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The Rise And Fall Of Pokémon Forms

By aquizero on Jun 13 2012 09:16 PM
Mildly put, the revelation of Pokémon Black 2 Version and Pokémon White 2 Version was a shock to everyone. This was the first time in the history of The Pokémon Company (with the help of Game Freak, Inc.), that direct, number-titled sequels were used for main-series Pokémon video games. Before this, only color-titled games were used, such as Pokémon Diamond Version, Pokémon Pearl Version, Pokémon Platinum Version, etc.

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Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 take place two years after the events of Pokémon Black and Pokémon White. What an interesting decision. Even more fascinating, was the introduction of two bizarre-looking dragons that resemble Reshiram, Zekrom and Kyurem. Yes, Pokémon have been given their first-ever fusion forms! The Ice/Dragon Pokémon, Kyurem, is able to fuse with either Reshiram or Zekrom, and become a White Kyurem White or Black Kyurem, respectively.

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Those familiar with the Digimon series should be familiar with fusion. I’ll admit that I was ecstatic about this new approach to Pokémon. This is a nice change from the “norm” of introducing new Pokémon and/or evolutions and pre-evolutions of existing Pokémon. Unfortunately, the closer I studied these Pokémon, the more disappointed I became. The use of “fusion” was not as groundbreaking as I had once thought. Basically, this works out to be an alternate form of the Pokémon when special conditions are met. This is much like Deoxys, and its several forms (Speed, Defense and Attack). For example, when Deoxys is in Attack form, its Special Attack and Physical Attack statistics increase, while its Special Defense and Physical Defense statistics decrease.

I also had a large suspicion that Kyurem was not going to be the only Pokémon with an alternate form. I was right. Not too long after suspecting this, images flooded the Internet with three Pokémon, resembling the Kami Trio; Tornadus, Landorus and Thundurus. These alternate forms were revealed as their "Sacred Beast" forms. These forms, however, can only be obtained by using Pokémon Dream Radar (titled Pokémon AR Searcher in Japan), an upcoming 3DS eShop application.

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Left to right: Tornadus, Landorus and Thundurus pose in their original forms.

At the end of the day, Pokémon with new forms are simply just another “remixed” version of itself. Is that all that is to be expected in these “new” main-series titles? I was hoping that there would be no more mention of Pokémon with alternate forms, but today I came across another. The Pokémon that has yet to be distributed, named Keldeo, now has another form which can be seen within the July edition of the famous Japanese publication, CoroCoro Comic. This form has been translated and is known as "Resolution" form.

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Keldeo, in its "Resolution" form, as shown in the July edition of CoroCoro Comic.

Now, I will admit that I like this form a bit more than the original Keldeo form, but that's beside the point. In my opinion, Pokémon Black 2 Version and Pokémon White 2 Version will be the rise, and fall of alternate-formed Pokémon. Apparently, fresh ideas came to an abrupt halt when developing these new main-series Pokémon video games. With the return of a familiar cast, and half of the Unova region covered in seemingly impenetrable ice, I can only hope that there will be enough intriguing changes in this game that distract from the overuse of Pokémon “forms.”

What do you think? Do you like the addition of multiple alternate forms, or does this seem like a gimmick?

About the Author

Benjamin is a true gaymer. For nearly a decade, his interest in Nintendo has grown exponentially! He's not extremely skilled at any particular genre of games, but mostly enjoys RPG, strategy, and fighting games. His true obsession within the Nintendo universe is Pokémon, followed closely by Zelda. Ever since he watched the first episode of Pokémon, he's been hooked. To this day, he plays the main-series Pokémon games and watches the anime religiously. He's as close as it comes to being a Pokémon Master. His true passion for Nintendo makes him excited to write new topics for you!

