Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 14)
Toerags, Titanics and thunderous crying – it’s a pretty diverse range of emotions below, to match the pretty diverse range of Pokémon available to you in the Hoenn region. Don’t count your chickens now, because there’s still a zillion water Pokémon to get through in the Hoenn Dex. And in later regions, we obviously have to acquaint ourselves with the fact that there are rubbish bags, ice creams and carkeys all vying for a spot on our team. Next to guys like those, your Minuns and your Volbeats don’t look so bad, do they…? Ah, don’t answer that.
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 11)
This bumper edition of the now universally famous Pokémon Team piece brings us to the end of the Johto times, before Game Freak ushered in the Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald era with a blaze of trumpets. It is 100% nostalgia talking and it makes me a damn fool, but for me, Generation II of Pokémon brought with them the last truly great games in the series – it’s been, not downhill ever since but it’s been a bit of a lower plateau, and I don’t mean the Indigo one. The villains were still a bit sinister, there was that sense of mystery as the internet wasn’t ubiquitous, and it even bundled Kanto into the bargain. For Generation VIII, Game Freak, you give me a massive Pokémon world with non-linearity, at least 16 badges to earn and maybe even the ability to visit one or two previous regions. Then I just might be interested!
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 10)
It turns out that Pokémon Sword, Shield and Battering Ram won’t have all 1,000 or so Pokémon available to catch, and the nerds don’t like it one bit. I don’t like it either, because it means my favourite Pokémon, Chatot, is almost certainly for the chop. My decision to buy the game may very well rest on whether a wise-cracking 3D parrot makes it into the game. If he doesn’t, then unfortunately Game Freak have lost themselves a customer this time round – and you can picture me as Homer Simpson, shouting that to Moe at the height of the Flaming Moe craze. The real question is, how many of the forgotten Johto boys, girls and Shuckles will make it over?
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 9)
You may already know this, but fairly recently an old prototype of what would go on to be Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal was found and shared on the internet for the world’s Pokéanoraks (that’s me and you) to enjoy. In there, you had a whole host of Pokémon designs that never saw the light of day, including pre-evolutions for Meowth, Vulpix, Doduo and more. There was a kind of metal condom Pokémon that was allegedly Ditto’s evolution. And you won’t believe what Porygon2 was slated to look like.
Some of the Pokémon below were present in that beta prototype, with some surreal changes. There was a poison Umbreon, a Girafarig that really did look like CatDog, and Wobbuffet never happened. Can you imagine a reality like that, with no Wobbuffet? That would have solved all of our problems.
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Pokémon Stadium (2000)
One thing that always amazed me about the Pokémon series is that, for all the controversy it garnered from things like causing seizures or being satanic or requiring you to buy 50 games to catch ‘em all, nobody ever really seemed to care that it was essentially about pitting two cute animals into a fight to the finish with each other.
I think it’s rather easy to draw comparisons with Pokémon and that film Amores Perros – if you want to become a serious, competitive Pokémon battler, then you’ll be doing much the same thing as those vicious muchachos: breeding Mons in foul conditions, slaughtering those whose genes won’t quite cut it, drugging up the best monster you have and forcing it to battle almost from the moment it’s born. If it wins, great: you get the plaudits while the beast gets the larrups. If it loses… the slaughter begins anew.
Continue reading “If your Growlithe doesn’t tear children apart on sight, then forget about it”
Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 8)
As we make more headway through the Gold and Silver part of our irreverent Pokémon review, we finish off some babies, which sadly isn’t as violent as I’ve made it sound; we take a nature-themed turn and see how a cotton plant, a sunflower and a fake tree hold up in battle; and finally, Pokémon gets an honest-to-God green frog as part of its lineup. Which is great and all, but when’s the quokka Pokémon due?
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 6)
It’s the denouement of the Kanto leg of our quest for a world-beating Pokémon team. And get this – we’re getting so desperate at this stage that we’re looking at reviving fossils and lumping them all together into a Jurassic All-Star team. How desperate is that?! But it’s not all bad news – we’ve got all of the Legendaries of the Kanto region here, waiting for due inspection, and they’re bound to be quite powerful. It’s a bit of a scrub move to seriously use a Legendary in your team though, don’t you think? Well, be that as it may, if you didn’t put Mewtwo at the very top of your lineup back in the day, you were guaranteed trouble. You were just asking to be taken down to the basement, Pulp Fiction style, and left to wait there, bound and gagged, until the gimp came out. Mewtwo was the gimp, and frighteningly good at what he did.
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 5)
If you haven’t already put your best six Kanto hardnuts together, a team tough enough to take the region by storm and literally impress the knickers off Lorelei from the Elite Four, then you’re quickly running out of options. The below list of Pokémon awaiting judgment and possible selection for your team takes us through the eons, quite literally in fact. This week’s list features Magikarps, Magmars and mantises. And it’s book-ended by a mime and a… dodecahedron. Only in Pokémon.
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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 4)
We’re through the looking-glass now. The original 151 Pokémon are considered iconic, but there’s a few monsters on here that you won’t have remembered until pointed out to you. Seaking, I’m talking about Seaking here. Maybe Seadra too, since it’s been overshadowed by its evolution. You couldn’t move for the Normal, Water and Poison types in Gen 1, you know. But if you wanted a Ghost or a Dragon type? A viable Bug type? A Rock type that could stand up to Water Gun? Stop fooling around. Continue reading “Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 4)”
Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 3)
We really ought to be frank here. I’m trying to weigh up all of these Generation 1 options for a Pokémon team, and provide you with six of the best. But two of those slots are always going to be taken up by Mewtwo and Charizard, aren’t they? They automatically rank as the coolest, and you’d risk dreadful social embarrassment if you left these two out. The other starters and the legendary birds will probably get first refusal after these guys as well. And rounding it off is Mew if you’ve got a bit of flair, Snorlax if you don’t, and Gengar is there to fill in any remaining gaps. Stacked up against all of these odds, an overlarge seal and a bunch of magnets aren’t really going to register, are they?
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