In lieu of a Big Question this week, and because I'm a massive Pokemon fanboy, I'm going to be taking a look at the soon to be released 3rd Gen Pokemon remakes. I apologise to all of you who aren't Pokemon fans, normal service will be resumed next week (because I won't have got the games by then so I can't do a review of them, thank you Gamefreak and your stupid police of giving Europe the games a week after everyone else).
Anyway, on with the show.
Obvious starting point, because that is the main thing people are talking about. And I have to say on the most part they're pretty good. I think it will be easier if I go through them one at a time (warning, long list ahead). Also, I have seen leaked stats for the Megas so I will be referencing them in this.
Mega Sceptile: I love this one, design wise, and Treecko will be my starter for my first play-through, but I do have my doubts over it's potential competitively. It's Speed looks monstrous, as you would expect, seen as Sceptile is the fastest starter Pokemon anyway, but it is very frail. I mean, very, very frail. It has no defence. That, combined with the fact it has now got Grass/ Dragon typing and this thing will literally die three times over from an ice-shard from anything. It probably won't be able to take any kind of priority move actually, apart from maybe an Aqua Jet (considering it's 4x resisted), but other than that. Also, his ability is still stupid. Okay it completely neutralises Thunder Wave, preventing the most common way of paralysing a Pokemon, thus preventing it's Speed from being lowered in that way. But that still doesn't prevent paralysis from moves such as Body Slam or Tri-Attack, which Sceptile may have to face off against if it ends up in the UU tier by Smogon rules (which I think could be likely), where it will be up against stuff like Jirachi and Porygon 2/ Porygon-Z, who are famous for those moves.
Mega Swampert: Not so crazy keen on this design, but it doesn't actually look so bad on paper. It gets a decent attack boost and with Swift Swim doubling its speed in the rain, it looks to become a very viable Rain Team sweeper, it's speed increasing to nearly Mega Sceptile levels. And of course, it's a Swampert, so it's bulky naturally, so it will take hits, apart from Grass type moves, but that's to be expected.
Mega Sableye: Sorry, don't like this one. Sableye is a really good Pokemon. It gets Prankster, which allows Status moves priority, meaning it can burn physical attacks before they can attack, Taunt set up Pokemon before they can set up and Recover HP before it can take further damage. This compensates for Sableye's poor Speed stat and makes it one of the most annoying Pokemon to face competitively. And what happens when it Mega Evolves? It gets Magic Bounce, which reflects status afflictions and entry hazards back at the opponent. That sounds great doesn't it, but hold on. Sableye loses speed when it Mega Evolves, becoming one of the top 10 slowest Pokemon in the game. And it loses the ability that makes up for it's already poor Speed stat, so you're guaranteed to go last against anything but a low priority move. There is an up side though, Mega Sableye gets some pretty nice bulk when it Mega's, so you can at least take a hit, hopefully. It's physical Defence is higher than it's Special Defence, so that could be problematic. So what I see happening is people are going to run Mega Sableye thusly: Bring Sableye out, Taunt opponent so they can set up against you, Mega Evolve and set up a Calm Mind as opponent switches out or don't Mega Evolve to keep the prankster and set up a Calm Mind as the opponent switches out, then regret using Mega Sableye because normal Sableye is so much more useful.
Mega METAGROSS: *giggles hysterically* This is sooooo broken. I love it. Metagross got pooped on in this generation, getting two new weaknesses and considering Knock Off got a buff in this gen as well and everyone and their mother, aunt and grandmother now carries Knock Off, Metagross was in dire need of some love. And boy did it get it. Let me just list the leaked stats for you, because they are RE-DIC-U-LOUS.
HP 80 (same as before), Attack- 145!!!, Defence- 150!!!, Sp.At- 105, Sp.Def- 110, Speed- 110!!!
