Pokemon, pocket monsters. An anime series that brought a playing card game and gave Nintendo one of its biggest properties. I was a late joiner to the Pokemon fan base, as a child it was Yugioh or Pokemon so I didn’t find much interest in the Pokemon series.
My first Pokemon game was Platinum which is an extra game in the Diamond and Pearl release (generation 4). I had awareness of Pikachu because it’s such an iconic creature but everything in Platinum was completely new to me at the time. The region of Sinnoh had a fantastic map layout. My first starter was the Grass type Turtwig, I remember panicking when it first evolved because I didn’t understand what was happening and I thought I’d broken the game. I remember the game being pretty hard, it had separate experience gain, a random egg that needed to hatch and the Elite Four with their champion being a real challenge.
I did try my friend’s copies of Diamond and Pearl but I think Platinum was the superior version of the game. I tried all three starters in the end and remember a weird disagreement with my friend about how we’d both called our Chimchar Carl. The Sinnoh starters are definitely my favourites.
I had Heart Gold which is probably the overall best Pokemon game in my opinion (at least from the ones I tried). It boasted two regions (Johto and Kanto), battles against Red and Blue, a good number of legendary Pokemon and had higher level enemies so more reason to level up. Heart Gold even came with a pedometer that acted a little like a Tamagotchi where you could mess with your Pokemon, gaining extra experience for them. I think I had the Grass type Pokemon with this one as well. Eventually I tried them all with Cyndaquil probably being my favourite in the end.
Because the Nintendo DS Lite that I had allowed you to insert Game Boy games into the bottom of it I bought a copy of Ruby. Exploring Hoenn was a bit different, it felt familiar enough to the other games and I think I only beat it once. It didn’t have as much to it as I would have liked and the Groudon was disappointing. Obviously Grass starter again but Mudkip ended up being my favourite from this bunch.
Explorers of Time and Explorers of Sky were the Mystery Dungeon games that I owned. I don’t think I ever completed either of them but as a child playing as a Pokemon was a nice idea. I don’t remember much about them though.
There was also a Pokemon Ranger game that worked well on the DS. Using the stylus to draw circles around Pokemon was a bit of a gimmick but better use of the technology than any of the other games I had. I don’t think I beat it but I like the idea and would like to see the idea revived for Switch in some way.
Over time I started going off Pokemon, I tried buying the cards and Black or White and one of the sequels but I ended up giving a lot of what I had to one of my cousins. When the new and upgraded 3DS came out and games were made exclusively for it I just didn’t bother, I couldn’t justify the expense for one game a year because Pokemon was one of the only things I played (the others being Yugioh). I missed a few Pokemon generations, remakes and new regions.
I’ve now got my Switch Lite (the handheld only version) and I bought Sword and the Mystery Dungeon game. Sword felt dragged out while also too easy and I just can’t get into the Mystery Dungeon as much as I want to. I recently bought the Diamond remake and have imposed upon myself a set of rules that make it more challenging, Sword just didn’t feel fun enough because of certain aspects.
I’m aware of other spin-off games but none of them really interest me much. Arceus could be a step forward for the main series though, I’d get that if it was cheaper.
I’ve written other things on this site about Pokemon, below are some links:
If I get further with my Pokemon games then I could expand on this in future.
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