Little things you like about Pokémon

Pikachu315111

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And I still love how Bidoof is one of the most liked Pokemon ever.
Well, being Bidoof Day, maybe it's worth taking a close look at the Plump Mouse Pokemon (no idea why that is it's species name, especially when Bibarel is called the "Beaver Pokemon" (both in English and Japanese). Japanese species name is "Round Mouse" and from what I looked up it's not like it's a nickname the Japanese have for beavers :blobshrug:).

  • Normal-type is neither bad nor good, it's just, well, normal. The upside is that it means it can learn a lot of coverage Moves and so usually can hit something for neutral effectiveness, though the bad thing is it's STAB not hitting anything for super effective damage.
  • It's the Gen Rodent so don't expect impressive stats (BST is 250). Highest stat is HP (59) with second in Attack (45). It had "bulk" with 40 in each defense stat, and that's all she wrote. For a Basic Pokemon I suppose 35 is workable in Special Attack, though Speed is still low at 31 (guess would make good use of Trick Room).
  • Abilities is a hodgepodge. It's best Ability is its Hidden Ability, Moody, which randomly increases one stat by +2 but decreases another by 1. It's pure & chaos whether Bidoof gets the right stat increases to make it a monster. Of its normal Abilities Simple is the best, especially since Bidoof can learn Curse so that's a +2 to both Attack and Defense in return for lowering it's already low Speed (which could be helpful on a Trick Room team); in addition it learns other buffing moves like Defense Curl, Amnesia, Double Team, and later one Work Up and Swords Dance. Unaware may not be the best but it's certainly not least, allowing Bidoof to ignore opponent's stat changes when it attacks or is attacked, so if Bidoof can get an early build on maybe it defenses the opponent will have a harder time knocking it out. Overall, while Bidoof may not be able to make the most of them, it doesn't have a bad Ability and it can make use for whichever one it gets.
  • Moves we'll focus just on what it got in Gen IV and VII. In Gen IV, surprisingly Bidoof's Level-Up Movepool ain't so bad. While plenty of Pokemon some of the new Moves they learn are niche and easily passed on, generally any Move Bidoof learns from a Level-Up you may want to teach it. Before reaching its evolution Level of 15 (which is another good thing about Bidoof, it can evolve pretty early), it'll have Tackle, Growl, Defense Curl, and Rollout (the last two notable as using Defense Curl before Rollout gives it a rather dangerous coverage move, obviously it took notes from Whitney's Miltank). If you choose not to evolve it your next moves are Headbutt & Hyper Fang, which are rather good moves to learn early on compared to what other Pokemon may have at the time. Next is Yawn which is a helpful sleep afflicter. Amnesia is after which is nice especially depending on what Ability Bidoof has. Next is Take Down is a bit of a downgrade, sure higher power but has recoil. Then it learns the rodent Pokemon Signature Move, Super Fang, which could be helpful if you lack coverage and up against a more bulky opponent; just cut their HP right in half. Then suddenly it gets Superpower, which I wouldn't recommend for Simple but could be usable with its other Abilities (especially if it also knows some Special Moves for backup). Finally gets Curse in Platinum to work with Simple, and Gen VII added Crunch and Swords Dance for more coverage & Ability syngergy.
  • But let's not overlook TMs, Tutors, & Egg Moves. Right off the bat I noticed it can learn quite a few Ice-type and oddly Electric-type moves (Ice Beam, Blizzard, Thunderbolt, Thunder). Also gets Shadow Ball & Grass Knot for more special coverage. Physical is kind of limited to the usual Normal- and Dark-type suspects, though there are some notables ones like Iron Tail, Pluck, & Aqua Tail (there's also Dig). Nothing else much after that except the usual, I guess Stealth Rock is notable.

That's as much as I'm willing to dive into Bidoof, though I gotta say Bidoof actually doesn't look too bad on paper. Sure, stats aren't great, but at the same time if you add a Bidoof on the team, and accept it's likely going to move last, I don't think it'll do you any wrong. It seems made to sponge hits long enough for you to either give it stat boosts & set-up so it can get going.
 
