Don't Get Me Started: a Pokemon blog

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In which I talk way too much about my favorite topic

Tookie

The Immoral Bard
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Pronouns
He/Him
Dex Entry Tired, beleagured amateur author with an unhealthy addiction to Isekai. He's kinda funny, though!
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He/Him
Pokédex No.
80
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
1,229
Location
Southern England
Nature
Lax
Which sure is ironic considering Unova is theoretically up next.

I know it'd be BW1 instead, but after the fun Ilca had with some of those BDSP trainer sets, man I'd really like to see them get the go ahead for BW2 and bringing back Challenge Mode.
 

ActiveTransport

The Light that Shines in the Darkness
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He/Him
Dex Entry Through Evernight he back was borne...until he heard on strands of pearl, where ends the world, the music long...
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He/Him
Pokédex No.
3654
Caught
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
447
Location
The Bookshelf
Nature
Hardy
When I heard 'flutter mane' i thought of like my little pony, but like. generation one my little pony. And when I heard 'sandy shocks' I thought of the squirrel from spongebob.
LMAO I'm glad I'm not the only one! Sandy Shocks, Sandy Cheeks...easy mistake to make, right?

It's so sad! The scarlet people get 'scream tail' 'brute bonnet' 'great tusks'. and i, a violet person, get 'iron bundle.' 'iron jugulis'. 'iron hands'.
Side note: Iron Bundle is really creepy.
Perhaps not my finest moment, but the very first thought I had upon learning the name of Hariyama's Paradox form was "Somebody's about to catch these iron hands."
 

DIO

🍷 The Invader 🍷
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Pronouns
「 The World 」
Dex Entry A shitposting vampire with all the time in the world matched with a very questionable sense of humour.
Pronouns
「 The World 」
Pokédex No.
156
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
335
Location
Sneed's Feed and Seed (Formerly Chuck's)
Nature
Naughty
Fun fact about the Toedscool line: he is my best friend. Also, he's more than just a Kanto reskin with a funny name. He is actually based on the wood ear mushroom, also known as "tree jellyfish".

As for Maushold, they're based on Sylvanian Families, hence their simplistic design. If you look closely, you can see the stitching and clothing.

The other Pokemon... yeah I agree with you, this generation was exceptionally bad.
 
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Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
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Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Sylvanian Families? What are those?
 
OP
Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Spoiler warning: discussion of my plans going forward with my various Pokemon projects, including some mild Gen 9 spoilers, the most important of which will be spoiler tagged for discretion

So... Pokemon Scurvy is now upon us, and while I haven't finished the game itself, I have looked up the ending spoilers, so I at least have a general idea of what plot threads I want to use where in my various projects. Unfortunately the game has yet to give us a particularly clear explanation as to the cause of the Terastal phenomenon, which was the one thing I needed more information on for my plans with my Secrets of Aetherai series, so at this point I'm seriously considering whether to wait for however many months it takes for the DLC, or just take the plot element and wing it. We've been waiting long enough for the next chapter of Ori's Gift, and given how close we are to the finale of the first part of my PMD Let's Go Eevee storylocke, I kind of want to just push forward with it and blast the consequences. Still, worldbuilding is a very important part of this series (Secrets of Aetherai: Ori's Gift tied for second in Best Worldbuilding in a Written Run in the 2021 Extravaganza, after all), so I want to make sure I get it all right. So as of this writing, I'm not really sure which direction I'll go in.

I will say that if I have to prioritize which Aetherai fic to work on first, it'd probably be What Once Was Mine, because that one doesn't need as much Gen 9 knowledge to get back into. Also I really like setting up the political intrigue and Goldie's whole backstory thing; that Farfetch'd is easily becoming one of my favorite nuzlocke characters to get into the head of.

The Daily Conspiracy Pokedex will continue so long as I have the time and energy to write Pokedex entries, and I hope to complete the 'Kanto dex' before I start posting chapters of my Pokemon Tantalum project. Which, incidentally, is no longer going to be called Pokemon Tantalum, but I'm keeping its current name under wraps in case I change my mind again. Which is something I have a habit of doing for projects; my upcoming Omega Ruby navlocke sequel to my Let's Go Eevee storylocke series has gone through so many name changes that I've been afraid to call it by name whenever mentioning it for fear that I'll only change it again. I'm pretty sure that what I've currently got planned for it will be the final story titles, but man plans and God laughs. I suspect sometimes He cries.

The one project that I definitely hope to continue at least in part in this coming month is adding new chapters for A Trace of Magic: Seeing Red. Unfortunately, between the holiday season and other real-world issues like my health and my family, I cannot guarantee anything on this front, just that I know what I want to write and I hope to write it. As much as I've enjoyed Seeing Red, the plain facts are that a triple datalocke does take an awful lot of time to complete gameplay-wise, and I haven't really been feeling writing the story recently, but I don't want to outright abandon the tale. I would like to update the Datalocke ruleset in keeping with the recently released Paldea Pokedex and the new information we've gained from it before I play any further in my datalockes (including The Atrocity), but it's going to take a lot of time and energy to do so, and energy is definitely a finite resource on my end.

