Little things you like about Pokémon

The menu sprites as of Gen 6 don't get enough credit and appreciation. Lemme use good ol' Charizard as an example.

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Starting from Gen 3 and up to gen 5, Pokemon received little sprites to denote their placement in battle menus and such. These sprites were serviceable, but nowadays looking back on them they had some issues. For example, Charizard here has miscolored wings whose insides are a much darker shade of blue than they should be. It's also worth noting that by Gen 5, the menu sprites for older mons looked more outdated and less detailed compared to stuff like the new Pokemon of Unova. A revamp was in order, and it came in X and Y...

:charizard:
Now this is where menu sprites ascended from acceptable to very pretty touches to the visuals on their own. Despite being still a bit compressed, Some of Zard's features like its horns, wings and tail are more defined and detailed, and the colors are on point and much more vibrant than its ADV-era predecessor. Revamps like these came for every single Pokemon, which did a lot to freshen up the presentation. But as of the Let's Go games, some of the menu sprites have been freshened up again for the Switch, and...

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IS BYOTIFUL!!! So small, yet so crisp, detailed and pleasant to look at! Charizard is no longer hunched over to fit on the menu, it can now stand tall and proud even as a little sprite. The same can be said for many others including much of the Let's Go cast and even some other generation Pokemon seen in previews for Sword and Shield like Golurk, Weavile and Togekiss. These new menu sprites are severely underrated and deserve more love!
 
So I had to come here and praise the Dragon-type gym in Sword and Shield.

Well, "Dragon"-type is misleading, as there is only a single Dragon-type Pokémon per trainer. But it should be the gold standard of what gyms should be. All trainers, not just Raihan, have some strategy in mind, they have type variety beyond the gym's specialty type and, most important of all, they are all DOUBLE BATTLES!

Double Battles where there is a strategy in place (Weather abuse) instead of two Pokémon that have a theme connection at best. This is what a gym should be, and what the game should teach.
 
So I had to come here and praise the Dragon-type gym in Sword and Shield.

Well, "Dragon"-type is misleading, as there is only a single Dragon-type Pokémon per trainer. But it should be the gold standard of what gyms should be. All trainers, not just Raihan, have some strategy in mind, they have type variety beyond the gym's specialty type and, most important of all, they are all DOUBLE BATTLES!

Double Battles where there is a strategy in place (Weather abuse) instead of two Pokémon that have a theme connection at best. This is what a gym should be, and what the game should teach.
Well said! It's a shame that the actual "gym" was over with so quickly..
(We only get a few quick fights in the Vault? That's it...?)

It really made me miss all the double battles from Colosseum/XD: Gale of Darkness, too!
 
I also forgot mentioning the other times in the game that actually viable strategies and items are shown, such as Mr. Focus (Elmo Tivao, as he's hilariously called in spanish) showing off an incomplete FEAR, or the Eviolite trainer in Ballonea displaying the effect of the increased defenses.
Why is the name "Elmo Tivao" so funny? Sounds like Spanish wordplay I don't get from how you're describing it
 
Leon does something really that I really enjoy: his team changes depending on what your starter is, and I don't just mean that he uses the starter left behind by you and Hop. If you chose Grookey, he'll have a Cinderace AND a Seismitoad. If you chose Sobble, he'll have a Rillaboom AND a Rhyperior. And if you chose Scorbunny, he'll have an Inteleon AND a Mr. Rime (not sure why this time he drops the trend of the other Pokemon being double weak to your starter, and/or the trend of this mon being part Ground). This kind of team altering hasn't been seen since the champion battles with Blue. I think I prefer the way Blue did it, where he had a FWG core of Gyarados, Exeggutor, and Arcanine, and would swap out one of them for his starter. But Leon's approach has the added benefit of making the fight feel more personalized. I hope Game Freak expands on this in future games.

However, there is something about Leon's team that I really don't like, which I've discussed in this thread's negative counterpart.
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
I really like the Galar badges. Normally I’m pretty meh on badges, getting to walk past the gym leader is the reward, but the Galar badge case left me constantly curious what the next badge will look like and interested in the design.
The Galar Badges are certainly interesting, reminds me of the Unova Badges which also have a sort of theme to them. If I had to pick between the two, though, I'd pick the Unova Badges. While they have a theme which adds a limitation to their design (having to be long and slim), they still show creative design in how they represent their Type and/or the Gym Leader(s) awarding them.

Trio Badge: It's either a vertical bow tie (the Striaton Trio all wear bowties) or an ear of corn (the Trio's Japanese name all reference corn... or in Cress's case is named "Corn"). It then has the three colored parts (for the bow tie its the loop and left & ring wing, for the ear of corn they represent kernels) to represent the colors the Gym Leaders use and/or the Types they use.

Basic Badge: A spine of a book, a direct reference to either Lenora's expertise in history or Cheren being a teacher.

