Unpopular opinions

This is an idea I've been thinking of for a good while now. I would've posted about it months ago if it weren't for me getting side-tracked by other things and not really being able to find a good thread for it. In the end I'll post it here under this potential unpopular opinion header:

Mainline Pokemon, and by extension every single monster catcher franchise (Digimon, Dragon Quest Monsters, Monster Hunter Stories, etc.) is at an innate storytelling disadvantage compared to most other subgenres and mediums.

Now, why is this? Because simply put, the characters in Pokemon, no matter the quality of their writing, are not the endstate. I think this felt the hardest by villains especially.

This is the Egg Dragoon fight from Sonic Unleashed. It is one of Dr. Eggman's most badass moments in the franchise. As the fight continues you witness him getting more and more manic, commanding his latest and most potent combat machine to fire missiles and destroy Sonic at all costs while both combatants are hurtling towards the Earth's core.

You know why characters like Giovanni, Cyrus, Lysandre and Ghetsis have never had and can't have moments this raw? Because they are not really the focus. By the very nature of Pokemon, they are just backseats to their selection of creatures. And because of the themes of this franchise in regards to its creatures, the Pokemon can't be treated as mere extensions of them like a force user's lightsaber or a mad doctor's machinations. They are characters in their own right, characters who split away the focus from their wielders.

Just go to any comments section on a final boss music video and really pay attention to how the iconic human fights in this series are talked about. It's never "Cynthia beat my ass as a kid", it's always "Cynthia's Garchomp beat my ass as a kid". With a few exceptions like Lillie standing up to Lusamine you don't got huge human character-centered setpieces: Think Senator Armstrong tanking Raiden's barrage of punches with 0 effort, or the disorienting and chaotic antics of Dark Samus. Time and time again, it always comes down to "Hey, <Pokemon>, do the thing for me!"

I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the motivations for the recent move to big asymmetric Pokemon boss fights. Totems, Nobles, Ultra Necrozma, Palkia and Dialga's Origin forms, they're all undiluted, untethered encounters that showcase personality through their battles like normal fights and are all the more memorable as a result. And hm, how interesting, what's one of the most acclaimed bits of SWSH storytelling? Oh yeah! The DLC side-story where a Pokemon goes through an arc! Ooooh on that note, how fascinating is it that in general the games most praised as the pinnacles of Pokemon storytelling are the Mystery Dungeon titles, which cut out the monster catcher problem entirely by having the things the series is named after be the protagonists, antagonists and everything in-between?

Now, this isn't to say good stories are impossible in this framework. They just gotta consider this issue and work around it. Ingo in PLA is a highlight because yeah you fight him, but you also spend time just hanging out and getting to know him. In this specific instance, in fact, his competency at Pokemon battling is in itself a character statement!
I think that pokemon is capable of setting up a boss fight in such a way that it informs an NPC's character, but mostly doesn't do a good job of showing that potential. I think of teambuilding as partly a creative exercise, and as such a character's team can provide information about their personality in the same way as e.g. their music can. The main examples I can think of this being used well is in gen 5: N doesn't believe in keeping pokemon, so his teams are made up of mons from the area he's currently in. Meanwhile, Ghetsis' ace goes from having coverage against N's entire team in BW1 to running max power Frustration on a special attacker in B2W2, which I feel does a pretty good job of showing his descent from cunning to madness. Unfortunately, for the most part, we don't really get NPC teams that go beyond favouring a specific type, and the difficulty isn't always at the point where the NPC gets a chance to show what their team is really like.

I actually think the asymmetric fights are a step back when it comes to that aspect. There's inherently less to work with with one mon compared to six, and they feel a lot more reliant on inflated stats than actual thought when it comes to difficulty.
 

Yung Dramps

awesome gaming
I think that pokemon is capable of setting up a boss fight in such a way that it informs an NPC's character, but mostly doesn't do a good job of showing that potential. I think of teambuilding as partly a creative exercise, and as such a character's team can provide information about their personality in the same way as e.g. their music can. The main examples I can think of this being used well is in gen 5: N doesn't believe in keeping pokemon, so his teams are made up of mons from the area he's currently in. Meanwhile, Ghetsis' ace goes from having coverage against N's entire team in BW1 to running max power Frustration on a special attacker in B2W2, which I feel does a pretty good job of showing his descent from cunning to madness. Unfortunately, for the most part, we don't really get NPC teams that go beyond favouring a specific type, and the difficulty isn't always at the point where the NPC gets a chance to show what their team is really like.
Yeah I get that, but idk even in the base case scenarios it just doesn't feel the same and doesn't shake off the underlying problem of "the human has minimal agency other than giving commands"
 
Perhaps Pokémon cannot convey amazing bosses because of the genre it's part in.

