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Monday, November 28, 2016

Pokemon Sun & Moon came out! Final thoughts on Generation 7!

You know what really grinds my gears? Pokemon Sun & Moon were released a few days ago and everybody is praising them as the best Pokemon games ever made. But I can't play either of them since I do not own a 3DS. I swear, this is a secret conspiracy to get me to buy a 3DS! But anyway, since Netflix probably is going to add the Generation 7 season of the Pokemon anime in the near future, I'd figure I would talk about my final thoughts on this particular generation.

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But what exactly will I be covering in this blog post? Stuff that applies to the generation as a whole. Not the games themselves but rather, the characters, region, and of course, the Pokemon.

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Firstly, for the uninformed, Pokemon, as a franchise, is divided into Generations. The newest games, Pokemon Sun & Moon, are what is known as Generation 7. This generation takes place is a fictional chain of islands (pictured above!) that are basically Hawaii. Heck, the region is literally called "Alola", which is a one-letter difference from "Aloha", which is a Hawaiian greeting. And this region is simply beautiful. But then again, when you are basing a location off a chain of islands, the first chain of islands that comes to mind is Hawaii. So I rate the region a 10/10. For being based off a cool place and being really pretty!

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Next up is the evil organization. Because EVERY Pokemon game has a evil organization. And I got to say, Generation 7's very own Team Skull (pictured above) are the best. Why? One, the Grunts (far left and far right) talk and move like rappers, which is so silly you can't help but laugh. Secondly, they have a goal that actually makes sense! Whereas Generation 4's Team Galactic wanted to achieve Godhood, and Generation 6's Team Flare wanted to restart the world, Team Skul wants.... Money. That's it. They're only in it for the money. Unless there's a plot twist where Team Skull's true motives are revealed, but I do not know, since I do not own the games. And thirdly, the Leader of Team Skull (near right) introduces himself by shouting "It's your boy, Guzma!". Which has got to be the most awesomely funny way to introduce yourself in the history of introductions. So another 10/10 for Generation 7's evil organization!

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Generation 7 introduced a concept that I really like known as Z-moves. What does the Z stand for? I dunno. But Z-moves are a kind of attack that any Pokemon can learn. Unlike normal attacks. Z-moves can be used only once per battle. Considering they are as flashy and over-the-top as most anime action sequences (at least in my experience), that's probably a good thing. Also, thanks to Z-moves, Pokemon can use more than four attacks at the same time! There is one Z-move for every Type as well as two exclusive Z-moves for Pikachu (them mascot privileges though!), an exclusive Z-move for each Starter (more about that later), and even Snorlax got an exclusive Z-move. Speaking of which, did you know that if you take the sprites for Snorlax for every Pokemon game and put them side-by-side in the order the games were released, it looks like Snorlax is trying to stand upright and gets closer and closer with each passing game? Only in Sun & Moon not only is Snorlax standing all the way up, his Z-move has him sit on you. I kid you not. It's even called "Pulverizing Pancake"! But anyway, all of the Z-moves are beautifully animated and as a bonus, your Trainer does a silly pose every time you use a Z-move. So 9/10 because if you could spam them it would be perfect!

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Never diss anybody's favorite show. Ever. Because if you do, Snorlax will come....

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Next is the Alolan Professor, Kukui. Now There are a lot of things I like about Kukui, and there is one thing I DON'T like about Kukui. The thing I dislike about him is he never wears a shirt. Ever. And I may sound hypocritical saying that considering one of my favorite characters from Tales of Zestiria (Zaveid!) also walks around shirtless, but part of me can't take him seriously because of this. On the plus side, he's like a surfer dude (maybe the reason he walks around without a shirt is because he's busy catching sic waves at the beach in his spare time!). Also, MASSIVE PANGEA SIZED SPOILERS HERE, but I thought is was really cool that Kukui happens to be the Alola Champion (for those of you new to Pokemon, the Champion is whoever is the most powerful Pokemon Trainer in that particular region. Champions normally serve as the final boss at the end of a Pokemon game, though there are exceptions to that rule. Defeating someone who is already Champion will, in turn, make you the new Champion of that region). So I give him a 9/10.