I've mentioned earlier this year during WIP Wednesdays that I've been working on a Sonic the Hedgehog story concept that serves as a continuation/soft reboot of the old Saturday morning 'SatAM' cartoon that ran two seasons, got canceled on a cliffhanger, and continues to have a fervent fanbase to this day. I was largely inspired by the DuckTales reboot, which actually kicked SatAM out of its spot as my favorite cartoon series of all time, and I hope to do what DuckTales did and capture not only the spirit of SatAM itself, but the entire Sonic franchise, as weird and wacky and (sometimes) wonderful as it is. This will probably be seen as a departure from the core SatAM series in some way, but it's the direction I feel that Sonic deserves. I'm not yet certain what form exactly the series will take (I've been writing out a plot transcript but I don't know if it'd be quite as interesting a tale expressed as such), but it's been a fun mental exercise. (Now I just need to get myself to actually watch the two recent theatrical films.)

I have every intention of completing the Johto anime rewrite at some point in time (I'm going to get a bit more creative with Morty's team, since there are literally two Ghost lines to work with in Gen 2 and I don't want to bloat the team with the entire Gastly line). I'm not sure how far I'll go on Pokemon Adventures Randomized, but I at least want to complete the Red chapter somehow. It's not particularly difficult to write or anything; it's just something I write when I want to write something but don't really feel like thinking too hard. I have a concept for a series of fakemon (mostly regional forms) based around the Kingdom Hearts series, although I'd prefer to prioritize working on 'Pokemon Tantalum' mons before I start any new major Pokedex projects. And I do plan on writing more blog articles regarding my feelings on Gen 9 thus far, hopefully including an article on my love-hate relationship with options in games (yes, that is a real thing that I have because I suffer from decision paralysis).

I'd write a conclusion but my arm hurts from carrying about 300-400 dollars worth of books on drawing that I got for 75 dollars and can't use immediately because my arm hurts from carrying them, so I'll just say smell y'all later, and God bless you all! (Even those of you who hate me, who probably aren't even reading this, but whatever.)
 

Tookie

The Immoral Bard
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Pronouns
He/Him
Dex Entry Tired, beleagured amateur author with an unhealthy addiction to Isekai. He's kinda funny, though!
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokédex No.
80
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
1,229
Location
Southern England
Nature
Lax
Sylvanian Families? What are those?

they're a range of collectible animal figures that go in toy houses, i didn't clock that until the name popped up (it's been a while) but now it has, i can absolutely see it

5054131041215.PT01_uk.jpg
 
OP
Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
That... that's so adorable!
 
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Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
So here's something a little different today: my reaction to the latest Mario movie trailer.

So the second Mario movie trailer has dropped, and quite honestly, I have mixed feelings about it. The one thing that I really think is excellent is Charlie Day as Luigi, but the rest of it... well, I have opinions, and since you enjoyed reading my opinions during the Annual Trollkitten Thanksgiving Roast, I feel more comfortable sharing these opinions with you now.

First off, the Thwomp in the room (man, I don't know enough Mario lore to tell what they have for elephants). The characterization. I've mentioned that Charlie Day as Luigi was the high point of this trailer for me, and that's largely because Charlie Day does an excellent job of, well, being Luigi. (Especially in the face of Bowser the holy terror.) Mario and Peach, on the other hand, I'm not really feeling their characters, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the voice actors playing them and much more to do with... well, the way the script portrays them.

Look, I understand completely wanting to make a more proactive Peach. Much has been said about the 'damsel in distress' trope and how it affects society's view on women, and I won't repeat it all here. I'm just saying that it feels weird to see Princess Peach stride into battle holding an axe so soon after Mario gets his face pounded in by Donkey Kong, because neither of those images really work for the characters of Mario and Peach as we know them. And sure, I entirely understand that if this is an 'origin story' for Mario, and at this point in the canon Mario is just this random plumber who gets isekai'd into a fantasy world full of great apes and killer turtles, so of course a random plumber off the streets of Brooklyn isn't going to be the perfect badass that is Mario as we know him from the games, but it still doesn't really gel well to see Mario as that incompetent. Granted, if he started out the movie being insanely good at everything, there wouldn't be much in the way of stakes (there's a reason Mary Sues are infamous in internet fanbases), but this still feels like a step too far in the other direction, and the trailer seems a bit too leaning into the politically correct stereotypes of men as useless and the female characters having to pull all the weight.

But gender issues aside, the main thing that gets me about this trailer from a storytelling standpoint is -- and you're not going to expect this coming from me of all people -- the level of fanservice. To be clear, I am not against any and all fanservice. Fanservice is good when it works well. What I'm concerned about is the sheer amount of fanservice we've seen in this trailer, and the reason it concerns me is because as of this moment, we have no idea how well this fanservice will actually mesh with the narrative. A colosseum where Mario fights Donkey Kong? A bunch of platforms all over the Mushroom Kingdom? A literal Mario Kart sequence complete with Rainbow Road? At this point I wouldn't be surprised if the Koopalings suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Like I've said, this sort of fanservice isn't bad in and of itself, but the way it was presented in this trailer doesn't exactly fill me with confidence that any of it is necessary. How does including Mario Kart or the Kong battle actually affect the plot? We don't know, and given that this is Illumination doing the movie and we know how Illumination movies go (as much as I enjoyed Sing 2, the plot made absolutely no sense whatsoever), and Mario in general is not known for its focus on well-told stories, somehow I don't trust them to not just fill the movie with fanservice that does absolutely nothing for the plot.