Okay, this might be cheating, but I wanted to make a positive post so here goes:

Ever since the beginning, Pokemon has always encouraged socialization with other players in terms of both trade evolutions and competitive multiplayer. I cannot tell you how many amazing people I've met from this website alone from a shared interest in Pokemon. The games may have their ups and downs, but I will forever cherish the opportunities I've had with both in-game tiering and conversing with many great people through finding them on these forums (I'm not going to name names, but you likely know who you are, and if you're reading this post, thanks is all I can say).

Pokemon's fanbase may disagree on a lot of things, but I think will all have our special memory with this franchise somewhere, and I'm just happy mine have helped me connect with more people despite being an introvert.

Also, I like this quote:
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Speaking of Bidoof Day, they released a very important announcement...


Yep, you just got rickrolled by the official Pokémon YouTube channel.
TIL I have been pronouncing Bidoof wrong. I think this is a more pokemon-related song than any of the #pokemon25 songs so far, though ironically they even have a Bidoof version of that graphic and background.
I liked the shots of different games throughout each generation and the lyrical/background recreations, but I think they should've gone all the way and finished the second verse instead of just cutting to "understand". Hopefully they release an extended version.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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Well, being Bidoof Day, maybe it's worth taking a close look at the Plump Mouse Pokemon (no idea why that is it's species name, especially when Bibarel is called the "Beaver Pokemon" (both in English and Japanese). Japanese species name is "Round Mouse" and from what I looked up it's not like it's a nickname the Japanese have for beavers :blobshrug:).

  • Normal-type is neither bad nor good, it's just, well, normal. The upside is that it means it can learn a lot of coverage Moves and so usually can hit something for neutral effectiveness, though the bad thing is it's STAB not hitting anything for super effective damage.
  • It's the Gen Rodent so don't expect impressive stats (BST is 250). Highest stat is HP (59) with second in Attack (45). It had "bulk" with 40 in each defense stat, and that's all she wrote. For a Basic Pokemon I suppose 35 is workable in Special Attack, though Speed is still low at 31 (guess would make good use of Trick Room).
  • Abilities is a hodgepodge. It's best Ability is its Hidden Ability, Moody, which randomly increases one stat by +2 but decreases another by 1. It's pure & chaos whether Bidoof gets the right stat increases to make it a monster. Of its normal Abilities Simple is the best, especially since Bidoof can learn Curse so that's a +2 to both Attack and Defense in return for lowering it's already low Speed (which could be helpful on a Trick Room team); in addition it learns other buffing moves like Defense Curl, Amnesia, Double Team, and later one Work Up and Swords Dance. Unaware may not be the best but it's certainly not least, allowing Bidoof to ignore opponent's stat changes when it attacks or is attacked, so if Bidoof can get an early build on maybe it defenses the opponent will have a harder time knocking it out. Overall, while Bidoof may not be able to make the most of them, it doesn't have a bad Ability and it can make use for whichever one it gets.
  • Moves we'll focus just on what it got in Gen IV and VII. In Gen IV, surprisingly Bidoof's Level-Up Movepool ain't so bad. While plenty of Pokemon some of the new Moves they learn are niche and easily passed on, generally any Move Bidoof learns from a Level-Up you may want to teach it. Before reaching its evolution Level of 15 (which is another good thing about Bidoof, it can evolve pretty early), it'll have Tackle, Growl, Defense Curl, and Rollout (the last two notable as using Defense Curl before Rollout gives it a rather dangerous coverage move, obviously it took notes from Whitney's Miltank). If you choose not to evolve it your next moves are Headbutt & Hyper Fang, which are rather good moves to learn early on compared to what other Pokemon may have at the time. Next is Yawn which is a helpful sleep afflicter. Amnesia is after which is nice especially depending on what Ability Bidoof has. Next is Take Down is a bit of a downgrade, sure higher power but has recoil. Then it learns the rodent Pokemon Signature Move, Super Fang, which could be helpful if you lack coverage and up against a more bulky opponent; just cut their HP right in half. Then suddenly it gets Superpower, which I wouldn't recommend for Simple but could be usable with its other Abilities (especially if it also knows some Special Moves for backup). Finally gets Curse in Platinum to work with Simple, and Gen VII added Crunch and Swords Dance for more coverage & Ability syngergy.
  • But let's not overlook TMs, Tutors, & Egg Moves. Right off the bat I noticed it can learn quite a few Ice-type and oddly Electric-type moves (Ice Beam, Blizzard, Thunderbolt, Thunder). Also gets Shadow Ball & Grass Knot for more special coverage. Physical is kind of limited to the usual Normal- and Dark-type suspects, though there are some notables ones like Iron Tail, Pluck, & Aqua Tail (there's also Dig). Nothing else much after that except the usual, I guess Stealth Rock is notable.