But I personally don't mind if that's the case. I'd actually prefer a Pokémon game with no proper antagonist.

Like Sword and Shield should have been if they didn't hurriedly squish the Darkest Day plot before the battle with Leon. Pokémon should be about your journey to get to the top of the league, everything else is secondary.
 
Honestly the use of mechas could've helped Pokemon for boss fights (also nice to see Egg Dragoon here)
Imagine fighting a manmade mecha with your Pokemon. A mecha with a higher amount of HP and moves (le gasp, not just 4) vs a double or triple battle set from you
XD will forever piss me off in potentially having a Robo Groudon fight, but then immediately just setting it as the trainer instead of the boss

Ironically....
1645238121897.png


Team Rocket in the anime has shown a lot of unique concepts with it, even if for laughs
 
Honestly the use of mechas could've helped Pokemon for boss fights (also nice to see Egg Dragoon here)
Imagine fighting a manmade mecha with your Pokemon. A mecha with a higher amount of HP and moves (le gasp, not just 4) vs a double or triple battle set from you
XD will forever piss me off in potentially having a Robo Groudon fight, but then immediately just setting it as the trainer instead of the boss

Ironically....
View attachment 407711

Team Rocket in the anime has shown a lot of unique concepts with it, even if for laughs
 
I do want to rekindle the discussion of Gen 5 being overrated. The last time I posted about this I didn't bring up either of these points with respect to BW or B2W2.

1. BW - For a story driven game, my biggest problem with BW is that it basically fumbles the ball on the other team's goal line. Right after you finish defeating N in an epic, legendary battle for the fate of the universe...Ghetsis pulls a bullshit "it was me all along" move that completely undercuts N's motives. It seriously guts N's character like a pig. Instead of keeping him a cool, edgy-but-not-too-edgy, antihero, we get a sad, puppy dog story about how N was manipulated the whole time and was never really acting out of free will. I don't understand how a game where story is of paramount importance, can fuck up the end so badly and still be regarded with the likes of Platinum and Emerald.

2. B2W2 - Look I know Pokémon isn't known for its stories and (rightfully) focuses more on gameplay. But holy fuck. B2W2's story is honestly so bad it just takes it out of contention for the GOAT title of the series on account of that alone, despite its other bells and whistles. There's a great quote from this Reddit post that summarizes my feelings about B2W2's plot almost exactly:

"Several grunts of Team Plasma, call N a traitor, and want to take revenge on him. Some of them, want to liberate pokemon. But Zinzolin wants to live in a world without pokeballs. Colress wants to draw out the inherent power of pokemon. Ghetsis wants to rule over Unova. I have no clue what neo-Team Plasma really wants! Each of their members seem to be wanting different things! The only thing they have in common, is that they want to freeze Unova in ice!"

It's just hard for me to make sense of B2W2's plot and when I hear people talk about B2W2's plot still being great, even if not reaching the heights of BW, I can't understand it.

Anyway that's surely an unpopular opinion(s) for this thread. Hopefully that'll stir the pot a bit.
 
I haven't played Gen 5 so my opinion of the story doesn't hold much merit, but whenever people praise its story, I hear the things they describe and think "this story and these characters sound like they're from a melodramatic fanfic written by an edgy highschooler who urges people to take their writing seriously because 'it's so deep you guys' or whatever."

That's not really a judgement on the story itself (again, never played it) but it is a judgement on how people who like Gen 5 describe Gen 5.
 
As a Gen 5 fanboy I can totally agree BW2’s plot is terrible.

There’s so much going on in that story and none of it is given the proper time to function. I actually like Hugh more than most but I know the issues people have with him so I won’t get into it.

BW1’s plot, I personally don’t mind how it fumbles some at the end, because of two things: the atmosphere and it took a huge risk. The music is fantastic, some of the best final battle themes in the series. Even to this day, we haven’t had unique final battles against the evil team be the climax of the story unless you count Legends: Arceus but that’s kind of its own category and even then didn’t get the proper buildup (though it competes with BW1 for my favorite climax in spite of this). Not spoiling anything beyond that.