Then again, given that I'm kind of the poster child for 'too much worldbuilding' (which is an actual criticism I once received on Secrets of Aetherai: Ori's Gift), I suppose either I'm in no position to judge, or I'm in plenty position to judge because it takes one to know one.
 
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Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Gen 9 spoiler alert: all Gen 9 spoilers in this article have been hidden under spoiler tags.

So voter registration has begun for the Nuzforums 2022 Extravaganza, and I'm really... well, not feeling it. Not saying that we shouldn't have an Extravaganza at all, but it just feels really empty to me. Like, should I really judge mine and others' work from a mere popularity contest? Some runs are really good but really niche, in that people who like that sort of content will enjoy it but those that don't won't even click on them, so is the lowest common denominator really the best way to judge a run's quality?

But then, I really like The Last Jedi despite it having flaws you can fly the Millennium Falcon through, so who am I to judge?

Anyway. Kind of ironic that I did a State of the Trollkit detailing my project plans (well, more like project hopes and dreams) and then sort of fell off the face of the forums the week after. Now, don't get me wrong -- I still have dreams, and I still don't want them to stay as dreams forever. But my health issues persist, and they're affecting my productivity and forcing me to think about what I really want to prioritize with my limited energy levels. (I have spent at least the past week or so too sick to play video games. VIDEO GAMES.) At least there's finally an end date for Ori's Gift, and the tale of the Paw Patrol will continue in the second book of the series, Through A Glass Darkly. Which I am half making up as I go along.

I do plan on utilizing a certain group of Pokemon from Gen 9 in Through A Glass Darkly, which I will not name because they're spoilers for the story as well as spoilers for Gen 9 itself. But I needed to choose a species to fill a certain NPC role and I chose one of my favorites in the entire Gen 9 dex, and one thing led to another and now I have four new characters to develop personalities and motivations for. This ought to be fun!

I haven't written a review of Pokemon Scurvy yet because I haven't finished the game yet, or even played it for at least the past two weeks. The one thing about this game that keeps it from being what I'd consider a great game is the abysmal lack of clearly defined level recommendations for each boss. I've had some fun times bullshitting my way through ridiculous challenges (which are a big part of this game's charm), but when that's counteracted by missing lower-leveled fights and having them be a cakewalk because your mons are so strong, that doesn't exactly encourage me to knock off those last few gyms. A game without challenge to it just isn't as engaging (as I'm sure we nuzlockers can attest to), and that's the downside to not knowing what level a boss is before taking it on. (The story is really good, though -- by Pokemon game standards, at least; it easily ranks among my favorite Pokemon main game stories.) I'm just grateful that my one peeve about Scurvy's gameplay is something that's easily alleviated by looking up a guide online. Well, that and the glitches, but glitches can be patched.

The latest trailer for LumenTale dropped on Wednesday, and the thing that stood out most to me was the reveal of the main character, who actually isn't the red-haired boy Ales, but the dark-haired cyborg Trey, which should raise a few eyebrows to those who played Pokemon Xenoverse (by the same developers) to the end. Without spoiling anything, Xenoverse's Trey was a major character in the plot, and the way his storyline ended, it's highly unlikely that this is somehow the same Trey as in Xenoverse... but I'm still excited to see how this Trey's adventure plays out. Hopefully this time it won't blow up in his face. (Yes, I went there.)



Also of note, 4v4 battles are now confirmed to be a thing in LumenTale, which will make nuzlocke runs... interesting at the very least, and some may make special rules regarding such. And I want an Ozelash, because that is exactly how to make an excellent Electric-type cat without ripping off Luxray (I'm looking at you, PalWorld, I saw what you did there).

Pokemon Showdown now has Gen 9 random battles available, and all I can say is, I now know why that one ghost with that one move was banned, because I've been on the receiving end of it. Last Respects? You mean No Respects, because I have no respect whatsoever for Houndstone after that. And Greavard was so cute, too, especially while dancing its little heart out at Ryme's gym. Also, Scovillain is aptly named because anything with Moody, Leftovers, Protect, Substitute, and Leech Seed is going straight to Hell. You can't even beat it with Grass types because it also carries Flamethrower.

A teaser for the new Scurvy anime has been revealed, and surprise surprise, Ash Ketchum is not the main character this time! Not really sure how I feel about this, but it'll be interesting seeing how the new protagonist(s) play out. Just, please, let this anime be better than Journeys. I have nothing against Goh as a character, but he might have been received better had he debuted in a show with actual production values.

