Saturday, January 21, 2017

No. 749: Mudbray

I like that boulder. That is a NICE boulder.

First up, the hell sort of business eye that is. Animals with non-circular pupils freak me out. unless they're anime girls. Then it's okay. But that's beside the point!

Like Rockruff, Mudbray could have easily been Normal/Ground. But that wouldn't been stupid, so I'm glad they didn't.

On the other hand, Mudbray's legs appear to be melting, like their made of wax, or turning into something like that one dude in Fury Road. I think a doctor ought to take a look at that, personally. My uncle died of wax-leg, sad story.

Overall: 4/10

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No. 748: Toxapex


I'm pretty sure the idea is that the main body stayed about the same size, any the outside shell got much larger, but it really looks like the poor thing shriveled up.

On the whole, though, it looks mean as hell. All spikedy and grabbidy, imagine getting pulled inside and then the little head just slowly nibbles you to death? Horrible.

I've also got this weird impression that it started out as a hard-to-parse Gameboy sprite, and when it came time for the more detailed sprite and eventual model they just sort of made shit up because they had a mess to work with. Obviously that didn't happen, but that's the vibe I got. It's just weird enough to only come from the diseased mind of Gamefreak.

Overall: 8/10

Friday, January 13, 2017

No. 747: Mareanie

It's not my fault I'm not popular!

so in Sun & Moon, wild Pokemon will call for help, turning a 1v1 into a 1v2. It can be annoying, but it's kind of a neat feature! I almost wish that all wild battles were 1v2, it would make battles more interesting. But, when Corsola calls for help, there's a chance it'll get a Mareanie, which proceeds to attack the Corsola! That's really cool, because in the pokedex Mareanie is Corsola's natural predator and stuff.

But it's also annoying, because it makes this snaggletoothed bugger rather hard to find. Like many of the new Alola Pokemon, actually. A lot of 5% encounter rates. It would be easy to run through the game and hardly see any of the new Pokes, which seems... strange? Shouldn't they be the centerpieces, and then the nostalgia-bites are for the dedicated fans who can get a nice surprise if they look hard enough?

eh, I'm getting off track. Mareanie reminds me of a jello mold, more than any actual underwater creature. It suffers from the looks-like-a-Finding-Nemo-character syndrome, but I like the colors. Commitment to the L O R E and a unique design redeem it.

Overall: 6/10

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No. 746: Wishiwashi

"It's your own fault, Charlie Brown. Because you're so wishy-washy."

We got another two-form Pokemon today, with a gimmick that ends up not actually mattering that much? Eh, better not get ahead of ourselves. Wishiwashi's solo form is pretty lame, with an ugly Popeye-ass mouth that looks like it's trying to escape off the side of its face. You may say "that's the point" and I'll agree, but you must also agree that it looks like something you'd scrape off the bottom of your shoe. About as useful in battle, too.

Solo Form: 2/10

But now we get to the guy we all came here for - School Form is a damn monster of stats in everything but speed. Though, while I like the idea of a school-of-fish Pokemon, I don't think Wishiwashi is pushing it as hard as it could be. You've got 3D models now! You can have detailed textures that show all the fish overlapping like scales! You can have the whole shape undulating as individual fish fall out and then back in to alignment. Instead, it's too perfect a formation. The fish making it up must be on some next-level hivemind coordination, like a Nazi parade, Chinese opening ceremony, or high school cheer leaders.

School Form: 6/10

So the gimmick here is that Wishiwashi starts big, but when it gets to low health, all its friends leave and it's up the proverbial creek. Thing is, when you get to that low health anyway, since it moves so slow, you'd just be switching it out regardless of which form it was in. It's more like an arbitrary "your HP bar is only 3/4ths long" effect, in which case why not just give it even less HP? I dunno, I feel like maybe the whole thing's stats should scale with its HP, and its speed inversely? Or something else more interesting and useful. Because as it is, Wishiwashi is effectively a great Pokemon with a terrible ability that nerfs its effective HP. Yes yes I know you can heal when you're too low but shit, something with Wishiwashi's defenses, to get that low you must've just taken a serious blow, why wouldn't you be healing anyway, if you could?

Still, the School form is cool enough and what you see 95% of the time that I don't hold the intentionally-lame Solo form against it. Really, I'm just disappointed in the ability merely being a counterbalance to great stats, and the lazily "perfect" formation.

Overall: 5/10

Sunday, January 8, 2017

No. 745: Lycanroc

For those about to roc

We got us another two-former - nicest guy you'll ever meet by day, TWISTED FUCKING PSYCHOPATH by night. Except also broken up between game versions, which is a little odd. If you're only gonna get one form anyway in Sun, why restrict the evolution timing?

We'll start with the Midday form, which reminds me of Tiger from Monster Rancher. Remember that shit? If the kids who preferred Digimon were like the kids who preferred WCW, then the ones who liked Monster Rancher were the ECW fans. Also, the main villain was named Moo? Am I remembering that right, or did I just make that up? It all seems like a dream, now.

What were we talking about again oh right, Lycanrock is a regular wolf that is allowed to be pure Rock-type but I'm a lot less impressed with that today than I was with Rockruff.

Midday Form: 5/10

Imagine my surprise at discovering Midnight form is still just Rock type, no Dark subtype at all. Furthermore, the only other differences is that it's slightly bulkier, significantly slower, has some insignificant movepool changes, and slightly better abilities. Unless it's got Keen Eye, which they both share. Kind of a waste to not make them more distinct, huh? Especially with how radically different they look.

I kinda like how his arms just hang long there, and glowing eyes are fun. But, I have to dock him for accidentally sticking his hair into some ink or something, it wasn't cool on Starraptor and it's not cool now. You're trying too hard to be dark-n-edgy, and you aren't even Dark-type. Knock it off.

Midnight form: 5/10

One is boring, the other has some highs and lows that cancel each other out, the result is a split-evolution Pokemon without a strong reason to pick either side. I don't want to evolve Rockruff at all, you can catch the opposite form in each game anyway rendering the whole thing pointless, it's just lame. Lycanroc isn't even worth the sum of its parts.

Overall: 4/10

Friday, January 6, 2017

No. 744: Rockruff

It's a doggy dogg world.

I love that Rockruff is basically just a regular dog (with some rocky patches) but they resisted the urge to make it Rock/Normal or something. Sometimes I wish we could just assign all Normal-types an actual, big-boy type to use instead of the Playskool, kiddie, training-wheel typing that is Normal.

Anyway, Rockruff comes as yet another pupper, whose design is inoffensive but unremarkable. I usually say that this sort of design needs to make its typing more apparent, but it's just really neat to see a Rock type that isn't literally made of rocks, or some sort of fossil.

Overall: 7/10

Thursday, January 5, 2017

No. 743: Ribombee

The Bee Movie but every time they say Bee you have to play through the first 2 hours of Pokemon Sun

This bee is wearing a scarf and I think that's just dandy. The little shaping of the limbs gives them life, instead of looking like they dangle helplessly, and those Garfield whiskers serve as "eyelashes" nicely.

Or at least I always assumed they were whiskers. You know, the three strands of hair sticking out of either side of Garfield's head? They're actually fairly close to the ears, well above his cheeks, but what else could they be? Antennae?

Anyway, Ribombee works fine. It shares plenty of design features with its predecessor, but upgrades almost all of them to indicate growth. I do think it ought to have a third stage, though, something majestic to make me actually want to raise it. But for just being a cute dingus, it does okay.

Overall: 6/10