As I pulled back the curtain into my gaming historia in my last ‘Pokemon’ post (go here to catch part 1) I hope I made it obvious that the franchise means a lot to me. As I quickly approach my 33rd birthday I still play the franchise on a nearly daily basis, however I have something to admit to you guys; I haven’t played every mainline game in the series…
…man it feels good to get that off my chest – but there is more……around 2003 I fell out of love with gaming and to be honest I completely stopped buying consoles and games!
I think the last game I bought between 2003 and 2006 was the GBA game ‘Ecks Vs Sever’. Thankfully this hiatus came to an abrupt end when I saw the Xbox 360; specifically the trailer to ‘Gears of War’ – it may not be the best game ever, but it was the one that made me a gamer again!
Of course this means that I completely missed the remakes of Red/Green, the entirety of Gen III with Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and even Gen IV with Diamond/Pearl. This tragic story of lose gets worse though guys…
…my malaise with gaming was so bad that I was completely unaware of the existence of the Gen III games. Honestly! I don’t even think I knew that Diamond and Pearl existed, if I did I really don’t remember it. What changed though?My nephew (who ironically was born in ’99, the year Red/Blue released in Europe) had just discovered the joys of catching ’em all! He came up to stay with us for a weekend (around 2009) and I noticed he was playing his DS a hell of a lot. Being a gamer myself – I asked what he was playing and he replied “Pokemon Platinum”.
This was one hell of a blast from the past! I hadn’t seen anyone play a Pokemon title in years – in fact I wasn’t aware that it was still a thing, I guess I put it down to just another fad; like Pogs or the Yoyo! We talked about how much I loved Pokemon and after asking for a go, I was once again bitten by the bug, the desire to catch ’em all.
As luck would have it I had just upgraded my 360’s memory to the larger 120gb HDD just before it began overheating and had to be replaced with the Elite console. This series of events meant that I was in possession of a 120gb 360 HDD that was not needed – which, if you remember were hugely expensive and sought after peripherals.I brought it to CEX and bought an awesome looking red 3ds and ‘Pokemon Heart Gold’ with the store credit (£140 for those who are interested) – I was also able to pick up the strategy guide for it too! #bargainalert
Needless to say I became absolutely addicted again, the game had changed so much from Gold/Silver on the GBC – it had become much more complex (and it was already that)! Pretty much everything about ‘Heart Gold’ was brilliant, the Pokewalker in particular! It was and still is one of my favourite additions to the series. Being able to level up a Pokemon while I worked was a brilliant idea and I have no idea why Nintendo dropped it so quickly.
The online trading though was really convoluted and my router was not compatible with the security settings on the DS (I still have no idea what this meant). That means that battles were ad-hoc only and happened incredibly rarely; I think I battled my nephew once in the year I played the game.
He won.Battles and trades though were much more frequent between MrJohnSherry and I. He had purchased Soul Silver at the same time as I bought Gold – we played together for quite a long time (Sherry has a famously short attention span) and we blasted through the story mode in tandem.
This is my favourite entry in the franchise; it is a large, compulsive and challenging game with the best lineup of monsters the series has ever seen. I still play Heart Gold and have lost hundreds of hours to its charms (probably about 500 hours over countless gameplays).
Since 2009 I have been a proper Pokemaniac again! I anticipate and get excited by every new entry like a child on Christmas Eve! Funny story though, I played Heart Gold so much for so long that I actually missed the release of ‘Black/White’ I picked that up about 6 months late and had to play catch up…
…but we’ll talk about that next time. Sorry this has went from a one-off post to a series of three, that’s what happens when you’ve been playing a franchise for now on 20 years!
If you have any Pokemon related confessions to get off your chest, or just any old gaming confessions why not put them in the comment section. I’m an Irishman, I won’t judge you!
Happy St Patrick’s Day everybody!