Wikipedia:Featured article review/Bulbasaur/archive2

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Article is still a featured article

Review commentary[edit]

Messages left at Wikipedia talk:Pokémon Collaborative Project, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Nintendo, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Role-playing games, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Computer and video games/Featured articles, and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Computer and video games. Sandy 14:26, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

This article consists of a fairly weak intro section followed by a number of unstructured sections with grammatical errors. --Doradus 13:52, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and it's also mostly in-universe. --Doradus 14:28, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Intro section begins with some quotes about the popularity of Bulbasaur. The format of these citations is very unusual; for example:
CNN calls them one of the "lead critters"
We would normally present this as follows:
Bulbasaur are one of the "lead critters"[1]
...with the citation to CNN. When written in this form, it becomes obvious that this statement's presence in the article is hard to defend: it is a subjective statement, and while CNN is a credible source for news, it's hardly an authority on Bulbasaur. The same criticism goes for the statement attributed to Time.
Intro reworked - is that any better? —Celestianpower háblame 15:40, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Intro section then contains a sentence that begins with the origin of the name "Bulbasaur", and then degenerates into a run-on sentence about the Japanese name for the creature (which wasn't even mentioned until this point).
    The Japanese name is in the Infobox and at the top (just after "Bulbasaur"). —Celestianpower háblame 15:40, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The final intro paragraph starts with an oddly prominent statement about what Bulbasaur looks like "in one version of the Pokémon series", without contrasting it with other versions. It then ends with a statement about how the artwork has remained unchanged, despite the fact it was immediately preceeded by the "in one version" statement. The confusion caused is characteristic of this article as a whole.
    It looks like that in all versions. Corrected. —Celestianpower háblame 15:40, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • After the intro comes a sequence of formless sections about Bulbasaur's various appearances. Each section is an unstructured grab-bag of facts.
  • Furthermore, the sections are strewn with commas, comma splices, and parenthetical remarks.
Runaway commas example:
The Bulbasaur’s reasonably high Special Attack and Special Defense statistics mean that they both have strong Grass attacks, such as Vine Whip and Razor Leaf, and resist these sorts of attacks well, but their standard Attack statistic is quite poor, causing the Bulbasaur’s physical attacks, such as Tackle, to be relatively weak. However, Bulbasaur have the ability to undergo evolution, a metamorphic change within a Pokémon caused by gaining experience in battle, twice.
Comma splice example:
It also took part in the Orange League Tournament, however, it was quickly defeated by a more experienced Electabuzz, making it the only Pokémon on Ketchum’s team not to defeat at least one of the opposition’s Pokémon.
Parenthetical remarks:
There are seventeen different Pokémon types (a special attribute determining strengths and weaknesses of each species), offsetting each other in a complicated series of rock-paper-scissors relationships. Bulbasaur are a Grass/Poison-type (though they don’t have the ability to learn any damage-dealing Poison attacks naturally) so their attacks are particularly effective against Ground-, Rock- and Water-type Pokémon, but Psychic-, Fire-, Ice- and Flying-type attacks are particularly effective against them.
If these parenthetical remarks are worthy of being in the article, they should be worked in without the parentheses.
Fixed this problem. Highway Return to Oz... 14:38, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment Is there really a need for this FAR? The article was just on the main page and was virtually unchanged [1]. Most of these problems are minor and could have been taken to the talk page. Please remember that talk pages are for article improvement also and FAR is for articles that lack the qualities/criteria of a FA. Joelito (talk) 16:13, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
    • The minor parts above have been addressed, but I still think the sections are unstructured grab-bags of in-universe "facts". --Doradus 17:42, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree with the above user. This is going to turn into another 200 KB "debate" about Bulbasaur being "worthy of a FA". Editors should spend more time editing their target articles, not degrading themselves to childish behavior because an article about a children's icon is featured. Yes, saying "eww! a pokemon is featured; delist!" is equally as immature as watching this show at the age of forty. Concerns like the nominator's are reasonable can be addressed, but I seriously sense this turning into something much more volitile. — Deckiller 16:21, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I agree, but the above comments are mostly the memoirs of a GrammarNazi, no offence to the nominator. ;) Unfortunately, I think people are going to long remember the problems Bulbasaur caused, which will most likely hinder the promotion/main paging of other Pokémon articles. I am not saying that the vandals are right, but we need to think of the enclyopedia, are we just dmaging it by putting these articles on the main page. Highway Return to Oz... 16:28, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
      • But I think grammar nazihood is appropriate and even important for featured articles. --Doradus 17:48, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
        • I agree, but I was noting that the user probably isn't a Poke-hater, wnating to start a notability argument. Highway Return to Oz... 18:11, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
          • I didn't say that either; I'm just worried that people may seize the moment and start one while it's on FAR. — Deckiller 18:16, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Joelito says above that "Most of these problems are minor and could have been taken to the talk page." - I agree, but I will note here that I have raised several problems (not really that minor either) on the talk page, and there has been no reponse yet. This sort of makes a mockery of the "raise it on the talk page" philosophy. See here, for the comments where I point out that historical context is not prominent enough or has to be found in other articles (ie. say that Pokemon's creator was born in 1965 and Pokemon began in the 1990s), and location context is either missing or unclear (ie. say that Pokemon is Japanese in origin before going into Japanese name details). Carcharoth 09:19, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I'm sure you can appreciate that Friday was a busy day for the article, and people replied. If you still have concerns, please note them here in full. Cheers, Highway Return to Oz... 10:16, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Ok, the specific examples of problems I pointed out above seem to have been addressed to some extent, but the systematic problem of this article is that each section is an unstructured collection of in-universe "facts". This should disqualify it as a featured article. --Doradus 10:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

