunch break or whatever, half-assedly tosses out a few crap Pokemon, gives you some dirty badge, and then goes back to work.

oh, something something conspiracy about him looking like the Rival from Gold/Silver, whatever. Roark isn't nearly as cool as that cat.

The Coal Badge is really freaking bland. Looks like a treasure chest, kind of? but like the world's laziest, most barely-representational version of a treasure chest. Which kind of has to do with rocks?

It's dumb, and you'll notice it has this obnoxious silver border. It's the theme for this region, and I much prefer the older style of badges, but I guess it's not too bad. Some of the later ones make it work pretty well. This is just not one of them.

Overall: 2/10