Round Table: Living in a Pokémon World

A special discussion of the Pokémon franchise from three very different trainers.

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 06/28/2012 10:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Pokémon Adventures character group artwork masthead

The Pokénovice by Noah Ward

TMs and HMs? This reminds me of the time when old Dojo Show Go! co-hosts Matthew Tidman and James Stank would talk to me about EV and level IV ranks and so on and I just drew a blank. In fact, I’m probably misstating them even now. But that’s not to suggest I haven’t always had some kind of vague interest in Pokémon, if only a hesitance to commit, which in recent years has only been strengthened by descriptions of the series’ elaborate complexities those folks have tried to educate me on.

Yet my very first exposure to the franchise was via Nintendo Power, back when I used to subscribe to it. The magazine was prepping us for what was supposed to be a “huge” launch, and I looked at it in bemusement and tried to get my head around the concept of, what, kidnapping wild animals, bending them to your will and forcing them to live inside little plastic balls. But oh, how cute the little monster designs were.

This was around my college years, when I could come home and watch Power Rangers and Pokémon on television. Despite being a bit out of the age bracket for those franchises, I really enjoyed those shows. In fact, I was a bigger fan of the cartoon than anything else, especially Pikachu. I have a few little Pikachus in my belongings, mostly at work for some reason, and the Pikachu Game Boy Color was so cool I couldn’t resist. That’s when I got my first Game Boy. I resisted getting the original Game Boy for many years because I didn’t want to play games in black and white. And that probably had a lot to do with why I never played the original Pokémon games, too. Once Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition came out and could be played in (some semblance of) color, I decided I’d get on the train.

Pokémon Yellow Box Art
Capitalising on children’s dreams everywhere.

Unfortunately, it was a short ride. There were just too many console games that enamored me more, and other games that were less grindy and technical on GBC that distracted me from my few hours in Pallet Town. I didn’t stop watching the animé, but then I graduated, got a “real world” job and couldn’t watch it anymore either. I did get advance tickets to the first movie, much to my friends’ chagrin, and we all went and saw that and were relatively entertained, but that was the beginning of the end of my love affair with the franchise. I almost got back into it via Pokémon Ranger since that seemed a little more my speed, but I was worried about destroying my DS screen with frantic stylus circling.

I still follow what goes on with the franchise, reading the breathless emails of my Pokémaniac friends at Nintendojo, and I read most of the previews and reviews for all the games, but as yet I’ve never gotten another Pokémon game, except for the sublimely awesome Pokémon Snap on Nintendo 64 (and again on Wii, of course!) and Pokémon Pinball on GBC. I also still love to play as Pikachu and Jigglypuff (not so much Mewtwo) in Smash Bros. games, and I’ve definitely lost some time just poring over all the little monster sprites and designs on Pokémon rumor sites and Bulbapedia. Otherwise, I stay respectfully ten feet away. HeartGold and SoulSilver almost got me– so close– and Black and White seemed a little interesting… but I’m going with my gut that I won’t put much time into it. I’m not sure if the new sequels will be appropriate since I never played their predecessors. Maybe the first, true 3DS Pokémon will do the trick, but who am I kidding? It’s been over 15 years. Keep trying, Pikachu.

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3 Responses to “Round Table: Living in a Pokémon World”

  • 177 points
    AceIcarus says...

    Me i started with the first and second gen games but technical limitations kept me from doing much outside completeing the game. then came the 4th gen. with wifi i was able to enjoy the whole pokemon experince and platnum gave me great new trading options. with 5th gen the pokemon game was the best of all but i was unable to get into the greater pokemon comunity hopefuly i can find a group with black and white 2

  • 102 points
    Hawthorn says...

    I find myself in an odd position on the series – on one hand, I love all generations across all platforms, I’m neutral, though my favorite is, by far, Sapphire/Ruby/Emerald.

    Diamond and Pearl represent a crossing-over, round, boring generation. Yes, it looks better, yes, it is advanced, yes, I am neutral, but Diamond and Pearl have more new Pokemon that evolve from previous Pokemon and one-part-of-a-line Pokemon then any actual new evolution lines.

    Red, Blue, and Yellow – the American releases of Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow – leave me in a conundrum, due to conditioning by modern technology.

    The Pokemon system back then was simpler with less Pokemon. At the same time, somehow, due to lack of color and lack of size of screen, performing – using the system is infinitely harder and more complex. It is easy in Black to use the system, yet I find it difficult to use it in Red.

    It’s a consequence of modern times.

    As a mostly-neutral Pokemon fan (I do recognize the existance of Generation III/IV/V, yet am also a fan of I/II) I look forward to the next generation of Pokemon.

    Though, as a final note, I began using the Pokemon series with Gold. It introduced me to Pokemon. Before Pokemon, I wasn’t in to video games at all. Now, I wonder how I made it by without them for nearly five/seven/eight years. Pokemon Gold will always have a soft spot in my heart – I still have the original cartridge of it, though the save file is not the one from all those years ago.

    • 102 points
      Hawthorn says...

      Basically, I can’t side with any fan – some only say there’s 251, while others say they hate Red and Gold.

      I’ve always recognized each generation by what I call “the main game” of the “dominating color.”

      In Generation I, Red is the ‘main game.’

      In Generation II, Gold is the ‘main game.’

      In Generation III, Sapphire and Emerald are the ‘main game/s.’ I didn’t like FireRed and LeafGreen.

      In Generation IV, Diamond/HeartGold is the ‘main game.’ I still don’t like it, though.

      In Generation V, Black/Black 2 are the ‘main games.’

      Despite my personal preferences, it is impossible to deny every Pokemon game is fun.

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