That's as much as I'm willing to dive into Bidoof, though I gotta say Bidoof actually doesn't look too bad on paper. Sure, stats aren't great, but at the same time if you add a Bidoof on the team, and accept it's likely going to move last, I don't think it'll do you any wrong. It seems made to sponge hits long enough for you to either give it stat boosts & set-up so it can get going.
Aside from the fact that Bidoof and Bibarel are basically the most reliable HM users in Sinnoh (and mind you, Sinnoh is extremely HM heavy), it's important to remember that it's the early route regional mammal, a la Rattata. It was not necessarily meant to be great in the long term and is designed to be one of those Pokémon who will evolve early and be a fairly strong pick early on especially when some of your other mons aren't all that strong, but you will probably drop it at some point as your available Pokémon increase and the opponents get stronger, just like with Raticate in Kanto. It's not a Pokémon you will bring with you on your team to the end of the story or to competitive necessarily. This is in contrast to Staraptor who is designed as a quasi starter and a mon you will probably keep in the long term on your Sinnoh journey, whereas Bibarel will fall off eventually (but finds its use as an HM Slave later on, which as I said is incredibly desirable and important in the most HM heavy region of all time).

That being said, you're right though, it does have a very fun gimmick thanks to Simple. While its stats don't do it much favor in the late game or competitive its ability to get sharp stat boosts quickly thanks to Simple gives it something funny and interesting to do in combat, plus Bibarel is part Water-type in conjunction with being Normal-type: that makes Bibarel pretty unique and interesting on that merit alone. Between its STABs alone, with Normal STAB and Water STAB it has very, very good coverage and few things wall that combo, and Bibarel has enough coverage to hit the ones that do. It's one of the most interesting and fun early route mammals because of that, which I think is cool on that merit alone.

Plus some people don't necessarily just like it for battle reasons. As I said, it's legendary for being the ideal HM user in-game, but Bidoof itself is cute while Bibarel is silly looking in a way that's very likable. It's quite unique and lovable aesthetically and that in itself means it has a ton of people who like them because of that lovable personality they give off.
 

Pikachu315111

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Bidoof was my favourite part of PMD2 by golly.
Anyone remember all the times Bidoofs showed up in Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia?
  • First is all the times Bidoof was used at the Pokemon School.
  • Second during a raid on the Ranger HQ you have a quick face off against Wheeler, main antagonist Blake Hall's assistant, who sends out 8 Bidoof... which each capture in one circle (and you can potentially get all of them in one circle at the very start if I recall). This particular moment was even given an illustration which I think is also the only official image of Wheeler aside from his in-game sprite:
  • Finally, Wheeler is the penultimate boss of the main story... where he sends out one Bidoof (one circle). He's about to send out another one before Blake Hall mocks him and summons Darkrai.
While never really used for any serious moments, infact they were often used as a joke during serious moments notably by Wheeler, it's still a memorable part of the game.
 

Codraroll

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Exactly. Screw anyone who thinks the games are bad because of Double Kick's animation. You only have to see it in the early game before replacing it with stronger moves that have better animations because they're the moves players are seeing the most in endgame. Bolt Strike is my favorite due to looking like a straight up cinematic with the widescreen effect and Zekrom flying back into position.
I'm quite late to this discussion, but wanted to respond anyway. I can see where you are coming from, but I think this line of reasoning isn't doing the games any favours. While it may be tempting for the designers to make the legendary signature moves really cool-looking and flashy, the early-game moves should not be skimped on.

Bolt Strike is a fantastic example. It is a cool move, but it is only used by one relatively obscure Pokémon you can optionally catch in the late-game ... in one of the game versions. If you have the DLC. And train said Pokémon 18 levels up from its catch level. You're not likely to stumble over Bolt Strike through casual play unless you are really determined to explore every nook and cranny the games have to offer.

Contrast Double Kick. It is an early level-up move for one of the starters, meaning that 1/3 of all players are pretty much guaranteed to be using it a lot. It's also learned by several other early-game Pokémon - most notably Wooloo - so even the players who picked other starters are likely to have it used against themselves. Double Kick is a move almost everyone will see, multiple times. It will shape their impression of the game's overall quality. If its animation is poor, everyone will notice.

