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Monday, May 12, 2014

A few reasons why Pokemon is awesome

It's been a while since I did a Pokemon post (admittedly, Pokemon is one of my seven favorite video game franchises) so here we are.

As of October 2012 there are currently 718 species of Pokemon (The plural of Pokemon is still Pokemon. Likewise the plural forms of the Pokemon names are identical to the singular.). However when the first Pokemon games (which are Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, And Pokemon Green. Blue is actually Japan exclusive) there were only 151.

Here is a fun fact for those that are not fans of Pokemon (I highly doubt you do not like Pokemon. First of all it's beyond cute and second of all it's very popular). Pokemon is the second most popular video game franchise of all time, just barely coming second to Mario. But let's face facts. Mario is an Italian plumber with absurdly good jumping skills who rescues damsels in distress from a fire breathing turtle (a.k.a. Bowser). Both family friendly and innovative at the same time!!!!! Pokemon is the same way, but is only a handful of fans away from outshining Mario.

Anyway, Here is another interesting fact. Almost all of the Pokemon games are named after colors. The only exceptions are Both Pokepark games (Pokepark 1: Pikachu's Adventure and Pokepark 2: Wonders Beyond), and the two newest games Pokemon X and Pokemon Y.

Here is another fun fact. The letters "X" and "Y" are the only universal letters. Every major language on the planet uses those letters. This makes sense considering that the game was officially released worldwide.

Anyway, here is something very interesting: I have been doing research on the critical reception of Pokemon games and I learned that the handheld games are generally more popular than the home console games. Weird right? Pokemon Battle Revolution has cool but sometimes confusing animations that play. One of the confusing animations is watching your Monferno get hit with a laser and walk it off to return to the idle pose, only to fall to it's knees from a complete lack of hit points. It would make more sense for the Monferno to stay down and admit defeat (this only happens when the Monferno gets defeated in battle) or at least have an animation that plays that shows severe weakness (like limping back to the idle spot).

The Pokepark games are in my opinion works of art. However the second game has only one flaw, which is lack of variety. There are only four mini-games, while the first game had at least ten. The good news is that the second game improves the Friend List by actually containing and detailing the Pokemon in questions' origin story (Example: Zoroark and Zorua are from the Tech Zone who decided to move to the Arbor Zone and through a series of events found themselves working for Darkrai, who is the game's villain and final boss).

Then Came the Pokemon Rumble Series. The Pokemon in these three games are not real Pokemon but rather toy replicas that somehow came to life (don't ask me how. Pokemon are magic after all). Possibly because they are just toys, none of the "Rumble" Pokemon as I like to call them are nowhere near as strong as their namesakes. Toy Pikachu only has two attacks, and both involve shooting lightning (which Real Pikachu is really good at, but can punch and bite too) at something. The third Pokemon Rumble game uses the same Near Field Communication system that made Skylanders possible. But sadly that same tech is near worthless, as it simply gives you a slightly tougher version of the Pokemon (therefore wasting your money). Now if they made the figurines meaningfully important, it could give Skylanders a run for it's money. But it's not Pokemon that is competing with Skylanders. It's something I (and several other people) never saw coming: Disney. I know Disney is trying to take over Star Wars with a new set of movies, but they are taking their existing franchises and combining them for a Skylanders like game: Disney Infinity.

Enough negatives and back to Pokemon. Ever heard the phrase "Gotta Catch'em All!"? Well Here is something you should think about. Some Pokemon can only be caught in one game and not the other. And in more recent games (Looking at you, X and Y) you have to choose one over the other. The only way you can catch them all is to simply trade one Pokemon for someone else's. NOTE: Some Pokemon evolve by being traded. However two Generation Six Pokemon have the most confusing evolution line. Shouldn't Karrablast evolve into Accelgor? They both remind me of marathon runners (and when I am in a Eastern mood they remind me of ninjas). And shouldn't Shelmet evolve into Escavalier? They both have armor, and they both are really slow. But I wasn't the one who came up with the evolution. Congratulations to whoever came up with the evolution lines. Congratulations for imagination and creativity (I am being enthusiastic about this confusing evolution)!!!! I love how they trick you into thinking about confusing evolution. Evolution is handy but very strange.

Speaking of which, there are tons of Pokemon that can evolve into something completely different. Here is a simple example from Generation One. Meet Charmander. He is a cute little lizard guy that can spit small fireballs with the attack Ember and can scratch things with sharp claws. He evolves somewhere close to Level 15 (Charmander has to win at least two dozen fights to make it up there) and becomes Charmeleon, which is simply a bigger, more muscle-bound ( in comparison) version of Charmander. After winning almost a hundred or so fights Charmeleon evolves a second tine and becomes the dragon like Charizard, which now has a pair of wings and a stronger fire breath, being able to burn through all but the most secure defense with moves like Fire Blast (One large fireball) and Flamethrower (A continuous stream of intense heat).

