Ghosts of Generation 4 - winstein's Review
by, 12th November 2010 at 07:42 AM (774 Views)
The 4th Generation has thus far more Ghost-types than the last. Of all the generations so far, this one has the most evolutionary lines that are distinct, as that means there would be more competitive Pokemon to use, and of course, they all happen to have competitive value! Of course, they also have interesting designs too, so I can't deny that.
Drifloon and Drifblim
Drifloon and Drifblim continues from what Shuppet and Banette did as Ghost-types: be based on a real object that comes alive. In their case, they are said to be discarded balloons. It's strange that balloons can be a Ghost-type, but that's the way things are. Besides, can anyone actually punch a balloon and expect any kind of impact on it? They cannot be found normally in Diamond and Pearl, as they are nowhere to be seen. But! Every Friday in the evening or night, you can see a stray Drifloon near the Valley Windworks. This Ghost isn't really doing much, so that makes him/her a valid target to catch, obviously!
Drifloon is a typical balloon, and Drifblim is a hot-air balloon. Both of them has a cross on their mouthpiece, which implies that they are sealed (for the purpose of preventing deflation), but that's not that case. In fact, you cannot see their mouths, because it's one of the design choices in cartoons to not show the mouth unless it's needed to be shown (Remember Dilbert and Hello Kitty?). Anyway, it's said that Drifloon cannot carry children, but that doesn't mean that more than one cannot carry one: an episode of the anime delibrately shows this. Drifblim, however, is able to carry people, and can even learn Fly (which his/her pre-evolution cannot). The red eyes of Drifblim does make him/her look more ominous and dangerous as well.
Unlike many of the other ghosts, who either have Levitate or not, Drifloon and Drifblim are part Flying, which would mean that they can naturally fly. Even their abilities reflect their balloon nature. Aftermath is basically what happens when someone pops a balloon: the pressure within a balloon will hurt the popper (if they are near the impact), which is true in battles, where a contact move will hurt the user if the attack KOs them. As for Unburden, it's a standard for hot-air balloons to put excessive weights around the carrier, as when the need rises, one of these weights can be abandoned to make the balloon lighter and float higher, which is a must to avoid dangers. Also, ankle weights were put on joggers to exercise their feet, and when they are removed after their exercise, they can feel themselves becoming faster after that burden was removed. This applies to Drifloon and Drifblim, where after their weight in the form of an item is taken away, they become much faster than before, but only when they are on the field. They have a new ability Heat Rampage, which alludes Hindenberg's disaster, I suppose. It's also a nice ability on the duo because they are able to have a free Special Attack boost just by being burnt. It would be even better if they got Tailwind with the ability, though.
In competitive battling, the balloon duo are known more for their ability Unburden. Drifblim can carry a Petaya Berry (increases Special Attack at 25% health) and create Substitutes until that point, in order to get both a Special Attack boost and a Speed boost, making them very fast and powerful. Drifblim also has a very high HP stat, and can learn Baton Pass, meaning that the balloon can pass a high HP Substitute to another teammate.
Drifloon and Drifblim are huggable, because, well, that body looks good to hug on, and I am sure if a cute Pokemon is in the form of an inflatable in real life, you would want to hug them too. Also, how can we forget that Drifblim is Fantina's main Pokemon? She dresses after Drifblim, so it's obvious that she's a fan of Drifblim herself.
7 wisps out of 10!
Previously, Misdreavus was without an evolution. Guess what? He/she has an evolution this time around! Mismagius is more witch-like the way things look, and now his/her mouth has a "w" shape on it, implying a sinister smile. The colour is, to me, more elegant because it is darker and more purple, which I envisioned Ghost-types to be. The question is: why was Misdreavus blue in the first place?
Like Misdreavus, Mismagius has a lot of feminine traits going for him/her, but again, the actual Pokemon doesn't have any gender bias. On him/her, we can see that "witch's hat", the "brooches", and the dress-like "cloak". Thankfully, Mismagius isn't as much a sexual target as his/her cousin Gardevoir. Also, like real witches, Mismagius is able to chant some incantations, which is the case of Lucky Chant, a move Misdreavus cannot learn but Mismagius can.