In a series that until recently loved to play it safe, making the climax in this big new non Pokémon League location was basically the Pokémon equivalent of removing the crystals in the Final Fantasy games. It’s a huge deal.

Even as a huge Gen 5 fanboy, I think it’s honestly a product of circumstance thanks to the BW1 list. It still has tons of issues like the EXP system and late evos being totally valid points. I don’t even like or think about BW2 that much honestly. If someone asked me to choose either BW1 or BW2 for your Pokémon experience I’d say BW1 without even thinking about it because the story isn’t outright stupid. Say what you will about BW1’s climax issues but it for the most part didn’t try to give itself pretentious importance to in reality Team Rocket tier villains.
 

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It says a lot about BW2's story when I honestly don't remember a single thing about it. After the first time I played it back in 2013 I must say in the years since I've managed to recall almost nothing about BW2's story or what happened in that game.

Granted, I'm starting to see what BW2's story was like again since I'm currently revisiting the game and doing a second playthrough of it after years of not touching it at all but looking at it in hindsight it really does stand out when I at one point really loved playing BW2 and yet in the years since have had next to zero recollection of what the game's story was like until recently, whereas BW1 has had one of the most memorable stories for me and is still a game I remember very well over the years and have many cherished memories with.

BW2 really just came and went for me in that regard, and it is kind of strange to realize that, especially compared to other Pokemon games that came before and after it in terms of my experience.
 
"Several grunts of Team Plasma, call N a traitor, and want to take revenge on him. Some of them, want to liberate pokemon. But Zinzolin wants to live in a world without pokeballs. Colress wants to draw out the inherent power of pokemon. Ghetsis wants to rule over Unova. I have no clue what neo-Team Plasma really wants! Each of their members seem to be wanting different things! The only thing they have in common, is that they want to freeze Unova in ice!"
I actually liked that, showing how, despite his raving madness and egocentrism, Ghetsis is actually capable of uniting a group of people that don't have any goals in common.
 
Dunno how unpopular this is: I think Hearto Goldo Shoel Shilva are extremely overrated. They don’t fix the shite level curve that’s present In the originals and they don’t fix a lot of the placements of Pokémon. Crystal had frickin no badge teddy and phanpy for example and it would’ve been nice to get the odd egg where the none shiny ones are not plagued with shite DVs. Tyrogue is still 8 badges, Jynx is 7 (I hate how you can’t go to east of Mahogany until you beat CJ+P and beat the final boss of Neo Rocket) (who’s roster still sucks monkey balls, I might add, but I digress)
I’m gonna quick fire some others:
Gen 3 was the only good generation and by that I mean coz it had 7 frickin games or 4 separate adventures and I like how it was the only actually true reboot.
Red was shit, green was shit, blue was shit but I wish we got Jap Blue and Yellow was obviously shit too.
Gold was shit, silver was shit crystal was kinda shit
Ruby was shit, sapphire was shit fire red was kinda shit and so was leaf green
Gen 5 was shit coz there was no original dragon fight me bitches! :P
Gen 6 was obviously shit but at least they had triples which is my fav format coz it reminds me of the bloodbaths you get in classic JRPGs
Gen 7 wasn’t shit is that an unpopular opinion? Gen 8 is fucking shit but I don’t there unpopular. Sorry for all bad language I have Tourette’s and Synesthesia so that counts for what I write too! Also Portuguese is my mother tongue but I know a lot of British idioms and sayings coz I live in England.
 
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On BW story, the issue I have with Ghetsis is more with the pacing of his subversion, both the set up and the reveal at the end of the game. He mostly appears throughout the plot speaking as a more sinister member of the Sages but still relatively in line with N/Plasma's Public goal and MO. Then near the last Gym he just kind of stops you on the bridge to lay out "think how easy it'll be to take over the world when everyone releases their Pokemon" to the point I wonder why he wasn't twirling a pencil mustache. All this to culminate in putting N down after he loses and basically saying "Guess I gotta do this myself" (even though his plan won't work after N's defeat and he just confessed the entire plan with witnesses besides yourself).

I think a smoother approach would have been to have Ghetsis challenge you after you get your Dragon but before actually reaching and challenging N. Now that you have the opposite Dragon, your word against N's is a legitimate challenge to Team Plasma's image in Unova, necessitating your removal before you can challenge N and his image of things any further (as Ghetsis sheltered him from to groom him as Plasma's king) the way you have over the course of the story. After defeating him, N becomes aware of or turns out to have been watching the battle, and ultimately his goal comes into question from learning his worldview was so narrow. Ghetsis is taken away, and N battles you to end the game not over Unova's future or ideals, but to learn something about his own (as Pokemon Battling is just a catch all enlightenment avenue in this franchise, like Dueling in Yugioh). Being defeated here shows N he has much to learn of the world he lives in, and departs much like he does in BW's original ending.

