Pokemon and Me


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.

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.


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! 🙂


  1. LITTEN FTW! It’s my first pick, because I’ve been wanting a kitty starter since the days of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. I’m hoping its evolutions will be worth it (please not another Fire/Fighting). My second favourite is Rowlett, followed by Popplio. (I don’t hate Popplio, its design just doesn’t appeal to me as much as the other two. Maybe it’s the clown motif, because it reminds me of circuses and places like Sea World, but that’s a rant for another time and place.)

    Also, for someone who is super into Pokémon and doesn’t want to lose all those legendaries and other special edition mons, the Pokémon Bank is something worth looking into. That reminds me I need to make sure I but a Nintendo card to renew my yearly Pokébank pass.

    1. I’ve heard of the Pokemon Bank, but I’m not sure what it actually does.

      I ended up saving all my special legendaries and picking up where I left off in Pokemon X. I’m happy I made this choice as I’m now about 7 hours into the game and have captured about 55 Pokemon at this point. I’m not sure if my goal should be to just amass every Pokemon I come across (which I do) or if I should be focusing on training a team first.

      Tips are welcome!

      1. Pokemon Bank would let you store all the Pokemon from your current file. You could then start a new file and retrieve all of them.

        I like to capture 1 of everything, but it’s good to have a core team too. Though, the games are easy enough that you could just use your starter the whole time.

        1. Ah, gotcha! That’s good info to have about the Bank.

          So far, my starter is probably my most powerful Pokemon right now. I get really scatterbrained about this, though, because I’m trying to catch and train (probably) too many.

          And then there’s the breeding (which I haven’t started yet).

          And then I’m reading about the nature of Pokemon and how you want this rather than that.

          I’m getting so sidetracked because of all the things to do! I suppose I should focus on building a main team, though?

          1. Personally, I have never bothered with natures but I have never been training my Pokémon to be compétitive against other players’ Pokémon.

            That’s the beauty of these Games though, you can play them however you want and there is no wrong way to do it. Unless you chest, I guess.

          2. Ah, so the natures thing really only matters if you’re battling competitively? Yeah, I’m probably not going to worry about that, then. It was just every time I did a search about certain Pokemon, folks were talking about the best natures and not to level a Pokemon unless you had it.

  2. Pokemon was one of those series that feels like it should interest me more than it does. After all, I love having armies of monsters…

    …But I realized there was a key word there. “Armies”. However many Pokemon you can catch, only one (or occasionally two) battle at a time. I want full-on Fire-Emblem-style tactical battles with them. XD

  3. Pokémon X coming back into the franchise after 15 years of not playing it. To be honest I thought it had turned into a kids game, Yet when I was craving an RPG To play, I picked it up at random And had one of the best times I’ve had in years! It completely got me back into Pokémon.

    It really seems like it was developed to recapture people like myself who would play the first generation and then never revisited it again. Hope you’re enjoying it!

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