Saturday, August 29, 2015

Team Magma of New Hoenn

Now let's take a look at Neo Magma, fresh from the Ruby/Sapphire remakes.

The first thing you'll notice is that they're wearing some sort of corduroy jumpsuits. Except the female uniform doesn't include leggings? that's stupid. They've also become just visually busier, and have taken up some stricter discipline. Now, this I don't mind - it gives the overall team some character, and especially sets it apart from the rowdy Neo Aqua guys. But now that they're no longer punks, their hoods look weird. You need some Hugo Boss-level uniforms to pull that shit off properly. Instead, these grunts look like they're wearing awkward snow suits.

Grunts: 3/10

The admins have also been revamped, and given more personality - which is also a good thing. But all the problems with the Grunts uniforms persist, and in face have gotten worse. The logos are just tiny label pins, you can't really see them. Yellow has been added for some reason, and Courtney appears to have some non-euclidean clothes going on with her vest there. Meanwhile, we got Tabitha (which ain't no name for a boy) who isn't even wearing his hood. What happened to the discipline!?

Courtney: 2/10
Tabitha: 3/10

Finally, Maxie. He's certainly looking like he values discipline and order, and I accept his label markings because the Big Boss ain't have to front as hard as his subordinates. But he still seems to be wearing a full-body sweater, and has cut-outs in his boots for absolutely no purpose I can imagine. And what's with those glasses, do they have frikken sideburns? Why??? Basically, he looks like a nerd and I hate him.

Maxie: 2/10

Yeah, the remakes really screwed Team Magma up. Again, I like the effort to make them feel like a different cultured organization compared to Aqua, but the designs really do not work with that. Or look good on their own.

Overall: 3/10

Friday, August 21, 2015

Team Magma of Old Hoenn

I'm going to treat teams Aqua and Magma differently between the originals and the remakes, because unlike Team Rocket, they took significant re-designs and rebrandings. With that said, here's Classic Magma.

Whereas Team Rocket looks like uniformed agents, Team Magma look like thugs. Hoodie, baggy pants, yeah I see that stereotyping in action. And they keep it simple - red and black. Logo on the chest as plain as day. The only difference between the gendered uniforms here is miniskirt vs awkward pants that end at the mid-calf.

Grunts: 9/10

Magma had two admins back in the day, but I can't find any decent art of the man. So instead here's the lady, who basically looks exactly the same as the female grunt, except she gots spiky horns and a longer skirt! With more rank, you can afford more fabric it seems. Not much to say here, it's still a solid design, but maybe you could flaunt your rank a bit more?

Courtney: 7/10

The leader of Team Magma is this dude. He doesn't dress like a punk, instead he's wearing one of those chinese-style suits that button down the side of the torso and up to the collar. It's simple and decent enough, except the cutoff between red and black just seems arbitrary. Why not wear an all-red top, with black pants? or maybe red torso, black sleeves? Yeah, just not feeling this one.

Maxie: 5/10

Their logo is simple, and looks like a mountain with maybe some lava boiling up underneath - very fitting. And it also kinda-sorta looks like an M? for Magma? eh? eh? Also, if you try really hard and believe deep down in your heart, you can pretend it looks like an Omega symbol. So the logo checks out on pretty much every front.

The problem, though, is that Team Magma's goals are mind-bogglingly shortsighted and lack justifications a 6-year old couldn't poke a hole in. Their plan is like something the Insane Clown Posse would come up with because they got water in their shoes one time, and in fact I think they DID drop a line that sums up both of these moronic teams - "What's with water? get more land / What's with deserts? get less sand."

I mean seriously. If you dry up all the oceans, then everybody dies. That's simple shit, people. You know what makes this planet so habitable compared to, say, Mars? FREAKING WATER. God, Maxie is stupid. And everyone IN the team is stupid to go along with his bullshit.

Overall: 7/10

Your logo and grunts are cool, but your leader and ideology - not so much.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Team Rocket of Kanto (and Johto)

As has been requested, I'm gonna do some more design reviews of the Evil Teams, as well as the playable Trainers. I'd say the main content of this blog is pretty much over until Gen 7 happens, so I don't blame anybody who just tunes out. If you do, please remember NAPACE when that day comes! I guarantee I'll still have steaming hot opinions about the Pokemon in it. But for now, let's talk Grunts.

The Rocket Grunts designs are just goddamn perfect. Seriously, they're friggin' works of art. Logo is simple and recognizable, and they look both practical and somewhat threatening. Also, as Jessie and James proved, swapping the colors around for black-gloves-on-white-uniform is just as neat. I have seriously nothing bad to say about these classy peeps.

Grunts: 10/10

Team Rocket seems to have two tiers of executives - those that just wear fancier versions of the usual grunt uniforms, and those who get the inverted white models. Proton and Petrel are of the former, and they're pretty cool I guess. Not sure why Proton has gloves that go up past his elbows, though. One criticism I would give is that the orange and yellow lines, while not offensive, seem to kind of go against Rocket's monochromatic stylings - everybody else only uses black, white, and that trademark Rocket Red. Still, rather sharp outfits. Petrel gets the edge because of his cool hair and "as if I give a crap" swagger.

