Saturday, December 10, 2016

No. 736: Grubbin

Isn't this guy a Pikmin enemy?

I feel like Grubbin could be some Chinese delicacy - like you pick them up by the jaws, and then bite the soft body. I'm imagining they're like the side of a Jolly Rancher in this scenario.

Alternatively, maybe there's some weird trend where people clip Grubbin onto their noses or navels or ears or whatever, or at least imitation jewelry.

Why am I coming up with bizzare uses for Grubbin? Because he's rather boring otherwise and I needed to fill the space. Not bad, just dull. At least he isn't another caterpillar, being a big-jaw bug gives him a slight edge over Caterpie, Wurmple, Scatterbug, and their ilk. And those sideways mouth-parts are neat.

Overall: 5/10

Friday, December 9, 2016

No. 735: Gumshoos


But, Gumshoos has no relation. He's supposed to be like a detective, hence the name. I think the hair is supposed to look like a cap? And the weird fur is supposed to look like the lapels of an overcoat?

I don't know, it's all very weird and feels like they're trying to reference some specific fictional detective, but all the ones I know either wear fedoras, or Sherlock Holmes hats. None of this stupid driver cap bullshit. Maybe I'm just missing the reference? The most famous detective in Japanese culture I thought was Inspector Zenigata, characterized by the coat yes, but also a fedora and enormous cleft chin.

All in all, Gumshoos feels like an awkward joke that lingers in the air and everyone just has to chuckle as if they thought it was funny so nobody's feelings get hurt but at the same time don't want to encourage more jokes like that in the future.

Overall: 1/10

Thursday, December 8, 2016

No. 734: Yungoos


Didn't we already have a mongoose Pokemon? was this well really so deep we could draw from it a second time? Especially considering we already have a handful of weasel/ferret things already.

The focus on the teeth is a new angle I guess, but I don't really like the way the face is constructed - it feels super flat, or fake like a stuffed animal.

I ask this every time, but especially in a game with a new form of Rattata - why did we need a new regional rodent? Couldn't Alolan Rattata have sufficed? Yungoos looks stupid and an admittedly neat Stakeout ability doesn't even start to remotely make sense until his evolved form.

Overall: 2/10

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

No. 733: Toucannon

turns out every color of Froot-Loop is actually the exact same flavor.

After a poor start, I wasn't expecting much from this line. But then, descending from the heavens like my own personally big-beaked savior, came Toucannon. He's angry as a hell and twice as pissed.

And unlike Trumbeak, he benefits from the animation - his beak actually changes colors as it powers-up, looking like a super meter charging. It fits great for his very unique personal move, Beak Blast, which goes last but burns anyone who makes contact with him before that. 100 power is great, and while it sucks to take a hit, you get to burn the opponent out of it! As a Flying type! How often does that happen!?

It's a great gimmicky move (I pair it with Drill Peck to get some immediate attack power if I can't afford to tank anything) and he still retains his decent movepool from before.

Plus (and I cannot emphasize this enough) he is goddamn livid 100% of the time. Maybe he hates his previous forms, maybe he hates Alola, maybe he hates YOU, I have no idea but it's amazing.

Overall: 10/10

Monday, December 5, 2016

No. 732: Trumbeak

is this bird wearing lipstick

I ended up actually using my Trumbeak somewhat, because he learned Brick Break and some other move, ending up with quite a bit of versatility. And also because, in an effort to only build a team around new Pokemon, there's slim pickings on the first island.

But I mentioned before that I'm going to start taking a Pokemon's animations into account, since they are no longer designed to communicate everything about them in one still image. And usually that means better things, you can see their gimmicks or design facets that weren't apparent.

But Trumbeak actually gets worse with animations - I've never seen a bird pucker up and blow a kiss before, but now I have and it's goofy as hell. Beaks don't work that way, and if you wanted him to have a trumpet for a beak then maybe just make it like that from the start. Have we had any pokemon that are made to look like musical instruments before? Might be neat, actually.

Anyway, Trumbeak had a chance to stand out a bit from the rest of his filthy avian cousins by pushing the woodpecker theme, but instead of getting a drill beak he flaps that thing open and plays a tune. Well, he may as well play his own funeral march because he is dead to me now.

Overall: 1/10

Sunday, December 4, 2016

No. 731: Pikipek

I was gonna try and type out the Woody Woodpecker laugh, but it would just come across as gibberish. You'll have to imagine it yourself.

New region, new piece of crap bird. It never changes. Kinda looks like those little cardinals that are all over Hawai'i, so that's nice, but in the end nobody has any reason to give a single shit about this little dude if it weren't for his evolutions.

So instead, I'll just take this opportunity to point out another mounting problem with Pokemon. Back in Gen 4 we complained about them being over-designed, but these days we're seeing a different sort of under-designed aspect, where they make the pokemon exceedingly simple for the modelers/engine.

The fur and feathers get simplified into smooth little spikes or flaps, it's the clay-style I was talking about earlier with Popplio. Granted, this re-designed Pikipek is still super boring because it's just another bird, but it looks as if the artist was at least trying.

Overall: 2/10

Pokemon Moon First Thoughts vol. 6

Finished the game! Or at least beat the Elite Four and saw the credits.

-I can't believe I got into a Pokemon game's plot so much that I don't want to give away spoilers! Somebody, give the people in charge of story/writing a raise, they were putting in work. I felt connected to the major characters, and even the minor ones showing up at the end for the big party was cool.

-Speaking of, they did a great job handling the box Legendary this time around, though it would've been even cooler to get Nebby in your actual party, and restrict its evolution to storyline events.

-I've got some opinions on the Elite 4 themselves, but I'll save that for when we get to rating them, after the Alolan pokemon are done.

-Odd choice for Victory Road (Grand Poni Canton in this case) not to take place directly before the league, but whatever. I walked into that icy cave expecting a major dungeon and was slightly disappointed there weren't any trainers to be found.

-Have I mentioned that it's some ol' bullshit trying to get the version-exclusive colors and clothes? Your trainer customization is already so limited, why screw it up further?

-Overall, this was a great game. I was engaged every step of the way and had a lot of fun. Definitely one of my favorites, going right up there with SoulSilver and Black 2. Would love to see a Moon 2 on the Switch, like the rumors are saying, some sequel that advances the story and lets us see where the characters are in a few years.