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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Editorial: The 5 Least Cool Pokemon.

Editorial: The 5 Least Cool Pokemon.

Last week, we looked at the top five coolest Pokemon, so it's only fair that this week we look at the bottom five, the ones who nobody loves because they are so horrendously uncool and so totally without redeeming features.

Once again, we're not including legendaries on this list. So, without further ado:

5. Magikarp.

Look, everybody knew that Magikarp was going to be on this list. Being uncool and actually just sort of pathetic is kind of its whole purpose, we all know that, I don't need to delve into why it is. It'd be higher on this list, even, but it evolves into Gyarados, and everybody loves Gyarados.

So instead, I'm going to use this space to mention one trainer in one of the later games. He's a fisherman with six Pokemon, and you encounter him about halfway through the game, when your team are averaging late twenties to early thirties as far as levels go.

The first five Pokemon he throws out are all level six Magikarp and obviously they all go down in one hit, after which the trainer swings onto the battle screen for some dialogue, the kind you usually get with gym leaders. Now, he says, you will face his ace Pokemon, his combo breaker.

He throws out a level seven Magikarp.

I wonder what that fellow is doing now.

4. Emboar.

Emboar is a pig with flames painted on it. If I wanted a pig with flames painted on it, I could just buy some paint and find a pig, I don't have to sink hours into leveling up a series of smaller pigs with smaller flame decals.

It's also a fire/fighting type, because of course it is. It is, in point of fact, the third fire/fighting starter Pokemon in a row, having come after the Chimchar line and the Torchic line. While other starters had elected to mix things up again, with such combinations as Water/Ground, Water/Steel, and Grass/Poison, Nintendo had apparently decided that fire and fighting were a type combination made in heaven, and had designed their starters accordingly.

It would only break that chain in the most recent generation, where we got Fire/Psychic instead, which is a much more interesting combination, and also formed an interesting double triangle where each starter pokemon was doubly strong against one and doubly weak against the other.

3. Electrode.

To everyone who has ever uttered the phrase 'Pokemon were so much more original in the first generation', I want you to look at Electrode.

Just look at it. It's a bloody ball with eyes, a design aesthetic that occurs more than once in the first generation, as we also have Geodude (a ball with eyes and arms) and Voltorb. Not only that, but it's a Voltorb (itself a very unimaginative design, given that it's just a pokeball with eyes) flipped upside down with a very slightly different face. 

Also, what's Electrode's defining feature? That it sometimes just randomly explodes. Oh, awesome, let me get one on my team immediately.

2. Garbodor. 

Garbodor is a rubbish bag that has split open, and that's disgusting.

It's not that Garbodor is the only disgusting Pokemon, either - Muk and Grimer won't be winning any awards for prettiness or hygiene any time soon, and neither will Koffing and Weezing - but it's the only one which is so terrifyingly mundane in its grotesquery. You'll probably never encounter a toxic sludge spill in your life, for example, but the chances of encountering a split open black bag spewing foul smelling and rotting waste everywhere are much higher than it's truly polite to admit.

Naturally, this is a Pokemon used frequently by the criminal teams of the games it shows up in, because Poison types always are, so you'll be seeing a lot of it. Too much of it, in fact. You'll be seeing too much of it.

1. Dunsparce.

"What's the least cool Pokemon?" I asked one of my colleagues when doing the prep work for this editorial. Immediately, without even thinking about it, they replied "Dunsparce." I was confused - this is a franchise in which Garbodor exists. It's a franchise that has Rattata in, when everyone knows a Rattata is only worthwhile when it's in the top ten percent of Rattata.

Looking Dunsparce up did not clear my confusion any. It was a little bland, but ultimately fine, right?

No, my colleague explained. Look at it. It's this huge, bright yellow, floppy thing like Homer Simpson's prize rooster. It's a pure Normal type. It has a stinger but it can't learn any poison abilities; it has wings but it cannot fly. Its stats are horrendously low in nearly every area and learns no interesting moves to compensate for that. One of its special abilities revolves around running away, and the other revolves around having anxiety issues.

Dunsparce is not cool.

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