The new Pokemon are absolute trash. Why do they keep making new ones?

With a new Generation of Pokemon looming in November, and the booming popularity of Pokemon GO, these words are something you’ve probably said at one point, or, at least, heard amongst friends. Yet, is that statement fair? I know many purists who swear by the first 151 Pokemon from 1998, and claim that the other ones released after that are unoriginal, ugly, stupid, and many other 10 year-old jibes. I don’t hold that belief myself. I believe that each iteration of Pokemon has many duds in them, but also many fascinating creatures. I will list two common complaints I see spring up on the internet and in conversation with friends, and address them with a hopefully suitable rebuttal. Onto the list:

COMPLAINT #1: NEW POKEMON AREN’T ORIGINAL

Let’s start off with something basic. My problem with this phrase is its vagueness. What is the definition of original here? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Original means something “that is the origin or source of something; from which something springs, proceeds, or is derived”. In other words, original Pokemon must be conceived out of pure inspiration, and not be derived off of other ideas. However, I can point to every single Pokemon in the first generation and say that they are derived off of something. Pidgey is a pigeon, Squirtle is a turtle, Charmander is a salamander, etc. etc. I can go on forever.

original-3-starters
Left to right: Squirtle (turtle), Bulbasaur (plant or some shit), Charmander (Salamander)

It is incredibly difficult to create original ideas. Pretty much anything I have created has been derived off of something, and that is perfectly okay. If one is able to add their own personal spin to an already established idea, then it could become something truly great and memorable. That’s why Pokemon resonate with people so much, because of their design and mannerisms. However, is it not unfair, to judge Pokemon from the second generation and onward for doing the exact same thing that the first generation did? The most revered Pokemon from the first generation are all inspired by real life or fantastical creatures. Again, I am not saying this is a problem. If a Pokemon is inspired by an animal, object, folklore, historical event, or anything, really, then I believe that can add another dimension of depth to the Pokemon. Take a look at Ludicolo:

ludicolo
Ludicolo, The “Mexican” Pokemon

This is Ludicolo, from the third Generation of Pokemon. This Pokemon was inspired by the Kappa, a Japanese troll that hides under bridges and kidnaps children. Now, the design of Ludicolo itself is hilarious, he looks ridiculous and I love it. The design itself is enough to sell this Pokemon to me. However, if I have that extended knowledge of its lore, then it becomes all the more fascinating, as it gains personality, and it resonates with me even longer. Pokemon from every generation take inspiration from something, and I don’t believe its a strong argument to say that ALL of the first 151 Pokemon are flawless and unique.

(Also, small, pointless tangent, but why do people call them the original 151? There were never any Pokemon that replace them in the National Pokedex. Maybe they’re referring to regional Pokedexes that have newer Pokemon take up those spots? But, that wouldn’t make sense, since you can still find Pokemon from the first generation in regional Pokedexes with completely different numbers than the national one and…i’m just rambling, moving on!)

COMPLAINT #2: THE NEW POKEMON LOOK STUPID

I think what sparked this loyalty to the first generation of Pokemon was the impending release of Pokemon Black and White in 2011. That’s when the screenshots of these two lovely Pokemon released:

Trubbish, remove the T.
Vanilluxe, the Delicious

 

 

 

 

 

 

May I present to you, Trubbish and Vanilluxe, a Garbage Pokemon (literally), and an Ice Cream Pokemon. These two Pokemon are from Black and White. Are they lame? Are they bland? Are they a metonym for the lack of creativity with each subsequent Generation of Pokemon? The answer to all of those questions is: maybe. It depends on the perspective of the viewer. Do you glance at these two without any knowledge of their lore or use in-game, and deem them stupid? Or are they so silly that they kind of gain some charm from their stupidity? It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, i’m under the firm belief that every generation of Pokemon has absolute duds and absolute studs. When people make comparison posts between generations of Pokemon, they always infuriate me, because they always cherry pick examples to fit their goal. Here, I can do it too, watch:

Pokemon, what happened, XD?????????

On the left, we have Muk. Muk is a first generation Pokemon. Muk is a pile of shit. On the right is Genesect, who is from Generation 6. Genesect is a robotic insect mech with a cannon on its back. That is cool as hell.

See how easy it is to make these comparisons? You can handpick examples all day. Not every single new Pokemon is stupid. There have always been stupid Pokemon. Judging newer Pokemon for problems that are still evident in older Pokemon is unfair and poor judgment.


Now, those are two big complaints I see constantly, but now it is time for me to complain about the complainers. Here we go.

This is purely anecdotal, and this is indeed a harsh generalization, but I have noticed that those who revere the first Generation tend to have never played any other Pokemon game in their life. This is important, because I believe that their connection to First Generation of Pokemon comes from the emotional connection to the video games, card games, and TV show.

