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Analyzing The New Pokémon

When Nintendo first introduced Pokémon in 1996, players were entranced by the creativity of the game's 151 unique species of pocket monsters. 14 years later, the series now boasts roughly one hundred billion Pokémon in its roster, and it appears that Nintendo is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for new character designs.

How do these new contenders stack up against the veterans like Pikachu, Squirtle, and that thing that has a plant growing out of its back? I haven't played a Pokémon game since the original Blue version, but that's not going to stop me from critiquing 31 of the new creatures from Black and White based on the flimsiest of observations.

All of the following information and images are from Nintendo's official Pokémon Black and White website, so be sure to check it out for more information.

Victini is classified as a Victory Pokémon - apparently that's a category of Pokémon now. So there you go; I guess we can skip the other 30 Pokémon, because Victini apparently always wins. You're probably going to want to catch one of these things as fast you can - they're way better than creatures from the Defeat Pokémon category.

In case the name and category weren't enough to convince you of how great Victini is, its special ability is called Victory Star, and it also waves the victory sign whenever it gets the chance. Oh, its stupid head also makes a big "V" too. That's some unified character design right there.

Now here's a category I can get behind. Basculin is classified as a Hostile Pokémon, and it certainly looks the part. Basculin's abilities are Reckless and Adaptability, which seem to contradict each other, but I guess if you're going to be reckless you have to be able to adapt to whatever mess you create. Basculin is a Water-based Pokémon, which should have been obvious since it's a fish.

Pansage is a Grass Monkey, which isn't nearly as cool as a Brass Monkey...that funky monkey. Pansage is also not as cool as that other Pokémon monkey whose ass is on fire. However, I love the fact that its special ability is Gluttony - that almost makes up for the broccoli growing out of its head.

The best thing I can say about Alomomola is that its nearly-unpronounceable name is a palindrome. That's not a good sign. Alomomola is a Caring Pokémon, which in a fighting tournament is about as helpful as a Pacifist Pokémon (I wouldn't be surprised if that's a real category too). Its abilities are Healer - which is helpful enough - and Hydration. Is that a problem in Pokémon games nowadays? Do you have to worry about your monsters becoming dehydrated?  Something tells me that Basculin would wipe the sea floor with Alomomola, who would probably just say "Gee Basculin, that was really great how you kicked my ass just now. Here, have a cup of water."

Speaking of non-combatants: Deerling is a Season Pokémon, who comes in four different colors depending on what time of the year it is. These colors are pink in Spring, green in Summer, orange in Autumn, and...brown in Winter? What does brown have to do with winter?!

Nothing about Deerling says that it would be a good Pokémon to have in a fight - its abilities are Chlorophyll and Sap Sipper? What is going on? Do Pokémon games have a non-fighting mode nowadays? Selecting this creature would be like bringing a pug to a pitbull fight. All I can say is I would really hate Deerling if it wasn't so damned cute. Luckily though, Deerling is adorable, and I kind of want one - I'm just not going to bring it into the arena with me...

At first I thought Sewaddle got its name because it must waddle when it walks, but then I realized the emphasis must be on the "sew"...because it's a Sewing Pokémon. Sewing should not be a category of Pokémon, unless there's some kind of sewing minigame now that I'm not aware of. Sewaddle also has Chlorophyll as a (non)ability, but Swarm might be cool, and Struggle Bug's description sounds as helpful as its name is adorable. I don't normally like Grass-based Pokémon, but Sewaddle is alright in my book.

Watchog looks like a pissed-off meerkat. Its Illuminate ability might be cool, but how good of a Lookout Pokémon can Watchog be if it got caught in the first place? Keen Eye, huh? Have fun using that ability to stare at the inside of your Pokéball prison...

Patrat is the Pokémon that Watchog evolves from, and is equally worthless - clearly both its Keen Eye and Run Away abilities failed to keep Patrat from getting caught. I'll give this guy a break though, since he at least looks like he's trying to do a good job, waving off the other Pokémon until the coast is clear. Too bad Patrat has to "evolve" into such a disgruntled-looking jerk.

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