Posted by: Junahu | May 11, 2010

Movesets of the past [#2]

With MYM8 itself getting off to such an excellent start (comment-wise), I kind of feel remorseful at how little we commented movesets in earlier MYM’s. Maybe it was because we were still learning ourselves. Or perhaps we were just more competitive than communal in the past. Either way, the annals of MYM are a rich tapestry just bursting with hidden gems and forgotten abominations. I hope these short, weekly articles will inspire others to look back and see older sets in a new light.

This week I’ll be talking about that… THING.. I made in MYM5 (not Cutesy ¬_¬).

Yes, I really am that much of a selfish egotist that I’ll talk about my own movesets in depth. But hey! Some of what I talk about might apply to others. So it’s win-win!

Team Rocket

Cast your mind back to the end days of MYM4. At that time I was still much a nobody, yet a nobody that would not stop causing trouble and headache to others. MM9:Megaman set a precedent, for no other reason than being the only moveset to be disqualified outright, and Viola was prancing around so gaudily that many took that as cue enough to dislike her. Months of preparation and work, spoiled for reasons that just didn’t seem at all fair at the time. What was I to do? Going from one extreme to the other was netting me little but small aproval and mixed feelings. Brilliant ideas cast out for being… too brilliant? Too well executed? Did people want to see flaws more than they wanted to see quality?

Of course, now I know better. I grow and change just like any other MYMer. But at that time, my stance on movesetting wasn’t working, and I was ready to blame anything other than my movesets.

So, cue Team Rocket, a desperate grab for mainstream acceptance. One that floundered because, again, I did it too well; I made the moveset too much like everyone elses. And again, I misread the signs. MYM was moving away from mindless creativity while I was running straight into it.

In honor of Team Rocket, who can’t even get a lucky break when Junahu makes a set for them, here are 8 reasons the set is a failure, and 5 reasons why the set is a success (in my eyes)

8 Ways Team Rocket failed

 

 8: The set looks like ass

BBCode is my mortal enemy. From Donna, to MM9:Megaman, to even Wispa, none of my sets looked the part for my enthusiam. There was no passion there, just barely passable frames to project my words onto. Headers that stuck out too little. No bolding or font changes whatsoever. Colour swatches that felt random. Team Rocket was a marginal improvement, but only because it worked around my lack of effort. And it still didn’t channel it into anything meaningful. It looked OK, but it didn’t look like Team Rocket.

7: The special mechanic was crammed into the start of the set

Team Rocket are not a simple character. They are a 2-in-1 character which involve controlling the two characters seperately, and symultaneously. Rather than attempt to placate a timid reader with a simpler explanation, I went the whole hog and scribed every detail about the mechanic. And then I felt sorry for the reader and made a simpler explanation anyway, yet kept both at the start of the set. So you had to read everything about the special mechanic, twice, before you could even get to the moveset.

6: Team Rocket put its weakest foot foreward

Could this set have been kicked off in a worse way? Team Rocket are a slow building as a moveset can get, with a whole Meowth moveset to slog through before anything tangibly exciting is mentioned. I’m all for holding your best hand till the very end, and I still employ the practice on many movesets, but Team Rocket takes it to exasperating extremes

Meowth pretends to look at something interesting in his paws for 0.7 seconds

Even Meowth got bored of this moveset!

5: Generic attack + interesting effect ≠ interesting attack

Genericism is something I’m still attacked for today, though for different reasons. Until the latter portion of MYM6, moves that did not instantly startle were garbage, regardless of whether or not they were actually important. So while my earlier sets aged relatively well and are accepted for what they did rather than how they did it, Team Rocket sticks out in sore ways.

Many of Meowth’s moves were slashes and cuts and kicks and bites, with extrenuous effects that bordered on random. Particularly rediculous are the F-tilt and U-tilt, two moves that changed slightely depending on the date and time you were playing Brawl. Yes yes, a nice little nod to the games it is, but it doesn’t achieve anything, other than giving people yet another variable to counterpick before a match.

4: Too many props

Now, I don’t approve of the notion that ANY prop is a bad idea, but the key point is to make the process of using a prop seem natural. Peach takes out props for her Foreward Smash, but then she does a Foreward Smash-like thing with them. It’s fluid, doesn’t confuse, and if anything, the prop actually helps people understand the properties of the attack.

So let’s take Jessie/James, the latter, better recieved half of the Moveset. They take out props for anything from a foreward aerial, to a ledge attack, to a throw. And they perform attacks with the props that are quite seperate from the context of the input itself, making too many attacks difficult to get to grips with and almost contradictory in their function. These people use more Props than Nurse Joy, a moveset that used absurd amounts of props deliberately. That alone should tell you how prop happy Jessie/James were.

