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Gotta Review Em' All! (001-009)

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by , 21st September 2011 at 09:18 AM (1105 Views)
Gotta Review Em' All!

Everything's possible

by Human

So my quest begins to review all the 649 Pocket Monsters we call Pokemon that our friends at GameFreak have designed for us to cherish, enslave and train for our own personal enjoyment. These unique and strange fictional creatures based on Animals, Plants, Objects, Human Talents and Mythology vary due to their cool personalities and wierd looks that make them what they are. I'm Human and I'm here to finish my quest! I'll be using Bulbapedia's information about Pokemon.

How I Review A Pokemon


Reviewing a Pokemon is no easy challenge. I have to conjure everything having to do with the Pokemon without being biased. I take in the creativity, origin, thought and effect the Pokemon has given to the franchise into account. The name of a Pokemon has little to no effect. Just to make this clear I don't judge a Pokemon by its statistics and movepool. I judge a Pokemon for what it is. Just because you consider it to be a worthless and bad Pokemon doesn't mean it's the same to others. In other words, it's your opinion. You're free to bash what you think is a bad Pokemon as long as you don't take it as fact.

"A chemical reaction happens to us when we interact with eachother due to our differences. It's what makes the world develop with our different ideas and opinions. If everybody was the same the world would be boring."


I have my own ranking system and it goes like this:

HORRIBLE - A complete utter failure.

UNIMPRESSIVE - While bad, it does have its good stuff.

AVERAGE - In the middle. It's not something bad or good.

IMPRESSIVE - A great design that with a bit more effort put in it can get a PERFECT.

PERFECT - Flawless. I can make exceptions for a few tiny flaws that make no difference to the design. Basically succeeding with the aim of what the designer was going for without being underdesigned or overdesigned. I also count the effect the said Pokemon gave to the franchise.

I'm trying to give a reasonable ranking to all of the Pokemon. To make a few things more clearer, when I give a Pokemon a PERFECT I'm not saying that you should like it or hate it if I give it a HORRIBLE. There are Pokemon I don't like that get PERFECTs and Pokemon I like that get HORRIBLEs. If you have any problem with the reasoning of some of the Pokemon I rank just PM me and I'll see if you have a plausible point or not. I'll even rank a generation as a whole.

The First Generation


Starting the Pokemon craze with Pokemon Red and Green in 1995 in Japan. The birth of Pokemon. Satoshi Tajiri invented Pokemon as an alternative to collecting bugs. His childhood involved catching bugs and making them fight eachother. Sadly, during the years the world became more industrialized and it became harder for kids to play outside so Satoshi made Pokemon for kids to catch them and trade them with other kids. The Pokemon Anime's main character is named after him.

With the help of designer Ken Sugimori and other GameFreak designers the first generation of Pokemon was completed with 151 different species with their own personalities, origin and types for kids worldwide to enjoy.

I grew up with this generation as a kid and to be finally reviewing it is big for me. The question is though, is it any good? Is it really the best of bunch just because it was the first? Is it that amazing as most of the people who grew up with it make it out to be? We all know that nostalgia plays a part in the argument if it really has the best Pokemon with the most creative, original and fun designs.

"Nostalgia can blind us"


Personally, nostalgia never affected me as there are always good and bad designs in every generation and saying that something's good because it was the first is like saying that the first computers were the best because, well, they were the first to start the whole thing. I haven't made the final verdict yet so we have to see if this generation is any good.

Kanto Starters


The starters from Kanto mainly consist of reptiles. The Bulbasaur line is based on toads, the Squirtle line is based on turtles and the Charmander line is based on lizards. As Bulbasaur evolves into an Ivysaur and later into a Venusaur, its body and bulb on its back starts growing and stops till it becomes a Venusaur. Squirtle evolves into a Wartortle and later into a Blastoise where it gains more curled up white tails and what appear to be ears on its head and then out of nowhere gets cannons on its back when it becomes a Blastoise. Charmander evolves with a horn on the back of its head and claws as Charmeleon and later into Charizard growing wings to be able to fly and another horn on the back of its head.

Pokemon 001

Bulbasaur

Who's MissingNo.?


Bulbasaur can be seen as being the most fun and well thought design out of the Kanto starters due to its charming smile, personality and looks. The concept of a new born being given a bulb to care of since birth gives it responsibility. It's interesting how the bulb evolves with Bulbasaur. The more Bulbasaur takes care of its bulb, the stronger the attacks become in which it will later evolve. If it doesn't take care about the bulb, it surely won't evolve. I like this concept as it gives Pokemon its own fictional animal features without being too much like the animal. In the anime, we see Bulbasaur being the most mature Pokemon taking care of other Pokemon which is a nice thing to see. The anime also shows us that female Bulbasaur have spots shapes like hearts which is nice too.

