Truth be told, I haven’t played much Pokémon in quite some time. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to come out of the woodwork to participate in this Pokémon retrospective week.
Like both typoattck and Jorfimus Prime, I grew up with this series. I remember way back to Generation 1, when my older brother had Blue Version while I had Red Version. I couldn’t tell you which version had which exclusive Pokémon, but I can tell you this. I had loads of fun.
I remember sailing up and down Cinnabar Island to get myself unlimited Rare Candies to buff up my Pokémon’s levels. One distinct memory I have is of leveling up an Eevee to Lvl. 100 then evolving it to Vaporeon. Now what? I’ve got a Vaporeon with Quick Attack, Growl, and a handful of other such moves. Turns out Eevee bucked the trend of leveling all the way up before evolving your Pokémon with stones. Whoops!
In any case, those games saw a lot of use. In fact, my brother managed to fill up the Pokédex on his Blue Version. 151 Pokémon, Mew and all. Of course, this predates the Mew glitch and we definitely didn’t get it from a proper Nintendo event, so perhaps this doesn’t count. But I was proud of the file! And it wasn’t even mine.
Later on, we got more games in the series. We got Yellow, but what I remember the most fondly is Gen II. Again, we got both versions. My older brother got Gold, I got Silver. No Pokédex completion here, just good old exploring Johto then Kanto. To this day Gen II is my favorite; I loved being able to explore Kanto after finishing up in Johto, even if it was half-completed (I guess that’s what happens when you try to shove an extra game inside a cartridge that has a full game inside already). I mourned the day that I booted up Silver and my save file was dead and gone.
Of the newer games, my favorite definitely played on this nostalgia. Naturally, I’m referring to HeartGold/SoulSilver. It cleaned up the rough spots in the original set of games while keeping the original charm, I feel, and made for an overall more complete gaming experience.
I feel like I’ve sort of dropped off the Pokémon wagon since then. Or at least I’ve been hopping on and off the wagon over the years. It’s quite the adventure. I played Ruby for Gen III and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I haven’t been able to quite place why. The one thing I can say for certain is that I hated the font (still do). But the Gen I remakes brought me back. Diamond for Gen IV brought me back too but then I fell off due to apathy. Then Black and White came out. But I was off again by the time Black 2/White 2 came out. Same thing with X/Y. I got on and bought myself Y, but I left Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.
Reflecting on it now, it seems like something about Pokémon keeps calling back to me. It was a part of my childhood. And not just the games, but the anime too. That theme from the first season kept me sane during at least one college all-nighter. How does that song keep you sane? Try testing out the karaoke machine a friend built with that song and see how you feel.
But I digress. Pokémon may now have more little Pocket Monsters than I can count, but it’s still the same old series I grew up with with my older brother. And I will treasure that forever.
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[EDITOR’S NOTE]: Welcome back, emptynight! Here’s to hoping you stick around a little longer this time!