Looking Back: Generation Two


That's two generations, 251 pokemon we've reviewed...and then some, counting expanded evolutionary lines! So, it's time once again for what have we learned?

It's really a question to pose to Gamefreak and Nintendo more than to us fans. As the first-ever followup to pokemon, the Gold and Silver generation was kind of a guaranteed success, and they could have basically gotten away with just about any hundred new pokemon...which is sort of what they did. This bunch is dominated by concepts obviously left on the cutting room floor from the first generation, and never feels like it gets as exotic as things did with such pokemon as Exeggcutor, Parasect and Magneton. Looking at it all on one page, it has an oddly barren feel to it, I guess because it was a whopping fifty monsters shorter than round one, and I think it really suffers in the diversity department.

Still, it was a fun experiment. The more focused, down to earth feel of this generation had its own appeal for a lot of people, and together with the day and night mechanics, breeding and other new features, it felt much more like a living, breathing virtual world. I can definitely understand the intense nostalgia people have for this generation as games, but in terms of pokemon themselves...I always did feel a little underwhelmed by this batch.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES (GEN II ONLY):

...Ouch. That's sparse. I love these six, don't get me wrong, but it took me until reviewing them all to realize how few there are that I feel very strongly about on a personal level.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES (GENS I-II):

In fact, Forretress and Magcargo might really be the only second-gen pokemon I liked enough to knock anything off my top six from the first generation, and it's still a pretty close call. Really, Forretress, Magcargo, Tangela, Muk and Victreebel all sort of nebulously hover around the last three slots.

THE COOLEST:

Hm. Well. This actually feels like slim pickings as well, to be honest. Skarmory and Houndoom are probably as badass as this generation gets, and might be up there with the wickedest of the first gen, but they get some stiff competition from pokemon like Kabutops and Tentacruel.

THE CUTEST:

Alright, this is actually a pretty strong category for the second gen. There's a lot of cute ones to pick from, without weird awkward anime faces trying too hard to be cute. A lot of sweet, pitiful little baby animals with innocent beady eyes. Gen II was a cute as heck gen.

THE MOST CREATIVE:

A lot of crossover here with my top favorites, but that's why they're my top favorites. These six are the second gen's most unpredictable weirdos and breakout concepts.

MY LEAST FAVORITES:

This is 100% personal taste here, but really could have been the entire list of legendaries. It's not that I "hate" any of these pokemon, but they thrill me the least, and in an already average selection.

THE "DESPERATELY SEEKING AN EVOLUTION" CLUB:

And that's that for the second generation. Tomorrow, we start on the highly controversial Ruby & Sapphire pokemon, which, while a very mixed bag in terms of design, are going to be a hell of a lot of fun. They arguable get even stranger than the first generation, and even when third-gen pokemon are bad...they're pretty memorably bad.


FIRST     PREV    ARCHIVE    NEXT    LATEST