-----GAMEFREAK MODIFIED THE TYPE CHART
This was one of the biggest surprises for me. I didn't expect them to ever tinker with the type chart, after not doing so since almost the beginning of the franchise more than a decade and 4 generations ago.
But they did.
Seems like the addition of a new type is what triggered it.
The following interesting changes occured:
--Fairy type added
Genius addition, which I've liked ever since the reveal, because it just fits perfectly to the rest and goes well alongside other "species types", like Bug, Dragon and Ghost.
It is a great defensive type, with the main point being the nerfing of the seemingly unstoppable Dragon offense, whilst having 2 almost non-existant move-types as its weaknesses: Poison and Steel. These two now finally have a solid reason to be used by plenty of Pokemon (instead of just BulletPunch Scizor).
Another aspect the addition brought back to life is retconing old pokemons types to include new types.
For a while I thought they would be as stubborn as usual and merely ADD Fairy to old pokemon, but turns out they actually replaced the primary NORMAL type with Fairy in several cases (which includes Clefairy of course, Snubbull, and the Togepi-line <3, but not Chansey)
Offensively, Fairy is quite strong too, providing nice coverage with a lot of types.
As far as the concept goes, I kept wondering through the past months what sub-elements or themes Fairy would embody besides cutesy magical creatures. Gamefreak actually addressed that specifically by having the gym after Fairy, be Psychic. That gym, has a Mario Galaxy style, space themed interior, I believe for the sole purpose of making the point clear that real astronomical/cosmic-aspects belong to Psychic.
Since Chansey/Audino and co did not gain Fairy, it seems that "healing" is not a core aspect of the Fairy type, and will continue being a generic theme, while there are indeed a few healing moves, bringing it close to Grass in that department, which brings me to...
Fairy seems to be heavily symbiotic to Grass, and I find that to be a nice touch. (there are several abilities of Fairy Pokemon and Fairy type moves that involve helping out fellow Grass types)
--Steel lost 2 resistances
to Ghost and Dark. As I've said in all of my "balancing the type chart" pictures and analyzes, any nerf to Steels defense is a good thing, so I'm pleased with this. Although it further makes Dark and Ghost offense almost identical.
This is likely to make all the ultra tough Steel combinations easier to take out. Metagross and Bronzong for example now have weaknesses to Dark and Ghost.
--a bunch of common sense status condition immunities
Fire has been immune to burn and Poison to poison for ages. It always annoyed me that the rest of the types don't follow this logic. Now they do!
-Electric Pokemon are now completely immune to paralysis (YAY)
-Ice Pokemon to being frozen (good but far from enough)
-Grass Pokemon to powder attacks (a defensive boost for Grass? Heck yeah!)
I am however disappointed that they didn't even attempt to fix the glaringly crappiest type since the beginning: Ice
Not only did they not give it any of the obvious resistances it could really use (Ground, Dragon, Water..), they actually made the weakness that wasn't a threat before (Steel), compared to the other lethal 3 (Fire, Fighting, Rock), more prominent by adding Fairy!
When will they ever address that, since they didn't now, after finally adjusting the type chart very slightly for the first time in ages?.. Hopefully soon? c____c
I don't understand how they didn't realize it whilst having the previous mascot be an Ice type and the first to only make it to ubers in one of its formes...heck they even made the 8th gym in Kalos Ice-type, which I'm sure everyone breezed through like thin air at that point in the game..
Not to mention Amauras horrifying fragility due to its exotic new Rock/Ice typing. I don't think there is a worse type combo existing right now...
Unless they intend to add even more new types in future (geez what are the odds for that lol), I don't feel very hopeful about Ice getting justice anytime soon..
But this brings me to the next topic.
------new types aren't out of question after all?!
I wonder whether the addition of Fairy has had an impact on fakemon artists. Will everyone start thinking about made-up types again?
I hope at least it brought the standard a bit higher, since Fairy was so unexpected instead of all the usual generic light, sound, space stuff...
Personally, the only type I do see as a somewhat reasonable possibility would be a Wind type (always wondered why its so rare in the fakemon communities o___O).
Its a legit element by all means, but in the Pokemon franchise hasn't seen any significance apart from a handful Pokemon.
