Friday, October 2, 2015

Team Galactic of Sinnoh

I'm in no hurry, I hope you don't mind.

Sinnoh is my least favorite region, I think I've made that pretty clear by now, so I've put most of it from my mind. I remembered these guys being from space or something, but I had forgotten the bowl cuts. With that said, they actually look pretty solid. Definitely feels unisex like 60's sci-fi designs, complete with collar and aluminum hose arms. Logo displayed prominently, simplistic colors, yeah these work. Feel a little out-of-place as the uniforms for a human organization in what is close-to-modern day, but whatever.

Grunts: 9/10

The male admins at least continue the color scheme, and apparent "horrible hairstyles" executive mandate. But I dunno about the ribbing on their pants, and Saturn's arms. It worked for the grunts, because the silver suggests robot arms of something, and appeared to be skin-tight. But when you clearly have pants and a turtleneck on? Not feelin' it. Charon just looks disgusted to even be wearing his suit, though, which is probably why he's trying to cover up with a lab coat.

Saturn: 4/10
Charon: 5/10
Mars is looking good. Again, keeping up with the sci-fi motifs, with that Space Station 9 skirt. But Jupiter on the other hand... girl, did something eat part of your leg? What's up with that? You finna model Nina Williams' outfit in the next Tekken? It's just so distracting, two bands of flesh showing up like that. I do want to say that I love the name theme for Team Galactic, though now I can't help but think of Sailor Mars and Sailot Jupiter (best scouts) and now I'm sad that the whole team isn't dressed like that.

Mars: 8/10
Jupiter: 4/10

Goddamn Cyrus is rockin' that emo look. Baggy yet formless pants, straight-jacket looking thing on, and his face all like The Cure. Actually it's a pretty imposing glare, but that life-jacket he's got on, and those pants (which he also is wearing on his arms?) just makes him laughable. This is not what I would have expected from the boss of a kitschy sci-fi organization.

Cyrus: 3/10

I can't be assed to look up Team Galactic's motivations or goals, but as I recall they had some half-baked scheme about capturing legendary Pokemon to destroy the world. Which makes them as stupid as Magma and Aqua, but somehow less dumb, because at least they know they're gonna end the world. In any case, I've never found them particularly memorable, and honestly their outfits were better than I had remembered. Which isn't saying a whole lot.

Overall: 4/10

Friday, September 11, 2015

Team Aqua of New Hoenn

Let's check out Neo Aqua! They also got a redesign, and rebranding.

Well, they're certainly busier, that's for sure. Also looking rough, with those frayed shorts. Except they're wearing tights, and silly boots. Hey, don't those shoes look like the ones Neo Magma wears? Did they buy them at the same store? I like everything until you get below the end of the pants/shorts, I guess. Also - they're brown! Possibly a tan, or maybe it's race-based, like most real-life gangs.

Grunts: 6/10

The admins are completely different. They're wearing what appears to be high-performance wetsuits, except Shelly has "fashionable" holes in hers, and Matt appears to have torn his. Dammit Matt, those things cost money! Also how the ever-loving shit did you get a reverse tan of the Aqua logo on your chest!? And what's happening around the edges of your hairline? Christ, Matt, you're a mess. Did you seriously pump so many steroids your chest and arms exploded out of your suit? I can still see it hanging on around your neck and hands there.

But Shelly, I'm not done with you. I miss the old red-head look, not gonna lie. This Empress Hancock style isn't working for me, nor is the random blue streaks. And at least Matt had the decency to put his logo on his chest, but yours is just lost in the design. If you're supposed to look like pirates, neither of you really succeeded.

Shelly: 2/10
Matt: 1/10

Now we come to the bossman himself, and he's wearing a golden anchor around his neck, like he's Flava Flav or something. And again, we see the confusion - high-tech wetsuit, but a weird frayed skirt-cape? And putting back on the bandanna, as if it's salvageable at this point. Man, this whole team redesign was a mistake.

Archie: 3/10

I like the basic idea here, I think - Magma becomes totalitarian and super-strict, almost Nazi-esque, while Aqua becomes wild and chaotic, like mercenary pirates. That works to differentiate the teams even more, but damn if the designs for Aqua did not pay off. Busy, confused, they're just ugly and only the grunts actually look piratical. Matt certainly looks "wild", but he also looks like he's lost his goddamn mind.

Overall: 2/10

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Team Aqua of Old Hoenn

Yeah, these are coming out slow. I'm in no rush, just kinda killing time until Gen 7 gets announced. Thanks for continuing to read, but I understand if you're done with this, too.

Anyway, it's Team Aqua! The other side of Hoenn's eco-terrorism boom.

I like this look a lot, you guys. Tight striped shirt immediately makes on think of sailors of Frenchmen. As is normal, the female grunt must show some skin. But then she gets to wear pants! That's pretty nice. These guys look mean and piratical, I love the bandannas and simple colors.

Grunts: 10/10

They have some admins as well, though in-game they look nearly identical to the grunts, similar to Magma. Similar as well, nobody cares about Matt, the male admin - but Shelly is surprisingly popular. And for good reason! She's basically Nami before the Timeskip even happened. I love her hair, you don't see much poofy curly hair in Pokemon, or Japanese games at all for that matter. And, she runs with the orange/blue color combo, getting it into her clothes as well. Yoithink of the New York Knicks, she got dat Mango Sentinel goin' on. Anyway, it's great - she looks like a modest Pirate Queen, definitely a rank higher than the grunts.

Shelly: 10/10

Their Boss, Archie, seems to be drawing a big page from Giovanni's wardrobe. What is it with the "wear a suit but no tie" fashion craze? I kinda like how he ain't even wearing a shirt underneath it, though - dude is ready to strip it all off at the drop of a hat. Aside from that, he's pretty boring though. Seen it before.

Archie: 6/10

These guys have a stupid goal, we've covered that. But I like the cut of their jib. The nautical theme works pretty well, even if their leader doesn't do much with it.

Overall: 8/10

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!