I've been watching HeroVoltsy's Let's Play of Pokemon The First Journey: Red's Journey West, which is technically postgame for Pokemon The First Journey (which is one of the fangames that inspired A Trace of Magic: Seeing Red). Thus far as I've watched, this postgame is a mixed bag of quality compared to the main game. While not much in the main campaign of The First Journey felt unnecessary or out of place, Red's Journey West has several unskippable sequences that feel tacked on, don't add anything to the plot, and oftentimes seem to exist merely to drive the point home to the player that this world sucks. The most egregious probably being the time when Red is, for no good reason, forced to work at a restaurant delivering five plates to hungry sailors on a time limit, but you don't know which plate goes to which sailor, so it's a matter of trial and error. It certainly doesn't help that the manager is a jerk and refuses to even pay you. And don't even get me started on the 'toilet paper quest' early in the game, which had no good reason to exist and probably shouldn't have. (Don't ask. You don't want to know. Trust me.) The game isn't all bad, and has an interesting gameplay concept in that you start out with a Shuckle versus gym leader Chuck and have to work through the game with limited resources and without access to Poke Marts, but it's definitely a mixed bag in the plot department (I can only assume that Team Hair is an intentional parody of Pokemon evil teams, but any excuse to put Miror B. in a fangame set in a mainline region is by definition a good excuse and I will hear nothing otherwise).

Finally, I shall end this off with a spoilery Gen 9 Pokedex lore question: Why the heck does Brute Bonnet look like a Poke Ball if it comes from an era long before Poke Balls even existed? Is it mimicking a past version of Voltorb, like Hisuian Voltorb? There's gotta be lore in there somewhere but I don't know where.



...WHAT.

That is all I have to say. Just, WHAT. Toucans must be dropping dead all over the world because of this.
 

Moon

Johto League Champion
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Pronouns
Whatever
Dex Entry Because Moon’s the two rarest types, Moon’s the rarest pokemon. Yes, that's logical. No, there aren't other Ghost/Ice types. Froslass doesn't exist.
Pronouns
Whatever
Pokédex No.
3995
Caught
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
1,125
Nature
Sassy
I do plan on utilizing a certain group of Pokemon from Gen 9 in Through A Glass Darkly, which I will not name because they're spoilers for the story as well as spoilers for Gen 9 itself.
I was going to say that I knew what the quartet was, but then I read
But I needed to choose a species to fill a certain NPC role and I chose one of my favorites in the entire Gen 9 dex, and one thing led to another and now I have four new characters to develop personalities and motivations for. This ought to be fun!
And now I’m not so sure.
 
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Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
I was going to say that I knew what the quartet was, but then I read

And now I’m not so sure.
It's a mysssstery... :laugh:
 
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Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
PSA: This week's article will be a very special Christmas present from me: a reaction to Gym Leader Ed's very first Monster Taming Direct!

Xid5kZzCO7uMlF8iC8-vPYHNZLNCUNai5d_ZEPV1k6V4QNeJ1MkO_q7M8n14h4dGrbtkpMv7-NrI=s800-c-fcrop64=1,00000000ffffffff-nd-v1


I'm really looking forward to seeing what Ed describes as "1 Hour of Mostly Brand New Monster Taming Content" and sharing my reaction with you all!

(Oh, and you can totally watch it on his channel when it comes out, I won't judge you for it)
 
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Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
So, Gym Leader Ed's first Monster Taming Direct just aired on YouTube, and while I won't be linking to it here (for reasons I'll explain shortly), you can probably easily find it with a YouTube search.

Originally I'd planned for this article to be a point-by-point reaction to each and every project detailed in the MTD, but unfortunately, there are two problems with that. One, it's that time of month for me and I am in intense pain (as usually happens at that time of month for me). And two... Druggiemon. It is exactly what you think it is, it's hardly suitable for the Nuzlocke Forums, and even if it was, I'd still refuse to cover it out of the principle of the thing, so there you have it.

So one thing I noticed while watching the MTD is that for all the unique and creative different tacks on the monster taming genre, a lot of the games fell into certain broad categories of montamers. There's the standard Pokemon-likes, which are generally RPGs with cute anime monsters to catch and battle. There's the games with more expansive gameplay such as construction and/or life sim elements, which are really cool. There's the darker and edgier stuff, some of which brought SMT/Persona to mind when I watched them (even though I don't play those games because I'm allergic to demons). And then of course there's Palworld, which is sort of all three of them because while the monsters designs are Pokemon-esque (often to the point of seeming derivative enough for a lawsuit if parody wasn't protected speech), the world and setting is definitely darker than your standard Pokemon fare. I mean, you're shooting up monsters with guns. GUNS. That's not something Game Freak "Let's nerf Remoraid and Octillery to the point where no one realizes why they evolve from each other anymore" would do. (Although, Blastoise and Intelleon do exist...)

There's also some interesting categories of art style among these games. There's the industry-standard 3D graphics, of course, with some more realistic, others more cartoony, and then there's that one Roblox game that I'm honestly not gonna talk about. There's also the classic pixel-art games, which have some really good examples (Coromon in particular exists on the fine line between intricate pixel art and looking too much like Digimon for my tastes) and some really bad ones (I said we weren't going to talk about Druggiemon but this is one of its sins and I'm not sorry). But one thing that stood out whenever it happened is the small handful of 2.5D games featured in the direct. I've long held the opinion that Pokemon should make 2.5D games again like they did in the DS era, with the overworlds rendered in 3D and the humans and Pokemon taking sprite form. While LumenTale is obviously the one I'm watching hardest, there was also Mythcaller, a 3D platformer monster taming game that honestly surprised me because who makes a 3D platformer monster taming game and makes it a 2.5D platformer monster taming game? (I mean, who makes a 3D platformer monster taming game at all, but still.) I don't play platformers because I have neither the skill nor the patience for them, but I'm still very happy to see new creative ground broken here.