And before I go into the aspects of it, Flying DOES NOT cover it/own it/include it, because it mostly just does when there is no other element involved. Which is why we have way more non-Flying wind-based moves than Flying ones:
-Grass: Leaf Storm, Leaf Tornado
-Fire: Fire Spin, Heat Wave
-Ice: Icy Wind
-Bug: Silver Wind
-Ghost: Ominous Wind
-Fairy: Fairy Wind
Heck there are even non-elemental ones that are not Flying but Normal:
-Whilrwind, Razor Wind
Also because Flying has NOTHING to do with wind conceptually in what the type is about. Flying is about taking advantage of techniques/abilities that allow you to overcome gravity. Its about being capable of flight in any basic definition one can come up with.
Wind-type moves could be
Resisted by: Grass, Bug, Rock, Ice
Super Effective on: Fire, Water, Electric, Ghost
Wind type Pokemon could be
Weak to: Bug, Electric, Dragon
Resistant to: Fire, Ground, Rock, Ghost, Fairy
(I admit I tried balancing the type chart even further with it and I think I did so well, that gamefreaks attempt with Fairy looks silly in comparison. They managed to nerf 1 overused type and give some use to 2 poor offesive choices, while I buffed 4 of the weakest types defensively, weakend several types that deserve another weakness, and made Bug and Dragon moves have more use, while nerfing several of the most dangerous offenses out there.)
Most important would be the "fix" to the Kami legends:
Candidates for seconday retyping:
-Butterfree: Bug/Wind (tons of other bugs have wings but something non-Flying as second)
-Gyarados: Water/Wind (finally makes more sense right? what with it being based on a japanese karp wind-sock tradition and its behaviour of causing storms, rather than having any flight capability)
-Fan Rotom: Electric/Wind (making its ability non-pointless)
Primary types changed to Wind
-Pidgeotto/Pidgeot: Wind/Flying (would make it stand out in the bird crowd. Left out Pidgey so it resembles the Talonflame-line)
-Lugia: Wind/Flying (It causes destructive storms, and its sig move isn't even Psy..heck the PSy moves it learns, Ho-oh does too. Also it fits much better to the bird trio with an elemental type like this.)
-Noibat/Noivern: Wind/Dragon (not very confident about this one.. but its learnset turns from somewhat Flying to half Wind type lol)
Not sure how to change
-Shiftry (its the second most wind-related pokemon right after Tornadus, but both its types are too crucial)
Another interesting thought thta just occured to me is the Beast trio.. 1 of them is extremely fast (Raikou), while another has a deep wind-association (Suicune), and they are the trio that introduced the concept of legendaries that don't fucking stand in one spot. They roam the region.
Raikou - Electric/Wind
Entei - Fire/Wind
Suicune - Water/Wind
Any thoughts on this?
-------Normal as secondary type
Still not sure how to take this.
Litleo/Pyroar/Helioptile/Heliolisk have Normal as secondary types, with no real explanation or much emphasis on said types role in their data.
All I got is that Pyroar is obviously very sound-oriented in addition to being a full fledged Fire type. Since it has Roar in its name, and learns moves like Echoed Voice, Hyper Voice, Noble Roar... But is that it or something else? What aspect does it for Helioptile? Absorbing light? Storing energy?
And most of all, why hasn't there been ANY /Normal type in the previous 649 at all if the explanations are so simple?
It already had several basic definitions before, but seems those aren't all
-It is the plain type
meaning everything is raw and not specialized in any way.
Their scratches and headbutts aren't extra mean or trained techniques or species-endowed.
Their energy-based moves don't employ any additional element.
-It's the default type
simply anything that doesn't fit any of the other types, gets to be Normal.
Like a placeholder, it can be replaced by one of the other type when they take over (Swablu->Altaria, Fletchling->Talonflame, and the prime example: Eevee.)
-The jack of all trades type
Not specializing in one particular type, but being able to employ in a big diversity of them anyway.
(since sometimes Normal pokemon tend to be able to learn tons of different elemental moves, or are conceptually meant to take on any one type at a time like Arceus, Kecleons Color Change and Porygons Conversion, Tri-Attack etc...)
So perhaps, the fourth aspect of Normal that can justify a Pokemon to be of this type might be, association with a specific pseudo-element/technique, that is not exclusive to any particular type: sound, wind, raw energy, light..
-------number of new pokemon in XY
While I'm disappointed at the lack of any proper evo besides Sylveon (like 5 would have been completely enough).. Lots of people are exaggerating the supposed "lack of new pokemon".
The comment always arises when the numbers are compared, instead of from a look of the pokemon available, since there really are just 68 new pokemon compared to the usual 100 or more.