This is solely my experience, but my favourite Pokemon stem from multiple generations, because I grew attached to how useful they were to me in the Video Games. The Pokemon Games, for those who have not played them and are reading this article for some reason, allow you to formulate a team of 6 Pokemon of your choosing. I know many people, especially young children, who create a team of 6 and roll with them for the entire game. Although they do not speak, the Pokemon create a connection with the player through Gameplay. Did a Pokemon clutch out a battle for you with a sliver of health remaining? Then that Pokemon is likely to be associated with a potent memory. Did a Pokemon get poisoned, and force you to run to a hospital to heal it, only to die mere steps away from the PokeCenter? Then that moment will remain with you. What I am trying to say is, stories are told through Gameplay. Having the ability to customize a team creates a sense of unity between the player and pixels. This allows for certain Pokemon to be revered more than others. I know this is a leap in logic, but there were limited useful Pokemon in the first generation. To create a useful team of 6, one would be limited to a few options. It is because of this, that I believe people have strong, nostalgic attachment to certain Pokemon, and overlook the stupid one’s because they did not serve the player well.

Furthermore, the TV show certainly paints specific Pokemon in favourable lights. Charizard, Pikachu, Mewtwo, any Pokemon on the main character’s team gets a lot of spotlight, and many opportunities to do cool and badass things. I’m not saying the newer shows are absconded from these practices whatsoever. Greninja is Pokemon X and Y’s wet dream. But the TV show does create bias, and as Pokemon was at the height of its popularity during the first generation, those who watched it praise it with nostalgia blinds. The most vocal Generation 1 fanatics are now likely adults and do not have the same openness and reverence for, what is still admittedly, a silly product.

And let’s not forget shiny Pokemon cards. I will not pretend that I was an avid player of the card game. I just collected the cards that looked cool because I was a dumb kid. And notice how the coolest Pokemon would also get the shiniest cards? Combine that with other variations like “Dark Cards”, or “cards specific to certain trainers”, and there is even more bias for certain Pokemon being fostered in minds. Some people like Pokemon because they had a shiny card of them, or it was their first rare card. I know I liked a lot of legendaries because they would always be shiny and holographic. I was played by The Pokemon Company.

What I’m ultimately trying to say with this article, is that it is very biased and rude to insinuate that the First Generation of Pokemon were the only good Pokemon. That is an incredibly close-minded mentality. I am under the firm belief that there were always dumb Pokemon, and there were always awesome Pokemon. This has been consistent across the generations. Pokemon is something for everybody. Adults, children, grandmas, they can all enjoy it. There is a reason that every subsequent Generation sells millions of video games, and rakes in billions of dollars annually. People still love Pokemon, regardless of their opinion of its designs.

As said previously, I am not a very good judge of design, so if my review comes off as crass or unreadable, then please let me know. Today I am going to be reviewing Alexandra J. Barker’s site, which is fittingly named, alexandrajbarker.com.

Her website’s title is named #organizedchaos which already to me sounds appealing. The oxymoron of the statement says a lot about Alex’s personality, and what the site’s content is going to entail. Her sleek, simplistic design reflects the organized half, and her posts reflect the chaotic half. We discussed our website designs in Tutorial on September 22nd, and she claimed that #organizedchaos encapsulates her life in a way. The site is directly named after her, which also connotes the personal side of this site. Furthermore, although the colours are dominantly black and white, they provide enough contrast to highlight important information. For example, the background is completely white, yet the “Search” option, and the text for her posts are black. That causes these aspects to “pop out” and catch the reader’s eye, which is vital, as they are the meat and potatoes of this website’s content. I believe that the usage of a simplistic theme reflects Alex’s ultimate goal with this website, while also employing clever design decisions to subconsciously invite readers in. I also enjoy that her posts have a “continue reading” option, so they are not overwhelmed with a messy hodgepodge of text. Alex’s site is very easy to navigate, so it makes viewing lots of posts easy and accessible!

The menial decisions too, are one’s that I find appealing. For example, her categories are hyperlinks, and they are all ready to be clicked on the sidebar. Although posiel (holla) is the only category there, if she decides to expand the site onto more and more topics (an organized chaos, if you will), then they will be readily available. It is a folder system that can handle new content, and I believe it is a really smart choice from Alex. However, if I were to make an improvement, I would move that to the very top of the sidebar, along with the search option. This means that her content comes first. I also like the “Recent Comments” option, as that allows all readers to see what anybody is saying. That is beneficial in multiple ways. If somebody says something stupid or offensive, then they will be on the front page of the site for everybody to see. If Alex wishes, she could also move the “recent comments” option near the top as well, to foster a sense of community, and allow encourage others to comment as well. It would also gain traction for certain posts, as the comments would link to their respected post as well. I am always a fan of the “archives” option, as it allows for a snapshot of history. It is a track of a person’s journey and improvement as a blogger, and I think that for a personal blog such as Alex’s, it is a fitting choice.

