This week, I bring you a short article written on a personal level. This has nothing to do with the fact MLG has been in progress all weekend and I’ve been drunk for the first time in a year. Honest. Shut up.
Over the past year or so, I’ve rediscovered the amazing games series that is Pokémon. Just before last Christmas myself and a friend decided to get an emulator up and play some Pokémon Red. We fired the game up, grabbed a Charmander and called him ‘Renwick’, ’cause we’re underground like that.
Since that fateful day I’ve been playing through all of the old Pokémon games. As much as I’ve wanted to power through them, I’m under strict orders from the girlfriend not to play when she’s not here to watch. So how does a franchise that’s about collecting creatures and training them up hook me in at the age of twelve and again at twenty-four? Let’s see if we can work it out.
For starters, you actually become emotionally invested in your pokémon. It’s an awful feeling when they faint or get poisoned. You feel genuine anger and frustration when wild Geodude’s self-destruct, why would they attack you just to self-destruct? Having pokémon and training them up from their basic evolutions into strong and powerful warriors is a very satisfying feeling.
The stories and characters are, on the whole, simplistic. Most trainers are cocky but you can earn their respect by defeating them in battle. The game should feel tedious and repetitive and yet it’s still compelling. The only reason this is so much fun has to be the levelling system, the feeling of progression makes it exciting to find new areas and grab more experience.
So far I’ve played the first three generations and will be moving on once I’ve rounded off Crystal. I am a twenty-four year old teacher who gets excited about capturing and training bizarre creatures, don’t judge me. If you’ve never played Pokémon before, give it a try, you might be surprised.