Posted in Gaming, Pokemon

Pokemon and Me

Pokemon_SunMoon_Starters

It was the fall of 1998. A time before anyone in my area knew what Pokemon was.

I got this VHS tape in the mail – yeah, I’m talking an oldskool, vintage VCR tape! I think it was a promotion in conjunction with Toys R Us. It told me all about this new game coming to the US called Pokemon.

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Not my copy, but this was the tape. I still have mine somewhere, just not digging it out!

I was in college at the time, so I was a bit older than their target market. But, man, if I’d been a little younger, I would have been so deep into this! Still, I was a gamer and an anime lover, so I started watching the show and anticipating the release of Red and Blue. I got a Game Boy Color and Blue at launch. My sister got Red.

I remember enjoying the game, though I never beat it. Pokemon does a lot of things to tick the right boxes with a gamer like me. It’s an RPG. It has cute creatures. It has collection. It has strategy battles. And, overall, it has a pretty uplifting and positive vibe.

I really liked the design of a lot of the original Pokemon. Pikachu remains one of my favorites.

But suddenly, Pokemon just blew up. I got super popular in a way I didn’t realize it would. These were the days before the Net was used for hype trains. Remember, I said the way I was introduced to Pokemon was through a VHS tape, not a website or forum!

I was working at my local Electronics Boutique (think Gamestop), so I was right there in the middle of the craze. Cards. Games. Toys. Everything. And while I still liked Pokemon, I guess I heard soooooo much about it all the time that I just gravitated away from the series.

I was on the outside looking in when the newer games released — I don’t even know what they were (Ruby? Pearl? Gold?). The number of Pokemon shot through the roof and I no longer was on the same page as anyone playing the new stuff. I got left behind, and at that time, I was just discovering the magic of the Internet… so my interests were very much elsewhere. Where it was this huge life-changing thing for kids younger than I, I was a working “adult” getting through college. I could see the appeal, but I never dipped back into it again.

Fast Forward…

My second ever Pokemon game was Soul Silver in 2009. About a decade after I played my first Pokemon game, if that tells you anything. I remember enjoying what did play of it, but again, I didn’t finish it. I admired how far the series had come from what I remembered, though. I saw a lot of improvements.

When Pokemon X was released a few years back, I picked it up, too. Now this was a serious leap in design and technology for a Pokemon game! But, for whatever reason, I only played about 3 hours of the game before I put it down. Such a shame.

Fast Forward again… to 2016. Pokemon Sun and Moon are announced. I’m not that excited about it at first.

Well, not until I see the new starters. Maybe I’m getting stirred up on the hype train, but I really, really like the designs for these three. In fact, I like them so much that I’ve started considering picking up Pokemon Sun at launch.

Backtracking

Artist: 凪庵
Artist: 凪庵

However… I look back at my poor, unplayed copy of Pokemon X and think… Man, I really need to play through that first before I invest in a whole new Pokemon game that I won’t finish again. 

There’s no reason not to play it. I liked everything about the game when I first picked it up. The only problem was, it was 2 and a half years since I played it, and I didn’t remember a thing about it.

Okay, so just restart, right?

Well… I’ve been claiming all those legendary promotional Pokemon they’ve been giving out, and I don’t want to lose them. I mean, I can’t do anything with the level 100 Pokemon yet, but it’s just the principle of it all.

So, over the weekend, I spent time watching a series of YouTube videos about the beginning of Pokemon X/Y. This quickly got me back up to speed on the storyline and basic mechanics, and put me at a spot where I felt I could pick up the game and play it again.

So! I am now going to put some time and effort into resuming my play through of Pokemon X in hopes to get a good ways in before Sun and Moon are released later this year.

Oh, and my choice of new starter? Litten, of course! 🙂