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Old 09-24-2017, 01:37 PM   #4
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I voted for Z-Moves, and that applies to both the concept and in-game application of them. By contrast I think Mega Evolutions permanently ruined the game, in the same way that XYZ Monsters irrevocably broke Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Why Mega Evos suck: while under-used Pokemon got some big boosts from them and catapulted into relevancy. But if that's a "rags-to-riches" story I would argue even a larger group of Pokemon got richer while others got poorer, and this group was small and already exclusive.

There is no good reason that overpowered Pokemon like Salamence should have gotten a Mega Evolution. Latios, Latias, didn't need them. The world was better without Primal Reversion and Mega Rayquaze couldn't have been more poorly conceived if it came out of a childish fantasy. Only a few Pokemon got Mega Evolution, and a disproportionate number were already popular enough to not need them.

Morever, if you look at other shounen-style stories, like say super robot franchises, there's only so far you can go with an "upgrade" until the Pokemon is totally different. Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger look similar, but they're not the same robot. One is the successor to the other.

If you loved Charizard in RBY, I can't imagine being thrilled that Mega Charizard X or Y is competitively relevant in Generation VIII. It's not the same Pokemon at all except in name. You the RBY lover are being duped into loving a new Pokemon that is superficially similar to the one from Generation I.

Then, if Mega Evolution was simply a stat boost and maybe a type change, it wouldn't be that dissimilar from Z-Moves. What really broke things was Gamefreak introduced new abilities - much more powerful abilities - or gave existing powerful abilities to the Mega Evolutions, which only further exaggerated their power. Parental Bond and Shadow Tag on Mega Gengar are what truly break those Pokemon, not the stat boost that is slightly balanced out by the lack of a held item.

Essentially, Gamefreak sold Mega Evolutions by using access to these busted abilities as bait. I think the mechanic would be a lot more balanced, or at least less stupid and elitist, without major ability changes.

Conceptually, Mega Evolution makes sense actually. I don't think a next stage evolution was necessarily bad - Baby Pokemon was far more offensive to me, and that dated back to Generation 2. Pokemon have been shown to be influenced by things like radio waves, evolution stones and mechanical/genetic augmentation. The impact of Key Stones is within reason of the Pokemon universe, in the same way that the inevitable Pokemon Fusion will be when it's introduced in a future generation. Zekrom/Reshiram and Kyurem, then Magnemite have already shown it to be possible.

Why Z-Moves are good: The #1 reason is any Pokemon can use them. This benefits all Pokemon in the game instead of an exclusive clique. This also strongly benefits Pokemon with wide move pools, as it effectively turns anything they learn into a potential one-time nuke or super stage boost. The stage boost effect for status moves mirrors the raw stat boost from Mega Evolution, giving passive effects in addition to their primary usage as a status move. For Pokemon that otherwise don't gain a lot from items, this is a big benefit.

If you look at it this way though, Z-Moves aren't as influential as other mechanical changes like Abilities or the Special/Physical split were. I feel like this is preferable to breaking the game in the way Mega Evolution did. Mega Evolution managed to break types, stats, and abilities while Z-Moves only broke a single move, and there is significant opportunity cost to loading it. Compared to Mega Evolution, you're a fool if your team doesn't have at least one Mega Evo.
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