All in all, I can't point out a single flaw in its design. It's clean, simple and adequate. It's cute too with its heart warming smile :3. There just isn't a single bad thing I can say and when only good can be said the result is obvious. It's funny because when I was a kid Bulbasaur was the starter I liked the least and now it's the one out of the 3 I like the most now that I'm older and can understand and appreciate monster designs more.

Rank: PERFECT
Classification: ANIMAL, PLANT

Pokemon 002

Ivysaur
Bulldog toads are a man's real best friend


Ivysaur is... his pre-evolved form only angrier coloured blue. I can imagine it smiling like Bulbasaur and see the similarities. This is still a Bulbasaur with an angry face. What the bulb grew into is alright. The size it evolved into isn't big enough between the first and final form. Ivysaur is better off being bipedal like it was in Red and Blue. The face was different enough and actual changes in body shape can be seen. It would have also been good development from Bulbasaur learning how to stand up. Instead we get this.

A lot of Pokemon from the first generation had features that got altered when they were shown in full colour. Ivysaur is one of them. "Hey, let's make Bulbasaur's evolution an angry version of itself!". An evolution shouldn't just be a change of facial expression. It's the bit of wasted potential and the fact that there isn't much change in the evolution. It just isn't as interesting as its first and final stage. If only it was bigger and different enough...

Rank: IMPRESSIVE
Classification: ANIMAL, PLANT

Pokemon 003
Venusaur
Hmmmmm... that flower smells lov- *Blood spills*


Venusaur is the perfect final evolution for Bulbasaur. The size, weight and flower are done perfectly. I also like how female Venusaur have a seed to represent fertility. The seed then becomes a bulb for bulbasaur. The warts are nice touches to the design. There are people who hate Venusaur because of its ugly face. This is a dumb reason to hate it. Toads have ugly faces, so it's only logical for Venusaur to have an ugly face. If you don't like toads, that doesn't mean Venusaur is a bad Pokemon. It has succeeded without being too similar to its origin remaining fictional. Oh, and Venusaur can stand up.

Rank: PERFECT
Classification: ANIMAL, PLANT

Pokemon 004

Charmander
The fire on the tip of its tail is the reason why it's excited


Charmander looked better in 8-bit. There are other Pokemon this generation who suffer from this. Though, I like Charmander with his cheery personality more. Why is this species still alive though? If the fire on its tail is worn out, it dies. The littlest of breeze can take it out and it dies. This is interesting as depending on its mood the tail's fire changes. There isn't much to this design though. The tail is Charmander's responsibility similar to Bulbasaur, only harder. Bulbasaur loses its grass attacks when it doesn't have the bulb, yet Charmander just dies.

One can argue that its parents protect it till it's able to protect itself though that just makes it more hopeless. The fact he evolves into a dragon is redeeming but other than that there just isn't much to the design. Still a generic Pokemon design. Remember that the rank shouldn't affect your feelings towards the Pokemon.

Rank: Average
Classification: ANIMAL

Pokemon 005

Charmeleon
I'm a Chameleon?


Charmeleon gets the honour for being the first Pokemon I review that has a horn. There are Pokemon this generation who are only animals with horns glued on them on them and Charmeleon is the first. I don't know what's with the confusion of how the middle stage of these Kanto starters look like. Charmeleon had a white horn in its back sprite and the Japanese one and now it's red. Charmander and Charizard are both orange and Charmeleon is red. What's up with this inconsistency? There are Pokemon who I am okay with changing their colours lighter or darker but what was the point of making Charmeleon red and then make it orange again when it evolves? Charmeleon is also its previous stage with a horn on its back, only it's bigger than Charmander and probably coloured red to make it look more different. Though, I like how more mature looking Charmeleon is compared to Charmander so that's not so bad.

This Pokemon has been poorly distributed and there's also wasted potential. Charmeleon should have gotten wings to make it more noticable or shown that it would have gotten wings instead of only a horn. There's

Rank: AVERAGE
Classification: ANIMAL

Pokemon 006

Charizard
I'm not overrated!


You have come a long way, my friend.Charizard is the most slick and well designed member of the Charmander line because it has double the amount of thought put into it. Being a patron elemental makes it related to 3 other dragon Pokemon. It gives it more of an identity rather than just being another fire type starter.