And really, the overwhelming amount of old Pokemon in Kalos just makes the news ones feels like extras on the side rather than the focus of the avdenture.
But if you actually take a step back and think about previous even generations (GS and DP) (since odd generations focus on reinventing the basic ecology rather than building on the legacy), apart from ACTUAL evolutions to comebacks, they DID THE EXACT SAME THING.
Both Johto and Sinnoh, while having a handful of new faces to freshen up the early routes (which Kalos has just as many), they are filled with old Pokemon doing the same jobs they have done the generations before.
Both have caves filled with Geodudes, Onix and Zubats
Both have surfing areas filled with Tentacool, and Psyduck
Both have fishing result in Magikarps and Goldeen
Both have Abras, Machops and Gastlies as the Trade-evo roles and casual 3 stagers
Both hand you an Eevee to cover whatever type is missing in your team while adding more options
Its the region neighbouring Kanto...and it shows.
The typical pokemon you encounter are Kanto Pokemon. Pidgeys, Rattatas, Caterpies and Weedles (while Ledyba/Spinarak linger in new daytimes), Spearows, Nidorans, Growlithe and Vulpix (instead of Houndour thats hidden in the postgame)...
Prominent places even refer to Kanto Pokemon rather than something new, Bellsprout Tower, Slowpoke Well..
It has Pinsir and Scyther early in the Bug-catching contest as the sought after pokemon (instead of Heracross or Pineco who are hidden in the new headbutt mechanic)
It even harbors natural appearances of pokemon that were one-offs in Kanto, like Lapras, Jynx...
The gym leaders have sometimes one, IF ANY new pokemon even though there was great opportunities to sowcase them this way (Morty doesn't have a Misdreavus, Chuck no Hitmontop, Falkner 2 Pidgey-lines...)
And the rest are all quite hidden in places you have to look for, like waiting for specific swarms (Snubbul, Yanma...), fishing in specific places, going to optional areas (Natu, Marill), or not even encountered till way after the credits (Sneasel, Misdreavus, Murkrow, Larvitar..)
Its the huge region with focus on legends and evolutions.
And again, after the initial handful of casual pokemon like Starly and Bidoof, the new ones are well hidden for us to look for. Whether its in the underground (fossils), Honeytrees (Combee, Burmy, Pachirisu, Cherubi), fridays (Drifloon), optional areas like the Wayward Cave (Gible), that one tunnel with a quest (Hippopotas) the swamp-game (Croagunk/Skorupi) or being a baby hatching from an egg like Togepi (Riolu).
One can even make a chart to compare Sinnohs and Kalos' CASUAL NEW POKEMON (exclusion of babies/evos/legends/mega-evos):
(I accidentaly left out Rotom)
So it all really boils down on the 2 aspects:
-mega evolutions instead of proper evolutions
-not many legends so far
Personally I welcome the mega evos, since something fresh was bound to happen to old Pokemon and they aren't actually as overpowered as they seem at first (for example regular Alakazam with Life-Orb can be prefered to one holding the Mega stone in many cases etc..). They add interesting strategies indeed and shake up the metagame, while also allowing some forgotten pokes to shine, like Absol, Mawile and Banette.
The only real downside I see to them is that the likelihood of all those Pokemon gaining proper evolutions has dropped to zero essentially...so no real Banette evo for me ):
The lack of legends....well not sure, I would have prefered to see a new trio along with the mascots as usual, but I had the feeling people were always compaling in the previous few generations how the abundance of legends somehow ruined the legendary status lol.
Of course there are bound to be a few event legends hidden (and it seems some sneaky hacker already found 3 in XY), but who knows how gamefreak isgoing to continue this generation.
For all we know, they might pull sequel on XY, but even more drastic than BW2 was, in that there would be an actual new region featured, with perhaps even ~50 more new pokemon (like a part 2 of gen 6), but more realistically a dozen other mega evolutions for sure, and maybe the trio they left out in XY (since musketeers felt forced being in BW2 again simply because, so perhaps they save that for later now?).
But it may simply be the case that they wanted a break from trios, just like they tried shaking it up with the 3 psychics in DP.
If that's the case, I'd like a break from starters next!
Meaning..perhaps....a game with new pokemon...that uses some previous starters instead for nostalgic purposes?... and is a RSE homage?...instead of remakes??
Which brings me to my prediction for where gamefreak might be going soon: