I left off saying that I picked up ‘Pokemon Black/White’ 6 months late and while this is true; it was technically MrsLuvva who picked me up the game. She still judges me on my predilection for the pocket monsters and still buys me each and every release day one; although in recent years she has held off giving me them until Christmas, gotta love that support of a habit!
To be honest while I still love the mainline games in the franchise and have owned every iteration of them since Heart Gold, most of my recent fond memories come from beyond the franchise. Namely the conversations, battles and trades with fellow Pokemaniacs!
My nephew and I are in almost constant dialogue whenever there is a new game announced. Just last week we were chatting about the possibilities of ‘Sun/Moon’ and also the mythic giveaways that are ongoing. Although we battle rarely now, he is always willing to grab me a giveaway code (he lives closer to GAME than I do) or chat about the games with me. He is a proper Nintendo fan and; although he’d probably not admit it, Pokemon is his favourite franchise.
I’ve watched him grow up around these games, I’ve witnessed his excitement whenever he caught a Pokemon he really liked or wanted and we’ve talked for hours and hours about builds, IVs, temperaments etc. To this day he is still the only person I’ve witnessed breeding Pokemon. If I remember correctly he may have went to a Pokemon convention a few years ago.
I’ve also spent hours talking to @RedHotPhilli (admittedly not in a long time) and @hydr0holic about Pokemon (a person I’ve never met in person but spent a hell of a lot of time with playing, watching and talking video games). Hell I’ve even battled with Twitch streamers; winning some and losing some, as well as with random online opponents – I’m sure some have been young and some older.
And this is the great thing about the franchise; it transcends generations, adults and children can enjoy these games. These games are classic “easy to play, difficult to master” and can be enjoyed on a number of different levels:
- For the single players you have engaging story-lines and sub-stories and an absorbing trade system for those who want to catch ’em all.
- And for the multiplayers there is a rich and detailed battle system. At face value battles are determined by type in a rock, paper, scissor fashion; underneath this though are levels of hidden stats that play a much larger role in Pokemon effectiveness. The genius however is someone with no knowledge of these levels can still hold their own in battle situations with good choices and move sets. It successfully keeps the playing field even with literally thousands of variables.
On top of what said in part 1; it really does tap into our innate desire to collect and socialise. In my eyes there is not better franchise in video games that incorporates these psychological elements better! This alone is the reason it has been immensely popular for twenty years and why it will be successful in twenty years time.
On top of the obvious excitement for a new generation of Pokemon this year and replaying Blue. I have pretty recently found the joys of the ‘Pokemon Trading Card Game Online’ and I have been learning the ropes with that. I know that it will be a staple in my playing habits for some time.
Looking further ahead than that I am immensely excited for ‘Pokemon Go’ for a number of reasons. The first is – I’m a Pokemon fan. The second is that I’m a father. If ‘Go’ is done right it will be an incredible activity for me to do with Li’l Luvva; I live in area that has almost every environment in the games. We have lush green areas, mountains, sandy beaches, rocky beaches, sea and caves all within a five-minute drive of our house. We could potentially catch ’em all without ever leaving our post code!
On top of the ease of catching Pokemon imagine the excitement of a young child literally going out into the world and hoping to catch his favourite Pokemon. Hell I’m excited for this! All I can imagine is me and him sneaking up on an unsuspecting Charmander, weakening it and allowing him to catch it and seeing that look on his face – the look we’ve all had when we finally secure that elusive Pokemon. Children have such a rich imagination and ‘Go’ can make the dreams of Pokemon we’ve all had come to life for our children. What a time to be alive! It has the potential to be a very special game!
I’ve loved every second I’ve spent in the universe of Pokemon and I am so excited about the possibility of sharing more of them with my family, here’s to another 20 years – and here’s to catching ’em all!
What’s your favourite Pokemon memory? Who’s your favourite Pokemon? Are you excited for Go?
Answer these and ask more questions of your own in the comment section!
I’m also down to battle/trade with any of you, if you want to just leave your friend code in the comments!