Analyzing The New Mega Pokémon
Nintendo has revealed the new Mega evolution forms featured in Pokémon X and Y. Are these new forms really mega or just meh? Game Informer's resident Pokémon analyst offers his expert insight.
Pokémon Blue was the first and last installment I've played in Nintendo's slave monster fighting sim, but that hasn't stopped me from providing stunning analyses of Pokémon's vast roster. Today, I'll be examining Pokémon X and Y's mega evolutions, and based on my first look at these new forms, they're not all they're cracked up to be.
For each entry, I'll be critiquing first the original form of the Pokémon, followed by its mega form. Let's start with a classic.
Like Pikachu and Meowth, Mewtwo is one of the series' prima donna Pokémon who goes around thinking he's better than all of the other normal Pokémon – mainly because he is. Mewtwo was even the star of the first Pokémon movie, which was creatively titled Pokémon: The First Movie – how did Pikachu miss out on top billing? I really hope he fired his agent.
Unlike normal Pokémon, Mewtwo was created by scientists to be the strongest Pokémon of all-time, and thus doesn't evolve. However, after a billion sequels you've got to do something to keep fans interested, which is where I'm guessing the idea for Mega Mewtwo came from.
As far as Pokémon go, Mewtwo does look pretty cool; he's all
streamlined and alien-like, and looks like he can handle himself in a fight. He
also appears to have some kind of Vader-esque force choke ability – don't stare
at him too long or you might die.
Official Pokémon Rating (as decided by me): 8
I had to look at Mewtwo's pictures about ten times just to make sure I didn't switch up the order, but this is apparently the mega version of Mewtwo. I don't get it – according to his stats, "Mega" Mewtwo weighs less than half of the original Mewtwo, and shrunk almost two feet. In fact, I think Nintendo got the words "mega" and "puny" confused. I'm starting to think this whole "Mega" evolution mechanic is just an excuse to not come up with any more name puns. Here Nintendo, let me help: Mewthree. Or Mewsquared. Now who do I see about my consulting fee?
Size difference aside, Mega Mewtwo looks pretty similar save
for one shocking change: Somehow his tail shifted from his butt up to the back of
his head. I don't even want to know how that works – I just hope it's the only part of his anatomy that made the move. Mega Mewtwo's bio also says
that his new ability is insomnia – I guess that explains the red eye. If I had
a tail growing out of the back of my head I'd have a hard time falling asleep
Official Pokémon Rating: Weird
Ampharos is an electric-type Pokémon, and weighs in at an impressive 135 lbs. despite only being 4'7". However, no one is going to take Ampharos seriously with that goofy red ball on the end of his tail. I assume he can shoot lightning out of it, but even then Ampharos still looks like a doofus. I'm guessing Ampharos actually has a sharp tail, but he kept on accidentally poking himself so his trainer stuck a bouncy ball of the end of it. His little flippers aren't helping his cool factor; is he supposed to fly with those things, or are they like penguin flippers?
Official Pokémon Rating: Looks Like A Bowling Pin
Yeah, this "Mega" evolution gimmick is definitely a sham. That's not evolution – it's a different hairstyle!
Still, Mega Ampharos does look better than his normal
version. For one thing, his dumb tail has been replaced with a cloud-like one
that looks like it was made for shooting lightning bolts. Also, check out his awesome
mullet! The way it blows in the breeze reminds me of an '80s action hero.
Kind of like Kurt Russell, only with flippers.
Official Pokémon Rating: Business In The Front, Party In The Back
This is by far the best Pokémon I've seen in a long time. Absol has a cool yin-and-yang thing going on with her hair, a spiky tail, and claws like a griffin. Her sleek and simple coloring also makes her seem elegant – she's the iPhone of Pokémon. If that's not enough, Absol is classified as a Disaster Pokémon, and one of her abilities is Super Luck. I can't wait to see her Mega form (cue disappointment...)
Official Pokémon Rating: Absol-utely Awesome
I am officially starting a petition to make Nintendo change the term "Mega Evolution Pokémon" to "Different Hairstyle Pokémon." Mega Absol is legitimately cooler than normal Absol, though. Her yin-and-yang hairdo is even more obvious thanks to a Beatles-esque mop-top makeover, and her mane has sprouted wings. My only complaint is that her Super Luck ability has been replaced with less-impressive sounding Magic Bounce. On the other hand, Mega Absol sounds like the name of a fictional street drug in some post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie, so I guess that evens things out.
Official Pokémon Rating: Not Worthy Of Another Absol Pun, But Still Pretty Cool
Mawile is a Generation III Pokémon, and it's clear Game Freak was already running out of interesting character design ideas back then. Mawile's pigtails look like a huge monster mouth, but according to her bio, they're actually horns. However, Mawile can still use them to bite opponents, which makes them a monster mouth in my book. Mawile is classified as a Deceiver Pokémon, which I'm guessing is just Game Freak's excuse for why nothing about this Pokémon makes any sense. It's all just an illusion! Or something.
Official Pokémon Rating: Monster Mouth!
When in doubt, add another monster mouth. It's obvious Game Freak didn't have any new ideas for Mega Mawile – her ability is called "Huge Power," for crying out loud. That's one step above naming an ability "Thing That Happens." On the plus side, Mega Mawhile's mouths do look scarier this time around. If nothing else, it beats having a tail stick out of the back of your head.
Official Pokémon Rating: Monster Mouth!...X2.
Lucario is widely thought to be based on the Egyptian god Anubis, but he reminds me more of Sly Cooper. Think I'm crazy? Consider this: Not only is Lucario an anthropomorphic creature that wears a mask and has a fondness for the color blue, but he stars in a manga called Phantom Thief Pokémon 7, in which he helps his trainer steal objects from other thieves and give them back to the people they were stolen from. An honorable thief, huh? Where have we heard that before...
Oh, the black things on Lucario's head also help him summon
and use a special kind of aura energy, because...Pokémon.
Official Pokémon Rating: Knows How To Strike A Pose
Surprise, surprise: Another mega evolution that looks largely the same. Mega Lucario sports some extra spikes and a bushier tale, but the biggest change is his head thingies have grown bigger and float in the air. I'd be willing to completely write off Lucario's evolved form if it wasn't for his new special ability: Adaptability. Finally, something about Pokémon actually makes sense!
Official Pokémon Rating: Can't Mess With Evolution
If there's one Pokémon on this list that's in desperate need of evolving, it's Blaziken. Blaziken is a Blaze Pokémon, but unlike other cooler fire-based Pokémon like Charmander and Chimchar (a monkey whose butt is on fire), Blaziken has a weird '70s vibe going on. I'm not sure whether it's the bellbottoms, the long hair, or the wooly vest, but something isn't right. Oh, I know what it is – it's the furry crotch lump.
Official Pokémon Rating: You're Creeping Me Out, Dude
Well, Mega Blaziken is a little better, I guess. He's still got the stupid vest and bellbottoms, but at least his hair is cooler, and he's got flames streaming off of his wrists. His new kung-fu pose is an improvement too. Still, Mega Blaziken's height, weight, and special ability are all the same as its regular form – I guess you're allowed to call anything Mega Evolution nowadays.
Official Pokémon Rating: Mega Disappointment