Regarding its popularity, Charizard is overrated. In the main games, anime, cards, manga, Super Smash Bros. and as a Pokemon. It's a cash cow that's being milked with every chance it gets. They're putting it in game covers to make people buy it because Charizard's on it. It doesn't help when it's considered to be the best Pokemon(but that list was full of nostalgic votes). Most liked =/= Best. Pikachu is overrated, but that's because it's the mascot of the franchise. I guess they wanted Charizard to be a mini-mascot alongside Pikachu. That's what I felt was wrong with the anime. Charizard got the most development of the entire group leaving the others with nearly nothing. Characters like Misty and Brock got ignored while Charizard got everything. In the first batch of cards, Charizard was the strongest card(I had one :3). It's just so overmerchandised. It being overrated doesn't degrade it or increase its rank. You know what the result is going to be anyways.

Rank: PERFECT
Classification: ANIMAL, MYTHOLOGY

Pokemon 007

Squirtle
The water squirting turtle


Squirtle was the first Pokemon I ever owned. Due to this, I've kept taking the water starter in every game. Do I regret picking this guy? Nope. Does that mean I'll give it a PERFECT because it was my first ever Pokemon? Nope. Squirtle is, as the caption I gave him says, just a turtle. A cute one at that :3. A turtle for a starter is a pretty lame choice for starters. It has a very generic design too. I like turtles, but GameFreak hasn't done anything cool with this guy or interesting other than curl its tail. I can't say much to this guy. Again, it's very generic. It isn't bad, but at the same time it isn't any good and you'd just wish that more emphasis was put on the tail.

Rank: AVERAGE
Classification: ANIMAL

Pokemon 008

Wartortle
TEENAGE MONSTER WATER TURTLES


This is whats its evolution is supposed to look like. Put your thumbs on Wartortle's "ears"(the Ken Sugimori art) and tell me that's not Squirtle with a curlier tail. To make it easier for you, here's Wartortle without his ears. The promotianal anime art is tons better as the face is different and the ears match with the body.

Also, what's with the purple colour chage? Are you sure it's blue? Like I said with my Charmeleon review, the middle stages of the Kanto starters have the most confusing designs. Is it like this or that? Poor distribution and way too similar look to its prevolution gives it a poor rank. I would have given Wartortle an AVERAGE with the anime art. The "lives for 10,000 years" makes up a little and showes how turtles live a very long life so to see that come up is a plus.

Rank: UNIMPRESSIVE
Classification: ANIMAL

Pokemon 009

Blastoise
BLAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSTTTTOIIIIIIIIISEEEE xD!


Well, they couldn't make this any cooler so they decided to forget about design consistensy and make it a robot. Randomly giving cannons to a design is something a designer would do as a last resort. If anybody should compare a Pokemon to a Digimon this is the perfect example. Animal evolves into a bigger version of itself and evolves again with mechanical features. Does that make sense? No. Now I'm sounding stupid for saying that a Pokemon should make sense. There is a little sense in most evolutions as we know that Pokemon evolve into the strangest of things but they still make a bit of sense of what they evolve into. The cannons also kill the dinosaur theme the starters have that GameFreak had in mind.

Those cannons are what made millions of kids get Pokemon Blue. Though, Blastoise didn't get his own version months after the release of Red and Green. Still, I have to thank the coolness of the cannons for attracting the kids because I wouldn't have gotten Pokemon Blue. I'm older now and I think the cannons are stupid. They should just whack cannons on every uncool Pokemon with the logic Blastoise got. The cannons aren't the only flaw. The tail is a a big problem to its design consistensy. They made Wartortle have a more curlier tail for some build up only to make it a normal turtle tail when it becomes Blastoise. Seriously, what was the point of that? If you're making an evolution of something stick with it or if you're going to make a prevolution too stick with what you've got. What was the point of the curly tail on the prevolutions then? Just to make them a bit more fictional?

Rank: AVERAGE
Classification: ANIMAL

Kanto Starters closing comments


The Kanto starters will always be remembered for being the Pokemon many people first got so it's natural for the same people to think that future starters aren't that special to them, driving them to think that they aren't as good as these are. It's normal to think this way, not bad. Bad would be saying all of the future ones sucked and the first ones were the best and take it off as fact. The smarter thought would be to think that all of the starter Pokemon are good in their own way and that you can like and dislike whoever you want without being a prick(I was a bit harsh with Blastoise even if I like it but I had good reasons). I also can't blame the guys at GameFreak since it was their first try and they did pretty good with the dinosaur theme going for these Pokemon. The rank is what really matters in the end and it's an IMPRESSIVE. More work could have been given to the middle stages and balancing the quality from each starter would have been better.

