I've been having this problem with hot pockets where they don't cook properly in the middle. Let me tell you, getting to the center and discovering that it's cold is disgusting.
Anyway, remember when I ranted about the problems with the Pokémon games? I was talking with Ravi about it on Twitter, so I thought some more about it. The solution I came up with: instead of picking one starter out of three, you should be able to pick multiple starters out of a pool of...a lot more than three. Like, you get two or three starters, and they can be, like, any basic Pokémon. So instead of starting with Torchic, I could start with Numel and Spoink. Instead of starting with Totodile, I could start with Elekid and Teddiursa. Instead of starting with Bulbasaur, I could start with Porygon and Seel. See, now that would be cool.
I mean, Dungeons of Dredmor does it. You pick seven skills at the start, out of like 40, and you level them up as you go along. It's just like Pokémon ought to be--a team of seven that works together to...well, I guess this is a dungeon-crawling roguelike game instead of a JRPG, but other than that, it's a lot like Pokémon.
Hey, that's actually a great idea. I should make a Pokémon mod for Dungeons of Dredmor. I could have a skill represent a Pokémon that's in your party.
So there could be a Pikachu skill and you'd start with Thundershock (single-target voltaic damage spell, chance of stunning) and level up to get...what moves does Pikachu learn? Thunder Wave (stun a single target for 2 turns), Quick Attack (teleport a short distance and attack), Thunderbolt (stronger version of Thundershock), Evolve Into Raichu (passive stat boosts), Thunder (even stronger voltaic attack with AoE damage), Surf (short-range AoE attack). And you could start with a "Light Orb" item that gives a voltaic damage buff.
Ooh, this is a gold mine. Let's think of some more. How about Caterpie?
String Shot: Knockback effect.
Evolve into Metapod: Passive buff to defense.
Harden: Brittle buff that boosts block chance and magic resistance.
Evolve into Butterfree: Passive buffs to some stats.
Sleep Powder: Puts enemies to sleep in a 3x3 square.
Stun Spore: Stuns enemies in a 3x3 square.
Teleport: Carbon copy of Froda's Jump Discontinuity.
Evolve into Kadabra: Passive stat buffs.
Kinesis: Carbon copy of Psychokinetic Shove, except nerfed because that spell's overpowered.
Confusion: Targeted damage spell that has a chance of confusing.
Evolve into Alakazam: Passive stat buffs.
Psychic: Targeted damage spell that also debuffs.
Splash: Does nothing.
Keep splashing!: Also does nothing.
Tackle: Does a normal attack.
Flail: Does a small amount of damage to enemies standing near you.
Evolve into Gyarados: MASSIVE STAT BUFFS
DRAGON RAGE: MASSIVE FIREBALL
HYPER BEAM: MASSIVE DAMAGE
Transform: Gives you a random effect depending on what Pokémon you transformed into.
(And that's his only ability.)
I might actually do these. I should probably include starter Pokémon if I do, though.
Vine Whip: Carbon copy of Skatha's Roots.
Leech Seed: Damage over time spell that deals damage and heals you.
Evolve into Ivysaur: Stat buffs.
Razor Leaf: Projectile attack that deals slashing damage.
Evolve into Venusaur: Stat buffs.
Solarbeam: Projectile attack that fires in a straight line and pierces opponents.
Ember: Carbon copy of the fire wand attack.
Evolve into Charmeleon: Stat buffs.
Rage: Timed buff that boosts your power, crit, and counter.
Evolve into Charizard: Stat buffs.
Flamethrower: Projectile attack that deals conflagratory damage to a single target.
Fire Spin: Snares and deals conflagratory damage over time.
Bubble: Deals a small amount of damage and has a chance of causing knockback. I don't know what kind of damage you get with water. Asphyxiative, I guess.
Water Gun: Single target damage spell.
Evolve into Wartortle: Stat buffs.
Skull Bash: Single target close-range knockback attack. Gives a short temporary defensive buff.
Evolve into Blastoise: Stat buffs.
Hydro Pump: Projectile attack that causes knockback and deals heavy damage.
And of course there would be bonuses to resistances, positive and negative, based on the Pokémon's types.
Yeah, this might be my new modding project, since the Phyrexiamancy thing never quite worked out. Hell, here's a couple more.
Poison Sting: Chance of a damage over time effect on melee and ranged attacks.
Evolve into Kakuna: Stat buffs.
Harden: Same as Metapod.
Evolve into Beedrill: Stat buffs.
Rage: Same as Charmeleon.
Twineedle: Attacks twice. Also, passive buff to piercing damage and crit chance.
Sand Attack: Single target debuff.Gust: Single target damage spell. Chance of knockback.
Evolve into Pidgeotto: Stat buffs.
Wing Attack: Short-range AoE attack.
Evolve into Pidgeot: Stat buffs.
Whirlwind: Copy of Psychokinetic Shove, but more damage, and with a cooldown.
Dig: Digs one square into a wall.
Evolve into Dugtrio: Stat buffs.
Tri Attack: Does a mix of conflagratory, hyperborean, and voltaic damage.
Earthquake: AoE damage.
Fissure: Lots of targeted blasting damage.
...I'd better stop here or I'll be up all night.