3: Team Rocket left the reader to flounder

Get this, Team Rocket is a brilliant moveset… at least speaking strictly for its potential to combine with itself to form a truly adaptable playstyle. But rather than show the reader the real spirit of Team Rocket’s potential, I made do with regurgitating a few key points and then left them to figure out the moveset themselves. I oversimplified the core to playing Team Rocket, and overestimated the reader’s interest, something that would be a reprehensible crime nowadays

2: Completely unsuitable writing style

It’s Team Rocket, everything they do and say is an absolute gas. They throw out atrocious puns with such quick-fire enthusiasm that you simply have no choice but to laugh, either with them or at them, there’s no difference. The trio have a unique chemistry born from their individual circumstances, and a genuine likeability that shines through regardless of who they trick or what they pilfer.

The moveset has none of this in its writing, opting for a by-the-numbers account of what happens with each attack, plodding on from one attack to the next with little care to what the reader might be thinking or how bored they must be.

I cringe everytime I re-read Team Rocket. Considering how utterly Wispa and Viola grab the reader’s attention, it’s a travesty that Team Rocket does nothing but repel the reader.

1: ¬_¬ Team Rocket didn’t say “It looks like Team Rocket’s blasting off again! *ding*”

Seriously, that was the first idea I ever had for the moveset, and I FORGOT to put it in! See what happens when people pressure me to post a moveset before it’s finished??

5 Ways Team Rocket succeeded

5: Everything got into the set

There are all kinds of movesets where their character doesn’t give enough inspiration to fill inputs, but Team Rocket suffered under the yolk of having far too much material to use. So I have no small amount of pride in how tightly I blended all the various aspects of Team Rocket and Pokemon into the moveset. Even if was just in name, pretty much anything worth remembering about this illustrious team became part of the set.

4: There’s Playstyle in there!

Not only that, but one based around versatility, which is an appalling difficult thing to craft a playstyle for. You’re controlling both a heavyweight and a lightweight, and you have to deal with the pros and cons of both, fluidly, to succeed. Meowth is fast and weak, Jessie/James are slow and strong. At first it seems obvious how they should play, but playing them through their individual advantages reveals a new problem. Meowth may be fast, but he can’t take hits, and while Jessie/James can take punishment, they can’t fight back in a scrap. So you’re forced to play Team Rocket in non-standard ways, which of course leads to…

3: Move interactions that are based on the player’s ingenuity.

There’s so many ways to combine different attacks and strategies, that you could take literally any Meowth attack, any Jessie/James attack and find at least one way to use them together. Dig a pitfall style trap and wait on the opposite side, using an extendable grab to snipe out foes who try to cross. Stand with your opponent on a floating balloon offstage, trap the foe in a belljar, then pop the balloon. Trap both Meowth and the foe in a net hurtling offstage, to keep the foe from breaking out. And so and so forth. It’s a team moveset that encourages team spirit rather than stifling it. Your goals are fuzzy, there’s no channeling Team Rocket down any particular path. You take what you have and adapt with it in whichever way you want. So the only key to playing Team Rocket well, is to use them as a true team, which is of course what Team Rocket was supposed to be from the start.

2: Extras extras extras

Team Rocket beats out even MM9:Megaman for extras, and THAT’S a feat in itself. If the moveset itself was dry and lifeless, the reader could at least find some enthusiasm in the extras. And thank god for that!

The SSE here is the best I’ve ever made, I have no doubt of that. Having the player fight an absolutely inept Team Rocket, then forcing the player to learn how to use them together as a proper team is the kind of liquid storytelling I’ve always found lacking in the real SSE. Then there’s the capturing of the enemies inside the levels (i.e wild pokemon) training them up, then using them in later levels and fights. I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s the greatest thing ever. There’s even a boss fight with legendary Pokemon you can catch and use to trounce the proceeding boss with.

And then there’s the Appendix, which goes well out of its way to accommodate Team Rocket by detailing everything the set could possibly interact with, from the Pokemon they could evolve, to character specific items of other sets that Jessie/James can use in their Neutral B.

And then the actual extras start 0_0… Stages, codex, costumes, Wild Professor Oak, and of course…

1: WOBBLEFETTE!

Wobbufet is bes5 bleu Pokkomon evre! hee hrts u with conter attcka nd liks too shot WOBUFFET! yuo Cant’ d3feet hym wifout smarts an god scills!!£ Voat WOBBBFET!E peez

So, yes, Wobbuffet; self proclaimed “best extra known to mankind” and by far the best way to end what was otherwise a tortuously long moveset. I don’t even really need to tell you why Wobbuffet is probably the best part of the whole moveset. Just look at him!

WABBUUWABBU!

He caen nrun slowly an walks even slower. His tiptoe animaytion is hilarius!

“Mean Look” now you get stunned by his glair attack

Forwad Thrw:: knoks eneme away far, by slam duk!

Regular Aireal attakc@ Wofbubet spins arownd lik a tornaedo. Lot of litel htis and last hit acan OK

And that’s all. Thanks for reading through this little egotrip of mine. If nothing else, now you know that even my worst sets have at least one or two redeeming features. Except Alucard aparantly (WARU)

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Responses

  1. Have my babies 😐

  2. Stop being a JUGGALO


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