Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 23)
It doesn’t come as a surprise anymore that the Legendary Pokémon are so numerous that I have to divide them up into two separate parts. As I’ve said before, if every Pokémon is legendary, then none of them are, although you at least make sure to catch the one that appears on your version’s box art. That’s usually the easiest way of making yourself a battling god.
And speaking of god, if you’re a very talented trainer, by which I mean you’re either able to time travel back to 2007 when Nintendo events were being held, or if you had a flash cart and were good at hacking, then you could quite literally catch god, as you will see below. No, not the god of application forms or interior design or anything small-time like that, we’re talking about the god of everything. How overpowered is that?
Like cabinet ministers, whenever there’s a new body of jokers around, or legendary Pokémon to give them their proper titles, then every one of them is assigned a certain role. Dialga here is assigned as the guardian of time. I thought that was supposed to be Link? I know it’s not me, I take being fashionably late as a mantra, especially when it comes to online work meetings. Of course Dialga’s stats are formidable, and if you can recover from the shame of using legendaries in battle, then by all means do so. You may never get another “time” to shine.
The pearly counterpart to Dialga, Palkia here is supposed to represent space. Well, given that it’s somewhat phallic looking, maybe it demonstrates its custodianship of space by showing men how to pee straight? I’m sorry but I think this thing loses out to Dialga in every respect. Similar stats obviously, but more willy looking, a worse cry, an inferior colour scheme – it’s really those things that count, and Palkia comes up wanting. I can’t see you making “space” for this on your team, not when the 50 other Legendaries of Sinnoh could be on there.
When you have all these Legendaries in one game, some of them are going to be duds, and I’m afraid I have Heatran down as a dud. It’s not entirely without merit, don’t get me wrong. I do like its unique Fire and Steel typing. And obviously it’ll have good stats as a Legendary. But I don’t see what story relevance it has, or what makes it stand out. It’s just kind of… there. It even has a male/female split, which you don’t typically expect of a Legendary. But actually it’s worse than that. The design is, well, I’ve probably exhausted the number of times I’ve said ‘derpy’, but I’m not wowed either, let’s just say. I don’t think Heatran is all that far away from Digimon, of one of the many monster-capturing rip-offs from Pokémon’s heyday. I’m sorry, but even if Legendaries were allowed in your battle, I don’t think you could send Heatran in without getting laughed at.
We’re all guilty of occasionally (or frequently) taking too long to get out of bed in the mornings. Well, that’s a bit presumptuous of me; perhaps you’re an achiever, a go-getter, not a dosser like me. Well, here’s one other dosser in Regigigas, another in the long line of completely unnecessary legendary Pokémon. His three sons or nephews or cousin-rocks or whatever were fine, if a little weird. But Regigigas is most famous for having an “Ability” that keeps its stats low for the first five turns it’s out in battle. Obviously it cleans house after those five turns are up, but Garchomp will have swallowed it up in five turns, for God’s sake. Gallade would have, Pachirisu would have, even coastal erosion would have made some progress. Regigigas can go on and on making excuses about how much weight he has to lug around, but five turns of being helpless is no use to me, lad.
This ungodly beast can step to you in Origin Forme, or Altered Forme, which realistically doesn’t make too much of a difference because you’re gonna be dead in a flash anyway. It’s like those American assault rifles that fire both bullets and grenades – the only question you can answer is, would you like to die fast, or turbo-fast? No bullets necessary for Giratina, I imagine it would instead rip your mind apart with some unseen, mindbending attack, like Giygas from EarthBound, something that you cannot even grasp the Forme of. Giratina’s the Pokémon Platinum mascot of course, and the head of the space-time duo Palkia and Dialga. That always makes me think of Moe smacking Larry and Curley’s heads together when they’ve done something wrong. Pretty powerful entity then. But is it just me, or does Giratina sound like a little girl’s name? Not too befitting of the lord of all dimensions, or whatever the hell that upside-down place was in Platinum. Do you think the other Legendaries laugh at Giratina behind its back…?