Speaking of new creative ground, let's talk about Essentures. The trailer does reveal quite a few plot twists about the story, which I won't spoil for those of you who haven't seen it, but it's definitely one of the darker ones, and the fact that they spoiled so much in the trailer itself makes me hope that there are more twists and turns in the storyline than just the ones they've revealed. (Deific godslaying political intrigue ahoy!) Also, the ability of Essentures to fight either as monsters or in weapon form reminds me of Mykel Ryan's 'Forge Forms' mechanic, and while I wasn't the biggest fan of how it meshed with Pokemon, I do think that it fits quite well in Essentures' darker universe.

Now, in terms of some of the... darker montamer games, I feel like elaborating on my own personal opinion here. I'm not saying that dark montamer games shouldn't exist, or dark media in general, just that when it comes to darkness in fictional worlds, I prefer mine with a side of hope. Namely, I don't like a story that's nothing but grimdark and edgelord. Yes, sometimes things are absolutely terrible, and there's no getting around that in this life, but nevertheless, if a tale is too dark and depressing for me to enjoy it... well, I don't enjoy it. I've addressed darker themes in my nuzlockes because that's the way I like to write nuzlockes, but I try to balance them with a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, a few chapters or two of reminding the reader that there is good in the universe and that it is worth fighting for. Granted, it's impossible to fully judge a game based solely on the trailers (despite what some Pokemon fans will tell you), so this isn't a critique on any games in particular, just a statement of my own tastes in chiaroscuro. (Yes, that is a word. Look it up.)

Finally, I will end this article with the single best takeaway of the entire MTD: Cocopa. It's a LumenTale animon that is a coconut crab that is literally a coconut crab. It's cute, it's funny, it's an awesome creature concept, and I want to see an animation of a bunch of these things doing a rave. Seriously, I'm not sure why Gym Leader Ed put the best reveal of all at the beginning, but hey, it be how it be.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and have a Blessed New Year!
 
OP
Trollkitten

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Badges
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Dex Entry Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,551
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Spoiler warning: this post contains some mild Gen 9 spoilers, some of which will be spoiler tagged.

Today is the final day of 2022 (unless you live somewhere where 2023 is already a thing, in which case, hi, how's the future treating you?), and I have basically no blog article to post.

I would review how 2022 went for me but honestly, I'd rather not focus on that, as I spent most of it too sick to apply myself to what I really wanted to apply myself to. I do however have my 2022 Hopes and Dreams article from way back around this time a year ago, so let's see how it stacked up, shall we?

1. Do NOT Release Gen 9 in 2022

I think most of us were already thinking this, but SwSh should not have shipped as a $60 game in the condition it was released in. I'll be frank, I was happy enough with SwSh despite its glaring flaws, but I'd rather wait an extra year or two for Game Freak to make an excellent $60 Pokemon game than pay the same amount of money for a subpar one.

Unfortunately this was a rather sizable fail on Game Freak's part. I've heard Scurvy described as Pokemon's "best worst games," and I can easily see that. The game itself was great, but the performance issues were "tell me again why I spent sixty bucks on this thing?" Even with the cut corners such as not letting you enter NPC houses (Birdboy of Fanfiction.net headcanoned that this is so the natives can keep the Gimmighoul out, which is my new headcanon), the game still ran like the River Ankh at times, especially in that one sequence where you are followed by a herd of Sunflora (and I cannot believe I just unironically said that about a Pokemon game).

2. Make Legends Arceus Decent

I'm going to be realistic here: no one bats a thousand on the first hit, especially Game Freak. In my experience with their game series, their first outing on any given console invariably misses the mark in some way or another. Diamond and Pearl? Broken Pokedex construction, managed to make saving the universe feel boring. X and Y? Too many paper-thin characters; felt like a very beautiful tech demo. Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee? I'll admit I'm biased in favor of how saccharinely adorable this game is, but the extremely limited Pokemon roster was a step in the wrong direction, the Fairy type seemed next to useless in a game with no Dark types, only one Dragon type line, and Poison types left and right, and while the addition of Alolan forms was a nice touch (and explained/somewhat justified only Kantonian Pokemon getting Alolan forms), would it have killed them to add a few trainer battles with Alolan forms so that the Fairy type would have at least some Dark types to pwn?

Since Legends Arceus is Game Freak's first time setting out in unfamiliar territory (much like the game's protagonist, when I really think about it), what I want most of all is for the game to be decent. I don't expect it to be great. I don't expect it to be mind-blowing. I certainly don't expect it to live up to everything that Pokemon fans ever wanted in a Pokemon game. I just want it to be enjoyable for what it is. Even if I feel like the game should not have sold for a full $60, I just want it to be good enough that Game Freak doesn't see the Legends formula as a lost cause and never release any more in the series.

Put succinctly, the thing I want most from Legends Arceus is for it to set the stage for future Legends games that will improve on Arceus's formula and, eventually, become the Pokemon game that people wanted Legends Arceus to be.

Also, I want the story to be awesome and full of lore and to trigger PokeTubers to make a ton of conspiracy theory videos about.