Insect Badge: Possible scales or wings of a bug. It's more stylized than the others possibly to reference Burgh being an artist, though admittedly that's a stretch.

Bolt Badge: A lightning bolt but the jagged top part possibly references Emolga's tail, a Pokemon that Elesa is infamously known for using.

Quake Badge: A slice of the layers of the earth but top-middle is sliding off as if affected by an earthquake. The green gem at the bottom-middle could be a little detail how rare minerals are found deep within the earth, a reference to Clay being a manager of a mine.

Jet Badge: From a vertical view it looks like a feather (with possibly a talon as its tip) but a horizontal view looks like a bird skimming the water hence referencing the "jet" part. Also since Skyla's ace Pokemon is Swanna that also incorporates the water element (though oddly it wouldn't be until USUM that Swanna learned Aqua Jet and only via Egg Move, but that's all besides the point).

Freeze Badge: Three icicles hanging down, though it's notable there's three as that's the same amount Beartic has hanging from its mouth which is Brycen's ace.

Legend Badge: ... Okay, not all of them are great. Yeah, I have no clue but it at least looks interesting. Bulbapedia says could be a dragon's head, dragon's wing, or spiked mace (a medieval weapon which could be used by a knight to fight a dragon...). If you forced me to come up with something maybe a dragon's fire breath (or eye)? Though there are other design details which are more "clear" if subtle. It has three parts to it: the biggest background part is white, on top of it mirroring its shape but smaller is a black part, and then a red gem. Ignoring the red gem, it's likely part of the design relating to the "dragon" motif (eye of the dragon's head, core of the flame, pupil of the eye, etc.), the large white part could be a reference to Drayden while the smaller black part a reference to Iris.

Toxic Badge: The Poison element is often represented by purple bubbles, the top bubble also looks to have crossbones which is another poison iconography (at least in Pokemon). When combined together could also look like a neck and head of a guitar, an instrument that Roxie plays.

Wave Badge: A water droplet with blue colored layers that looks like waves. I guess it also matches Marlon's pants?


As for the Galar Badges, what's intriguing about them aren't the Badges themselves but that they piece together in a jigsaw puzzle kind of way to form this plate that you could say is a jumbo badge itself. However if you look at the Badges individually they're pretty basic in what they represent: Grass is a leaf, Water is pools of water (or possibly lakes), Fire is a flame, Fighting is a fist in motion, Ghost is a will-o-wisp, Fairy is a butterfly winged sprite, Rock is a slab of cracked stone, Ice is an ice cube, Dark is the most interesting as it's not clear but probably meant to look like an evil/devilish face with horns, and Dragon is a dragon's neck and head.

BTW I don't like that the Galar Badges are just named after the Types they are for. Actually, I would have been fine with it if they didn't have some of the Kalos Badges just named after their Type. For Galar it makes a bit of sense, since the Pokemon League is a major sport watched by everyone they probably dumbed down/generalized certain aspects for the general audience such as just naming the Badges after the Type they represent. I guess looking it that way its the Kalos Gym Leaders being lazy (except maybe Valerie, I'll give her some leeway as she's the first Fairy-type Gym Leader thus you could say has dibs on the name). Oh, speaking of Valerie, we now have two Fairy Badges.

Kalos:
Bug:
Scutter
Fairy: Flutter
Psychic: Seer

Galar:
Grass:
Field
Water: Lake
Fire: Ignition
Fighting: Martial
Ghost: Whisper
Fairy: Folktale
Rock: Slab
Ice: Frozen
Dark: Grim
Dragon: Roaring
 
I never thought I'd say this about any facility ever but, uh.

I really, really like SwSh's battle tower.

The usual occasional annoying strategies aside (I came across a ridiculous evasion/substitute galvantula set before typing this, ugh), the rank system is such a massive improvement that means if you lose your streak, it doesn't take much to build it back up. No unfair loss is a huge setback, and the structure is simple and accessible enough to easily get into -- ESPECIALLY with the rental teams. I'm actually having fun getting my BP up and that's more than I can say for any battle facility up until this point.
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Le gasp, they actually updated some Pokemon's Egg Groups so they made sense! Well, actually more added Pokemon who were only in one Egg Group to having a second Egg Group, but still that provides Egg Moves potential:

Trapinch family (Bug) and Noibat family (Flying) was added to Dragon.
Hawlucha (Human-Like) was added to Flying.
Bergmite family (Monster) was added to Mineral.

However, none of these compare to the the most important Egg Group change:

Gardevoir is now in the Human-Like Egg Group.

... well, along with the rest of the Ralts family who were previously just Amorphous. But you know the focus is going to be on Gardevoir... for reasons.
 
While there are things that certainly could have been better (looking at you, getting paired with the Magikarp, Togepi and Wobbuffet partners against a rare 5-star Gyarados) I have to give the Raid system a huge praise in what it does right.

