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POKELIST: RANKING EACH POKEMON GENERATION
July 15, 2016 12:41 pm

Upon downloading Pokemon Go and immediately choosing Charmander, the app was directing me towards two checkpoints closest to my house, a church and a McDonalds. I’ve read enough Thomas Pynchon (about 3 pages of V) to know that this whole thing has been a scam to reinvigorate capitalist strongholds that have been losing ground against snake people, so I deleted it right then and there.

I’m more of a purist when it comes to my love for Pokemon. I stick to the canonical video games, and not much else. I can’t even watch the show anymore without shouting about how terrible a trainer is. STOP GIVING AWAY YOUR POKEMON AND EVOLVE THAT FUCKING PIKACHU ALREADY, ASH. I hate you, Ash Ketchum. Truly, I do.

Unlike that dirt merchant from Pallet Town, each new game has gotten more sophisticated in its gameplay and denser with strategy. Every generation has its own unique traits to them, but there is no getting around the fact that there is definitely a pecking order when it comes to quality. Which is what I’ll be sorting out right now. I’ll be ranking each generation based on things like Starter Pokemon and overall new roster strength, Elite Four/Gym Trainer toughness, innovation, storyline, gameplay, and some other stuff probably. Let’s see where this goes.

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  1. Generation 3: Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Hybridized Pokemon types, the introduction of personalities, a deeper commitment to EV and IV training, running shoes! Dear God, I can not stress enough how much I love running shoes. The Elite Four was without a doubt the biggest cakewalk out of any generation, but the amount of all the aforementioned new features and the depth in trainable talent more than made up for it. I mean, you’ve got about 54 different Dragon types that are easily catchable to choose from, what more can you ask for?

  1. Generation 1: Blue/Red/Yellow

pokeAnd not even for the hokey ‘it was the game that started it all’ reason. Generation 1 still has the best storyline. Whether it’s Gary/Blue/Assface being the perfect antagonist measuring stick, the complete spookiness felt in Lavender Town graveyard, there is definitely a wider range of actual emotion that Red, Blue and Yellow wanted you to experience. Also, the game itself doesn’t revolve completely around a legendary Pokemon. Mewtwo is the only legendary Pokemon who was not featured on the game’s cover. Which is how it should be! Legendary Pokemon are crutches that should rot in Bill’s PC for all eternity. I have had this conviction ever since I started playing in grade school, which is probably why I had no friends and a bunch of level 100 Kadabras.

3. Generation 4: Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Generation 4’s bosses blows everyone else’s out of the water. Especially Cynthia, whose only rival is Mt. Silver Red, but her team is way harder to strategize against than Red’s. The talent pool is also strong, they created some fun and interesting new ways to evolve Pokemon, and they gave birth to the almighty Garchomp. But I feel like they had some missed opportunities with maximizing other talent. First, I do not know why there are so many Fire/Fighting starter Pokemon now. Blaziken was awesome, and sure, Infernape is really great, too, but that doesn’t take away from the derivative nature. Also, why isn’t Luxray any better? Just check out how bad-ass Luxray looks, how is it not more of a legitimate threat? For shame.

4. Generation 5: Black/White 

Lotsa big swings in Generation 5. I, for one, adored the infinite TM loophole. That was the epitome of a gift that kept on giving. And from top to bottom, this is the most experimental they got with Pokemon types. Yes, there was a Normal/Grass for some reason. Bug/Fire? Sure, why not. You know what, for your trouble, I’ll even throw in a Ground/Electric, which is the epitome of self hatred. All of that, however, and we STILL had a starter Pokemon who was Fire/Fighting. Please, make it stop. 

5. Generation 2: Gol/Silver/Crystal 

Do not get me wrong, I think the merging of Johto and Kanto was awesome and being able to get 16 badges was a very fun maximalist effort. But aside from the new Eevee additions and Houndoom there really aren’t a lot of new additions to the ol’ Pokedex that I’m gonna tell my grandkids about. They even added prequel Pokemon like Elekid and Magby for some unknown fucking reason, just to get me hot and bothered. 

6. Generation 6: X/Y

To be fair, generation 6’s graphics were on another level, had a lot of really fun new Pokemon (thank you, Delphox, and even introduced us to Fairy types. And Hawlucha might already be one of my 5 favorite Pokemon ever. I adore everything about Hawlucha. But throughout the game, you are gifted way too many free Pokemon. Really good ones, too. I don’t like it. Leveling up is easier than it’s ever been, too. Everything just feels too easy here. And worst of all, this is the generation that introduced us to Mega-Evolutions. Oh, how I hate Mega-Evolutions. They’re either superfluous add-ons for already great Pokemon, or a cop-out for not coming up with an organic evolutionary stage for ones that could use it. I DEMAND JUSTICE FOR SABLEYE.