In terms of stats, Mismagius isn't a huge improvement from Misdreavus. HP, Attack and Defence isn't changed, but only the Special Attack, Special Defence and Speed is improved. The Speed improvement is especially the most beneficial improvement for Mismagius, because he/she now has the ability to out-speed Pokemon of a base Speed of 100. Mismagius is probably built to be more offensive, as he/she can make better use of Nasty Plot and the myriad of Special Attacks he/she learns. However, the classic Substitute and Calm Mind also works too. Of course, like Misdreavus, Mismagius can use the dreaded Mean Look and Perish Song combo to a degree of success, especially when pitted against walls that can't do a lot of damage like Chansey and Blissey (who might switch in to try to sponge Special Attacks).
The anime has two notable appearances of Mismagius (among others). One of them is Fantina's Pokemon, and the other is Zoey's. I am not really familiar with either one, because I wasn't really around the anime scene to experience, so please fill me on the stories on their roles, but I do feel the need to point this one out for the heads-up.
Still, the mysticism of Mismagius made him/her better than Misdreavus, who, now that I think about it, was more bland than Mismagius. Anyway, remember how I said something about Gardevoir and Misdreavus being a target for some lusty thoughts because of their feminine appearance and their common Egg Group? Well, I found something similar: Mismagius and Gardevoir! Indeed, ask and it is given.
7 wisps out of 10!
Unless a pure Ghost, new Ghost-types never have a shared typing with the old ones, and Spiritomb is no exception. However, it is treated as a shared typing by type junkies and competitive battlers, because the arrangement of types doesn't matter in calculation. Note that Sableye is a Dark/Ghost type; Spiritomb has an entirely new dual typing in the form of Ghost/Dark, which is only different aesthetically, as Spiritomb looks more like a Ghost-type than a Dark-type. In case you forgot, Spiritomb's typing gives him/her no type weaknesses, which is something very few Pokemon can brag, moreso without the need to use a move or ability to do that.
Spiritomb is one of the few Pokemon to have a significance with the Dex's number, as he/she is in position #108 in the Sinnoh's Dex, and also has a base Defence and Special Defence of 108, not to mention weighing 108 kg, which is quite heavy. It is said to be an accumulation of 108 different malevolent spirits. It is of note that 108 is a magic number in Buddhism as well: it's the number of temptations one must endure. I believe that this kind of numerical significance cannot be replicated in other monster franchises like Digimon and Yugioh (which I believe doesn't have a numerical order for their monsters).
Obtaining Spiritomb is quite troublesome, however. The reason is that it requires another device, in this case, another DS, but the reason for this is not to trade, no! In Diamond and Pearl, and Platinum, it requires talking to 32 players underground to be able to get the Keystone found in some places, especially Underground, and then a Spiritomb can be encountered. Remember to save first, because the troublesome process has to be repeated if you failed to capture before he/she fainted. In the anime however, Spiritomb seems to be released in an easier fashion. Instead of requiring that sequence in the games, it only requires a knock to make Spiritomb show up. However, it does seem that that Spiritomb is very strong and menacing, which, in the end, Pikachu struck a Thunder while Spiritomb's in the air (an oddity, again) to "calm" it.
In terms of competitive battling, Spiritomb is good. Being a Pokemon with high defences and no weaknesses is actually a good thing, because Spin-blocking Pokemon requires this kind of defence. Pressure is also a great ability to wear down the opponent's PP, especially if the move has low PP. Spiritomb is one of the few Pokemon that can reliably use Rest, Sleep Talk, and a boosting move, preferably Calm Mind, because he/she doesn't receive a lot of damage if Defence is fully invested, and the Special Defence is increased. While Spiritomb is quite slow, he/she can learn Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch, which meant the opponent is not always able to take advantage of Spiritomb's low Speed. It's also important to note Spiritomb's immunities. Those immunities would make any pure Psychic-type jealous, because he/she is immune to the types they normally resist. Wobbuffet doesn't particularly appreciate Spiritomb for being immune to Counter and Mirror Coat, so Spiritomb can wear down Wobbuffet without being harmed (Tickle is an event move, so it's rare).