It is exceptionally easy to get Pokémon with competent IVs through it. I have an entire box worth of pentaflawless or better Pokémon that I got just from Raids. That makes SOS Chaining or DexNav look like amateurs in comparison (not taking into account Hidden Ability or Egg Move availability).
 
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While there are things that certainly could have been better (looking at you, getting paired with the Magikarp, Togepi and Wobbuffet partners against a rare 5-star Gyarados) I have to give the Raid system a huge praise in what it does right.

It is exceptionally easy to get Pokémon with competent IVs through it. I have an entire box worth of pentaflawless or better Pokémon that I got just from Raids. That makes SOS Chaining or DexNav look like amateurs in comparison (not taking into account Hidden Ability or Egg Move availability).
It’s also more engaging- I’ve had so much fun doing raids with others on Discord, unlike the other two which are boring slogs. The only complaint is that you need friends to do it- especially the higher level raids, so if you don’t have friends, your screwed from getting good IVs.

I’ve even managed to find Pokémon who are Battle Ready with a few minor tweaks, such as Nature Mints and Ability Capsules. With the exception of Legendary Pokémon, this has never happened.
 
Both the first Eternatus fight and the Leon fight felt appropriately hard. Now, I was underleveled for them, but when -1 Aegislash hit me with Shadow Ball, I saw the health drop and knew I had to pay attention.

Also, Eternatus was obviously a guaranteed catch, which means I felt free to use a Love Ball on him. There’s nothing better than keeping a world-destroying monster from the start of time in something cute.
 
As an apology for accidentally posting in the anime thread earlier, I guess I’ll say some things I like about the anime (I’ve mostly only watched RSE and bits and pieces of DP and BW):
1. The fact they give even unpopular Pokémon the spotlight on the protagonist’s rosters. I used to think Glalie was awesome until I grew up and became a nerd lol

2. The freaking bizarre episodes they occasionally had. Like DP’s Malice in Wonderland, where the cast is trapped in an illusion by a Mismagius, which includes Dawn’s mother randomly telling her Feebas to evolve and a purple Rayquaza. Or how about DP also having Where No Togepi Has Gone Before!, which involves an evil Togepi who loves bananas trapping the twerps and Team Rocket on well, a Team Rocket’s Rocket (talking trouble). Or how about Claydol Big and Tall from RSE which involves this glorious image:
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Honorable mention to The Cave of Mirrors for being a legitimately funny role reversal in XY, complete with a sassy Serena.

Seriously check some of those out if you haven’t, they are...an experience.

3. The fact they made Team Rocket more competent from Unova onward. As reviled as the BW1 anime was (for good reasons) I would say they nailed Team Rocket. While I love the goofy trio a lot (see below) I think they were something salvageable about the Unova anime (it helped they didn’t show up every episode either). Yeah, they lost some competence afterward, but not completely, to the point they came incredibly close to winning in a SM episode (I think Bewear stopped them after they beat the twerps in a fair fight).

4. The fourth wall breaks, 99% of the time courtesy of Team Rocket. Not quite as common nowadays, but Team Rocket provides a lot of laughs with them, mostly from the original series (We have to fill a half hour!). I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an influence on how I write!

5. Pokemon Hunter J, just...everything about Pokémon Hunter J from the DP anime. Similar to the newer Team Rocket, I love they made her ruthlessly competent, and also canonically the one of the few characters to more or less die by drowning (though her fate is left ambiguous I believe). Friendly reminder that she tried to straight up kill Ash and I think even jettison her own crew to save her own skin.

Now onto what I originally wanted to post about.

While most of the story may be really rushed at Wyndon, and a LOT of the characters underdeveloped...I really like Leon’s final battle.

Leon was built up for pretty much the entire game. You saw him at the very start and you outright know he’s the champion. It’s like if Game Freak said: “Yeah, the whole “hidden Champion” thing is kinda pointless as most will know two months after release.” (Though I would say both SM/USUM were pretty good battles too.) While Leon being unbeatable gets kinda shoved down your throat early on, I think the actual battle is really well done.

You get that awesome cape throw as the music starts up, this time around a hopeful remix of the Hall of Fame, which, while it might not be as “epic” and “intense” as other themes, I honestly really like, even if the crowd drowns it out a bit.

His team is a doozy too. Leading with a former Uber in Aegislash, having a few varying mons depending on your starter (though other games have done this too). and that terrifying Haxorus. Charizard, while it also got shoved down our throat, is also pretty threatening (a neutral Fire Blast from regular Charizard came close to OHKOing my Cursola!). Not to mention the kinda annoying level spike out of absolute nowhere (though he’s far from the only Champion guilty of this). All in all, it’s a challenging fight that serves as a nice conclusion to the game. I liked how the other important battles made a comeback with remixes in the tournament too.

Honorable mention to Piers battle - THAT HARDCORE MUSIC and the atmosphere is awesome, despite how very undercooked Team Yell was as a whole.

While the game definitely has plot problems, I really enjoyed it, particularly with how the Gym Leaders had some decent strategies this time around too.
 

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