I'll be honest: I still have not gotten past the first boss in Legends Arceus. I just am not good at things that require actual reflexes. However, the general consensus is that Legends Arceus is freaking awesome, and I accept that; it's not the game's fault that my particular disabilities prevent me from truly enjoying it. And the game was most definitely full of lore that various PokeTubers made conspiracy theory videos about, which I always appreciate.

3. Make Legends Arceus DLC That Expands and Improves the Game

If I'm perfectly honest, one of my favorite parts of Pokemon Sword was its DLC. (Even if it did cost 30 bucks extra and now if I want to get Pokemon Shield I'll have to pay 90 bucks for the full thing.) It might not be very flattering to the main game to say that its DLC is better than it, but given that my expectations of Legends Arceus is that they will be flawed in some way because that's the pattern Game Freak has traditionally given us, I don't think it's out of line for me to want DLC that's better than what I expect the main game to be.

Unfortunately we did not get this one, just a brief "Daybreak" update that was free of charge but as such wasn't exactly breaking new creative ground.

4. Take Us Back to Johto (with an Exp. Share we can turn on and off)

I'm not particularly picky on this one. If I don't want Gen 9 in 2022, then the logical answer is remakes, and while some people are sick and tired of Kanto by now (for very good reason, I might add), Johto is not Kanto. Kanto is Johto's postgame, so before you go to Kanto, you have to go to Johto, and I want to go to Johto with a game that isn't so grindy that nuzlockers are titling their Johto runs things like Paper Bowser and the Thousand-Year Grind.

I'm not particularly picky on how we go back to Johto -- whether in a Let's Go sequel or a faithful remake or what -- but I will add this caveat. If we get an ILCA remake of the Johto games, do not release it in 2022. This is similar to my not wanting Gen 9 to release in 2022, because I firmly believe that games should be given the time they need in the oven and that the people that make the games should not be forced to sacrifice time, energy, and both physical and emotional health to crunch on a game that will be all the worse for being crunched on.

Also, if we're going to do Johto remakes with Gen 8 mechanics, give Whitney a Jigglypuff instead of a Clefairy so at least it will still be Normal-type.

Needless to say, this did not happen whatsoever. And to add insult to injury, we still can't turn the Exp. Share off.

5. Give Us A New Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Game Already

I know a number of you guys want Explorers remade (and honestly, I want that too), but as someone who appreciates the Mystery Dungeon games' emphasis on story, I kiiiiiinda want a new story set in the PMD world. (Which is probably why I'm writing an entire series of nuzlockes set in a PMD-style world, but that's something else entirely.) Besides, I want to see how the Mystery Dungeon universe handles things like Ultra Beasts, Z-crystals, and ridiculous power creep (hi Zacian, please put that oversized butter knife away before somemon gets hurt).

Another major fail, and I say 'major' because somehow we did not get ANY new spin-off Pokemon games this year whatsoever. We got Legends Arceus and we got Scurvy. That's literally it. I'm not complaining about us getting two main series games in the same year... oh, wait, yes, I am complaining because Scurvy should not have been released in the state it was released in. I suppose that given the state of Gen 9 itself, maybe it's a good thing that Game Freak wasn't trying to put out anything else new this year?

6. Remake The One Game That Nobody Saw Coming

Imagine a Pokemon Presents in February. It starts out with the usual announcements of smaller projects like Pokemon Sleep, Detective Pikachu for Switch, Pokemon Unite microtransactions that cost $40 for no discernible reason. Maybe even announcements for upcoming Legends Arceus DLC.

Then the screen goes black.

And opens up over a vast desert canyon.

A Skarmory flies over the canyon.

The sound of a motorcycle is heard.

And in rides the bad boy himself, his Espeon and Umbreon sitting next to him in his motorcycle sidecar...

A title flashes onto the screen.

Pokemon Colosseum EX.

A high-definition Orre remake for the Nintendo Switch, developed by Genius Sonority, and making tons and tons of us grown adults squee like little babies.

I have all sorts of ideas as to how to not just remake Colo, but bring XD and a brand-new Orre game to the Nintendo Switch, but given how many ideas I have (despite having only ever played some of Colo), that probably deserves its own article. I will however say that to commemorate the game's release, a Mystery Gift Celebi would be distributed in both SwSh and BDSP. This Celebi knows the move Poison Powder, which is a move that Celebi only has as Dark Celebi in the Pokemon TCG, adding layers to the distribution (onions have layers, right Shrek?)

Also, I have no idea what EX stands for.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha NO.

So basically all my hopes and dreams for 2022 were pretty much squandered, except for Legends Arceus, which was more than decent but I just couldn't handle playing it myself. At this rate, I don't think I should make a wishlist for 2023, seeing as I'd probably jinx it.

Happy new year!
 
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This article contains spoilers for Pokemon Xenoverse, and also a critique of the game's (I can only assume entirely unintentionally) ableist misuse of the word 'alter.'

Pokemon Xenoverse is weird.

I'm writing this article because in anticipation of Beehive Studio's upcoming game LumenTale: Memories of Trey, I decided to watch another Let's Play of Pokemon Xenoverse (the game where the character Trey was originally introduced, although they probably aren't canonically the same individual for obvious reasons) to write an article introducing my readers to Trey and what they should know about him moving forward into LumenTale.