Cresselia is the bringer of pleasant dreams, even if you’ll be on the verge of nightmares and tears trying to track it down. Now at this point I could start going into dizzying detail about my own dreams, but is there anything more boring and depressing than feigning interest in someone else’s dream? I don’t know how guidance counsellors do it. Anyway the best dreams I ever had were wet, but enough about all that. Cresselia is one of those Pokémon that looks all serene and majestic but then before you know it, it’s completely snapped your mind and you’re left in a demented state. Because there’s a bit of good in Cresselia, though, she’ll make sure you’re one of those blissful, mindlessly smiling, away-with-the-fairies type victims, rather than a lobotomised husk. That’s awful nice of her, isn’t it? If you want to break your opponent’s brain even more, then try to employ Cresselia on a full moon, she really turns into a lunatic then.
Well I didn’t expect this. Just when I thought Manaphy was a waste of time, it redeems itself by being the only Pokémon of the series with a lovechild. You’ll read about Manaphy in the next entry, but whoever heard of Legendary Pokémon breeding? Maybe you could say Mew also spread its seed in Mewtwo (careful now), but that’s getting into grim, Poké-Fritzl territory. Being that its the bastard offspring, Phione is a bit weaker, a bit smaller, a bit more irrelevant than Manaphy. It’ll also never grow up to be like Manaphy, which means that even if you were allowed to use the pair in battle, you’d hardly pick the whodunnit child would you? Just like some men need prostitutes, some Pokémon need a Ditto every now and then. Inevitably, they’ll occasionally get sad, unwanted results like Phione.
Here’s the culprit right here, the horniest little blob of water around. Manaphy is the Mew equivalent of Generation 4, and is also allegedly the guardian of the seas. I thought Kyogre did that? And he looks a lot better doing it than Manaphy, too. You couldn’t take Manaphy out in extreme weather in case he froze, or evaporated, or got covered in yellow snow. He’s strong, like all mythical Pokémon, there’s no question on that. And of course I can admit that he’s cute. I suspect though, if you did throw him into battle, that Manaphy’s mind would be less on the job at hand, and more on the Lopunny or Tsareena in front of him. Or perhaps in his more depraved mornings, a particularly pudgy Jynx on the other side of the field. I can sympathise with Manaphy there though – sometimes the thirst is a real motivation killer.
Some cars just look fast, some people just look dangerous, and some Pokémon just look deadly, and for Darkrai it’s all three. Everything about Darkrai is the business – it looks brilliant, it’s tough as all hell in battle and it looks both cool and intimidating. Even the lore is great – Darkrai excels at giving nightmares to its opponents. Remember the last nightmare you had? Perhaps you woke up in a sweaty mess? At Darkrai’s pleasure, it’ll give you these dreadful nightmares for life. For me, and for a disconcerting number of people out there, a common nightmare is having your big exam tomorrow and realising you haven’t studied. Well, Darkrai can make you relive that every night, or other horrifying visions right the way up to decapitation by giant jumping spider. How does he know that’s what gets me?! Take Darkrai into battle, and not only will you win, but your now ghostly pale, shaking opponent won’t want a rematch either.
Seeing a hedgehog take two distinct forms like this really does put me in the mind of a long overdue Sonic the Hedgehog Pokémon. Shaymin’s cute little hedgehog Land Forme is Sonic in the classic days – appealing to everyone but surprisingly tough, hardy and capable. Shaymin’s Sky Forme is the modern, 3D incarnation of Sonic. Yes, it may be bigger, more dynamic, more modern looking. But it’ll fall flat on its face or prove difficult to control or just otherwise not look anywhere near as good as his peers. If I were you I’d just revert back to its wee Land Forme and forget about everything that came after. In fact, scratch that – Shaymin’s reputation is probably so far in the gutter at this stage that you’re probably best off just ignoring it altogether, and lamenting what could have been. Does anyone know what the point of this thing is?
OK, we were already getting a little ridiculous with the Legendaries, the amount of them and what each of them do. You start to imagine an assembly scene taking place, with talking Meowth as the foreman. “Ruler of space, please, ruler of space? Palkia, is it? Step into Line B please. Now, who controls nightmares? Darkrai? You’re in Line A”. But Arceus, we are told, is God. Not “a” god, or a deity of nature or a patron saint of rock formations, but the God of all Pokémon, life and creation. How on earth can I properly critique God? Where would I get off, trying to do a thing like that? I suppose what I can say, before I am smote by the holy lightning, is that its stats while tremendously consistent, aren’t completely out of this world. I also thought He, She or It would have a much more impressive beard. Arceus has plenty of different looks though, which it can show off by wearing special Plates that changes its typing into whatever you need. And here I thought that I was the God of style…
To Be Continued!