What Really Grinds My Gears: Genwunners


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Since joining PJN I’ve had all of these mad ideas flowing through my mind, but then a sane, coherent, and utterly ingenious concept reared its ugly head. I’ve thought of a new series so completely logical it’s made my inner psycho shiver with disgust. My idea consists of highlighting the things I dislike in Pokémon. It makes a ridiculous amount of sense; I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Ok seriously this could go either way, and it will no doubt cause some controversy. However, I’d like to point out I do in fact love the franchise with a passion (obviously), and my dislikes (not ‘hating’) will be backed up with solid reasons. The topics I discuss won’t solely be about the games; it will be anything Pokémon. This week keeping with the ‘Gen 1’ theme I will be talking about an infamous group of people within the fandom known as the ‘Genwunners’.

“Biggest trolls in the fandom”

Now I’m not talking about people who just prefer Gen 1 over the others, as they’re great games and there are good reasons as to why people might prefer them. No I’m talking about people who say Gen 1 is the best but slate the rest of the series with little to no reason backing up their opinion. Yes I get that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when someone is blinded by nostalgia and is defaming a series they supposedly love without any understandable or sincere reason then they’re a Genwunner.

This group of people are never happy and some become the biggest trolls in the fandom (although they’re not real fans if they constantly spurt hatred towards everything new they see in Pokémon). With each new generation they get more tiresome and repetitive, so much so that I’ll list some examples I expect most people have heard and my response to them:

pkmn1

Comment: ‘WTF? An ice cream Pokémon!? They’re really running out of ideas…’ – This is one of the most common jibes I see and it’s been around for a long time (although most now highlight the Vanillite line as their so called ‘evidence’). This comment is usually followed by people claiming how the series has lost originality and that Gen 1 Pokémon are the only good designs.

Response: Ok so you dislike one Pokémon and suddenly it means they’ve run out of ideas and the WHOLE generation sucks? Every generation has the odd weird/lazy design for example Voltorb and Seel. For every ice cream there’s an awesome eagle like Braviary. Besides people like different things, just because you don’t doesn’t mean others don’t either, so get over it.

Comment: ‘WTF? A rubbish bag!? Inanimate objects shouldn’t be Pokémon…’ – Another common complaint is Pokémon based on non living things. Chandelure and Garbordor are two which have garnered a lot of negative attention the past gen; apparently they should all be animals or insects.

Response: Ok explain Magnemite and Geodude to me. You can’t? Well there’s a surprise.

Comment: ‘Pokémon have become too complex’ and ‘Garbordor is such an awful design…’ – Garbordor can be replaced with other Pokémon but he’s been given a lot of hate this past gen. People have also complained about newer Pokémon being too complicated looking and miss the ‘simplicity’ of the original 151.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FopyRHHlt3M

Response: Yes Garbordor looks crap but that’s the actual point. He’s meant to look awful and unappealing because he’s a heap of rubbish. The idea for the design is great for a poison Pokémon because waste can give diseases etc. It’s more imaginative than Muk even if I think Muk looks cooler (in my opinion). Designs should not always be judged on looks alone, look behind them for the real meanings. Sometimes the best and most creative ones are the least appreciated.

As for complexity, surely the added detail makes Pokémon look better if anything? Besides every generation has simple and complex Pokémon. Gen 1 has Pokémon like Venusaur, Machamp and Kangaskhan all of which are very detailed. Yet in Gen 5 we see Pokémon as simple as Beartic, Swanna and Musharna. As I said before, one Pokémon does not represent a generation. Also if Pokémon are ‘meant’ to be based on animals and insects, then surely more complexity would be better seeing as how detailed the real life counterparts are?

Comment: ‘Pokémon is always the same, nothing changes, they’re milking it like COD…’ – This one isn’t exactly a Genwunner problem, but it’s a common complaint I see pop up on gaming sites made by people who are obviously unacquainted with the modern versions of the game. Also it’s not about the actual Pokémon this time so I thought I’d throw it into the mix. The premise of this dig comes from the fact that because Pokémon has maintained its winning formula (which has helped Nintendo sell an approximate 50 bazillion copies of the Pokémon main series), it is therefore not making any changes to it and are just reselling the same game with a new coat of paint.

“Every gaming franchise has a successful formula which they stick to”

Response: Right I’m guessing this has to do with 3 main areas which are: gym/elite 4/champion journey, turn based battling and sprites. First off sprites are no more, so that’s no longer a valid complaint (although now people will say they miss Pokémon’s retro look as it was part of its appeal). Secondly the turn based battling is part of Pokémon’s blood. You cannot change the genre of a main series because it would become a completely different game. Every gaming franchise has a successful formula which they stick to. The reason spin offs exist is so developers can take risks and change things. Anyway the battling has evolved greatly with the introduction of physical/special categories and IVs and EVs.

Finally for the 8 badges-Elite 4-Champion journey, I do think they could shake it up a little, but they can’t really change it too much as the whole point of Pokémon is to become the best trainer the world has ever seen. As for everything else in the main series, it has all evolved a lot but you’d have to play the latest games to see it. The core concepts may be familiar, but changing it too much could make them lose their appeal and make them seem more like spin offs than main entries.

Final Thoughts: There will always be Genwunners no matter how good or different the newer games are. We must just ignore and pity them for not being able to enjoy the awesomeness this franchise still brings. For now however, I’d like to hear from you lot. Do you agree with my responses and what would you say instead? Are there any Genwunners here who would like to counter comment? Please discuss below! 🙂


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