  • As requested above, concerns copied from the article talk page to here. Carcharoth 16:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
    • After the lead section, the article is heavily detailed and probably only of interest to Pokemon fans. Sounds like its been written by fans for fans. Not much here of interest to the reader of a general encyclopedia.
    • The inventor of Pokemon, Satoshi Tajiri, is mentioned in the article, but the article doesn't say that he was Japanese and was born in 1965 - stuff which help put the subject of this article in a real-world context.
    • The article fails to make clear that Pokemon is Japanese, or at least originated in Japan - you have to click through to the Pokemon article to find this out, or at least infer it from one of the Japanese references (eg. the bit about the Japansese names).
    • The article fails to give the historical context of Bulbasaur within Pokemon history - the Pokemon article says that it started at least by 1995, and since Bulbasaur's debut date is given as 1996, it would seem relevant to know that Bulbasaur was one of the first Pokemon. There is a fleeting reference to "original series", but this is not made clear. Also, it would be nice to say how many Pokemon existed before Bulbasaur, and how many have been invented since.

The above can be summarised as a lack of "where" and "when" context in the article. These real-world facts are missing, and the article is skewed towards detailed Pokemon fan trivia. Carcharoth 16:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

These concerns are easily fixable. Be bold. Joelito (talk) 16:27, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

If I may interject - these problems are indicative, not definitive. The whole article has similar systemic problems. If these examples (like the ones I gave) were to be fixed, this would still be a largely unstructured collection of in-universe pseudo-facts. --Doradus 02:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I will fix them if no-one else does. But I'm deliberately making a fuss because this is a featured article. I could hang around FAC and point these things out then, but I don't. This article came to my attention when I saw people on the Main Page talk page defending it as a "well-written article". I think a note should be added to the "be bold" guideline along the lines of "be bold, but also make sure others learn from their mistakes". I can't be bothered to find those who originally wrote the article, but there should be a general attempt to keep standards high to avoid poor writing overwhelming Wikipeidia. Carcharoth 17:12, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Even if the article does have these errors/ommissions etc, I really don't think that you could call this article's writing poor... —Celestianpower háblame 18:00, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for any offence caused. I tend to lump "errors and omissions" in with "poor writing" as I think writers need to learn not to leave stuff out, and get the basic facts in an article. Maybe call it lack of comprehensiveness? You are right, the actual writing style and basic grammar and spelling and articulateness is mostly fine. Carcharoth 12:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Is this any better? —Celestianpower háblame 18:54, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Not really, though I appreciate the effort. Putting context into a section called "Context" is rather odd: context is something that should be available for every statement in the article, not something to be corralled into one corner of the article. And the sections themselves are still as unstructured and as "in-universe" as before. --Doradus 02:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I think Celestianpower's sandbox version has improved the article. Doradus's comments are still relevant, but I think context like this does help. I would also suggest weaving such comments into the "in-universe" bits to make those bits more accessible to the layperson.