Spiritomb's Dream World ability is Slip Through. This does sound like a gimmick to Spiritomb, but there are a few things that Spiritomb can do with the ability. Safeguard would normally prevent status, but it ignores Safeguard, meaning that Spiritomb is able to still spread Burns. Spiritomb's attack is above average, and he/she would also appreciate the ability to ignore Screens, which Psychic-types are able to use, meaning that they are not able to escape relatively unharmed by Pursuit.
With that scary face and the intangibility, Spiritomb is indeed another Pokemon that looks like a real Ghost, albeit one that is bound to an object. While most of the Ghosts are of the mischievous variety, Spiritomb is more of the malicious side of ghosts, which is a trait partially shared by Shuppet and Banette. Because of that, Spiritomb has some form of eerie value, which earns them some points.
10 wisps out of 10!
While Dusclops and Banette were counterparts, only Dusclops got the evolution, which is Dusknoir (poor Banette!). Once again, Dusknoir continues the theme of being the personification of death that the other two pre-evolutions were based on. For example, Dusknoir have that antenna on his/her head which is said to be able to receive radio waves from the spirit world. Dusknoir has a face on his/her body, with an angry one in front, and a happy one behind, which I guess are the two sides of death, because it can be scary because of the unknown possibilities that would be faced in the future, and happy for in the Baha'i writings, "death is a messenger of joy". Obviously religious writings are not taken into account, but it's an observation, nonetheless.
Competitive battling-wise, Dusknoir was said to be an unnecessary evolution from Dusclops due to how close their stats are. In fact, the only notable increase from Dusclops is Attack, which meant that Dusknoir doesn't need to resort in Seismic Toss or Night Shade to do the damage, although that's an option. When Trick Room was introduced, it became Dusknoir's niche, moreso in Doubles, because of his/her immunity to Fake Out and bulk, meaning the guaranteed flinch (Fake Out) and 2HKO are insufficient. Also, Dusknoir was one of the few Pokemon to learn Gravity naturally, and was a niche user, because he/she can learn Dynamic Punch, which becomes essentially 83% accurate due to the evasion decrease. However, even then, Dusknoir was not able to dish out most of the power, because Dusknoir's main STAB was Shadow Punch, which only have a Base Power of 60, and unlike a certain future Ghost, the power is considered lacklustre. It does help that he/she has Shadow Sneak to offset his/her low Speed, which is great for finishing foes who lacked a priority attack. Like Dusclops, Dusknoir still specialises in spin-blocking.
It's interesting to note that in the anime, Dusknoir is shown to be a benevolent Pokemon in Ghoul Daze, although he/she is misunderstood as the villain, like Darkrai in the movie. It shows that anything based on darkness isn't necessarily evil, like Absol, and of course, Yugioh in general. However, another appearance is in Ash's battle against Conway's own Dusknoir, who uses Trick Room, a strategy that Dusknoir does well in the games. Using Mean Look (where switching isn't always a priority) and Shadow Punch, Dusknoir was able to trump two of Ash's Pokemon before succumbing to Ash's last Pokemon under the contortions of the twisted dimensions.
Still, the design of Dusknoir doesn't disappoint for being the personification of death. (But then, that doesn't help explain not giving an evolution to Banette! Oh well...delayed gratification can only get better from here.)
9 wisps out of 10!
It does take a long time to have a Pokemon based on a yuki-onna (and no, Jynx doesn't count), and what better way to do this with an already monstrous-looking Ice Pokemon? While Shedinja was the first non-Ghost to Ghost evolution, Froslass was the more noticable one of the two, and also the only one that is gender-specific. Froslass' origins are also easy to tell if you are familiar with Japanese folklore. Being based on the female snow spirits that haunt in snow, which the yuki-onna is known for, it's quite appropriate that Froslass is a female-only evolution. Like Snorunt, Froslass' hands are on her head, but like Glalie, Froslass can float and has no discernable legs. Her "skirt"-like appendage does has some arousal potential, just like Gardevoir, because it looks like a kimono, and the "ribbon" helps solidify the fact. In fact, a Gijinka is very easy to make due to this.