So, this thing, already one of the scariest physical attackers in the game, gets an attack boost, with the ability Tough Claws, which boosts the power of contact moves (read Meteor Mash, Bullet Punch, Zen Headbutt, Hammer Arm, basically a normal Metagross set minus Earthquake) and then it gets a 40 point boost in Speed… You know what counters Mega Metagross? Not Much! Darkrai can't take a base 145 attack, Tough Claws boosted STAB Bullet Punch, neither can Weavile or Mega Gengar. Mega Manectric may at a pinch because it's resisted, but a non-STAB Flamethrower isn't going to OHKO and then you have an Earthquake coming your way. Talonflame could make a dent with Flare Blitz, but it's frail as hell. The only Pokemon I can see both hard countering and being able to take out Mega Metagross is Groudon, so Mega Metagross is going straight to Ubers for me. I'm really scared of Steven now. Don't make me fight him, I'll be good, I promise. *huddles in the corner whimpering pathetically*
Mega Diancie- This one is interesting. What they've basically done is switched normal Diancie's defensive and offensive stats and then buffed them all by 10, with a bigger buff to Speed. It's certainly more of a threat now, I've been using Diancie competitively recently and it's okay but not all that. But Mega Diancie has ridiculous Offensive stats, it's attack is the same as Regigigas (160) and it's Special Attack is higher than Mewtwo's (160 as well). It still has a 4x weakness to Steel, but it's defences are both 110, so it could conceivably take a Bullet Punch (though looking at a Base Stat Chart, Glaceon has base 110 defence and I know from experience that Glaceon can't take a STAB Bullet Punch even with only a 2x weakness).
Mega Altaria- What to say here. There are pro's and con's to this one. Pro's, it got the typing we all wanted, Dragon/ Fairy, which means it now gets STAB off of the two Fairy Type moves it gets access to (being one of only two Dragon types to get access to a Fairy Type move, the other being Dragalge), which is nice. Then it has the ability Pixilate, which turns all Normal Type moves into Fairy type moves, giving them a boost as well, and then giving them a STAB boost. Con's, the design isn't as good as it could have been. Then we come to its stats. It's ability suggests it would be an offensive Pokemon, because it's non-Mega ability Natural Cure is much more useful for a defensive Pokemon, as it cures Status problems (such as Toxic, on switch out). Its stats though… they're weird. They're basically even across the board, only without any boost in Speed. So you can run a Specially Offensive Mega Altaria, which will make use of its ability, a Physically Offensive Mega Altaria, which could become a thing with Dragon Dance and Pixilate Return (Winnona wrecked me in my recent re-play of Ruby with her Dragon Dance Earthquake Altaria), or a Defensive Altaria. But the Defensive set up doesn't make much sense to me really. Ok, Altaria gets access to Cotton Guard, which makes it soooo bulky physically, but what stops set up walls like that? Toxic. And what ability did Altaria lose so it could gain Pixilate, which defensive Altaria won't be making as much use of? Natural Cure. So that means Altaria can now be Toxic stalled and you have no way to stop it bar wasting a move slot on something like Safeguard or Refresh to prevent/ cure status aliments. I guess Roost works for HP recovery and can counter Toxic to some extent, but you're still gonna die from it. So I'm not really sure why they made Mega Altaria's stats so even. Yeah it can have some bulk, but it would have been served better to have slightly more offence, I.M.O.
Mega Lopunny- BEAST! At first I didn't get this one. But now I love it. I'm so excited for this, probably my second favourite Mega after Mega Metagross. Why? It's design is so freakin' nice, it becomes Normal/ Fighting type (Fighting being one of my top 3 favourite types, maybe even number 1 now), it gets Scrappy, which means it now can hit Ghost types with both of its STABs (meaning Mega Lopunny laughs in the face of Mega Sableye) and it gets an Attack and Speed boost (which mean it hits as hard as a Dragonite and as fast as a Mega Manectric), and it gets access to moves like Sky Uppercut, High Jump Kick, Return, Quick Attack (priority should never be sniffed at, especially with a decent attack stat), Power-Up Punch and Agility (if you want to be that guy) for set up, Fire/ Ice/ Thunder Punch for type coverage, Drain Punch for HP recovery, Fake Out which now hits Ghost types, Teeter Dance to confuse your opponent. There's so much to love about her.
