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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Pokémon's Personality-Morphing Mints

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This has got to be abuse, right?

There are two ways to view this trailer of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield news:

  1. Pokémon are friends and great the way they are, independent of their battling abilities
  2. Pokémon are tools for battlers to attain personal glory

If you view the world the first way, this is abhorrent. If you view the world the second way, you'll be very pleased with just how easy and accessible GAME FREAK is making it to get a competitively-viable team in-game, as opposed to having to breed (and abort—if they're merely “released” how come you don't see them in the wild after?) a lot of Pokémon to get the perfect nature:

Consolation to the first way of thinking: According to the official site, the Nature doesn't change. Just the stats behind it. So when the Pikachu in the trailer smelled the Modest Mint, they still keep their Sassy Nature—but instead of Sassy's Special Defence ↑ Speed ↓ trait, Pikachu has Modest's Special Attack ↑ Attack ↓. (Sassy is competitively a horrible Nature for Pikachu, but it's one of the best personalities you can be blessed with.)
But is one Sassy independent of their stats, or are they Sassy BECAUSE of having higher Special Defence but lower Speed? Sassy In Name Only isn't Sassy.

Can we be sure the stats are the only thing that has changed?

I guess saving on abortions is a positive, though. Humans should consider this kind of thing. Maybe. I dunno, seems gross to me. If I want to battle, I'm already satisfied with the rental team feature.

As far as I'm concerned, boxes being everywhere is going to reduce the game's difficulty substantially, since going to a Pokémon Box heals the Pokémon going inside to perfect condition. There's now an auto-save feature, which is very dangerous. Imagine if there was auto-save (in a series known for having one save file) back when Pokémon X/Pokémon Y shipped with a game-breaking glitch in Lumiose City, the central hub of the game. There's no guarantees that Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield won't have the same issue somewhere.

In previous Pokémon games, the vitamin items (Protein, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, HP Up, Carbos) were limited to the first 100 effort values, and each gave 10 per pop. That meant you could use them a maximum of 10 times per Pokémon each, and you had to train for the rest. That limit has been removed. Plus, there are now Experience Candies (Exp. Candies), which are basically the Snacks for Spirits from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, coming in many different sizes. These increase a Pokémon's experience by a certain amount of points—as opposed to a Rare Candy, which will increase the level by 1. An Exp. Candy might raise a Pokémon's level by multiple levels, or it might not raise it at all. Depends how much experience they need. This is fine, I guess. Let's hope the candy is closer to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and not to Whoppers.

A Pokémon with three or less moves left in a Pokémon Nursery with another Pokémon of the same species will receive an Egg Move from that other Pokémon, without having to be born from an egg. I have a mental image in my head of the mouth-to-mouth mechanic in the Kirby games, but we'll never know what happens behind those Nursery doors.

...The Pokémon can be the same gender or no gender, so I'm sure it's nothing inappropriate.

Ludwig doesn't think there will be any more pre-release info dumps since Pokémon Shield and Pokémon Sword release next week. Ludwig will give some summarising thoughts and his purchase plans then! In the meantime, which way do YOU see the world, and how do the new games with their new features make you feel?

Here is Ludwig's purchase plan. ...Hint: he's not purchasing it.


  1. My friend, who has serious competitive Pokemon VGC chops--seriously, I've seen him beat genuinely good competitive players and I'm encouraging him to go for VGC Worlds in 2020--is really hyped about these mints, but yeah from a Watsonian perspective it's pretty disturbing. Either way, I wish Pokemon could be realistic enough to express Natures in Pokemon behavior somehow.

    1. "Watsonian" and "Doylist" are sort of slang terms to refer to looking at a work of fiction from an in-universe or out of universe perspective. E.g. If one views a video game as pixels on a screen that are manipulated by inputs, that's heavily Doylist. If one views it as more like another world that the player interacts with, that's more Watsonian.

      And to answer your original question Watson is the point of view character for most of the Sherlock Holmes stories, which were written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Because they're from his perspective, a reader, hypothetically, could choose between viewing those stories as utterly false works of fiction, or as things that did happen in some world somewhere, even if that world only exists in the reader's imagination.

      Thus, the Sherlock Holmes stories are one of the earliest known examples of a series of works of fiction where this divide between in universe and out of universe thinking can be so clearly defined. As such the practice was named after the author, and one of his characters.

    2. So you DO use TVTropes. Well, it was fun to explain it in my own words anyway. (You are correct sir, and I wouldn't have it any other way.)

  2. "(and abort—if they're merely “released” how come you don't see them in the wild after?)"

    Well you have to hatch the eggs if you want to release them. I assume the abortion equivalent of oviparous species would be to break the egg with some blunt object like the Thinker clock. I believe the more accurate term in this case would be infanticide by just leaving the babies to die to the elements such as by a predatory Pokémon, starvation because they can't find food for themselves, or disease.

    1. If pro-choicers can blur the line between abortion and infanticide, so can I!

      Also, what's the verb form of infanticide? ...Well, there's "murder" I suppose.

      In biology "abort" can apparently be used to refer to allowing an organism (in this case, a baby Pokémon) to develop minimally before being...stopped.

      Regardless, they're totally gonna be left for dead.

      (Good bringing in the Thinker.)


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