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Our penultimate topic (and probably the one that I discuss the most) on this post is the Starter Pokemon. Every new adventure means a new companion to train alongside you. So what do I think about the Alola Starters? Well, Rowlet the Grass Owl is flipping adorable, but when I first saw it I was worried that it's evolved forms wouldn't live up to this cute little bowtie wearing barn owl. Litten the fire cat got a laugh out of me because of it's name (it's a lit kitten!) and also because while the other two starters were so happy-go-lucky, Litten was like "Yeah, can we get this over with? I kinda wanna go hang out with my equally edgy friends, master." And I can just imagine Litten trainers having to argue with this kitty because he just wants to do his own thing. And Popplio the sea lion... Alas, poor Popplio. Hated by virtually everybody for what many consider a ugly design, I was the one person that actually liked Popplio. Mostly because the circus theme it has really opened up well over half a dozen potential evolved forms. Like a Water/Fighting Strongman! Or a Water/Psychic Magician! Or a Water/Steel Daredevil (the reason for the hypothetical Steel Type was that it would need Nerves of STEEL)! And then I placed my predictions on what the starters could evolve into, with Litten being a Fire/Dark Saber-Toothed Cat and the three examples I gave for a hypothetical Popplio evolution. Then Game Freak unveiled their first evolved forms.

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My opinion of the starters began to change a little bit. Rowlet's evolved form, Dartrix, literally looks like an owl version of Matt Smith. And the only thing I could think of was "Let me guess, this thing's Final form is going to be called Doctor Hoot and have a fez on it's head?". But other than looking like one of the best actors in the history of Doctor Who, Dartrix was a solid middle form. And it got bonus points from me when I read it's official bio. The Pokedex basically calls Dartrix a difficult, teenage emo! And I love that! Because I thought it's funny! Next is Litten's middle form, Torracat. While it's name is nowhere near as funny as Litten's (it's no longer a lit kitten... So sad) It was pretty cool! Especially since it made my Fire/Dark saber cat prediction come extremely close to reality. Plus, it has a flaming bell on it's neck! Even though it's bio states that it's actually a flame sac... Ew. And last but not least is Brionne (I hope I spelled that right!). Brionne started moving away from Popplio's circus theme and went more for a general entertainment vibe (it's even called the Pop Star Pokemon!). And it's bio becomes incredibly tragic considering how much hate it's previous form got. It reads "Brionne always acts cheery and positive. Even if it's sad, it doesn't allow sorrow to show. It only show it's true feelings to a Trainer it completely trusts". Considering how much hate Popplio got, imagine what Brionne must be feeling if it ever learned how unpopular it was in it's previous form. So sympathy points for Brionne! Also I love the way it looks. It's so cute! It's kind of like if you combine a sea lion with a ballerina. And the hype train departed the station when the final forms were revealed... And boy oh boy, I have a lot to say about the final forms... So much so that grouping them together into one image won't do it justice!

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The first of the final starter forms is Decidueye. Firstly, I'm not really a fan of the name because it's nigh-impossible to pronounce and doesn't have cool owl pun like the other two (Rowlet = Round and Owlet, Dartrix = Dart and Trix, the Latin world for owl!). But I'm being biased here since I have been known to annoy my friends with puns. But when I saw it in action, my immediate reaction was...

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Seriously, it's flipping GREEN ARROW AS A POKEMON!!! Wait a minute! If Decidueye is a master bowsman, that must make it... an Owlcher (owl + archer). I also like how it dumps the Flying secondary Type it had as a Dartix and Rowlet and becomes a Ghost Type. Why does it become a Ghost Type? I dunno. But it's cool and that's all that matters! Also, Decidueye's Z-move is pretty cool. It lets him rain arrows down from the heavens! Arrows that explode! Because every single Z-move ends in something exploding! Seriously, it's like Mecheal Bay was the guy who animated them.

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Decidueye wants to give you a hug. With floating
arrows behind him!

