Looking back, the Pokémon series has been an important part of my life, shaping many of my major hobbies. The Pokémon anime was one of my first animes, back before I really knew what anime was. The card game kindled my joy of building collections, against my wallet’s wishes of course. Most of all, the Pokémon games shaped me into the gamer I am today, specifically Pokémon Red.
I still vividly remember my first ever experience with Pokémon. My dad was driving me, my older brother and his friends to a concert. One of my brother’s friends had Pokémon with him and let me play for a little while. I was instantly hooked. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, because until then I had only played games like Mario, or Sonic. Fast paced action games that didn’t rely on story, so this really threw me off. I remember I bought a strategy guide for the game to study up on all the different Pokémon. I didn’t own the game yet, I didn’t even own the system, but I wanted to know everything I could about them.
When I finally did get the game, it was a collection of firsts for me. The Gameboy Color, in addition to being my first Gameboy, was also my first system that was completely mine. Not like the NES or the Genesis which were shared with my older brother. Pokémon Red was also the first game that was officially MY game. It was also my first RPG, the beginning of what is now my favorite genre. And of course, it was my first ever Pokémon. I chose Squirtle, a decision I’ve never regretted.
That Squirtle was my favorite ever and was in my party for the whole game. Eventually he evolved into a Blastoise, and with training made it to level 100, becoming strong enough to solo the entire Elite 4. For a while, he was basically my best friend, walking with me as I explored not just the Pokémon world, but also opening my eyes to the larger world of gaming.
I have since bought every major release in the Pokémon series, but the first games will always be my favorite. I’ve restarted and replayed Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow several times each. Every time I’ve let all my Pokémon become lost in the void by saving over my old game, all except for one Pokémon, my original Blastoise. No matter what happened, I’ve always traded him to a different cartridge if I wanted to play that game over.
I recently became very upset because I saw one of the many articles saying how the Pokémon internal batteries should all be dying soon and I’d lose my Blastoise forever. That was unacceptable to me, Blastoise is one of my oldest and best friends, and he can’t be gone. I had to do something to save him, and I did. It took me some time to figure out what to do, but I finally managed to save him. I bought a flash cart for the Gameboy. Loaded it up with Pokémon Yellow, traded my Blastoise over, then backed up the save file to the computer. Now my Blastoise is safe in the cloud. Even after the batteries die in the cartridge, my Blastoise will be with me forever, and I couldn’t be happier.
So, now that you’ve gone through this journey with me, let’s start up another. As I said before, I’ve purchased every one of the main series Pokémon games. What I haven’t done is play any of them since ruby and sapphire were originally released on the GBA. Other games just kept getting in the way and I never made time to play them. So that is basically my new year’s resolution this year, to play at least 1 game each from generations 4, 5, and 6. Since they’re DS / 3DS games, I don’t really have a way to get screen captures, so an article is kind of out of the question, plus my usually style I don’t think would do Pokémon justice anyway. Instead I’m planning to keep basically a Pokémon Journal, updating it maybe once a week with major events. I’ve never really kept a journal, so this will be fun.
If that sounds appealing, then I hope you’ll join me on my adventures, starting with Pokémon Diamond. If not, well, no one is forcing you. At least I hope no one is forcing you. You poor thing if someone is forcing you to read my articles. I’m so sorry.