The primary aspects I wanted to address with this half-baked rewrite concept was the clumsy integration of Ghetsis's manipulation (which I don't think is an incongruent concept with N as an Anti-Villain rival), and concluding that "twist" villain reveal without overshadowing or stealing the thunder of the conflict with N and the proverbial "Black and White" outlook they were setting him up to be clouded by. With most of the other conventions (the League Challenge, Dex Research, even Rival arcs to an extent) being present-but-second to N and Plasma, doing the same with the "Evil Mastermind" team villain also feels the logical conclusion, elevating the primary shake-up (the focus on N) above the remixed-but-familiar element (Plasma at large) for the climax.
 
Ghetsis is my favorite villian in the Franchise just because of how bat shit insane he is. I just don’t like the way it was handled with the whole liberation of Pokemon thing like it’s kinda hard to explain. Err… let’s see idk like it ruins it that it’s too obvious he’s sinister at the start. I also hate how under utilised Concordia and Anthea were. They looked really interesting from the opening wannabe JRPG cutscene and I really like their quotes in the castle.
 
Missed out this thread for 2 months to avoid potential Legends Arceus spoilers, let's see...
Okay here is a hot take that I’ve held since early middle school/late elementary school and still believe to this day: the Pokémon Adventures manga is 100 times better than the Pokémon anime.
This but the manga also had its lowpoints like BW2 and ORAS, although imo SWSH is looking great!

god I hated radical red

At least it wasn't the team rocket hack of red. God that was a mess. No place to grind, the first gym leader's ace is level 36 while you're barely 11 or so, god why did people actually play this this is literal horse shit
This wouldn't bug me if the tone established by those trainers wasn't so 'in your face' smug. Sheesh, reminds me of Adventures Red Chapter GBA...
XD will forever piss me off in potentially having a Robo Groudon fight, but then immediately just setting it as the trainer instead of the boss
I hate Chobin so much, I get that they were trying to make him quirky to be endearing, and I love me some quirky and dorky characters; but Chobin was just plain annoying and his gag got tired fast. He is everything Hau and Hop haters say Hau and Hop are, except with Chobin it's actually true.

Regarding the impact of Legends Arceus...

It's very likely the main game will still play like your standard Pokemon game, but will feature a lot of changes from Legends; like SWSH was with GO and LGPE: overworld Pokemon, exp candy, raids, being able to access your PC boxes from anywhere, mandatory exp sha-wait not that one fuuuu). I hope the use of Effort Levels to replace IVs stays because those have always been the number 1 reason why hacking mons was so dominant until Gen 6. EVs can stay since those are nowhere near of a hassle nowadays and they help in personalizing different sets (offensive Zapdos and defensive Zapdos for example). One thing I'm not sure about is the Battle System, I know some people want to see changes here but there's a good reason why L:A has no PVP: it's so simplistic. I had my fun but this is like bosses in Mystery Dungeon, less use of strategy and more emphasized in having the resources to stay alive.

Regarding BW and BW2...

Lately I've been in a similar position with Gen 5 than with Avatar The Last Airbender, my fav Pokemon games and one of my fav shows, but their fans constantly gas them up to deride other games/shows, all while ignoring their flaws or not considering people might not just click with it, noooo, they're masterpieces and nothing will ever be good as them ever again and blahblahblah.

BW1 story is my fav alongside SM, some of its best aspects is how well the rivals are written and how gym leaders are so supportive, Team Plasma is...interesting. I heard a few poeple say it's deep how it "challenges the player that catching Pokemon might be wrong" except it really doesn't? The grunts are shown to take extreme measures like stealing from children and attacking defenseless mons from the very beginning, the player and friends know this so you know they're in the wrong and don't fall in their bs. Besides, Team Magma and Aqua also had good intentions in their actions but also took extreme measures and that's why they have to be stopped, so it's not like this is something new for Pokemon. The twist here is that Ghetsis is an hypocrite and is saying pretty words to fool everyone, which is why the finale is so GOOD.

