Shanty Pete's 1st Mate Posted November 26, 2021 Share Posted November 26, 2021 (edited) So, after languishing for months on end, apparently the Pokemon subforum is turning back into a real hotbed of discussion. I might as well give a try to something that occurred to me in another thread. Namely, I realized that the Sinnoh Dex in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is... bad. Like, really bad. Beyond the level of "well it only has 151 Pokemon, of course it's going to be bad". The Kanto and Unova (Black/White) Regional Dexes had just about as many Pokemon, and while both of those were flawed, I'll stick my neck out and say they weren't nearly as bad as the DP Dex. So, what are the problems in the Diamond/Pearl Pokedex? I identified a few of them, as follows: Not enough Fire-types. Just because everyone knows it doesn't mean it's not relevant. The DP Dex is an all-time low for Fire-type representation, with 5 species in 2 evolutionary lines. And one of those lines is a starter line, so if you don't pick Chimchar, you have exactly one choice for a Fire-type, in Ponyta/Rapidash. This comes to a head in the Elite Four, where the Fire-type specialist Flint runs out of his typing and has to bring Lopunny, Steelix, and Drifblim. If you're gonna shaft one type's representation, you could at least not include a specialist in that type, so nobody notices (see - Poison-types in Unova). On a similar note, not enough Electric-types. I don't see this discussed nearly as much, possibly because the Shinx line is genuinely one of the best species introduced to these games. A three-stage Electric-type line that's available early on, with a good ability, solid movepool, and quick evolutionary turnaround? What's not to love? That said, your other options for Electricity are the Pikachu line and Pikachu's regional expy, Pachirisu. 7 'Mons in 3 lines. That's right, there are no hybrid Electric-types, only pure ones. And Volkner, the ostensible type-specialist, thumbs his nose at Pachirisu, instead hanging out with Ambipom and Octillery. Not enough Ice-types. This one also doesn't get much attention, possibly because Ice was a relatively rare typing in prior generations as well, but it's actually the single-scarcest typing in all Sinnoh, with 4 representatives in 2 lines (Snover/Abomasnow and Sneasel/Weavile). Leaving Candice with 2 Mons in the same line, and a Medicham out of nowhere. Of particular note - the Water/Ice combination, present in all prior generations, is nowhere to be found this time. Too few Dragons. Up until you face Dialga or Palkia, the only Dragon-type available to the player is the Garchomp line. Dragons are exceedingly rare to face on opposing trainers' teams as a result, with Cynthia's Garchomp being one of the few standouts. On the one hand, I can see this as a callback to the first couple generations, where the Dragon representation was even lower. But Gen III really upped its Dragon game, with Flygon, Altaria, Salamence, and Kingdra available to the player (before accounting for Rayquaza or the [email protected]). As such, while it's not absolutely essential, I feel that these games could use another Dragon-type option. Too many weak Bug-types. Again, this one is somewhat subjective, and is perhaps the hardest "problem" on the list to fix. Gen IV gave us a bunch of new Bug-types, such as Kricketune, Wormadam, Mothim, and Combee. The problem is, they... weren't good. They could perform decently in the early-to-midgame, but bringing them into the Elite Four is kind of a big ask. Vespiqueen is strong, admittedly, but it's also tricky to get, while Drapion is strong and... not a Bug-type, since Skorupi sheds it upon evolution. Heracross is the one good Bug-type brought back from previous generations. While there are certainly enough Bugs, I think getting another Bug-type that carries its weight would be welcome. Too many Water-types. Strictly-speaking, this is nothing new to Generation IV. Water is the single-most abundant typing in the world of Pokemon, outstripping even Normal. That said, Diamond/Pearl takes it to uncomfortable degrees. Let's count lines: Piplup (3), Magikarp (5), Psyduck (7), Buizel (9), Shellos (11), Goldeen (13), Barboach (15), Wooper (17), Wingull (19), Marill (21), Remoraid (23), Finneon (25), Tentacool (27), Feebas (29), Mantyke (31), Palkia (32), Manaphy (33). That's 15 evolutionary lines, plus 2 legendaries, constituting 33 of Sinnoh's 151 Pokemon. That's over a fifth of the Pokedex. And of these lines, most aren't new to the region, but are borrowed from previous ones. The only thing more baffling than letting Seaking compete for Lumineon's deserved spotlight is deciding to bring back both Quagsire and Whiscash, in an attempt to show up Gastrodon. So if these are the problems with the DP Dex, what can be done? Well, that's what I've been thinking about - how would I "fix" the Sinnoh Dex? The obvious answer is "expand it", which is precisely what Platinum did. That in Platinum's 60 additional Mons, only a single Water-type appeared (Vaporeon), is honestly an affirmation of my last bullet point. But suppose my resources are limited - I can't expand the Dex, I can only adjust it while keeping it the same size. What changes would I make? At first, I came up with 7 Mons to get rid of, which I eventually expanded to 12. I didn't remove any Mons who were introduced as of Gen IV, only those brought up from prior generations. Even lines who were only partially original to Gen IV, such as Aipom -> Ambipom, were safe from my wrath. Here are the Mons I elected to