Worst Things About the Generation II Pokemon Games

Generation II was a fantastic generation when it first came out, introducing a new region and new Pokémon. However, upon reflecting on it after many generations have come and gone, it becomes evident that it has aged poorly. This list will cover the worst aspects of Generation II.
The Top Ten
1 The Pokemon were ultimately very mixed

Good Pokemon in Generation II: The legendaries, Ampharos, Scizor, Heracross, Houndoom, Tyranitar, Quagsire, Miltank, Crobat, the two Eeveelutions (basically aside from the last several and legendaries, all the ones who got mega evolutions later).

Underwhelming in Generation II: Jumpluff, Ariados, Ledian, Noctowl, Furret, Magcargo, Bellossom, Xatu, Azumarill (this one got much better later on, of course), Sneasel, Yanma, Aipom, Murkrow, Misdreavus, Togetic, all the baby Pokemon.

Gimmick Pokemon with little playthrough/competitive use: Wobbuffet, Unown, Smeargle, Delibird, Shuckle.

The whole shebang of new Pokemon seems quite mixed with many good ones. However, there are always other alternatives to most of the ones listed as good. For instance, you can use Magneton instead of Ampharos (especially in Crystal, which doesn't let you catch Mareep), or Arcanine instead of Houndoom. The underwhelming Pokemon either just never got love at all, like Ariados, or eventually had to get a new evolution or something to be much better (Togetic got Togekiss, for instance). And gimmick Pokemon were just gimmick Pokemon. There were surprisingly a lot of disappointments in Gen-2 overall.

2 There's barely a plot

Plot is not the strong suit of Pokemon, and that's okay. The main plot of most games involves an evil team in some way. It really just took off in Generation III with teams that want to change the landscapes and such. In Generation I, Team Rocket are mafia-style evildoers who steal stuff. They weren't exciting in hindsight, but in Generation II, what exactly is Team Rocket, who have returned somewhat, actually doing? Not a whole lot, to be frank. They just want to reform, and you (along with Lance, the champion) end up stopping them. Other than the Team Rocket stuff, there's really just the Pokemon League challenge and a few bits involving the legendaries, which I guess were cool but not the best use of the plot overall. So, plotwise, Generation II is quite flat.

3 Gym leader teams are bad

Many don't even use the Generation II Pokemon. This is something I noticed in many YouTube videos analyzing why they are bad. The ones who do have Generation II Pokemon are Whitney (Miltank), Jasmine (Steelix), Pryce (Piloswine), and Clair (Kingdra). However, they have only one Johto Pokemon each. When the other half don't even bother using any Johto Pokemon, that says a lot about a new generation. And their levels are also a mess. Pryce, for instance, is considered the seventh gym leader officially, yet his team is weaker than Jasmine's, who is the sixth. Both are fairly close in level to the fifth leader, Chuck.

Even the Kanto leaders can be underwhelming. The worst instances are Sabrina and Blaine, both of which have just three Pokemon, while others have at least four Pokemon on their teams. Their teams aren't any stronger than Champion Lance's, with the exception of Blue's. The Kanto trip actually feels somewhat underwhelming as a result.

4 Whitney and Miltank

I would be remiss not to include this one here, since everyone had trouble with this gym leader's ace. It's got a very competitive-style moveset on a Pokemon with a good base and stat spread, so it's way stronger than other third gym leader aces. There's really not much to say about this one that others haven't talked about already. There are, of course, numerous ways to beat Miltank though. The most common way is the Machop trade.

5 Little representation of specific Pokemon types

How many Ghost types were introduced in Gen-2? One, Misdreavus. And it is an extreme late-game Pokemon that was also never used by the Ghost-type leader Morty at any point.

How many Dragon types were introduced in Gen-2? One, Kingdra, used by Clair, but also it's a trade evolution and not easy to access. It also wasn't used by Lance.

Ghost and Dragon were not very well-represented in terms of Pokemon, though they both got better moves to use at least. The new types Dark and Steel proved interesting for sure. We had Umbreon, Houndoom, Tyranitar, Murkrow, and Sneasel, but the latter two were underwhelming and had to get evolutions later. Many moves became Dark type and the type really just felt like a crutch to defeat the once-overpowering Psychic types. Steel is more defensive and had Magneton, Steelix, Forretress, Scizor, and Skarmory, and only the former two were used to some capacity by Jasmine, while the others weren't really used by anyone else. Forretress was used by Koga though. New types were exciting but didn't get the use they should have had.

6 Bad availability for some Pokemon

Examples include Sudowoodo being a one-time only encounter, Slugma, Houndour, and Murkrow being available only in Kanto, Dunsparce being 1% in the Dark Cave, Yanma being 1% in Route 35, Mareep not being available at all in Crystal version, and several mons like Heracross, Aipom, and Pineco only being available via headbutting trees. Note how all of these are Gen-2 Pokemon?

7 Bad TMs

TMs were really wonky in the early generations. Remember Water Gun and Fissure were a TM in Gen-1 among others, but they weren't that great here either. Why is Falkner's TM, given out as a Ground type move in Mud Slap, if he's the Flying gym leader? Why are both Protect and Detect TMs if they do the exact same thing? Protect stayed a TM at least, but Detect just wasn't any different.

8 Roaming Legendaries

Ah yes, Gen-2 started this trend but arguably it's better here than in FR/LG where Roar can make you permanently not get Raikou or Entei. Still, the hassle of having to constantly check the dex and your location makes these a problem, as if them fleeing wasn't bad enough.

9 The PokeGear

This is actually less of a bad thing, especially since it's got several useful features like the radio and map. But I just hate getting a call in the middle of an adventure from mom telling me how my money has disappeared. This PokeGear also set the stage for the more annoying Match Call thing in Emerald, which was way worse.

10 Weird Pokemon designs
The Contenders
11 No berry growth

Another small thing. Berries were introduced in Gen-2 and were quite good, except for the fact that you couldn't really grow more. Of course, they weren't made that way originally, but having to wait another day to get more of the berries you want for your Pokemon wasn't that great. Thankfully, they have improved on berries a lot since then.

12 Hard to get evolution stones

Back in Gen-1, you could buy the evolution stones at the Celadon Dept. Store, except sadly the Moon Stone. But being able to buy the other ones is a boon to the Pokemon who evolve that way.

Gen-2 came around, and now you can't buy them anymore. You have to show Bill's grandfather at the cottage a Pokemon that evolves with the stone (only one for each evolution stone). Or, get specific trainer's phone numbers with the PokeGear and wait around until they have it for you. In the case of Moon Stones, Mt. Moon's square only has them at night, and in the case of the new Sun Stone, it's a difficult first-place prize at the Bug Catching Contest.

What gives with such ridiculous methods? It's more challenging than it needs to be.

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