I’m surprised I haven’t written about Pokemon, or Pokemon Go.
While SOCOM was the video game genesis for me in many ways I’d be lying if I said Pokemon didn’t play a role in profoundly shaping my imagination.
I didn’t have a Gameboy when I was a kid. My first gaming system didn’t come until about junior high, if I remember correctly, and it was a first generation Playstation.
But what I did have were Pokemon trading cards. Sure, I watched the television show here and there on the occasional Saturday morning. But the cards grabbed my interested and imagination in a totally different way.
The cards were almost living things, symbols of these creatures that varied by typing, power, style and- perhaps the most intriguing- rarity.
Hunting, collecting and trading Pokemon cards was like searching for buried treasure. I didn’t know how many of these monsters there were and I was constantly trying to find newer, cooler, more powerful ones.
Some were even holographic. Those were the coolest.
Funny thing is, I didn’t get in to the Pokemon video games until college. My buddies and I used something called an emulator to play old Nintendo games on our computers, and at the top of most everyone’s list was the original Pokemon games.
It was awesome.
But after college Pokemon retreated to the recesses of my mind. I never really thought about it again for quite awhile. And then one day, whilst mindlessly browsing through the world of Facebook, I noticed a friend of mine shared something very cool. It was a gallery of art depicting “realistic” Pokemon.
After some 30 or 40 images I realized how in to it I still was, how appealing the idea of training up your own monster-companion and taking on the world still seemed.
I immediately whipped out the old emulator on my computer and started playing.
Shortly later my friend who shared the gallery texted me, saying he had some old Gameboy’s in his garage and suggest me and another buddy replay the original games and battle each other. You could battle by connecting your Gameboys via a cord.
That’s what started it all. We played and beat Fire Red and Leaf Green, then Ruby and Sapphire, and worked our way up over the next couple years, buying the next hand-held Nintendo consoles and beating/battling the games.
I had mostly slowed down after about 100 hours racked up on Pokemon X (and getting fairly good at battling) when Pokemon Go was released.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
I was entering a point in my life where I just didn’t have the same amount of time to play such a consuming game like Pokemon X. Pokemon Go was nice because it required way less time and could be easily throughout the day, in between appointments and errands.
After about 5 or 6 months, here’s a look at my team:
In case you were wondering, I’m level 27 and those are my strongest Pokemon.
For someone who has so much experience with generations of Pokemon games Pokemon Go in many ways is a let down. The battling is laughably simplistic and uninteresting compared to the Gameboy games and it’s a huge bummer that you can’t trade Pokemon with your friends, at least as of this writing.
The game makes up for all these shortcomings with sheer novelty.
It’s so cool to catch Pokemon out and about via roaming parks and malls, and to take over coveted gym locations.
While it has its downsides I like that there are three “teams”- Red, Blue and Yellow- to make it feel like you’re fighting for a side (sort of).
I won’t go into all my frustrations with the game or hopes for it in this post. But I do want to say I am thankful for it and really do enjoy playing.
Hopefully when you read this much of the games issues have been addressed and we’re catching legendaries and trading with each other.
Until next time, catch em’ all!
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