One of Froslass's known appearances in the anime is during Ash's battle with Paul in the Sinnoh League. Over there, Paul used it against Pikachu when Ash's Infernape's battle against Paul's Ninjask is done, and while Froslass was overbearing with her hail and freezing tactics, Pikachu manages to beat her by breaking out of the ice block trap and launching the famous Volt Tackle.
Froslass has one great competitive battling niche, and that is Spike-stacking. Unlike many a Spike stacker, she isn't affected by Normal-type attacks, which meant that Rapid Spin is not able to out-stall those Spikes (because Rapid Spin has more PP than Spikes). Froslass is also a very fast Pokemon, which meant the Spikes can be placed first and fast. Having Destiny Bond and Thunderbolt allows Froslass to perform other activities besides Spike-stacking, as Destiny Bond can take a foe out if Froslass is in danger, and Thunderbolt for the indispensable BoltBeam combination. Snow Cloak and Cursed Body (Dream World) does give Froslass some support value, due to getting either free evasion or a negated strong attack, which are both useful to aid her survivability.
Froslass is, in general, not only a very well-designed Pokemon, but also a useful in competitive battling. Of course, there will be people drawing partial resemblances to older Pokemon to give excuses that newer Pokemon were simply rehashes, in this case, that onion head like Celebi, but this is often a fallacy because body types is hard not to differentiate, and not to mention those people are spoilt...every newer generation of Pokemon has to endure a much more increasing pain of ridiculous comparisons.
8 shards out of 10! (Froslass can't learn Will-O-Wisp)
Rotom wasn't available in pretty much the main quest in Diamond and Pearl, due to it being a post-game Pokemon. At that time, Rotom was just another special ordinary Pokemon, in the vein of Farfetch'd or Castform, but what was strange was that its first encounter was special in a way, due to the special music that plays in the battle. Rotom is very likely based on the poltergeist, who can possess objects and use them as its body. This description on the PokeDex was thought to be for aesthetic purposes, or maybe it goes beyond that wordy description? It does!
Fast forward to Platinum, there were silhouettes of 5 Pokemon, which some fans correctly guessed was Rotom's formes, and it's not that difficult too, due to Rotom's ability to possess electrical appliances anyway. Hopes were up that those formes will have a different type (some hoping Ghost will be kept!), which type junkies would no doubt would love, but this was not true: the formes kept the Electric/Ghost type. It wasn't the most exciting change, but this made the formes the best Pokemon in battle due to their excellent typing and ability to negate their main weakness, not to mention their overall great stats. Each of these formes have their own signature move not shared with other formes, and their Base Stat Total is higher than normal Rotom, but that doesn't mean normal Rotom is less useful; the only advantage normal Rotom has over them is the higher Speed.
Rotom is also mischievous, which the anime and manga demonstrates very well in an episode where Rotom plays pranks with the main cast. At the time these episode and chapter are aired/published, the Rotom formes are already announced, because Platinum was already released at that time. Maybe the fact his backwards-spelling name from Motor has some significant meaning after all.
In battles, Rotom was a good Pokemon due to those resistances it has, and the fact it has a good movepool to use doesn't hurt, because having STAB Thunderbolt is a very huge blessing, especially if the user doesn't need to worry about Ground attacks. However, the Rotom appliances were better Pokemon because of their stats. They were also the best spin-blockers, because they were not affected by Spikes/Toxic Spikes due to Levitate, and they are able to threaten any spinner of their choice: Starmie, Blastoise and Tentacruel doesn't like anyone of them, and Donphan and Claydol hates Hydro Pump/Leaf Storm. They can use RestTalk, a strategy that is useful on bulky Pokemon, because Rest is a full recovery move and Sleep Talk makes the Pokemon still able to do something when Sleeping.