Mega Salamence- Ok, let me just show you what I said on my DeviantArt page when this was first revealed: "And finally, we also have confirmed Mega Salamence. This should not be a thing to start with because Salamence is already super fast, super strong, with set up moves to boost its stats AND reliable recovery, with Moxie as an ability (which raises it's attack if it takes out an opponent), and this thing is getting a Mega? Sorry, this isn't like Metagross, the other 3rd Gen pseudo who got a mega in ORAS. Ok both got new weaknesses in 6th Gen, Metagross gaining 2 with Steel losing it's resistance to Ghost and Dark, but Salamence has a wider move pool to deal with its weaknesses and is faster than most of them anyway, meaning it will hit faster and much harder than anything that is really a threat (unless we are talking a Dragon Danced Dragonite or Haxorus), where as Metagross is slow and only gets access to 2 set up moves (Agility which raises speed and Iron Defence which raises defence). Then we get to design. Mega Metagross looks intimidating and powerful. Mega Salamence… doesn't. I don't know what design I was expecting, but that wasn't it. It's turned into a sort of jet plane thing, slimmed down a lot and it's wings now join at the back. I don't hate it, but I don't much care for it either. Just how broken it is depends on the stat changes, but going off of design I'm thinking massive speed increase (due to major loss of bulk) and a major defence drop (for the same reason). It's ability will be interesting, it looks like the kind of Pokemon that would get Speed Boost as an ability, but that WOULD BE too broken (come in on a weak opponent to get a kill, get the attack boost from Moxie, then Mega evolve and get the stat boost plus the Speed Boost from it's new ability, No), so instead it gets Aerialate, which turns all Normal Type moves into Flying type moves (giving them STAB), which is less broken, but Salamence gets Double Edge by level up, which basically means Salamence now gets Brave Bird in all but name. And like Pinsir it gets Thrash. I'm scared."
That was before we got the Mega's stats leaked. Now that the stats have been leaked, I'm even more scared. Look at these...
HP- 95 (same), Attack- 145!!!, Defence- 130!!!, Sp.At- 120!!!, Sp.Def- 90, Speed- 120!!!!!!
WHAT DAFAQ GAMEFREAK ARE YOU TRYING TO BREAK THE GAME?! This thing gets Dragon Dance (Attack and Speed boost), Moxie before it Mega evolves (that's another attack boost right there), reliable recovery in Roost, serious STAB in Outrage, Dragon Claw and now thanks to it's new ability Return and Double Edge, with a Speed of 120, an Attack of 145 (same as Mega Metagross remember and that thing is going to Ubers) and a Defence stat of 130. It's taking that 4x effective Ice Shard to the bank and laughing at it, and the only things that can hit it on the Special side with super effective damage that out speed are Greninja (who only just out-speeds), Jolteon (with Hidden Power Ice), Mewtwo and Deoxys, who are both Ubers. You only need to Dragon Dance once before you outspeed Greninja and Jolteon and they're both frail as the thinest of glass, so they're no threat. Ubers, straight out. And you know the scary part, apparently there are Elite 4 rematches in these games and Drake has a Mega Salamence. So, you fight through the first 3 Eltie 4 members, only to fight a Mega Salamence. Then if you beat that, you have to fight a Mega Metagross… *dies*
Mega Slowbro- Terrible design. But OH MY GOD. We've talked about stats. Let me just run this one by you. Base 180 defence. That's what Mega Slowbro has. And it gets Shell Armour so it can't be crited. *exasperated laugh* Oh god. Ok it loses Regenerator, so it can't regain HP on switch out any more, but… Set up a couple of Calm Minds and you're not dying. Like Mega Altaria earlier, you can get Toxic stalled, but it doesn't seem so bad because Slowbro didn't lose an ability that prevented it from happening. Plus Mega Altaria can get crited. The only way you'll be able to kill a set up Mega Slowbro is with Toxic, because it has massive defence, a way of boosting its Special Defence and reliable recovery in Slack Off. Man.
Mega Audino- Don't care.
No, ok, I'll talk about it, but I still don't care. It's a wall, but instead of carrying over its decent ability, Regenerator, it carries over it's useless ability, Healer (which heals partner Pokemon of status afflictions in Double Battles). So it's a Double Battles mega, but who does Doubles?
Can I stop talking about Audino now?
Mega Camerupt- Great design. It looks so goofy, but kinda badass at the same time. It's gonna be slow as all hell, I can tell you that right now. And with a 4x weakness that's not a good thing. It gets ok bulk, but not enough to compensate for its weaknesses. Still, if it were under Trick Room (where slower Pokemon go first), it could be a serious threat. Sheer Force boosting a lot of its moves, Flamethrower, Lava Plume, Rock Slide, Earth Power, Fire Blast, Heat Wave, Flash Cannon (if anyone ever ran Flash Cannon Camerupt), plus a pretty hefty 145 base Special Attack (same as Mega Metagross and mega Salamence's physical Attack stats). Still, too slow to do anything without Trick Room though.