That article quickly took a sideline to this one, once I remembered that Xenoverse, like a number of Pokemon fangames (Infinity standing out particularly, as I've already written on), is a narrative acid trip.

The main gimmick of the Eldiw region (yes, that's the name they picked, because Wynaut) is that it's ridden with X Pokemon, which are literally regional variants except that they come from portals from another dimension, which means they're more like Ultra Beasts lorewise. Allegedly, X Pokemon are largely considered too wild and vicious to be trained normally, except that's clearly not the case because every Gym Leader in Eldiw has one and one of them is a Fairy-type Smeargle that makes cream puffs. How wild and vicious is that?

So the backstory behind these 'X Pokemon' is that they're the creation of some legendary Pokemon of darkness called Dragalisk, which is the counterpart to the legendary Pokemon of light, Luxflon, who allegedly were both born from an even larger being called Vakuum, which supposedly created the universe except we've already got Arceus for that. Granted, I'm not against the depiction of differing religions within the Pokemon world (we've got plenty of that in our own world, so at the very least it's realistic), it's just jarring because barring some logical explanation for both Vakuum's and Arceus's existence, it's highly unlikely that both legends are correct, and Xenoverse treating its own mythology as gospel honestly comes across as a big retcon. I had a similar feeling with Uranium's rewriting of the lore in creating two ultra-powerful legendary Pokemon and saying that they, not Arceus, were behind everything. (To be fair, I'm guilty of the same thing in my Secrets of Aetherai series, but I at least address that Arceus has its own side to the story instead of just handwaving away all the canon legends. Besides, Aetherai is anything but consistent with the mainline series lore, and gets away with it because it's a trainerless fantasy world with stuff like wraiths and song magic in it.)

So at one point in Xenoverse, after learning that your starter Pokemon is SPOILERS (I'm not going to give away all of this game's secrets but the reveal is indeed very weird), you head into the Xenoverse with your team and encounter a greyed-out figure of your chosen player character that calls itself your alter, claiming to be born from your grudge, without family or friends or anything in the largely lifeless world of the Xenoverse. Besides the fact that this is a gross misuse of the noun alter (as anyone who knows anything about Dissociative Identity Disorder should know, the idea of evil alters is largely owed to inaccurate and ableist media portrayals of persons with DID), it doesn't even make sense. Given that Xenoverse was originally created in Italian, I can only guess at what term was used in the original language, but regardless of whether it was chosen by the original development team or by the translator(s), the term is still used wrongfully and ought to be replaced with something else. (Edit: it later occur to me that the usage also could be connected to the term 'alter ego,' but my point still stands.)

If the player's doppelganger (I refuse to call them an alter because that word simply does not mean what Xenoverse says it means) is truly born from their grudge, then why wouldn't they have family born from the player's own family members' grudges? Why wouldn't they have friends born from other people in the player's home dimension? The doppelganger even has a doppelganger of the player's starter of choice; why do they only have a starter doppelganger and none of the player's other Pokemon? It's entirely understandable that the Xenoverse team couldn't reasonably be expected to create evil dimensional doppelgangers of every single Pokemon in the Eldiw Pokedex, or even of all the Pokemon that were available up to that point in the game... but storyline wise, it still doesn't make a lick of sense, even knowing what you know by that point in the storyline about the starter Pokemon, which I personally found to be another plot reveal that didn't make a lick of sense.

Also, here's a bit of Gen 9 spoiler-y trivia:

Xenoverse has a fakemon named Scovile, which is a Grass/Fire type, based on a hot pepper, and evolves with a Fire Stone. Remind you of anything?
 

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Does this game have DLC which introduced more new Pokemon after the base game, or was the entire Pokedex present from the get-go? I ask because my best Google searching reveals that Xenoverse came out in English translation on Feb 10, 2021, which is over a year and a half before Scarlet and Violet were released. As someone who's been creating fakemon for...sheesh, about a decade now...I understand very well the pain of these coincidences when Game Freak comes up with something that looks exactly like one of your own ideas.
 
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Does this game have DLC which introduced more new Pokemon after the base game, or was the entire Pokedex present from the get-go? I ask because my best Google searching reveals that Xenoverse came out in English translation on Feb 10, 2021, which is over a year and a half before Scarlet and Violet were released. As someone who's been creating fakemon for...sheesh, about a decade now...I understand very well the pain of these coincidences when Game Freak comes up with something that looks exactly like one of your own ideas.
The game does have DLC that introduced more new Pokemon after the base game -- largely new forms of canon Pokemon such as new Mega Evolutions. But this particular Pokemon was present in the base game that came out before Scurvy.

And I know the feeling -- I had a grass starter design based on the cactus cat and then Sprigatito showed up.
 

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Xenoverse is...admittedly hit-or-miss. But Shulong is absolutely adorable, and arguably one of my favorite Fakemon out there.
 
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Xenoverse is...admittedly hit-or-miss. But Shulong is absolutely adorable, and arguably one of my favorite Fakemon out there.
What amazes me about Xenoverse is how high its production values are for a non-profit fan game. I mean, it has an animated intro, for Pete's sake! It's just... some of the design decisions are very odd and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
 
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Spoiler warning: this article concerns a certain subset of Pokemon introduced in Scurvy's postgame.

So let's talk about paradox forms.