However, that fun didn't last long, because Generation 5 made a drastic change. Wishes for a type change had been granted, but as every Pokemon fan knows, you can't please everybody, change or no change. While the normal Rotom appropriately still had the same type combination, each the Rotom formes also has an appropriately different type combination. All of them has useful/usable type combinations, except for only one of them having a questionable type in combination with the ability. This had made the formes different Pokemon due to this, which means their bullies and victims also changed, and so is their roles. No longer is Tyranitar the bane of their existance for Rotom-W and Rotom-C, who can easily scare him/her with their STAB special moves. Rotom-F can easily use its STAB Blizzard in Hail to score some strong hits, and Scizor has more reason to hate Rotom-H. However, they do lose the ability to spin-block, which puts some competitive players off. Personally, I would love Ghost to be kept instead of Electric, but I believe it's for the greater good, because flavour-wise, it makes sense, and the fact that they would very likely overshadow the other Ghost-types (get it?) would not be a good thing.
Still, it's nice that Rotom's got the spotlight in the middle of DP's run. Rotom is cute, and its ability to possess electrical appliances is very cool. Maybe there will be more appliances Rotom can possess in the future?
8 wisps out of 10!
Up to now, every new Generation introduces a legendary of a type that's not been used on a legendary, and it was Ghost's turn in Generation 4. This was done in the form of the third legendary, which can only be found out of the way from the main quest (in a cave), should the player wish to traverse. Like Rayquaza, Giratina was the main legendary Pokemon in the third game, occupying the box art and the title screen for Pokemon Platinum and having significance on the game's plot.
Like Rotom, Giratina was blessed with a new forme. However, that forme was the centrepoint of the story in Pokemon Platinum, where the player travels to Distortion World to meet Giratina's other form is the Origin Forme, while the previous one was known as the Altered Forme. Unlike its Altered Forme, the Origin Forme's specialty is in the power, because not only did Giratina's Origin Forme have higher offensive stats, it also has to hold the Griseous Orb, an item that grants Giratina a power boost if the move used is a Ghost and Dragon move, effectively giving Giratina an 80% boost for STAB.
The Distortion World then. If you go there, remember to bring your HM learners, because you will go surfing and pushing large rocks around to get around the amazing architecture of floating land and inconsistent gravity. Don't worry, because no wild Pokemon will ruin your trip, and not to mention, the place is quite linear as well. Also, if you do meet up with Giratina at the end of the tunnel, and somehow you KO'ed or escaped the beast, you still has a chance to meet up with it, so don't worry about not catching it in the first try.
Having a very huge Base Stat Total along with abilities that are beneficial, Giratina is not allowed in Standard Play. However, it is able to compete with other titans who were also banned from Standard Play, like Kyogre and Ho-oh. Giratina, being a Ghost Pokemon, is a great Spin-Blocker. The defences that it has also makes tanking attacks worthwhile too. However, it's important to note that Giratina has the same weaknesses every Dragon-type has, which meant that offensive Dragon Pokemon would be dangerous to face.
However, Giratina-O (Origin Forme) is another story. Despite being restricted to a single item, it is more of a blessing than a curse actually. Besides the power boost that was previously mentioned, the item cannot be removed from Giratina, which meant that Trick and Knock Off cannot remove this item from Giratina, effectively rendering some strategies useless. The power boost provides Giratina the power of "wall-breaking", a term used for Pokemon with the ability to launch powerful attacks on the Physical side and the Special side. Let's not forget that Giratina acquired Shadow Sneak in HeartGold and SoulSilver, which when combined, makes Giratina a very potent offensive Pokemon.
Giratina do have not one movie based on it, but two, and of course Dialga and Palkia are in them as well. It does seem that Giratina's one of the main star of the movies on those times, huh? Now, I haven't watched the movies, but I only read the synopses of those movies. From what I read, only the first one focuses on Giratina and the Distortion World, but the second one only gave Giratina a supporting role. Still, fair game. Giratina is the main Pokemon in a movie.
10 wisps out of 10!
*Whew* That one took a very long time, due to having to do 7 different descriptions this time around. I feel the need to ask for feedback from you guys/girls this time around...I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had writing them.
Thanks for reading.
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