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Comments: 12

I would agree to a certain level that there is abuse of forms but some of the of  new ones are  step in the right direction , I believe the over-all design of the original kami trio was way over the boundaries of pokemon design , it feels more like they were species from another game franchise, in my opinion .  
probably the game designers realize that they violated their own golden rule of  not having a too common or similar sprite or silhouette  of a pokemon. I believe that Mana Ibe said that they try to avoid such circumstances as much as possible. but come to think try to turn the original  forms of the kami trio in black  silhouette, probably some people already cant tell which is which, but to complicate it more, try to reduce that black silhouette in to game sprites, it will need a very nit picky eye of a pokemon fan to tell the difference.
I would want to subscribe to the idea that the designers introduced the new forms of the kami trio as form of compensation or undoing and just using the dream radar feature as platform to market the new forms instead of the other way around.
As for the new form of keldeo and the musketeer trio...there is something about the mane of  keldeo and the musketeer trio that reminds me of three musketeer japanese anime that i watched when i was a kid.
I will agree that the silhouettes for the kami trio are pretty similar but so is voltorb and electrode for that matter. I personally do not think that the choice to give the trio and alternate form has much to do with that but hey it is a different take on the matter. Now you have me curious and I would really like to get info right from the source as to why they did make new forms for these three. :)

I never seen the anime you are referencing but I will say that Keldeo does specifically remind me of a musketeer! Also what do you think of his new form?

Oh and while I am at it, since I didn't mention it in the post... there is yet another pokemon to which we all probably know of already that has two forms... Meloetta. She has yet to be distributed too.

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I found the new forms weird too until I realized they also altered the stats so it kinda makes a Pokemon u might not want to use usable to different trainers.. I personally like the 'alternate forms' idea.. I heard that also the routes and/caves are suppose to be different for each version. As well as black city, white forest  and, what was it, opelucid city? I find that exciting news! But back to the point I feel that new forms also add variety to the pokedex and changing things up a bit isn't that bad.. right?
Yes I do agree that changing things up is a good thing; however if you are sticking to one tactic over and over again, it takes away from its uniqueness. I mean at this point it is like all rare/legendary pokemon will have an alternate form. How does this make them unique? When Deoxys was released and his forms revealed, he was a wonder to behold! As rare as he was, and still is, to obtain you could also go a step further and make him into the fighter you wanted. They did release alternate forms of Shaymin and Giratina but they weren't all released at the same time. It was spread out, making them, in turn, stand out.
another thing about the anime that i was referring in to was that the character Aramis which is usually depicted as a male in most stories, in the anime the character of aramis was female. which is very homologous to the depiction of Virizion

as for  new form of keldeo.. I really though it will be drastic as it was only its head part that was shown but as it did turn out is just a little tweak. probably it became less "my little pony" by .05 points  opinion
Ah! I agree with the statement about Virizion! :clap:

No way, Keldeo does not look like My Little Pony at all! hahaha.

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I did want to stress that I love pokemon with a passion! When I saw the video trailer below (when it was first revealed) I nearly wet myself. Pokemon B2 and W2 has the potential to be great!

Hahahah yes! My friends and I got extremly excited about the video and what hints it gave to ingame play.. if im right then it shows that at some point in the game you will be able to explore through the frozen parts of the map (which i hope defrosts after you beat the story lol i dont see why it wouldnt)
Yeah well I can understand why they chose to freeze parts of the world map being that Kyurem is a big part of the game and he is Dragon/Ice.

I have seen more video's of game play and I love that the gym leaders have more animations when you battle against them.

You can see what I mean at like 44 seconds into the video and a little after that. Focus on the gym leaders animations.

Yea the animations are alot smoother and also the other trainers move as well.. apparently some of the pokemon were redone as well so they may be a little more interesting than they already are..
Now I did not realize that any of the pokemon were re-done. I would like to know which ones and compare the two. :)
Yea apparently tepig is super cuter? I havent seen them myself just from my friend whos really into pokemon too (he should be joining us soon)
Oh wow really? I couldn't imagine it any cuter. Yes please, we would welcome your friend!