Pokémon and I
Tea: Hot Chocolate
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Pokémon, I deemed it fitting to look back and see what impact this series had on me personally. For many people, Pokémon has been an important part of their lives and it stands as a testimony not only to the greatness of this series, but for the impact video games can have.
Like so many others I started my gaming career on the Game Boy Colour and my first game was Pokémon Crystal Edition. At the time, I was familiar with the anime, but lacked any experience with the games or any game in general. With gleeful joy I started my journey as a Pokémon Trainer and soon ran into my first major challenge: Leaving the house. With no knowledge to draw from, I spent an embarrassing hour in my home walking around, talking to my mother and wondering how I can get out of here. The little carpet was, for me at the time, no more than nice decoration. And to tell the truth, I was about to give up. Video games and I did not seem like a match made in heaven and so I was ready to put it down for good. Then, by accident, I walked against the carpet and suddenly my screen was filled with brightness as the beautiful scenery of the outside world greeted my eyes and invited me to explore its vast regions. And like that my first adventure began which does not mean that I didn’t run into similarly now shameful situations.
– I still remember the exciting intro to my first game –
To name a few: I did not understand the concept of attacks running out of uses and kept wondering why I could not bite my opponent. I was so afraid of the curse status that Haunter had inflicted during the gym battle that I healed my Pokémon three times afterwards and I continued to believe that the curse would show its ugly face again right up to the elite four. I did not understand damage at all and was too lazy to read it up. Therefore, my Feraligatr still knew scratch by the time I finished the game for the first time. I never saved and loaded before an important fight and thus lost my chance at catching Suicune. Yet I can also boast and say that I never lost a single battle (not that hard I know, but cut me some slack, I was 10).
– Oh Suicune, always just out of reach… –
Suffice it to say, I was hooked and that hook would not leave my flesh for a long time. I played all major titles and grew better and better with each new iteration. In Ruby I actually managed to catch the legendary Pokémon and by Pearl I was well accustomed to the different types and weaknesses. It might have taken a while, but I was finally there. I learned the techniques and secrets of breeding and even caught my first shiny, which turned out to be a Zubat and I still have my pink and shiny Crobat.
I would like to say that all of this lead to a terrific competitive battle career and that I am now one of the best, but that would be a blatant lie. The technicalities of this advanced way to fight are still beyond me and even now I pick my Pokémon due to their looks and not their stats. I may build teams that are vaguely balanced, but they still consist of all of my favourites and every pro would frown upon my mismatched selection. Yet, this is how I enjoy Pokémon the most and I would not have it any other way. Speaking of enjoyment, if I had to name my favourite title the award would go to Pokémon Y, simply because I loved all the new features and graphical updates that came with the jump to the 3DS. Omega Ruby lacked my beloved trainer customisation, otherwise it would be a real contender.
– Still my favourite and the one I finally want to complete –
Even outside the games I made friends that shared my enthusiasm for the series and this is what it is all about in the end. Not about stats and IVs, not about how complete your Pokedex is and whether you visited every single event for the exclusive legendary Pokémon. It is about the connections you make and the time you spent, be it with friends or by yourself. The fun was always priority in Pokémon and that is why it never let me go and I would not ever let it go. Some say it lacks innovation and I say it is an anchor of stability. It improves little by little without sacrificing what makes it so great and that is the hallmark of a truly great series.
The only thing I wish to do and will do, is this: Catch all 720 Pokémon for the first time. And since the 20th anniversary brings me a new legendary every month I get closer and closer with time. My childhood dream has not withered to this day. You, dear reader, may also look forward to a review of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon coming very soon. With that I congratulate Pokémon for 20 amazing years and look forward to the next 20 years of fun and joy to come.
Image sources in order of appearance:
- http://s.emuparadise.org/fup/up/67956-Pokemon_-_Crystal_Version_(USA,_Europe)-1.jpg (Last date of access: 01.03.2016)
- http://image.jeepyurongfu.com/upload/b/ba/bbaef906d43377281a701e6431a80a11.jpg (Last date of access: 01.03.2016)
- http://jpgames.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Pokemon-X-and-Y_2013_01-08-13_001.jpg (Last date of access: 01.03.2016)
- https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mlcckRrhaNQ/maxresdefault.jpg (Last date of access: 01.03.2016)