One of the things that intrigued me about Scurvy was its theming of past and future, and I wasn't alone. Long before paradox forms were known to be a real thing, the internet was speculating on 'proto forms' and 'neo forms' of existing Pokemon. And honestly, I myself wanted to play with that concept before Scurvy was even officially announced (see my 'apocalypse forms' back during 2020's Apoctober). So when this became a real thing in the games, I was pretty excited for it.

However... I have to be honest, the execution was not my cup of tea. What we basically got was sixteen new legendary Pokemon (counting the boxart legendaries within that group) that aside from a single Titan, only really showed up in the postgame. What I'd actually wanted was full-out evolutionary lines depicting what certain species looked like in the ancient past/will look like in the distant future. What I got was a bunch of single-stage mons with absurd power levels and backstories with so many holes in them that a popular fan theory is that paradox Pokemon aren't actually from the past or future at all, but are simply what the explorer Heath imagined and were brought to life by the third legendary that we don't even know all that much about yet.

Let me make this clear: I'm not buying the imaginary paradox forms theory. Not strictly because of in-game evidence, but simply because it just doesn't feel like Game Freak would give us a full-on bait and switch. The themes of Scarlet and Violet are past and future respectively. IMO, one of the rare failings of Scurvy's storyline is that it doesn't seem to explore these themes much at all aside from the postgame, but still, those remain the game's themes, and suddenly replacing the time-travel Pokemon with manifested figments of some guy's imagination just... well, I'll be frank, I don't think even the company that created Chairman Rose's ridiculous motivations would do something like that. (Maybe they might. This is Game Freak after all; they created the largest multimedia franchise in existence and I don't think they know what to do with it.) I'm not trying to demean anyone who believes that theory, it's just that I simply cannot imagine an universe where, narratively, that theory makes sense.

Anyway, back to the paradox forms. For a concept that had fans that excited before they were even officially announced, I always felt like they dropped the ball pretty badly. For one thing, the species involved seemed to be randomly pulled out of a hat. Now, I'm not saying that using randomization to prompt new Pokemon form designs is a bad thing; lots of fan artists do similar things to great effect, and entire runs have been built around randomizers that alter a Pokemon's attributes such as type and ability. What I'm saying is that the paradox Pokemon that were chosen don't really make an awful lot of sense to me, both in branding terms and in in-game lore.

I've mentioned before that Brute Bonnet is a true paradox in that it looks like a Poke Ball but supposedly existed long before Poke Balls did, and Sandy Shocks raises some interesting questions as to how old Magnemite actually is and where it came from (and if it should have stayed there; seriously, that thing is weird). Scream Tail is interesting because it's clearly a reference to the giant ancient Jigglypuff seen in the OG anime, but its date of one billion years old does question what exactly the Pokemon world's natural history looks like, even if it is most likely still from the moon like Clefairy. Iron Bundle is a future paradox form, but its dex entry indicates that it might actually be from the past. And of course there is the question of Roaring Moon's resemblance to Mega Salamence, and the fact that all the future paradox forms look like robots but some of them are claimed to have non-robotic origins (Iron Hands is claimed to be an athlete turned cyborg, and Iron Jugulis is said to be the offspring of a Hydreigon and a robot. WHY. Oh right, because the Pokedex is literally written by children and mischievous plasma ghosts.)

While these batshit crazy origins could be an interesting starting point for some fun fan fictions, they don't really feel as satisfying to me as they could've been. There doesn't seem to be a terrible amount of thought put into them; it just feels like 'let's grab some random mons and turn them into either cavepeople or robots' and they didn't even stop to ask themselves why they were using the likes of Amoongus or Magneton for past forms. They clearly put at least some thought into the typings, as there is at least one paradox form for every type except normal; still, was there any reason at all for Slither Sing to be Bug/Fighting and Iron Moth to be Fire/Poison? If anything, the past form of Volcarona ought to be the Fire type, as Volcarona has its own legends of replacing the sun in ancient times. (Granted, this is the Pokedex we are talking about, and we have already established that it is written by children and mischievous plasma ghosts. Professor Laventon must be rolling over in his grave.)

So what would I do with the concept of past/future forms of Pokemon? Well, I've already showed a number of different concepts in this very blog! One design decision I made in my paradox forms was to not stick with any one specific theme for all proto/neo/apocalypse forms, but to choose concepts that made sense for the species themselves, such as a Proto Psyduck based on a kappa/dinosaur/swamp creature, a Neo Mareep based on LED lights, and a deep dive into Egyptian mythology for the Riolu forms. I think one of my favorites is the Neo Goomy line that's based on the 'sea sheep' sea slugs that photosynthesize through what they eat, and it was fun coming up with names for the evolutions (Shubbereep and Algaeraph).

I do plan on designing more proto/neo/apocalypse forms in the future. I also have concepts for more official-ish paradox forms that dive more deeply into the Scurvy status quo (two of which are actually reworked versions of two specific fakemon I drew during Apoctober, but that's spoilers). Since I missed my blog article for last week because I was sick, I'll drop the reveal of my latest proto form designs this weekend to make up for it. I've been trying out a new, sketchier art style and I hope it vibes well!

QotD: What Pokemon would you like to see get a new form in Scurvy DLC?
 

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