So I bought a Nintendo Switch.
And yeah, it SEEMS like a good idea. After all… there are so many good games, right? Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3! That Zelda one that everyone was on about! Something about Super Mario’s hat! And another Smash Brawl Melee, probably! So many games.
But nah. I really only bought the Switch for one reason: I’m all-in on hoping for Pokemon Generation 4 remakes.
Let’s look at the pattern!
Generation 1 came out on the Gameboy. It skipped the Gameboy Color, and then we had Gen 1 remakes on the Gameboy Advance, during Generation 3.
Generation 2 came out on the Gameboy color. It skipped the GBA, and then we had remakes on the Nintendo DS, during Generation 4 (and 2 x 2 = 4).
Generation 3 came out on the Gameboy Advance. It skipped the DS, and then we had remakes on the 3DS, during Generation 6 (and 3 x 2 = 6).
Generation 4 came out on the DS. There were no remakes during the 3DS period for Generation 4, but we are about to enter both the next Pokemon system (the Nintendo Switch), but also Generation 8 (and 4 x 2 = …8!)
So I’m gambling. BUT! All signs point to Sinnoh remakes in the next year or two! And I love me some Sinnoh.
Like, oh say, these next ten Pokemon…
Ice, Ice Puppy (too cold, too cold)
Unlike with the last two generations, the struggle with Generation 4 wasn’t in what to include to round out the list… it was in what to leave off because I love so many of them! Making the final cut was Eevee’s Ice-type evolution, Glaceon.
She has good stats (slow, but bulky to go with her great special attack), and is just adorable. She has the rare Eeveelution combo of looking not only cute, but also like she could whomp you (so many others have one, but not the other). She’s by no means the best of the Eevee’s, but she’s somehow my favorite.
Serene Grace ability + Choice Scarf + Air Slash = OMG SO MUCH FLINCHING.
This was a borderline staple for me in playing online because of that combo, and Togekiss was my regular opening middle Pokemon in Triple Battles. And I LOVE Triple Battles.
I don’t care that she looks like a goof, and that it’s really impractical that something that fat should be soaring majestically. Super high flinch chance, yo! What else do you need?
How is this not a Water-type?
I mean, it’s clearly some kind of hammerhead shark + dragon amalgam, but… nope! Dragon/Ground. Ground? Where did that come from? How many hammerhead shrarks do you have living under your back yard!? You should really get something done about that.
Whatever. It’s arguably the single best-designed Pokemon since Generation 1. Absolutely ferocious. Spiky biceps. Spiky thighs. Wingfins on its arms, That tail. The star/scar on its nose.
It’s a shame about its sunburnt chest, though. Bet that hurts. Maybe it should go IN THE WATER.
This poor guy had NO WEAKNESSES for years before they invented the Fairy-type. Before that, it’s Ghost/Dark typing left it with nothing that could hit it for 2x damage, AND it had stiff defenses, so you could really do stuff with him. I mean, Sableye was in the same boat, but he was just junk before he got a Hidden Ability.
Then Fairies came along, and… he’s still okay, but he provides less of a sense of comfort. And Sableye got Prankster, so he became more useful.
Still, I love the color scheme and the crazy “spirit of an evil windmill” design. Whereas most ghost or dark types had some kind of nefarious appeal to them, this thing is straight up sinister looking! And he lives inside a rock!
Why wasn’t he Ghost/Rock? Huh…
Honorary mention to Empoleon, who was #11, and the last pokey to be cut before the list. Sorry to see you go, you regal metallic penguin you.
We do get a different Sinnoh starter, though, with the second consecutive Fire/Fighting type starting ‘Mon, Infernape. Now, he may not have the broken Speed Boost ability that his predecessor Blaziken had, but to offset that, he’s also not the stupidest looking fully evolved starter in the entire series! So there’s that! Moronic lanky chicken thing…
Infernape has really great speed and BOTH attack stats, so you can use him to hit any way you want! I had both a Physical Infernape AND a mixed attack version for online battling, and I used either one with some frequency. Plus, he was a fast Fake-Out user, which is often ideal.
Huh… I mentioned Empoleon and listed Infernape… I wonder what I think of the Sinnoh grass-type starter.
Did you think it was weird when I listed both Latias and Latios for the Hoenn Pokemon? You ain’t seen nothing yet!
Oh, hey! It’s Mesprit’s sister, Uxie. But we’re still not done…
Please enjoy this brief interlude on the Lake Guardians while we talk about Luxray.
Like with Generation 1 and its memories of Butterfree and Venusaur, Generation 4 is another Pokemon game that filled me with such happiness that I remember the two key members of my first ever play through team, and here is the first of those.
Luckily when I caught my first Shinx, she had Intimidate as her ability rather than Rivalry, and the former is IMMENSELY more useful. That helped to no end, I’m sure.
I was actually tempted to put the primary form here, Shinx, instead of her final form because Shinx is so bloody cute, and in the story I mentioned during my Generation 1 review, I wrote a Shinx that was ludicrously charming. But no… gotta go with the beast she becomes; the one who took down all those physical attackers I came up against when I first journeyed across Sinnoh.
AND WE’RE BACK!
So the Lake Legends–Azelf, Uxie, and Mesprit–were, for whatever reason, the first legendary Pokemon I actually felt like I earned catching. For one thing, Uxie and Azelf were bastards enough to get to stay in a ball, but when it came to Mesprit… well, Pokemon had played the “wandering legends” game before, and I usually said “nuts to this” and ignored them. But I did the work tracking down Mezzy, and it was rewarding to catch him.
Mesprit is the most balanced of the three and, therefore, the worst in competition. I never used him. Uxie is a tank, and while I used her somewhat, she was usually outdone by better defensive walls like Cresselia. Azelf, though? I used a LOT of Azelf. Fast and vicious, he was a good attacker, but also a surprisingly good Dual Screen set-up. Who would have thought?
My first Sinnoh starter!
Why do I have such a thing for Grass-type starters? Who knows. First Venusaur and then this.
But man… Torterra is a MONSTER in-game. He learns a ton of good coverage moves (Grass, Dark, Ground, Rock, etc). He hits hard AND tanks damage. And he has trees and a mountain range on his back because he is based on the fable of the world existing on the back of a turtle!
Menacing and powerful. Gen 4 really did their starter Pokemon right, and Torterra was the best example of a fine crop.
Oh, I talk a lot about battling online? Not here. I had a Torterra, but he’s just not great there. Slow as the dirt on his shell and sporting a 4x Ice weakness. Oh well; we’ll always have Sinnoh, Torterra!
So what are my cross-generation favorites up to?
Well… shit. Ice types destroy this team so far, huh? I hope I like something in the next few gens that can counter that!
We’ll find out next week when we cruise over to Unova for Generation 5!