Ultimately, I enjoy the sleek design that Alex chose, as it allows for more content to be readily available, while also allowing her to consistently express herself. I would call her site Organized Chaos.

 

Before I discovered and took Publishing courses this semester, I had no idea making a website was so accessible, yet so complicated. I lack artistic creativity and understanding, so my website design does not connote a deep meaning whatsoever but, I will try my hardest to convey my goals with this post.

I wanted this to be a read-first website. I chose the Lesse Lite theme as it allowed for better reading of the Process Posts, and my own individual posts. I also wish to divvie my information up into categories. This can be seen on the right sidebar, under “Pages”. I love to write, so I wanted to create multiple pages for different styles. On each page, I’d like to have every post under that category be there. I envision each post under the page to have a shortened version that can open up to the full, readable version. For some of these written sections, I wish to have a video to accompany it, as they are two passions I have. I also wish for pictures to accompany written articles, so my readers aren’t bored to death by incessant ramblings.

As for my PUB 101 content, I want it to be on its own separate page. I do not feel awkward about including University postings, as they are vague enough not to reveal personal details, but, they also provide me with a sort of time capsule. These Process Posts are a snapshot of a specific time in my life, and they mark the beginning of this publishing journey. Therefore, I have no problem with them sitting on my sidebar. So, if you’re reading this in the dystopic cyberpunk future of a couple weeks from now, then hello!

I also wished to give the website a bright, appealing look. My background image is elaborate, yet playful, and connotes the work and topics I wish to discuss. I also wish for my background to be consistent throughout every page on my website. I want it to always be there. I do not want the blandness of a template to plague my site, I want it to pop with colour and images constantly. However, I do not want my site to be overly stimulating. I want the colours to be presentable and welcoming. I do not wish to annoy my readers with snarky comments or “click bait”. I wish for this to be a site where I can write, but also one where my friends can as well. For the future, if my friends ever have any ideas or videos they want to share, I would love to host them on this website. It will help all of our growth and foster an even more diverse community!

Lastly, for widgets and other gadgets, I am content with just having an RSS feed, calendar, and Search function. Although, I may remove the calendar in the future, as it is somewhat clunky and large on the side. Perhaps I’ll shift it and maybe it will look sleek in my head. I wished to include a search function because I want to write a lot for this site, and if, say, a couple months from now, somebody wants a specific article, then they can see it!

To sum up my general design goals: I want my site to look sleek, presentable, readable, and welcoming to visitors. I do not want unecessary clutter and features. I wish for a specific goal to bring articles and videos to readers with minimal clicks and searches.

 

When designing this site, I was contemplating whether or not I wanted it to be separate from my real life personality or not. My love for obscure games and media are facets of myself I do not openly present to others. However, I perceived this as an opportunity to blend my creative passions with my interests. I was sick of the academic essays of University and while writing about 200-year-old literature’s lingering effects was interesting, it was not something I wanted to really make a career out of. I feel that this site is an opportunity for that self-expression to reach a larger audience, and if people find it awkward or unappealing, then, that is alright. I’m trying to formulate a community that is welcoming and open to discussion about their hobbies. I do not believe that this site is my site. I want this site to be everybody’s site. I want to do community roundups and contributions if it gets that large. Creativity will flourish, and I want to be the mediator of collaborative efforts.

I wanted my writing style to reflect a balance between colloquial and formal. A site where I can throw in large words to impress readers and show off, and a site where the content is fairly tame and uncontroversial. My goal is to create content that is immersive and engaging. It is leisurely, something that people can look forward to as a way to combat the mundanity of life. I did not want to innovate or change the world; I just wanted to create what I love to create. Therefore, the majority of my categories (i.e. essays, opinion pieces) are meant to reflect casual writing with pictures. I have always wanted to create a website and become more engrained in internet culture, as it is something that has shaped my life for the last decade.

My videos on my Youtube Channel also reflect a mix between my casual and analytic side. They are mostly about video games, because, they are an art form that, I believe at least, does not get enough recognition for its capabilities. Here is my latest one that I worked on the weekend:

This fun atmosphere is something I am also trying to reflect in the website’s design. I wanted a theme that could provide the many pages needed for my different sections. I picked the Lesse Lite theme because its format allowed a balance between presentable pictures and text. It also allows for me to embed my videos from my Youtube channel neatly. My favourite websites such as Youtube and Forbes have many pictures and sleek designs. I believe that Lesse Lite will reflect the visually appealing direction I wish to take this site in. In terms of matching my Vision Board, I would say I did fairly well. However, my vision board made mostly rough generalizations and focused on the pages I wanted. I knew that I wanted a theme that allowed for vivid pictures, so this process of creation has been mostly one as I go.