Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Pokemon don't suck; Everyone's just Jaded


You know what I feakin’ love? Pokemon. I’ve been a huge fan since Red and Blue came out way back in the late 90’s, so a majority of my life. I’ve owned at least one game from every single generation, and I’ve loved them all. Every generation introduces a new batch of Pokemon, and I hear more and more about how every new generation is worse than the last, or how only the original 151 count, or some other nonsense. I’m certainly not the first person to point this out, but I still think it needs to be said here in this blog that like three people read. The new Pokemon aren’t any worse than the old ones, a combination of nostalgia and maturity has caused people to love the original Pokémon and dismiss the new ones.

Here’s a great picture I found that brilliantly illustrates my point:


The people who dismiss everything after the first or second generations even have a name, genwunners. They refuse to see logic and only let their own fond memories of the “good ol’ days”  influence their opinion, saying things like “Everything after gen 3 is crap.”

It’s impossible to not look at something from our past through a nostalgic lens. Of course most people will have an emotional connection to something they have found memories of as a child, which exist with the first couple of Pokemon generations, but we don’t have that kind of connection to new Pokemon. Everything seems cooler when you are a kid, even really stupid stuff. Think back to a dumb movie you really liked when you were young; for me I’ll use the example of Batman and Robin. I loved that movie when I was a kid, and it came out around the same time Red and Blue did. Batman and Robin is just an awful movie, I can barely sit though it today, but when I was a dumb kid I was easily impressed. For that same reason I was so much more impressed with the original Pokemon than recent ones.


In fact I think the first generation of Pokémon is probably the weakest and most boring batch of Pokemon. Now this may sound like sacrilege, but stay with me here. Since they were the first Pokemon, they were pretty basic; they were mostly just cooler versions of animals, the Pokemon creators really hadn’t gotten too creative with a majority of Pokemon. Take Kingler for example, is he really that great of a Pokemon? No, he is a pretty ordinary crab, he isn’t some cool version of a crab. Compare him to Crawdaunt, a crab Pokemon from the third gen that actually looks more like something cool that someone imagined and not an ordinary crab. What’s more is he is a water/dark type instead of just pure water, which brings me to my next point.

Since everything was new in the first gen the type combinations were really basic and boring. The only really interesting type combination was Jynx, a physic/ice type, one cool type combination out of 151. There was an abundance of the boring type combos, ice/water, grass/poison, rock/ground, and the like. Subsequent generations need fresh new ideas since the novelty of Pokemon just existing was wearing off, and as a result interesting new Pokemon with just about every imaginable type combo showed up.



The second generation (my favorite gen) even introduced two new types to add more variety that the originals lacked. The more Pokémon we get the more interesting type combo and new ideas for Pokémon showed up. Look at the Dragons or the Ghosts, for example, there was only one family of each type in the first gen because they are so rare. Both the Gengar and Dragonite families are pretty basic; “Here’s the ghost family and here’s the Dragon family.” Now we have much more unique and creative dragons and ghosts with varied type combos.

Now people love to point out awful Pokemon as the reason that new Pokémon suck. However, a few bad Pokemon don’t spoil the entire generation. My least favorite Pokemon of all time is Garbodor, a literal pile of trash and, yes it’s from the most recent generation of Pokemon. But I love so many more of the newest Pokémon that one really terrible one doesn’t ruin all the great ones. There are so many new Pokemon introduced every gen that a few are bound to be crap. Look at my favorite gen, gen 2, Dunsparce is from that gen. That Pokémon is so awful I legitimately forgot it existed for a few years, until it popped up in some game I was playing and I groaned in disgust as the memories of this little useless piece of crap came back to me. Generation 1 is no exception either. Remember Tangela? That terribly designed Pokémon is literally just eyes, vines and feet. It looks like one of those guys Ronald McDonald hung out with in the 80s.


Before you say that every new Pokemon is terrible because of one ice cream cone shaped Pokemon, take a second and look back at all the stupid Pokemon of the past, and realize how cool a bunch of the new ones actually are. And yeah, I'm pretty excited for the new guys we'll get in X and Y.

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