It’s inevitable. With every new generation of Pokemon, we get a bunch of cute, cool, and interesting designs, sure. But there are always a few stinkers hidden among the ranks. Sometimes, the design is repulsive; sometimes, the Pokedex entry and lore info makes you recoil a bit; sometimes, it’s both. While it’s all a matter of preference, I found generation IX to be the worst overall crop of new mons in a long, long time. After finishing my adventure through the Paldea region (you can read my review here), I’ve picked up the worst of the worst here to put them on display and shame them for what they did. They know what they did.
I think Revavroom might have avoided this list had it not been so prevalent in the main story. I am sick of looking at it. I do not like that this car has a tongue. My friend last week joked that there was probably a Pokemon that was just a car now, and I somberly showed him this picture. He said the same thing about a smartphone Pokemon months ago and I had to break the news about Rotom. Sorry, Ian. Pokemon is not like you remember it. Revavroom is not as uninspired as a lot of mons on this list, but it is definitely ugly to look at and every time it used some car-based attack in a boss battle, I just groaned. Also, I’m not crazy, the Starmobile modified Revavrooms look like the car from Mad Max, right?
9. Paldean Tauros
Paldean Tauros is in here not just because of its boring design (I think this is the first regional variant we’ve had that’s a literal palette swap), but because of how Game Freak failed to utilize it in the game. Spain, where Scarlet and Violet are set, is famous worldwide for two cultural phenomena – the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and the Matador shows. The bull is central to Spanish culture for many reasons even beyond these, and Game Freak basically dumped a bucket of black paint on Tauros, said “good enough”, and shoved it out into the world with no context. I am still awestruck that there was no Running of the Tauros event and not a single Matador to be seen.
I don’t have a lot to say about this one. Look. I’m not gonna pretend that every gen I Pokemon was a masterpiece. There was one that was just six eggs. But man, this is a new level. The worst thing about Tandemaus is that it evolves into Maushold, which is four mice standing next to each other. No words for this one.
How I imagine the Game Freak art team meeting:
Team Lead: What if we did an evolution for Dunsparce? It’s kind of got a cult following ironically, people would like that.
Artist: I have an idea! What if it’s Dunsparce but there’s extra Dunsparce in it?
Artist: Just like, put a little more Dunsparce in the middle. Dudunsparce.
Team Lead: You’re a god damn genius. Here are the keys to my car.
I don’t hate Flamigo. Well, I do. I hate that its name is Flamingo without an n. I understand that amigo is Spanish for friend. I get it. I would perhaps have more sympathy if Flamigo was not literally a flamingo. It is indistinguishable from a lawn ornament in a Florida suburb. It has no special features. Flamigo is the new king of uninspired Pokemon designs, long may he reign. Maybe next time I’ll just boot up Planet Zoo instead.
I can’t say in polite company what the shape and form of this creature bring to mind immediately, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Also, the concept. So the art team was thinking of things that are related to Spain, and came up with earthworms and metro cars. Sure. I have no idea how those two ideas ended up having to be a single Pokemon. Orthworm is composed of a series of metro train cars while also kind of looking like a worm? Even aside from that, its goofy face makes me want to scream. Titan Orthworm is my sleep paralysis demon.
4. Palafin (Hero Form)
Long-time Pokemon fans know that we have collectively been begging Game Freak for a dolphin Pokemon for 20 years. Our prayers have been answered, and Finizen is a fantastic little guy that’s just what we wanted. But wait… a dark future awaits your Finizen. For when it evolves into Palafin, it gains a new ability Zero to Hero. Is this a reference to the song from Disney’s Hercules? I will say yes, and now it’s canon. When switching out of battle, your beautiful regular form Palafin turns into what I can only describe as a rejected DC superhero. Maybe if Aquaman and All-Might from My Hero Academia had a secret love child? I find its design, presence, and existence to be repulsive. Thanks for ruining my dolphin.
My reasons for hating Spidops are many. First, in the dark of the night, while I was minding my own business exploring the forest, this thing appeared from a tree, slunk down, stood on its hind legs, raised the front legs, shrieked, and ran at me swinging its stupid wooden legs around. I did not enjoy this. Second, it evolves from the very cute Tarountula and becomes this… thing. Third, it is apparently a wooden puppet that has come alive as a 6-foot-tall spider that traps people in webs and eats them. Lastly, look at it.
I’m not sure if there was a race announced for the ugliest Pokemon of all time, maybe some kind of lottery to win, but if there was then boy howdy does Game Freak have a shot at the title. This thing is truly repulsive. It is, no joke, a mix of an ostrich and the ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra, but it has psychic powers. We have completely gone off the deep end with this one. I hate the gross vomit-like color palette. I hate that it has a bob cut. I hate that it has chunky flesh wings bouncing around on its back. Add onto that it can run at 120 mph according to its dex entry, and with every step its meaty slab wings flap and let loose psychic energy. I can only imagine the sound. I would like for Espathra to fall into a hole and never, ever return.
Gholdengo is an affront to human sensibility, human empathy, and human rights. Nintendo fans probably saw this coming, being that collecting all the Korok Seeds in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gets you a big slab of golden poop as a joke reward. Well, Game Freak clearly were inspired and set 999 Gimmighoul coins around the world to collect in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. If you painstakingly collect all of them, and this takes hours and hours even with a guide, you are rewarded with Pokemon number 1000… Gholdengo. Side note, but what a disappointment that after all these years this is what the 1000th Pokemon ends up being. I shouldn’t need to describe the many reasons I do not like this Pokemon’s design, but I’d like to hear from you in the comments if this looks more like the string cheese guy or the cinnamon mascot from Apple Jacks cereal.
Well, that’s my roundup. As I said, I was overall not as happy with Generation IX’s new offerings as I was with the last few, but there are a few all-time greats hidden among the ranks as well! Which Pokemon is your least favorite of the new bunch? Which one makes you angry enough to petition Game Freak to patch it out? Let us know in the comments, and stick around here at GameLuster for all things Pokemon Scarlet and Violet!