Proton: 7/10
Petrel: 8/10

With the top-level executives, we're back to the basic colors, but inverted - to show that they run this shit. there's a fan theory that Ariana is the mother of Mars (of Team Plasma) and the Rival (of gold/silver), and while there's nothing going for it aside from hairstyles, I'm willing to entertain it. Having an absent mom who is a crime boss explains why your Rival is such a little pissant.

Anyway, these two look great. They sport their R's on little breast-patches, as does the Big Boss himself, and share his look of a suit-coat with no lapels or tie. It's an odd, minimalist choice that I really like. The only thing "wrong" here, is that Ariana has a diamond on her pelvis for no reason.

Ariana: 9/10
Archer: 10/10

As for Giovanni, we all know he's a badass. I docked him points as a Gym Leader for not reppin' his Element, but as the boss of Team Rocket he's amazing. Refer to my older review here, but also remember I was looking at him through a different lens then.

Giovanni: 10/10

Anyway, the team as a whole feels very cohesive, and is probably the best Evil Team in the entire series. They come back for a rematch in the second generation, and it's just great fun beating them down a second time. I appreciate how their motivation was just "make money", because that's what a mafia-style criminal organization does. If you commit crimes in the name of your ideals, you're probably a terrorist or a politician.

Team Rocket Overall: 10/10

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Worst 25 Pokemon of All Time

This is it. This is what this blog was founded on. Some Pokemon are really aces, you guys. They're cool or cute or badass or whatever!

Then you get some that are blights on the face of mankind. Specimens so awful, it's a wonder they were ever brought into the daylight. Horrific fusions of poor taste and misplaced design goals, I despite every single one of them with an unhealthy passion. But all that hate eats you up inside. And so, with this, I consider it case closed, I feel merely pity -

Sadly, not all Pokemon are created equal.

25. Barboach
24. Cherrim
23. Druddigon
22. Barbaracle
21. Phione
20. Smoochum
19. Rhyperior
18. Burmy
17. Garbodor
16. Kyurem
15. Mime Jr.
14. Cherubi
13. Staravia
12. Mothim
11. Azurill
10. Sigilyph
9. Wormadam
8. Drapion
7. Mega Manectric
6. Mega Aerodactyl
5. Tranquil
4. Uxie
3. Zygarde
2. Klefki
1. Dunsparce

Now, how about you? I'm sure you have a shit-list. Give me your bottom 10s!

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Top 25 Favorite Pokemon of All Time

As I was going through these individual type rankings, I realized my opinions of certain Pokemon had... shifted a bit, from when I wrote the review. I ranked them according to their written score, but sometimes I wished I had given this one a 10 instead of a 9, or that this guy wasn't really a 9, more like an 8, etc.

So, I figured I may as well do one last shout-out to all my Poke-homies. This will be a fresh ranking, from a fresh state of mind, that may or may not agree with my previous cumulative Top 10 lists, or reflect the exact score I gave each Pokemon.

Basically, it's my excuse to just say "screw it" to the past 5 years of data and give a completely emotion-based ranking off the top of my head, while everything is still fresh in my mind.

25. Gardevoir
24. Scizor
23. Magmar
22. Torterra
21. Deoxys
20. Scolipede
19. Gengar
18. Shiftry
17. Krookodile
16. Luxray
15. Kingler
14. Metagross
13. Cofagrigus
12. Typhlosion
11. Scyther
10. Blaziken
9.  Donphan
8. Galvaltula
7. Pinsir
6. Starmie
5. Cacturne
4. Blastoise
3. Machamp
2. Heracross
1. Haunter

So, how about you? You don't have to rattle off all 25, but at least give me a top 10 all-time favorites.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Best (and Worst) Ghost-Type Pokemon

Saving the best for last, it's the ghosts with the most, my favorite type of all. They aren't many, but there amount of quality is super-high. And of course, it ends with my all-time reigning world champion favorite, Haunter, at the big #1 spot.

10. Mega Banette
9. Pumpkaboo
8. Chandelure
7. Aegislash
6. Sableye
5. Duskull
4. Shedinja
3. Gengar
2. Cofagrigus
1. Haunter

And like I said, there's just so few BAD ones. A bottom 5 is pretty much all I can do.

5. Gourgeist
4. Spiritomb
3. Drifloon
2. Doublade
1. Dusknoir

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Best (and Worst) Dark-Type Pokemon

Dark, as a sub-type, is like butter. It makes everything better. I didn't think I would consider it one of my favorite types, and I don't particularly like the Dark elements of it, but it just seems that the sort of Pokemon that gets ascribed a Dark sub-type, just has enough of that edge to be really badass and cool.

10. Krookodile
9. Pangoro
8. Tyranitar
7. Houndour
6. Sableye
5. Weavile
4. Sharpedo
3. Shiftry
2. Sneasel
1. Cacturne

In fact, there's just not that many bad Dark types. I stopped the list at 8, because any more and I'd be dipping into 5/10s and I just don't think that score belongs on a bottom anything.

8. Bisharp
7. Mega Tyranitar
6. Mega Gyarados
5. Spiritomb
4. Mightyena
3. Scraggy
2. Skuntank
1. Drapion