I like that obscure late-game moves like Bolt Strike have elaborate animations - it makes the moves feel like rewards for thorough exploration, which I'm all for. But I disagree with the idea that early-game moves are unimportant. They are vital for forming first impressions of the game. It's like having a bad low-resolution skybox texture in a tutorial level. Sure, you won't see it for the rest of the game, but it gives a cheap and clunky impression that's difficult to shake off.
 
To add onto this a bit more, and as someone who studies animation and is currently trying to become a background artist, its not fair compare moves like Hyper Beam, Draco Meteor, and Blue Flare in comparison to moves like Close Combat, Double Kick, and Tackle simply because it’s significantly easier to animate a special move than it is for a physical move. To put in terms of simplicity for those who do not do understand animation, which is easier to draw multiple drawings in order to create an animation: Dragon Pulse: A move that has Pokémon open it’s mouth before firing a Green Sphere that travels slowly, or Close Combat: A move that involves a series of kicks and punches that involves drawing the Pokémon in several poses? Objectively the former. In-Game, the same logic applies to Hydro Pump compared to Crush Grip. It’s a lot easier for a Pokémon to shoot a geyser of Water from its mouth compared to Regigias having to go up to the Pokémon and have its fingers squish the Pokémon in its palm after picking it up. That would require a walk cycle and a unique rig solely for that move. It’s a lot of extra work.

I think Pokémon has the potential to make some pretty sick animations as shown with Wicked Blow and Bolt strike as mentioned above. However, it goes back to time and the yearly deadlines, its just not possible to have unique animations for every Pokémon. At the very least they should have them go up and tackle them though, because a move like Bite and Crunch look really strange when the Pokémon sends a Bite mark to the opponent instead of biting them themselves. The 3D games actually take advantage of the camera in 3D space to make certain moves are actually resulting from the contact of Pokémon, but when you look closely, they aren’t actually making contact. Look how Goodra uses Power Whip in SwSh for example. It performs its animation with green highlights, and then the camera quickly shows two tentacles slamming the Pokémon. You get the vibe that Goodra attacked the Pokémon via making contact, but it was two separate scenes and durations of that scene that make it look like the Goodra model made contact, but it didn’t thanks to camera angle quickly changing views. Now I’m not saying this is bad: Reusing animations is a huge time saver for an production company, video game or TV, and lot of shows do it all the time if you pay attention. It just happened to be a big deal for SwSh because they claimed it was a reason for the Dex cut, despite multiple evidence showing the animations were frame by frame identical to the 3DS.
 

Codraroll

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And now for another like and not an incredibly belated comment to a long-dead conversation.

We often talk about how the Sinnoh regional dex was incredibly stingy with Fire-types, and some may have noticed Kalos's near-total lack of native Ground-types. For understandable reasons, Kanto has no Dark-types at all. But that's a topic for other threads. For now, let's appreciate how incredibly generous Johto was with new Flying-types.

How generous? Jothto introduced 13 new Flying-type families, and added a member (Crobat) to a 14th. The generational roster of 100 Pokémon had 19 Flying-types in it. I've triple-checked my math and found that it's nearly 20 percent. Granted, most of these were single-stage Pokémon, but cross-gen evolution has reduced that number to 4 from Gen IV on (Delibird, Skarmory, Lugia, and Ho-Oh).