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Next is INCINEROAR!!!!! Now THAT is an awesome Pokemon name! It's a pun on "incinerate" and "roar"!!! But anyway, when I saw this my first thoughts were "Ugh, it's ANOTHER Fire/Fighting type". But then I learned it was actually a Dark type instead of Fighting type. Which confused me greatly, since it's obviously based off a pro wrestler (it's wearing a championship belt, for crying out loud!), so it would make sense if it was a Fighting type. And THEN I learned the reason why Incineroar is a Dark type: It's a Heel wrestler. For those of you who don't know what that means, basically a Heel Wrestler is a bad guy wrestler who fights using cheap/dirty tricks. Like slamming chairs into the opponent, or kicking them while their down, or throwing dirt in their eyes. Not sure if that last one is a thing IRL Heel Wrestlers do, but when I think of fighting dirty, the first thing that comes to mind is throwing dirt in your opponents' eyes. But overall, I like Incineroar because, while Decidueye is literally Green Arrow reborn as a Pokemon, Incineroar is a pro (Heel) wrestler that subverted my expectations. As a bonus, Inceniroar's Z-move has him do the most epic body slam in the history of pro wrestling.

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And now we have the final form of Popplio, and I know I said this a long time ago, but I was most excited to see Popplio's evolution, considering the circus them it had. Brionne revealed that it wasn't a circus theme it had, but rather entertainment in general, with Popplio being a goofy clown, and Brionne being a ballerina. So what exactly is this thing? This Pokemon, known as Primarina (not quite as punny as Incineroar but a million times better than Decidueye), is a singer. Or an actress. I think it's both. Not entirely sure. But Primarina is such a cool Pokemon. It's so regal and elegant! Actually, now that I'm looking at it...

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Primarina looks like a sea lion version of Lailah from Tales of Zestiria. Not that I'm complaining. She was a interesting character. Although it's ironic that Primarina looks like Lailah, because Primarina is a WATER Type Pokemon, while Lailah is a FIRE Element Seraph. Oh, and Primarina's Z-move is A FLIPPING SPIRIT BOMB FROM DRAGON BALL Z!!!

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Overall, I give Decidueye a 8/10 because although they could have picked a significantly better name, Decidueye is Green Arrow as a Pokemon, which is a plus in my book. Incineroar gets a 10/10 because I love how it's a pro wrestler without having the Fighting Type (and having a cool sounding name!). And Primarina gets a 20/10 because Look at Primarina and lie to my face that Primarina isn't a cool and elegant Pokemon. No, better yet. Lie to YOURSELF that Primarina isn't a cool and elegant Pokemon. Whoever thought Popplio was a terrible Pokemon is missing out on Primarina. I think it's obvious which one is my favorite.

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They gave some love to Zygarde. He might not
get his own game, but at least Game Freak gave
him some new forms.

Okay, so that sums my thoughts on the Starters. But what about the other new Pokemon? Well, I was looking through the Alola Pokedex and believe it or not, there are too many good Pokemon. And by that I mean they really went the whole nine yards this time. Every Pokemon looks either cute, cool, elegant, or otherwise awesome in some way shape or form (sometimes all of these at the same time!). In fact, my next post will be all about my favorites out of the bunch.

And last but definitely not least....

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You can ride Pokemon now. One of the things that everyone praises Pokemon Sun & Moon for is for getting rid of the infamous HM moves. HM moves are attacks that you would have to teach your Pokemon in order to solve puzzles. All of them, except Surf, are pathetic when used in combat and do even less damage than TACKLE (or Scratch, or Pound, depending on the starter you chose), which is the super weak attack that every Starter has by default that gets easily replaced by much stronger attacks. Now you have Ride Pokemon. Ride Pokemon are Pokemon that don't count as a member of your team but will help you nonetheless. As long as you have an item that summons the right Ride Pokemon. Examples of Ride Pokemon are Charizard (pictured), Machamp, Tauros, Sharpedo, Mudsdale, Lapras, and more. And I think this is a case of Game Freak listening to community feedback since everyone HATES HM moves and have been begging Game Freak to do away with them for years. Well, it looks like they listened! I personally never had a problem with HM moves mostly because the last Pokemon main series game I played was Pokemon Platinum. I've been playing nothing but home-console spin-offs ever since. So I give Ride Pokemon a 10/10 for the sheer concept of riding a Pokemon.

EDIT: I completely forgot about the fact that Generation 7 introduced a really cool concept that I absolutely adore! *ahem* In Generation 7, some of the returning Pokemon have new variations known as Alola forms to help breathe new life into the older Pokemon. One of them is the very goofy looking Alolan Exeggutor.

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It's Alola Exeggutor!

And that should be everything that I can cover in this post. Adding everything together, I give Generation 7 a 97/100.

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