In the ladies' restroom at Rose City Comic-Con a couple weeks ago, I overheard a wonderful conversation happening in a group of 14-to-16-year old cosplayers.
"Did you hear? There are like 400 Pokémon now," said one, who was probably dressed as a TARDIS. (Note: there are actually estimated to be almost 750 Pokémon in the canon right now.)
"Ugh," said another, who was dressed, I imagine, as a character from Homestuck, "Once they started making lampshades and ice cream cones, you'd think they'd have completely run out of ideas."
The conversation continued on to comment on the current state of superhero comics and movies and other focus-groupy-sounding talk, but that Pokémon thing stuck with me as I started up the new game for the first time this weekend—has the Pokémon franchise completely stagnated? (Short answer: no. The graphics alone in X & Y make gameplay a very new experience.) And more importantly—how do you make and name 700+ unique 'mons? You're ok with me calling them 'Mons, right?
So, let's get into this. I'm going to show you my favorite new Pokémon from X & Y. The pictures and names are real, but I had to guess at the descriptions myself, because, though I have been binging on this game, I've been taking breaks to
eat play Animal Crossing and sleep get riled up about the comments section of Barbara Holm's latest column, so I haven't caught all of the little monsters yet. (I call this "going full 'Mon." It's gotta catch on.)
|Chespin: a "Spiky Nut" Pokémon |
He may look like a gopher or a chipmunk, but Chespin is actually an anthropomorphized chestnut, discovered by an anthropomorphized butterfly at the base of an anthropomorphized chestnut tree. His attacks include "Removing his shell to repulse you" and "Allergens."
|Froakie: a "Bubble Frog" Pokémon |
Froakie comes from a long line of bubble frogs, raised in the same irradiated forests that evolved his friends Bulbasaur and Squirtle. He's got a sweet beard, though, which contributes to his favorite attack: "Quick A-Snack!" (that's when you eat some crumbs that are left in your beard). It is Highly Effective.
|Honedge: "This Is Just A Sword" Pokémon |
Grinding through the tall grass can be irritating. And when you run into another damn Pidgey for the 100th time instead of the Pikachu you were looking for, sometimes you wish you could just cut the damn thing in half. Thank goodness for Honedge, the Pokemon that is literally just a damn sword.
|Carbink: "I Don't Know What This is Supposed to Be" Pokémon |
What does Carbink look like to you? An upside-down squid? A rabbit trapped in a bit of rock? A helicopter iceberg?
|Klefki: "Has Anyone Seen My Keys?" Pokémon |
Klefki's attacks include "getting lost right before you're supposed to be at a meeting," "destroying a nice paint job," and "being in a really uncomfortable position in your pockets when you sit down."
Ok, so, to the girls in the Comic-Con bathroom—yes, Pokémon has pretty much run out of monster ideas, but at least they are compensating fairly well. And the new game? Well, it's fun. And it's real, real pretty. And it's addictive, to the point that it's perhaps better suited as an hours-at-a-time pastime for a 14-to-16-year-old fangirl than for an adult who needs to actually get things accomplished in the next month or so.