I miss these cases of ludicrous generosity with one type. Recent generations have had a habit of small new rosters that stretch thin to cover every type, while including a relatively large number of "archetype designs", making it so each type sees quite few new Pokémon in each generation, and they have a tendency to become very similar too. The new Flying-type Pokémon in each generation in the 3D era can basically be summed up with "one three-stage family of birds + one or two non-evolving Flying-types + maybe a legendary". Tick the mandatory boxes and move on to the mandatory boxes for the other types, with vanishingly little room to do something unconventional once all the boxes are ticked. The larger rosters of the first five generations left plenty of room to do something fun with the "leftover Pokédex space", but nowadays that space is all trimmed away instead. That's too bad, because look at all the fun Gen II had with Flying-types:
  • The mandatory regional birds: Hoothoot and Noctowl.
  • There was once a time there was room for two regional Bug families in a Pokédex. Ledyba and Ledian complemented Spinarak and Ariados nicely.
  • Another pair of birds, of the Psychic-type: Natu and Xatu.
  • A three-stage, part Flying family of Grass-types. Yeah, once upon a time the regional dexes contained multiple three-stage families that weren't starters, regional bugs, regional birds, or pseudo-legendaries. Johto gave us Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff.
  • The hatched Egg Pokémon turns into ... an angel? Oh well, whatever Togetic is, it works.
  • Casual cross-generation evolution of one of the most iconic Pokémon from the last generation: Crobat.
  • Another flying bug, because why not: Yanma.
  • Have five more single-stage Flying-types too: Gligar, Murkrow, Delibird, Mantine, and Skarmory. Note how half of them aren't even based on birds (and two of the birds are flightless in real life).
  • Let's just make the legendaries Flying too: Lugia and Ho-Oh.
So much variety, so much fun. Much better than "three regional birds and a standalone, that's fine, next!" like we've seen recently.
 

Coronis

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Anyone remember all the times Bidoofs showed up in Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia?
  • First is all the times Bidoof was used at the Pokemon School.
  • Second during a raid on the Ranger HQ you have a quick face off against Wheeler, main antagonist Blake Hall's assistant, who sends out 8 Bidoof... which each capture in one circle (and you can potentially get all of them in one circle at the very start if I recall). This particular moment was even given an illustration which I think is also the only official image of Wheeler aside from his in-game sprite:
  • Finally, Wheeler is the penultimate boss of the main story... where he sends out one Bidoof (one circle). He's about to send out another one before Blake Hall mocks him and summons Darkrai.
While never really used for any serious moments, infact they were often used as a joke during serious moments notably by Wheeler, it's still a memorable part of the game.
Yup yup, Wheeler was such as useless character it was hilarious. Coincidentally (?) PMD Sky and Shadows of Almia are my two favourite sidegames.
 
A three-stage, part Flying family of Grass-types. Yeah, once upon a time the regional dexes contained multiple three-stage families that weren't starters, regional bugs, regional birds, or pseudo-legendaries. Johto gave us Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff.
This is actually not THAT bad in recent generations, with the notable exception of Gen 7. Gen 5 had several non-standard 3-stage lines (Lillipup, Roggenrola, Timburr, Tympole, Sewaddle/Venipede (whichever one you do not count as the regional bug), Sandile, Gothita, Solosis, Vanillite, Klink, Tynamo, Litwick, Axew). Gen 6 only had the Flabébé and Honedge lines, but was a very small gen anyways. Gen 7 is pretty lacking, with only Bounsweet (and Cosmog, which is special being a legendary). Gen 8 has Rolycoly, Hatenna and Impidimp, which is also not that bad. Especially when you are comparing it to gen 2, which not only only had Mareep and Hoppip, but also did not feature 3-stage lines for its regional bird and bug.
 

Codraroll

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This is actually not THAT bad in recent generations, with the notable exception of Gen 7. Gen 5 had several non-standard 3-stage lines (Lillipup, Roggenrola, Timburr, Tympole, Sewaddle/Venipede (whichever one you do not count as the regional bug), Sandile, Gothita, Solosis, Vanillite, Klink, Tynamo, Litwick, Axew). Gen 6 only had the Flabébé and Honedge lines, but was a very small gen anyways. Gen 7 is pretty lacking, with only Bounsweet (and Cosmog, which is special being a legendary). Gen 8 has Rolycoly, Hatenna and Impidimp, which is also not that bad. Especially when you are comparing it to gen 2, which not only only had Mareep and Hoppip, but also did not feature 3-stage lines for its regional bird and bug.
I'd actually say recent generations are pretty terrible in this regard. Gen V had tons of three-stage lines and it was glorious, but the 3D era has been a real letdown.
  • Gen I originally had 8 such families (2x Nido, Oddish, Poliwag, Abra, Machop, Geodude, and Gastly).
  • Gen II only had Mareep and Hoppip as straightforward examples, but cross-generation evolutions made many Gen I families three-stage as well: Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Zubat, and Horsea suddenly found themselves belonging to three-stage evolution families. There's also Politoed and Belossom, for whatever that's worth. I'd count that as 7 at least.
  • Gen III introduced 8 three-stage families outside the archetypes: Lotad, Seedot, Ralts, Slakoth, Whismur, Aron, Trapinch, and Spheal. In addition, it made the Marill family three-stage. That's nine in total.
  • Gen IV only had the Shinx family, but it added third members to so many families (and most of them at the exciting end instead of as mere baby Pokémon): the Magnemite, Rhyhorn, Chansey, Magmar, Electabuzz, Porygon, Togepi, Swinub, Roselia, and Duskull families were all three-stage after Gen IV. Plus however you count Gallade. It adds up to 11 even before you add Gallade.
  • Gen V had no cross-generation evolution, but it had 13 three-stage lines on its own.
And then the 3D era:
  • 2 families in Gen VI.
  • 1 family in Gen VII, plus the Alolan forms of Raichu and the Geodude family.
  • 3 family in Gen VIII, plus added third members to regional forms of the Zigzagoon and Mr. Mime family.
Or put another way: Depending on how you count, Gen II is the only 2D era generation to not have created more new non-archetypal three-stage families than the entire 3D era put together.