One simple way to do this is to put dates for the release of all the games and other media mentioned: FireRed; LeafGreen; Pokémon Yellow; Pokémon Stadium; Pokémon Gold and Silver; Pokémon Snap; Hey You, Pikachu!; Pokémon Channel; Super Smash Bros. Melee; plus some date context for the "Pokemon anime and series films" section; the trading cards section already has date context (1999); the Pokemon manga section has no dates, but the books are dated to 1999 and 2000, though not all the books are dated. It would also be nice to have a date for the McDonald's and Burger King promotions. Carcharoth 12:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, that's it. Talk about how Bulbasaur started, where the idea came from, how it was promoted, how it spread, its cultural significance, etc. That's an encyclopedia article. Currently the article is almost devoid of this kind of information. --Doradus 02:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I've just been reading the Pokemon article, and what I find worrying about all this is that Bulbasaur is a featured article, but Pokemon isn't (though it is a former featured article candidate). I find it easier to understand what the Bulbasaur article is talking about after reading the Pokemon article, but the ridiculous thing about this situation is that I have to read a non-featured article to understand a featured article! I would suggest that the Pokemon WikiProject get Pokemon to featured article status (it has lots of interesting encyclopedic stuff), before trying to get any more Pokemon creatures to featured status. Carcharoth 12:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Many of scientific FAs also require some degree of previous understanding of a topic in order to understand them. Even though as we try to make articles as same contained as possible, the line has to be drawn somewhere in order to keep readability and article length manageable. Check for instance Raney nickel; are you suggesting I should have got catalyst up FA standard before?
Also there's nothing particularly hideous (or "ridiculous") about reading non-featured material: more than 99.9% of Wikipedia's content is not featured. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 17:43, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with what you say, but in my opinion Raney nickel does a better job of this balancing act than Bulbasaur, which is probably why Bulbasaur is up for review and not Raney nickel. Carcharoth 09:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Pokémon is unlikely to meet any reasonable stability standard any time soon, given that a new wave of games and a new anime are in the very near future. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 11:48, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • The characteristics section flunks WP:WAF miserably; it describes Bulbasaur as though it were a real creature, and borderlines on original synthesis of the Pokédex entries. We shouldn't be repeating the Pokédex entries as real-world fact, and this section probably needs sources other than verbatim quotes of the Pokédex. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 08:09, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
    • I'll fix that today, I do the rest of them anyway. Highway Return to Oz... 09:24, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
      • Fixed! Cheers, Highway Return to Oz... 19:26, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
        • Is this diff fixing it? You've just weasel-worded it; who has said this? Who is thinking this? This doesn't add any out-of-universe perspective; it just makes you sound like a Pokédex with a major confidence problem. These parts need to be attributed to a speaker: for example, "Such-and-such game describes Bulbasaur as such and such, but such and such later anime episode fills in more about their evolution" or whatever. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 19:31, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
          • I've tried to fix a bit, I'm not sure how to work out what you're getting at without making it very messy. If the franchise kept to one version of a story throughout, it'd be easy, but it's not. Highway Return to Oz... 20:15, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
            • If it is messy, the encyclopedia article needs to reflect that. Trying to streamline or simplify what the history is would be misleading. Carcharoth 14:46, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I've reworked the intro to remove questionable "facts" like the "lead critter" bit. I tightened it up and made it more factual. This is what the whole article needs. As it stands, it's certainly not Ffeatured Article quality, especially with the "in-universe" tag. I don't see these systematic problems being fixed any time soon, so I think this needs to become a Featured Article Removal Candidate. Thoughts? --Doradus 12:14, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Is the "Biological characteristics" section now non-in-universe and tighter? Thanks! —Celestianpower háblame 13:13, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
No, not really. For example...
...that's more or less gibberish to anyone who hasn't played the games. I think there's a bit too much to try and synthesize a 'characteristics' section that covers all of the various incarnations; instead...well, I'm not sure. There's not much more to say other than "Bulbasaur has both plant and animal-like characteristics. It has a pair of retractable prehensile vines, and can attack by throwing seeds or razor-sharp leaves, or blasting with stored solar energy." Maybe looking at the powers sections in the comic-book character FAs (e.g. Captain Marvel) would be a good model to follow? - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 16:58, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't sure about that paragraph - it seemed in the wrong place to me. Is the rest any better though? Is quoting the way to go? —Celestianpower háblame 20:45, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I know it feels wrong, but I don't know how to make it feel right. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 20:53, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Then that's a dilemna indeed. We've tried tonnes of ways of making it work, and none seem to fit. Perhaps we have to review the whole section structure? The "Powers" idea sounded like the start of a good one. —Celestianpower háblame 21:04, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

FARC commentary[edit]

Suggested FA criteria concerns are prose errors (2a) and LEAD (3a). Marskell 09:36, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep featured - I don't agree that the problems are too great. The lead certainly isn't (by the nominator's own submission - he fixed it to his liking). It was recently Main Paged, meaning that Raul still thinks it good enough to be featured (or at least, that was my impression). Generally, I think it's a great article that many people spent lots of time on, and so deserves to keep its star. Thanks! —Celestianpower háblame 09:54, 19 August 2006 (UTC)