remove: Goldeen -> Seaking. We're in a brand-new region, so why is it that our lakes and streams look just like those in Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn before us? I can understand an attempt at continuity, but this just becomes boring. I'd rather give some of the new fish-oriented lines, like Finneon -> Lumineon, their own time to shine. Azurill -> Marill -> Azumarill. This Mon originally showed up as (arguably) the first Pikachu clone in Johto, and then gained a (Normal-type, for whatever reason) baby stage in Hoenn. Here, however, it's not doing anything particularly new or interesting. It doesn't even yet have the Fairy typing, to float above the crowd. Barboach -> Whiscash. It was either gonna be this line or Wooper/Quagsire, and since I already cut one of the "walking" Water-type lines, I wanted to save the other one. Also, who can stay mad at Quagsire? It's one of the best HM slaves out there. Wurmple -> Silcoon/Cascoon -> Beautifly/Dustox. I could see this cut being a controversial one, since having Wurmple provides continuity with the prior generations (each of which featured an earlygame three-stage Bug evolutionary line). But there are a lot of mediocre bugs around, and these are the only ones I could cut, since they're from a prior Gen. Now, what should I add in their places? Consulting my original standards, I'd definitely like to see more Fire- and Electric-types. Dragon- and Ice-types couldn't hurt, either. Finally, a stronger old-school Bug-type representative. You might think I'd consult the changes the Platinum Dex made, but I'm actually imposing a "no Platinum Dex Mons" standard. Assuming that my alternate version of DP is eventually followed by alternate Platinum, I'd like those 60 newcomers to slot in as cleanly as they did beforehand. No figuring out "well I'll bring the Magmar line into DP, but then what will replace them in the Platinum update?", or anything like that. So, here goes: Numel -> Camerupt. I considered both Arcanine and Ninetales, but each line shared a critical trait in common with Rapidash - being pure Fire-type. Instead, I wanted to see an addition that would provide something different, and Numel -> Camerupt was the obvious choice. Their addition expands the Fire-type representation to 7 species among 3 lines. And while the DP Dex was hardly starved for Ground-types, bringing these two on board does make up somewhat for cutting Barboach -> Whiscash, I feel. There aren't any desert areas, but maybe these ones could show up in Mount Coronet? Or failing that, just be available from an in-game trade. Chinchou -> Lanturn. In reviewing the prior Electric-types I could add, I came to a startling discovery - almost all of them were pure Electric-type (like all Electric-types already in DP). The Magnemite line was one exception, but they were added in Platinum, and as such were off the table. The other exception, discounting the legendary Zapdos, was Chinchou. Since these are Mons you can fish for, they could somewhat take the place of Goldeen -> Seaking. Gotta add Water-types to get rid of Water-types, or something. Dratini -> Dragonair -> Dragonite. Getting another Dragon-type line could be a cool option for the player. One coming out of the water and flying into the sky; the other, emerging from the caves and dominating the land. Perhaps certain Fishermen could even use these Mons on their team, if they're fishable. And just imagine, the battle with Cynthia coming down to an epic Dragonite vs. Garchomp showdown. Lapras. As I said, DP is devoid of any Water/Ice-type Pokemon. Maybe it's not a "must-have", but I'd certainly think it a welcome inclusion. Prior games that featured Lapras had it as either a gift Pokemon or one-off encounter. Maybe in Sinnoh, it could instead be a rare spawn in some of the Water-routes? Once you have the chance to Surf, picking up this Mon would be welcome for just about any team. Smoochum -> Jynx. Again, Ice was a scarce type beforehand, and even some of the prior lines (like Snorunt -> Glalie) found themselves added in the Platinum expansion. Jynx has always been an oddity, but Ice/Psychic is a pretty cool combination. The northern routes where other Ice-types appear would be a sensible place to find them, but perhaps the Oreburgh City trade could also be modified to give you Smoochum instead of Abra. Venonat -> Venomoth. This was one of the hardest to come to a choice on, since a lot of the older Bug-type options were unimpressive in various ways. I may love the designs of the likes of Ariados and Ledian, but they're not good team members in the long-run. Pineco -> Foretress could be good, but their concept overlaps a bit with Burmy -> Wormadam. Venomoth may appear to overlap with Mothim, but at least they're of different typings. And with Dustox cut, Venomoth would be the only fully-evolved Bug/Poison-type around, albeit with stronger stats and better moves this time. I'm not sure about Venonat on Honey Trees, but I can definitely see it having a big presence in Eterna Forest. Anyway, what do you think of these proposed changes? Was it wrong to do any of this, or did I not go far enough? Think you'd enjoy playing through my proposed vision for Sinnoh? And given the chance, how would you change a Regional Pokedex? It doesn't have to be the DP Sinnoh Dex - it can be any Dex of your choice. Have at it, and let me know in the comments! Edited November 26, 2021 by Shanty Pete's 1st Mate Fixed small mistake. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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