Sunday, December 1, 2013

Top 5 Pokémon That Didn't Need An Evolution

I did promise some Pokemon posts a while back, and I am going to stick to that (otherwise I am known for making big plans and kind of "forgetting" about them after a while). Eventhough my own Pokemon playing has been running low lately, the Pokemon fire has been kept alive by my boyfriends attempt at completing (yes, frakking completing) the National Pokedex, a progress of which he is keeping me painfully up to date. I say painfully not because it is boring to listen to, but because of the amount of work that is going into it and I am quite frankly both seriously impressed with his dedication, and worried about his mental health. I'm not going to mention the amount of hours he's put into it so far, but that might be a topic for another post, once he manages (or if he manages) to actually finish it. Right now we need to wait for the X&Y transfer system to come into existance before that will happen, so not for another month yet.

But that's on a side note, that was not what this post was going to be about anyway. Last Pokemon post was about top 5 pokemon I think need an evolution, so naturally this has to be my Top 5 Pokemon I think should've had at least one less. The reasons are many, but mostly I either think the Pokemon in question was perfect the way it was and an evolution only managed to steal its well deserved glory, or I feel like the evolution simply didn't add anything by being uninventive or otherwise pointless. Here we go.

5. Chancey - Blissey (and Happiny)
Personally I think Chancey itself is a pretty weird Pokemon. It is one of those Pokemon that shows that Game Freak didn't have the concept completely chiseled out when they released the first game, resulting in such weird abomination Pokemon as Mr Mime - Pkmn that just don't fit into the rest now 15 years later. This was back when the idea of pkmn probably revolved around a similar idea as Digimon, where the creatures actually can talk and look like people. Pkmn decided to take a different route with later games however, keeping pkmn mostly animalistic, leaving some of the early pkmn feeling very out of place. Chancey is such a pkmn to me, and eventhough I've come to terms with Chancey by now (unlike Mr Mime), the problem of him/her/it looking like something specifically bred for Kindergarten-work extends to its evolutions on so many levels.

Or maybe sneak advertisements for Kinder Eggs? -

Happiny is admittedly very cute, and the name does go with the theme, but I think that is exactly the problem I have with it. Since I just don't get what kind of Pkmn Chancey is supposed to be, Happiny and Blissey make even less sense. I'm not sure if Game Freak wanted to give Chancey more validity by extending is family, or maybe Chancey was popular enough with fans for them to think we'd want more of the same, but personally I think Chancey should've stayed forever alone.

4. Scyther - Scizor
To me, and I dare guess many with me, Scyther was one of my favorite pkmn in Red/Blue. I remember thinking that if pkmn ever were to come true, I'd personally have a Scyther as my pet guard mantis - it just looks like it could deal some serious pain with those massive scythes it has for arms. Maybe many people thought that an evolution to Scyther could've been really cool, the perfect way to honor one of the coolest designed pkmn in the original games. But how would you go about improving something that is already so good? This seems to be exactly where Game Freak failed. To me, Scizor although quite bad ass looking itself, just doesn't feel like an improvement over Scyther. Just look at the names for one thing, when would you ever prefer a scissor as a weapon over a scythe? when the zombie apocalypse strikes I know what I'm going with. I would've liked Scizor better as a stand alone pkmn, he looks different enough to warrant that, than as an evolution to Scyther. Turns out I was right all along, Scyther is too cool to improve.

Now if this had been Scizor, I would've approved -

3. Tangela - Tangrowth
Tangela is one of those sadly overlooked pkmn from the original series, and there are many. Unlike some of them that deserves to fade into obscurity (like Jynx), I think Tangela is a well designed and interesting pkmn that should've gotten more screen time. Maybe one reason was that the original game already had a lot of grass pkmn so some naturally had to go into the background, and Tangela wasn't as easy to find as most of the other ones. Because of this, I thought Tangela really deserved a nice evolution, instead it got Tangrowth. The issues I have with Tangrowth are similar to the issues I have with Scizor. In Scizors case I just thought that it failed to feel like a worthy evolution to Scyther because Scyther was already all it needed to be and more, in Tangrowths case I think it failed to adress the issues Tangela had and didn't add anything new. It looks basically the same, it is still just a Grass pkmn and it too barely got any screen time (at least none that I remember). These are all issues Tangela already had and Tangrowth did nothing to change it, making it a moot evolution that should've been so much more.

A possible third evolution? -

2. Rhydon - Rhyperior
Rhyperior is the one entry on this list that is an evolution to what already is an evolution - Rhydon (not counting baby pkmn). And that is exactly the issue I have with Rhyperior. Rhydon simply didn't need an evolution, it was good enough as it is. Not only didn't it need an evolution, I think they went way overboard with the design for Rhyperior showing that too much of everything does not a cool pkmn make. The changes from Rhyhorn to Rhydon are just enough, in fact perfect to show that the one is an improvement from the other. It looks smarter, stronger and better without alienating itself from the original design. Rhyperior on the other hand cranks up the gear ten more notches, looking more like the 8th evolution than the 2nd. The discrepancy is just too big and that's not even the only issue - Rhyperior is just too much for me. If Project Runway has taught me anything, it's that sometimes you need to know when to edit your designs and leave certain elements out. I wish the designer of Rhyperior had thought of this.

Not even perler beads can save him -

1. Lickitung - Lickylicky
Having what is possibly the worst conceived name for a pkmn to date (yes, even beating the Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff combo), and that is saying a lot considering most pkmn are cursed with names barely worthy of a 5 year olds imagination, Lickylicky is at number one of my list. The name alone puts it on my list, but overall there is something about the design of Lickylicky (bwah, just having to type that name makes me want to stab something) that really grinds my gears. I think Lickylicky (yuck) kind of epitomizes what I think about bad pkmn design and in a way I find the entire character is mocking us pkmn fans, like something like that is good enough for us because clearly we gobble (lick?) up anything Game Freak will throw at us. I could've understood it better if it was part of the most recent batch of pkmn where you could expect imagination and inventiveness to start to wear thin. But it's not, it's part of the fourth gen Pearl & Diamond, where admittedly a lot of other questionable evolutions were released (Tangrowth to mention one on this list). Quite to the contrary I find that the latest gen actually had some really cool pkmn, but Diamond & Pearl is probably among the worst, hitting a rough patch like some of the Megaman games did with their boss ideas. Lickylicky is to me at the pinnacle of bad and uninspired pkmn design.

Still the least pornographic image you get from googling "Lickylicky" -

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