RANK: IMPRESSIVE

What did you think? Should I continue my quest? I'll give away the Kanto starters if I do.

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Updated 7th October 2011 at 02:57 PM by HumanDawn

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Comments

  1. shadow the hedgehog6's Avatar
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    yes i like it
  2. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    I need reasons as to why.
  3. Zeb's Avatar
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    Why is Wartortle developing cannons upon evolution into Blastoise, any more ludicrous than Charmeleon developing wings (also from nowhere) when evolving into Charizard? Or even a toad growiing a bulb/plant out of its back?

    Also: no to a bipedal Ivysaur. You want consistency in designs, yet you want: quad toad -> bipedal toad -> quad toad? No consistency in that at all.

    In terms of the reviewing it was alright. You'll probably get better with each review you do. I commend you for doing this because it really is quite a large task to undertake. Good luck. I look forward to reading the rest.
  4. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    You're right I'll probably improve and get better reasons later on and I'll probably change some ranks if I get good feedback. The bipedal Ivysaur looked like it could walk with all of its 4 legs and stand up because the bulb wasn't heavy. The Venusaur one couldn't because of the heavy flower it has to carry around. Though the bipedal Ivysaur is still better than the one we have now as the face changes. I complained about Blastoise's cannons because they were too unnatural for something to get on evolution unless it was man made. Charizard could get the wings anytime, that's why I complained on how Charmeleon should have had some sort of indication that he was going to get wings. It's unnatural to get wings but this is evolution we are talking about. It isn't too unnatural. Blastoise get's something more unnatural by getting something robotic. There were animals in real life who evolved from quad to bipedal to quad again for logical reasons too. I'm glad I have a follower.

    Oh, and I found out I gave Venusaur and Wartortle the wrong ranking. Venusaur is PERFECT and Wartortle is HORRIBLE. Better fix that but I don't know how to edit the blog.
    Updated 21st September 2011 at 11:54 AM by HumanDawn
  5. winstein's Avatar
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    I see that you have finally placed your long article here. However, for the benefit of the reader, you don't need to put it under spoiler, because the blog preview will not show everything anyway. One less required click can add to the convenience.

    I like the little taglines that you give to each of these Pokemon. It makes it seem like you are adding your commentary on those Pokemon.

    Not sure if you are familiar with this, but each Pokemon has one or two Egg Groups, so I can guess that your classification will be partly based on that. I can see the Monster, Water (1, 2 and most of 3), Bug and Field Groups to be categorised as "Animal", many Plants to be in "Plants", Mineral and some Amorphous to be under "Objects", most Dragon and Legendaries will be a "Mythology" and so on. Now, this would have been very predictable to me, but it might be of benefit to others.

    I am not sure if Ivysaur is just a bigger version of itself. From what I see, I believe the bloomed bulb that also grew leaves is the basis of Ivysaur, as in, the heart of Ivysaur's design as a middle stager is its plant at the back. That said, it may have been that Ivysaur looks like one of those middle evolutions that are used to fill the gap between basic and final stages.

    I don't get what's significant about reviewing a Pokemon with horns. Does that mean you like horns?

    I am surprised that you looked at IGN for reference as the best Pokemon. Now, I like IGN, but it's amazing that others like it, considering the backlash I often hear about them.

    I am surprised that you consider Salamence as a (wind) patron elemental and not Altaria. I guess it's understandable because Salamence has three members in the evolution line and look like a dragon, but Altaria seems like a better wind representative because it looks different from others that make the combination more unique than having two draconian Pokemon.

    Based on what you said about Squirtle, I am going to guess you are going to be unimpressed with Turtwig as well.

    I did not know that cannons are the reason that people got Pokemon Blue. Can you confirm this?

    I noticed quite a little profanity (especially in the Blastoise part). That was a little disappointing to me. Now, I do not know your talking style, but to me, it's not polite to use it. Perhaps you can substitute your profanity with something more suitable and courteous?

    If you are going by PokeDex order, I would be interested to see how you will be naming the odder groups of Pokemon. Since you are also rating the groups as well, I wonder how will you be grouping certain Pokemon like Farfetch'd, Luvdisc and Tangela.

    Now, I do not have much ideas on how you can improve your future endeavours, but I think your reasoning can get more improvement in elaboration. I believe that you can find the improvements better since you know your work better than I do, so good luck.

    I should introduce you to a user who's also reviewing all the Pokemon, but instead, he judges their designs. Maybe you will enjoy what he has to offer.