And it's precisely for this reason:
but was a very small gen anyways
The new generations are too small to have room for many families with third members when all the other boxes are ticked. When all the archetypes are present and every typing has a minimum of representation, that's it for the new gen rosters. The old gen rosters still had plenty of Pokédex slots left over to add a third Pokémon to a family or two, possibly by way of cross-generation evolution. But nowadays, with Game Freak's insistence on both shrinking the regional dexes yet reserving the same number of slots for archetypes, there's only a little room to be creative beyond the minimum. I believe I've posted this chart before, but it bears posting again to illustrate the conundrum:

 
Aside from "Mythical 1, 2, 3" I don't see a problem with the Archetypes. I mean I guess the Pikclone is probably next, but recent ones tend to follow another Archetype (Standalone Flying, Fairy, Steel, Dark) (Emolga, Dedenne, Togedemaru, Morpeko respectively)
 

Codraroll

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Aside from "Mythical 1, 2, 3" I don't see a problem with the Archetypes. I mean I guess the Pikclone is probably next, but recent ones tend to follow another Archetype (Standalone Flying, Fairy, Steel, Dark) (Emolga, Dedenne, Togedemaru, Morpeko respectively)
The problem is not so much the archetypes themselves. It's rather the fact that they insist on keeping nearly all of them in every generation, even as the total number of Pokémon shrinks. That leaves way less room for non-archetype representation of certain types, and it makes three-stage families extremely rare, apart from the somewhat repetitive archetypes. I mean, when was the last time we saw a three-stage Flying-type family that wasn't a bird encountered on the first two Routes of the game and didn't evolve twice by level-up, around levels 14-20 and 30-36? Actually, let me look that up ...

...

... yeah, that was the Hoppip family. Or the Zubat family, if you disregard the "bird" requirement. Literally all the other families that are Flying-type in all three stages have been regional birds.

Other types have the same problem. Fire and Water are both automatically represented by a three-stage family by way of the starters in every game, so non-starter three-stage families of those types are unreasonably rare. The Rolycoly family is one of only three three-stage Fire-types that aren't starters (alongside the Magmar and Litwick families). The Tympole family was the last non-starter Water-type three-stage family. Bug has only seen one three-stage family cast in a different role than "regional bug", and that's either the Venipede or Sewaddle family depending on which one you consider the regional bug in Unova.

Archetypes aren't bad per se, and there is a lot of wiggle room for creative design within the limitations they represent ... but they still represent limitations. Game Freak likes to create Pokémon that follow the same basic patterns in every game, and that is fine, provided that they create some Pokémon outside the patterns as well. And for a large number of types, this is done only very rarely, at least for three-stage families.

And to try to twist this rant back into something appropriate for the thread, let me explain why I focus so much on three-stage families. In short, it's because they are a little thing I really like.

A two-stage evolution family features a basic Pokémon and an evolved form that looks a little bigger and tougher, but generally follows the same basic principle. Little horse evolves into big horse. Little bug into big bug. Bud into flower, that sort of things. The first and second stages have to look somewhat like each other to make the transition believable and not too abrupt.