 

Hopefully, the mega-evolutions get phased out and some better ideas get introduced in the next generation of games. Do not allow this app business to take your eyes away from the real prize, which is Pokemon Sun and Moon hitting stores this November. It should be lit. And if you disagree with my list in any way, just remember any legitimacy my opinion might possibly have is diminished once you realize that I am an adult writing about Pokemon.

LESS IS MORE: INTREPID BY AO’C
June 1, 2016 12:00 pm

Actress, Producer, Humanitarian, and Fashion Designer.  Is there anything Aerin O’Connell can’t do?

I have been following O’Connell since her line appeared in a Nolcha Fashion Week show in 2015.  Her sleek designs are classic enough to feed my inner debutante and edgy enough to appease the hipster desperately trying to escape.

ATYPICALSOUNDS had the opportunity to chat with Aerin about her Autumn/Winter collection of Intrepid by A’OC at the launch party for the line’s new video. The line goes on sale this month and I will definitely be snagging the tuxedo jumpsuit and the little red dress.

INTREPID by AO’C from Gerry Sievers on Vimeo.

What made you decide to be a designer?

To be completely honest, it was a very gradual process.  It’s not one thing, I had been working in film, and kind of creative across the board but it wasn’t a conscious choice to seek out being a fashion designer.  I love designing in general, whether its jewelry, furniture, clothing.

Do you still design furniture?

Well I’ve been busy doing this, so at the moment no. But it’s something I’d like to explore in the future.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 12.02.48 PMI heard that you got started with fashion on set. How did you start leading wardrobe teams on set?

My ex-husband had a lot of faith in me to pursue that sort of aspect of film. I had produced, but wardrobe and costumes were something that he and I felt could merge as far as my love for fashion and my love for period pieces. I had gone to the School of Style in Los Angeles, because a stylist isn’t just a personal shopper. I haven’t done much more than shorts and independent films but they were featured.

You based your designs on Edward Hopper. What elements from his paintings did you incorporate into your designs?

I’m obsessed with space, and when you over-complicate scenery, [it over-complicates the] depiction of anything really.  I think this goes back to the synonymous tagline of Intrepid, that less is more. Negative space can speak volumes more than too many objects.  So I’ve always kind of related to that.  You’d look at something like Chicago and a bar, and there’s one guy at the bar, one bartender, and this perspective from across the street. Not many things are in the imagery and that’s more impactful and intense for me. Less is more is something I strive for in my everyday life within fashion, within my apartment, within furniture. It just kind of reigns through in paintings like that. It leaves room for the imagination, for perspective, for interpretation, leaving a lot of it up to the individual. I think that is far more powerful than creating it for them.

Any film plans on the table?

Yes. An old friend/producing partner and I worked on the short film “Woke Up Crying.” The director was John Ibsen, known for international trailers like “The Dark Knight.” Him and I have been working on agreeing on a project. He’s been working on “The Avengers” right now, but it’s going to be a feature. As far as documentaries go, I’m still in post production on my documentary about Liberia, and human rights, mainly women and health issues.

How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?

Confident.

Did you grow up with an interest in fashion?

I think I always had an addiction for fashion. I loved shopping, it’s how my mother and I would bond, My interest dove deeper when my sister-in-law took me to the Lower East Side or East Village to an antique boutique to find a vintage leather bomber jacket and she sparked that interest for me. But I’ve always been into clothes.

Tell me about your biggest supporters. 

My brother, family in general, special friends in Los Angeles and CJ who has taken over and Kevin Nolan. He’s the reason why I started custom making furniture and jewelry. He also has a flair for design, and an amazing eye for aesthetics, so we’ve teamed up for renovations and other design aspects.

Where do you find inspiration when you’re stuck?

I never seek out inspiration. Inspiration finds you. I really believe in that. You can hide and run but walking out of your door every morning, things will cross your path and will stun you or spark some sort of inspiration. You just have to be willing to receive it.

What are you most proud of with this line?

The fact that I have kept going and I didn’t give up when things got discouraging and that I had the courage to move back to New York and continue what the dream really entails.

What do you have in store for the future?

Stick around and find out.

Do you have plans to head back to LA or are you staying put in New York?

I’d like to be bi-coastal, but I knew that if I wanted to continue this venture it requires my undivided attention, concentration, and seriousness so I’m here until we can get this off the ground.

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Interview has been condensed for publishing.