BW2's story is more conclusive than anything, you see how your rivals are doing after their development in the first game to give them some closure. This new Team Plasma is done with the facade, with N gone only the ones with bad intentions from the start (cept Colress) remain and are all out on the offensive in order to be on top.
 
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Yung Dramps Pokémon Black and White made me realise an inherent flaw in Pokémon's storytelling: no matter what happens in the plot, the only way the player can resolve it is through Pokémon battles, regardless of how little thematic sense it makes. And since you mentioned Monster Hunter Stories, I found the first game's plot generic on my first playthrough because it goes for the trite "Monsters are tools!" "No, monsters are our friends!" conflict where the mechanics side with the antagonists.
 
Ghetsis being the “true” villain at the end definitely subverted many of the main plot points of BW and made it worse off. The truth/ideals dichotomy: what’s the true nature of Pokemon being with trainers, is it truly best for them to be liberated, is the ideal world where they can be free, is it just idealistic to believe Pokemon are always friends with their trainers and catching is always a two way deal? Instead of confronting these problems meaningfully at the end, because Ghetsis was evil it erases all that because obviously the person trying to get rid of everyone’s pokemon only did it to Rule the World.
BW is a good story for a Pokemon game, just like Explorers of Sky is, but they aren’t the most compelling narratives out there.

Very true how battling mechanics make storytelling clunky and difficult. Awkward how you’re supposed to be mass catching mons and fighting while the story questions it, but gives you no agency. The player ends up feeling railroaded onto the “correct” side no matter what.
 
Ghetsis being the “true” villain at the end definitely subverted many of the main plot points of BW and made it worse off. The truth/ideals dichotomy: what’s the true nature of Pokemon being with trainers, is it truly best for them to be liberated, is the ideal world where they can be free, is it just idealistic to believe Pokemon are always friends with their trainers and catching is always a two way deal? Instead of confronting these problems meaningfully at the end, because Ghetsis was evil it erases all that because obviously the person trying to get rid of everyone’s pokemon only did it to Rule the World.
BW is a good story for a Pokemon game, just like Explorers of Sky is, but they aren’t the most compelling narratives out there.

Very true how battling mechanics make storytelling clunky and difficult. Awkward how you’re supposed to be mass catching mons and fighting while the story questions it, but gives you no agency. The player ends up feeling railroaded onto the “correct” side no matter what.
I think where it kind of falls apart in BW's case as well, even ignoring the Ghetsis reveal, is how we're supposed to wrap our heads around the truth vs. ideals dichotomy in each version. For such a story driven game, it sort of trivializes the dichotomy when all they basically do is swap "truth" and "ideals" in each respective game and keep most of the rest of the dialogue the same. What's the point of posing such deep philosophical questions if that's how they're going to treat it?

Another unpopular opinion I have is - I truly think Cyrus is one of, if not, the best villain in the series. I hear him and Team Galactic get shit on a lot, but I think you have to treat them as separate entities altogether. Galactic is just an easily manipulated vehicle for Cyrus to accomplish his goals. They're supposed to be stupid by nature.

Cyrus on the other hand is a depressed, antisocial, emotionally stunted loner who wants to give the world the middle finger and peace out to an isolated world by himself. Frankly, as someone who has experienced similar emotions in the past, I can kind of relate and sympathize.

Where Cyrus traverses the lines from being sympathetic to villainous is that he wants to drag the rest of the world down with him, essentially making his problem everyone else's, which is obviously fundamentally wrong. Cynthia even calls him out on exactly that saying, "If you hate our world you should just go off somewhere alone. Find somewhere where you can live without seeing others."

But he makes for a compelling villain since I can see where he's coming from and also see exactly where he goes wrong. Perhaps people who haven't truly experienced depression or antisocial tendencies see him as one dimensional, silly, or can't quite figure him out. But I actually totally get it, not even in an attempt to sound deep or complex. I just completely and intuitively understand who his character is at his core and see him as a terrific villain driving the plot of what I think is an underrated story in Platinum.

Even as a huge Gen 5 fanboy, I think it’s honestly a product of circumstance thanks to the BW1 list. It still has tons of issues like the EXP system and late evos being totally valid points. I don’t even like or think about BW2 that much honestly. If someone asked me to choose either BW1 or BW2 for your Pokémon experience I’d say BW1 without even thinking about it because the story isn’t outright stupid. Say what you will about BW1’s climax issues but it for the most part didn’t try to give itself pretentious importance to in reality Team Rocket tier villains.
I mean this is almost an insult to Team Rocket (at least the RBY/FRLG version, not GSC/HGSS). Say what you will about their simplistic motives but they were literal gangsters who were the Pokémon equivalent of the mafia. That's honestly pretty hardcore. And more importantly, they were united by one common goal to steal and profit from Pokémon.