However, a three-stage family can begin with an extra small and cutesy creature, and end up with an extra big badass as the final form. The second stage creates an effective middle step between the two, making a gradual and believable transition from little guy to big guy. This way, there can be a bigger gap in the design between the first and final evolution steps. That means the first stage can go even further in the direction of small and cutesy, while the third stage can go further in the direction of elaborate and badass. Just look at, say, Swinub and Mamoswine or Rookidee and Corviknight. Without the respective middle stages, you wouldn't guess the first and final stages were related. But the transition looks believable because of the middle step that bridges the two. It gives the Pokémon family a much wider span on the basic - elaborate scale.

The same can be said about gameplay. Two-stage Pokémon you find in the early-game tend to evolve into a creature that loses its relative strength by the mid-game or so. The power level doesn't increase much in the span of one evolution, so Pokémon that evolve early become obsolete early. Likewise, two-stage Pokémon that evolve into something with endgame stats tend to appear only late in the mid-game, at which point you may have settled on your final team already. Pokémon like Noibat or Mienfoo debut too late (in their original games) to be attractive to catch. And if later games introduce them as early-game Pokémon, they will only serve as useless baggage for the entire mid-game until they finally evolve on Victory Road or so.

However, a three-stage Pokémon can be a weak Pokémon in the early-game, a serviceable Pokémon in the mid-game, and a strong Pokémon in the late-game, all in one. No need for them to be discarded halfway through your adventure, or to appear so late they become uninteresting. You can catch it outside the first Gym, evolve it in time for the third Gym, evolve it again after the seventh Gym, and take the final form to the Pokémon League. It has a role to play throughout the entire game.

In short, three-stage families span much wider, both in terms of appearance and gameplay utility, and they are (usually - hello Dreepy!) very flexible for appearance in later games as well. That's why I tend to use them as much as possible, and why I think it's so sad that they almost aren't making them anymore.
 
I don't exactly care much about the original archetypes (other than thinking pikaclone and eeveelution are worthless additions to a dex), mostly because they're so basic they'd probably be filled even if you even aren't trying

"bird" "bug" "rodent-esque" aren't exactly the most specific themes in the world, and I feel like discounting them from the 3 stage group because they're regional is a bit unfair. They'd probably be done with the archetype or not, especially the bug one considering that cocoons are just perfect 3 stage stuff.

I don't like that recent games have added more archetypes and become more specific with them though
We don't need a 3 stage feminine pokémon every gen, and it isn't a natural addition like the above. I'm also not fond of half of the ice types being regional forms as a trend either.
 
Kyogre's Pokedex entry, Ruby:
"Kyogre has the power to create massive rain clouds that cover the entire sky and bring about torrential downpours. This Pokémon saved people who were suffering from droughts."

Kyogre's Pokedex entry, Sapphire:
"Kyogre is named in mythology as the Pokémon that expanded the sea by covering the land with torrential rains and towering tidal waves. It took to sleep after a cataclysmic battle with Groudon."

Groudon's Pokedex entry, Ruby:
"Groudon has long been described in mythology as the Pokémon that raised lands and expanded continents. This Pokémon took to sleep after a cataclysmic battle with Kyogre."

Groudon's Pokedex entry, Sapphire:
"Groudon has the power to scatter rain clouds and make water evaporate with light and heat. It came as a savior to people who had been suffering from terrible floods."

There's a fun bit of symmetry here that's easy to miss. Both of the Pokedex entries for these two Legendary Pokemon in their corresponding games talk about their cataclysmic battle. Conversely, their entries in the opposite games talk about how both Kyogre and Groudon have both been revered as saviours - Kyogre for drought, Groudon for floods. This makes sense if you think about it - in each of the games, the cover legendary is in the midst of bringing about the apocalypse, and it's only because of the player character that they're stopped before any lasting damage is dealt. As such, it's only natural that Kyogre in Sapphire and Groudon in Ruby are seen in-universe as terrifying beings of destruction. But conversely, had the crisis gone on for a bit longer, who would the people naturally cry out to? The opposite legendary, of course, who could have saved the world! Sadly, these tidbits weren't kept for ORAS, where the Pokedex, for both Pokemon and in both versions, focuses solely on their destructive side.

And to complete this little bit of trivia, Rayquaza's ability to calm Kyogre and Groudon wasn't mentioned until Emerald - a piece of lore that, much like Giratina for Platinum and Kyurem for BW2, ties the third cover legendary to the first two.
 
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