Mega Sharpedo- Looks a bit stupid, but Strong Jaw could really work for it as an ability. It gets a nice attack boost, and access to Crunch (which is STAB) and Ice Fang so it does get use from its ability. Problem is, it doesn't get any other move that get a Strong Jaw boost. It doesn't learn any of the other Elemental Fangs (Fire/ Thunder/ Poison Fang) and they are the only other moves that get boosted by Strong Jaw. But still, it doesn't mean Mega Sharpedo is going to be useless. It's going to be a bit like Mega Salamence or Mega Sableye, where you Mega Evolve a turn after you send the Pokemon out so you can take advantage of the non-mega ability (in this case Speed Boost).
Mega Gallade- Another one I love. It has a fantastic design (he has a cape, which I'm still hyped about). At first I thought his ability was terrible (Inner Focus, which prevents flinching, as opposed to his normal Hidden Ability- Justified, which raises Attack when hit with a Dark Type move), but actually it might not be so bad. You can attack through Fake Out and it neutralises Togekiss and Jirachi's flinching antics (though not to any advantage in the case of Togekiss, because Air Slash is still super-effective). Then you have its Stats. 165 Base Attack. Just run that round your mind for a second. That puts Mega Gallade in the top 5 most powerful physical attackers. And his move set is incredible. STAB Close Combat and Psycho Cut, so you hit everything in the game bar Sableye, Spiritomb and the Honedge evo line for at least neutral damage. The he gets Earthquake, Stone Edge, Thunder Punch and Ice Punch for Flying types, Knock Off, Night Slash and X-Scissor for other Psychic types, Poison Jab to deal with Fairy Types, Shadow Sneak for priority, Power-Up Punch and Swords Dance for set up, Drain Punch for HP recovery. Oh and did I mention he is now pretty fast. Like base 110 speed. Dude.
Mega Rayquaza- Broken in every way shape and form. Base 780 Pokemon, with an ability that removes his flying type weaknesses, meaning he's only 2x weak to Ice rather than 4x weak, neutral to rock and resistant to Electric, plus the fact he has BASE 180 in both offensive stats and base 115 speed, with Dragon Dance, viable Flying type STAB in his signature Dragons Ascent and ExtremeSpeed priority. *sigh* If I may make a metaphor for this, this Mega is like being born into a rich family, then finding out you've inherited all of Bill Gate's money. You were well off before, but now you're ridiculous.
Mega Pidgeot- Not really much to say here. They've taken an okay Pokemon and made it better by giving it a good ability (No Guard) and a complete switch in offensive style (from physical to special) just to facilitate one move, Hurricane. Problem being that with No Guard, not only do you never miss but also your opponent never misses either, so that's 100% accurate Thunders, Blizzards and Stone Edges coming your way all the time.
Mega Beedrill- Oh this is wondrous. What they've done here is literally taken all of its stats and put them into physical offence and speed, so you're left with a Mega pokemon with stats that read thusly:
HP- 65, Attack- 150, Defence- 40, Sp. At- 15!!! (no typo), Sp. Def- 80, Speed- 145
So Mega Beedrill is hitting hard and fast, but gets wrecked by priority (like Mega Sceptile but worse). I really want to see someone run a Special Mega Beedrill with Bug Buzz and Sludge Bomb, just for the lols.
Mega Glalie- Refridgerate Explosion. That's all I have to say about this one. It's going to be amazing. Actually, I do have more to say. Shut your damn mouth Mega Glalie, you looks so stupid with it hanging open (who called their Mega Glalie Pacman in the ORAS demo? I did.)
Mega Steelix- Base 230 Defence!!! I said Mega Slowbro was fat. Mega Steelix will sink the land back into the ocean. And because it's Steel type, it can't get Toxic poisoned. 95 Special Defence isn't anything to sneeze at either. Only problems I see are, 1) it doesn't have Sturdy any more, it has Sand Force (good for a Sand team, especially with base 125 attack, but you can now get one shot), 2) it's slow as hell (great for Gyro Ball, not so great for the fact that everything that can one shot you will out-speed you and one shot you).
Mega Latias/ Latios0- Don't like them, which is strange, considering Latias and Latios are my second favourite Legendary Pokemon after Suicune. Problem is, they look identical and that just seems a bit lazy to me. Plus I don't like how their wings and arms merge and flip backwards. It seems anatomically awkward. Try pulling that pose yourself and tell me how you feel when you get back from the chiropractors. Sure, I know you're not a Pokemon, but it just doesn't seem like a natural pose. And I don't like the purple. Still, they've already been hacked by some people, so I've seen them in action and they are powerful to the nth degree, so no complaints there.