To my point, neo-Team Plasma are a bunch of headless chickens who finally come together for the game's "climax" to freeze Unova...which is in and of itself a completely nonsensical idea that really accomplishes nothing.

I would frankly go as far as to say BW2's plot is one of the worst in the series in my opinion. It just doesn't stand up to any lens of scrutiny.
 
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just like Explorers of Sky is, but they aren’t the most compelling narratives out there.
Ooh, you just signed your death warrant...

Seriously, though, the Explorers fandom gets annoying, and I say this as someone who holds it near and dear to my heart. If you don't put Explorers of Sky at the top of your best DS games video, you'll get comments complaining that you "wasted" the slots.

Speaking of which, I like Gates to Infinity's plot. When I first played it, I was developing mental health issues that I didn't understand, and learned how heated internet debates about serious subjects I didn't even know existed could get, so I resorted to bottling up my feelings. The message that hatred could destroy the world if we don't try to stop it really resonated with 11-year-old me.
 
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Loved reading the recent posts but I’d also want to remind you guys that an involved story can also go way too far in the OTHER direction and be so complex it can still come off as pretentious.

While I still really enjoy Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty’s plot, there’s no denying it was probably the most pretentious / smug video game I’ve ever played and a a clear example of what happens when a creator has way too much clout and creative control with nobody to reel them in to create something safe and marketable, to say nothing of the definitely intentional deception of the marketing.

Hideo Kojima clearly was burned out with the series at that point (it was originally intended to be the final game in the series, yet leaves a few La Li Lu Le Loose Ends open-let’s treat the Patriots as this big greater scope villain but not explain much about them until literally the last second in an infodump trainwreck-yes the series has always had issues with condensing its plot but the Patriots were pretty egregious solely in the context of MGS2: Sons of Liberty if you treat this as the finale as it was intended to be). On the other hand we got “we’ve managed to avoid DROWNING” so it evens out.

I know both are wildly different franchises at both E and M ranges of the ratings system, but my point still stands. Every story is going to have problems if you look hard enough, especially if it’s somewhat limited by its demographic or its creator having protection from editors - literally Kojima’s localizer for MGS2: Sons of Liberty more or less thought Kojima’s style of storytelling was straight up-awful.
 
What's the point of posing such deep philosophical questions if that's how they're going to treat it?
This is sth I don't like about the Seven Sages from BW. You encounter them throughout BW and all they do is just do their philosophical soapbox but it's just....meaningless? In the end they're no morally better than any other evil team, and with the sages it's more notorious considering they were closer to Ghetsis and yet they couldn't see their evilness. Anthea and Concordia (yeah remember those two?) were more aware of Ghetsis' manipulation, but the Sages weren't? You don't even get to fight them like you do with the admins, they just get captured in the postgame.

In BW2 Rood and Grom return and it's nice to see them change their ways, but Zinzolin ugh. He just talks pure nonsense about feeling C O L D, that's his entire dialogue and it just falls flat. It's no wonder why I don't see any Gen 5 fan talk about the Sages, they're so irrelevant and forgettable, kinda like those people who constantly quote proverbs to seem cool.

Seriously, though, the Explorers fandom gets annoying, and I say this as someone who holds it near and dear to my heart. If you don't put Explorers of Sky at the top of your best DS games video, you'll get comments complaining that you "wasted" the slots.
Speaking of Explorers' story, while I love it over most of the main games, I really hate the part after you capture Drowzee and before the expedition begins. It's so slow and nothing happens aside from 'worse Team Skull' joining in just to be assholes. It seems at first you are going to rematch them with Skuntank on the team, but nah, this goes nowhere and Chatot just decides to be the worst character in the game and takes their side all while constantly deriding you (basically worse Kamado). So yeah, very annoying filler section that just serves to 'oooooh maybe they're not picking you for the expedition'. This part alone is why I prefer even Super's slow paced beginning in the school, at least the characters were more bearable except for maybe Watchog.
 
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Listen I'm sure the explorers story is good, but the characters in the game are so annoying everytime that I cannot enjoy anything about the plot until you get to the part thats only grovyle and dusknoir stuff
 

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