But another Generation 1 Pokemon can evolve into any one of eight forms, each one requiring a different method to acquire. Umbreon is gained when Eevee (that's the "eight forms" one by the way) reaches a certain level of power at midnight. Jolteon is gained when Eevee touches a Thunder Stone. Those are just examples. I am not going to tell you how to get each one because I have no idea how to get Sylveon (all of the evolved forms of Eevee ends with "eon" in case you have not noticed), which is the eighth form. But all of the forms have one thing in common. They all look like foxes (except Sylveon which looks like a cat, and Vaporeon which looks like a half fox half dolphin creature).

Here are a few of my favorite Pokemon.

  • Charizard - This is literally my favorite Fire Type. It looks like a dragon and it breathes fire. It is not a pure Fire element but is also part Flying, therefore removing the Charmander line's weakness to earthquakes. Pokemon X and Pokemon Y gave this Pokemon a Mega Mode, though the difference between base Charizard and Mega Charizard depends on which version you are playing. The X version looks a lot different than the base form. After all in X mode Charizard becomes a REAL Dragon and summons flames so hot they are blue (Red means really hot, blue means as hot as lava).
  • Greninja - This Pokemon is the evolved to perfection form of Froakie, and as such it is a really big frog. But it is also a ninja, hence it's name. It is a Water type and a Dark type so it is almost the complete opposite of Charizard. Greninja holds the world record for fastest Water type Pokemon. Greninja is also a playable character in Super Smash Bros 4.
  • Lucario - This is clearly the most amazing Fighting type Pokemon out there. Just like Charizard Lucario has a Mega Mode. For some odd reason Lucario's Mega Mode design reminds me of Naruto (doubly so when Naruto enters Tailed Beast State). Only with dreadlocks. And spikes. Lucario is a playable character in both the third and the fourth Super Smash Bros games. In the Third game Lucario is a replacement for another Pokemon with similar abilities.
  • Mewtwo - This. Is. The. Most. Awesome. Pokemon. Ever. Plain and simple. It's a pure Physic type so good luck trying to catch him. I am confident that Mewtwo is male. However in one of the most recent Pokemon movies it was portrayed by an actress. Anyway, Mewtwo is really powerful (probably because American video game players like feeling overpowered). It also has two different Mega Modes. One that enhances Mewtwo's close range abilities and one that enhances Mewtwo's Physic powers. Oh, and this Pokemon is a Legendary. So I guarantee the moment you catch him you  will feel invincible. 
  • The Three Monkeys - Simisage, Simipour, and Simisear. These monkeys are simply awesome. They are the evolved forms of Pansage, Panpour, and Pansear respectively. Simisage is a Grass type, Simipour is a Water type, and Simisear is a Fire Type, which ironically happen to be the first three types the player gets access to.
  • Tyrantrum - This is the most amazing Rock type by far. But it's also a Dragon type (the most amazing Dragon type is called Kyurem). Dragon types are literally the most powerful Pokemon ever. Even though Fairy types like Sylveon and Ice types like Articuno can do a number on them (so to speak). But everything else will do absolutely nothing. But here is the ironic part. You get Tyrantrum's base form, Tyrunt almost as soon as you get your second Pokemon (normally you have to beat the game and retrace your steps to hidden valleys and stuff to get them). But you cannot catch either. You must collect a item called a Jaw Fossil and use it to bring Tyrunt back to life (Tyrunt are extinct by the time you play the games). Oddly enough, Tyrantrum can learn Horn Drill but has no horn whatsoever. Horn Drill is a Instant K.O. move which means teaching this move to Tyrantrum makes winning fights easier.
  • Pikachu - I saved my number one favorite for last. Pikachu is an Electric type which means that he can fight literally anything with no problem. Except for Ground types. Anyway, I am confident that everyone has at least heard of Pikachu. Any decent Pokemon player should get one. Pikachu is also playable in literally every Super Smash Bros game to date. In the TV show Ash Ketchum has a Pikachu that refuses to stay in it's compact form (inside the Poke-Ball). That same Pikachu is unnaturally powerful, having a Thunderbolt attack at least seven times as powerful as Pikachu's evolved form Raichu. And it is really, really cute. If I could have a Pokemon in real life It would be a Kyurem with a dozen or so Pikachu with it. That is the sad thing about Pokemon. You can't have these colorful little guys in real life. If we could someone would try to become some kind of Poke-King or something.

For pictures and video pleas ego to either the official website or the Pokemon wiki. I am not posting pictures on my blog because I am lazy.

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