Thursday, October 7, 2010

27. Sandshrew


Sandshrew might just be my favorite pokemon. I’ll probably end up saying that about several different pokemon, but you heard it here first. If nothing else, I think we can all agree it’s the most adorable thing to ever sport a brick pattern. I defy you to find me something cuter. Or even something round, with a brick pattern. Only Sandshrew pulls it off. It’s a simple, believable design, yet awesome and universally appealing. Universally I say! because Sandshrew cosplays are abundant, being easy to make and still rocking hard, as demonstrated by these ladies with excellent tastes in ground pokemon.

It is the original ground pokemon, despite not learning any ground attacks, and the original roll-up-in-a-ball-and-spin-really-fast-and-hurt-you pokemon, despite not learning Rollout. But those things don’t matter, because when you have a chance to train a Sandshrew you make it work. It usually gives you the best defense around, without resorting to a dopey Geodude. In short, Sandshrew’s the type of pokemon (there aren’t many) that makes me wish there was an arcade-style Pokemon fighting game, because I’m fairly convinced it would own hard. I would play that game just to dig and scratch and roll things into submission. Like Sonic the Hedgehog but subterranean and not annoying.

And for once even Gamefreak was aware of an awesome thing when they had it, because Sandshrew was catchable in every generation until Generation IV! (Well sort of; in the first two it was version-exclusive.) There’s just no replacing it, as evidenced by their recent attempt to do so in Black and White. Just look how that turned out:

Yeah, I’m not feeling it.

Another great thing? I try not to bring up shiny sprites too often but its shinies from Gold and Silver are pretty bitchin’
Yes, I am a sucker for monochrome. They look like steel sandshrews. Or chrome. Unfortunately all the games after that decided they didn’t have to abide by any canon and so debuted Sandshrew Lime:
which isn’t nearly as cool, I must say.

The Winner:

R/S and B/W are total cuteness overload, which I appreciate. They look positively huggable. But that’s not all Sandshrew has to offer! I prefer my Sandshrews fluid and actiony. Yellow probably does the best job of this, but then it also looks kind of odd and bearish. Silver’s “wind blows lotus leaf” pose wins me over. It looks tough but still pretty cute.

I also like the colors. Sandshrew lives in the ground; earth tones suit it well. Later games have a far wider range of colors to choose from, and yet they all decide on the exact same shade of fluorescent yellow. Seriously, I’m pretty sure that’s like 255, 255, 0 right there. This isn’t Pikachu. But from the Gameboy Color on, it seems that has been the direction the art has taken, toward a cleaner, saturated, cartoonish look. No doubt the anime has something to do with that, and it works just as well for many pokemon, but not necessarily all of them. Pointedly, it’s a far cry from Sandshrew’s official artwork.


  1. Sandshrews are RIDICULOUS. I love them so much. Definitely one of my favorite Pokemon. My favorite sprite would have to be Emerald one for the reason that it does that dance before fighting you and it's awfully adorable.

  2. This is true.

    Crystal's is pretty cute also:

    B/W's presumably has some kind of dance or face-pawing as well but I haven't seen it.

  3. AUGH. I want to squish it! That Sandshrew sprite definitely moves like a shrew.

  4. I know, who the fuck decided to change shiny sandshrew to green? I actually found a shiny sandshrew once but I prefer the normal one because the green is so dumb looking.


  6. Sandshrew is one of my favorite Pokemon, but yes, a LIME-GREEN one is horrid.

  7. apparently the silver sprite of sandshrew was raised buy a hitmonchan

  8. Pokemon - Emerald - Hack (all pokemons) GBA ROM+SAVE+CHEAT