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Individual Values: A Pokemon Feature - Week 3: Working Designs


Jonathan Higgins

After a brief hiatus to review Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Individual Values returns! Welcome to the third week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed last week's, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday morning.

 

 

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Working Designs

 

I think what I“m about to write will produce a variety of opinions, if this lengthy, passionate, curse-word-heavy Twitter thread is any indication. In order to properly explain, a little exposition is necessary. For those of you who don“t already know, I jump on the airwaves with GP Writer WildCardCorsair and one or two other buddies every single week. Being that I“m part of the show, Pokémon talk is definitely a regular occurrence.

 

To make a long story short, WildCard put forth the idea that the Pokémon from Black & White had better designs than the First Generation. I took our on-air argument to Twitter, and everything spiraled from there. Since a single tweet yielded over a hundred (sometimes heated) replies, I“ve decided it“s time to talk Pokémon designs on Individual Values.

 

Does everyone with strong (or even not-so-strong) ties to Pokémon as a series have a favorite Generation? Do you prefer the first 151? Do you like Pokémon found in the Kalos region (Pokémon X&Y) more than any of the others, for whatever reason? How big of a role does nostalgia play in what winds up being our favorite Pokémon designs? These are the questions I“m hoping to tackle in the next little bit, and in your responses to this piece.

 

As I mentioned back in the inaugural Individual Values piece, the reason I“m so dedicated to Pokémon today is because it“s something my girlfriend of nine years and I can experience together. But, if you go back in time a good ten or fifteen years, long before my one and only relationship... there was actually a brief period of time where I took a break from Pokémon growing up. I actually skipped Gold, Silver and Crystal, as well as Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald during their time of release. When I did make a return to the series, I did so in order. The designs of Pokémon native to the Johto region (152-251) felt natural, to me. But I found the Hoenn designs (252-386) incredibly jarring at first. Eventually, they grew on me. But I always pondered why that was the case.

 

Why do certain Pokémon designs feel natural, while others have to grow on you? Surely I can“t be the only one who feels this way about the designs of a particular Generation. If I“m being completely honest, the Black & White Pokémon designs still haven“t grown on me. I find many of them to be cheap imitations of the First Generation (Swoobat? Zubat? C“mon), or wholly unnecessary (Vanilluxe). While I like the most recent Generation just fine (with notable exceptions like Klefki making me arch my eyebrow), I can definitely say that I have a least favorite Generation when I start talking about the Unova region“s Pokémon.

 

Rather than go on and on, I“m going to leave the discussion to you all. Which Generation of Pokémon do you feel have the best or worst designs, and why? Do you have any responses to the questions that bounced around in my head as I was writing this piece? Be sure to share your thoughts!

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