    Thanks for reading.
  6. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. I 'll take into account what you say. Regarding profanity, I use it to get the point more across but I also try not to overuse it. I like giving Pokemon taglines as it makes the review more fun. The ones I think are the most fun taglines are the Bulbasaur's line, Charizard's and Blastoises's. I'm sure the Blastoise one is the most entertaining with the overexcited kid's laugh. I'm classifying them like that so when I'm done with the generation I'll count them and say what the Pokemon were mostly based on. I gave Ivysaur an AVERAGE as the bulb changed. By bigger version of itself, I mean how the Pokemon looks exactly the same as its prevolution with a different face only bigger. Turtwig is more fictional than squirtle and the evolution line helps it as Grotle is very different from Turtwig yet they still look like from the same family.

    I detest horns on half of the Gen 1 Pokemon since it doesn't match well with the Pokemon. It's more of an opinion, there will be Pokemon with horns that I'll give a PERFECT but there are like around 4 Pokemon who are just animals with horns glued on them. The cannons make Blastoise look very cool with them so kids in the 1990s bought Blue because they thought the cannons looked cool. I am one of them :P. Seriously, look at the overexcited kid's reaction. You think he would be that excited with Blastoise if it didn't have any cannons? Unless it was the last card he needed to finish the deck.

    I'm going to do this by Pokedex order and the evolutions and preevolutions of the Pokemon in future generations. I found most of the reviews that guy made extremely biased and using a 0/10 ranking is a bit off. A HORRIBLE is around 0/10, an UNIMPRESSIVE is around 2.5/10, an AVERAGE is around 5/10, an IMPRESSIVE is around 7.5/10 and a PERFECT is around 10/10. I also like talking about the Pokemon's effect to the franchise saying its history. Heck, I'm giving Meowth a PERFECT because of its role with Team Rocket in the anime. Plus, I'll also mention on how Meowth is based on Satoshi Taijiri's cat that died but lives on as Meowth in the anime. How do I edit the blog btw?
    Updated 21st September 2011 at 12:52 PM by HumanDawn
  7. winstein's Avatar
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    As I have said before...if you want to edit your blog, put your mouse over the title of your blog entry. If you do, you will see a pencil icon appearing to the right of the title. Click this pencil to edit your blog.

    Thanks for reading.
  8. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    Going to start working with Pokemon 010 till Pokemon 034. I'm splitting the Pokemon like this so I can get feedback seperately. Knowing that if I decide to read the comments of this one, I'll get feedback from these Pokemon. Expect it to be done in a week. 2 weeks tops.
  9. Phoenixphlare's Avatar
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    Dude Charmeleon is badass and giving its wings too early devalues Charizard. Charmeleon looks cool and angry I like it. Your mid form hate is ridiculous. And why is Bulbasaur classified as a plant and the others aren't
  10. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    I didn't classify Ivysaur and Venusaur as animal/plants? My bad, thanks for pointing it out! The mid forms are dull compared to their previous form. Little evolution happens between the first and second forms then they evolve a lot in their final form. I guess I was a bit harsh with Charmeleon. Meh, UNIMPRESSIVE TO AVERAGE. AVERAGE was the rank I was going to give it first anyways.

    The next review is becoming really interesting with stuff you may not have known about certain mons. Going to increase the amount of mons too so it's going to be longer and more time consuming to finish.
  11. Yamato-san's Avatar
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    if you look around a bit, you'll see some traditional Japanese art that features furry-tailed turtles. I'm not sure what the deal is with that, but I'm pretty sure that's what the basis for Kameil (Wartortle) is. I think its long lifespand is also based off of something oft-purported in Japanese myth (albeit, it has some degree of truth to it considering turtles/tortoises really are among the world's longest-lived animals).
    Trainer Yusuf likes this.
  12. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato-san
    if you look around a bit, you'll see some traditional Japanese art that features furry-tailed turtles. I'm not sure what the deal is with that, but I'm pretty sure that's what the basis for Kameil (Wartortle) is. I think its long lifespand is also based off of something oft-purported in Japanese myth (albeit, it has some degree of truth to it considering turtles/tortoises really are among the world's longest-lived animals).
    Arigato Yamato-san. I can't seem to find any pictures or articles about furry tailed turtles and it would be great if you helped me with this. Turtles live a long life, yet they're so fragile. Ahh, watching the first season of Pokemon and feeding lettuce to a young now big turtle at the same time. I'm going to fix some parts of the current review and upgrade it to fit up with standards because there are parts I felt I was too harsh, biased and said reasons that don't hold any/much water to my argument. The next review (010-040) is coming nicely and is very informative giving people all the things they need to know regarding said Pokemon.

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