Groudon- Like Mega Rayquaza, broken in every sense of the word. It's ability means it only has 1 weakness! It's defensive stats are 160 and 90 (physical and special) and it only takes super effective damage from 1 type (being ground). Plus it can't get hit by Water moves at all, whilst its ability is in effect, otherwise it would have a 4x weakness thanks to its new Ground/ Fire typing. Oh, and did I mention, Base 180 attack. I was going off on one earlier about Mega Gallades 165 attack, this is 180 base. That's an Earthquake that will destroy worlds.
Kyogre- It's funny, because they actually nerfed Kyogre when compared with Groudon and Rayquaza. Kyogre was always the best of the 3, it could destroy both with Ice Beam and Groudon was weak to Kyogre's STAB anyway. But now, facing off with the others, Rayquaza has lost half of its Ice weakness (ok, Kyogre's base 180 Special Attack still means 1 Ice Beam is a guaranteed OHKO) and Groudon, being slower, is going to get it's weather effect up if both are sent out at the same time (because with weather inducing abilities, the slowest one gets their ability activated last, so their weather cancels out any other weather put up prior), therefore losing its weakness to water. And what does Kyogre get? Fire type moves won't work (they weren't a threat anyway) and no new typing so he doesn't get a different STAB to play with (unlike Groudon). Yeah his stats are amazing, like Groudons, but he didn't get as much love really. But his design is BADASS.
Contests: I'm ok with this, it was kinda expected they were coming back. I never really messed with them in the original games and I can't really see myself messing with them too much in these remakes. Sure I'll have a go, apparently you evolve Feebas into Milotic though contests now, so that makes it worthwhile in a way. But still… Oh, and I hate the cosplay Pikachu's. Gamefreak, stop mucking around with Pikachu and give us a Mega Raichu for all of Arceus' sake.
Secret Bases: Another thing I never really messed with in the original games, but now, it's a different story. Why? Where have you been for the last 3 months? YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN GYM IN YOU SECRET BASE!!!!!! *FANSPAZ MAJOR* Soooooooo awesome. Now the only problems are, where do I locate my base? How do I decorate it so it makes an awesome gym? And what type do I use? (It's either Fighting, so I can use Lucario and Mega Medicham or Mega Lopunny, Water, so I can use a Rain team with mega Swampert, Dragon, so I can use Mega Sceptile, or Normal, because I made a pretty nifty Mono-Normal team a few weeks back and it wrecks house).
LATIOS AND LATIAS: YOU CAN FLY ON LATIOS AND LATIAS NOW! FREE ROAM AROUND THE REGIONS SKYS ON THE BACKS OF MY FAVOURITE HOENN LEGENDARIES (and my 2nd favourite legends of all time)! WITH THESE GRAPHICS! ALL OF MY YES AND MORE!!!!!!!!!!!
(Sorry, got a bit excited there didn't I?)
Mirage Spots: So, apparently you can find all of the legends that aren't in X&Y in mirage spots through out Hoenn. This will be interesting. I really hope that they have the Lottery feature in these games so you can get more than one Master ball, because by God, I hate catching Legendary Pokemon. They are such a pain to catch and often, in my experience, would rather Struggle kill themselves (I'm looking at you Cobalion, Virizion and Terrakion) than stay in any type of Pokeball, even Timer Balls.
Post Game Story With Deoxys and Rayquaza: At least, I hope this is post game. It looks interesting. they introduce another new character (who has a Mega flipping Salamence. Don't want to battle her) and we get a bit more from Teams Magma and Aqua. Hopefully this means Deoxys can be captured in game rather than through event, because all the events do get annoying after a while.
Design and Graphics
BEAUTIFUL. 3D Hoenn. Diving. Gym redesigns (what we've seen so far). Character Sprite redesigns (even route trainers). Route and City redesigns. Team Aqua's new pirate redesign (and race change 😉 ). The Mossdeep Space Centre Rocket. Overworld flying on the Lati's. So Beautiful.
Anyway, that's my condensed summary (yes, it was actually condensed) of the up coming games. So now over to you guys. Are you HYPED for the new games? Who's going to be on your team (me personally, Sceptile, the Event Shiny Metagross (obvs), Lopunny, Medicham, Walrein and probably Swellow)? What bits are you most looking forward to?