I got into the original versions (Red & Blue) way back before the anime took off in the US, and really enjoyed the mechanics. I also found the anime to be hilarious, up until around the time they replaced Brock with Tracy (gearing up for the Gold and Silver release). I know they brought Brock back, but I tried watching it again later on and couldn’t get back into it. I hated Gold and Silver (the emphasis on playing at certain times of day, and days of the week, the pokemon’s happiness, etc., the lack of any kind of story or innovation in the “campaign” all put me off), though, and fell out of interest in the franchise for some time.
A while back I found out that the Gameboy Advance generation of Ruby, Saphire, Emerald ditched many of the things I disliked about G&S. While I stayed away, the draw of remakes of the original games sucked me back in (Fire Red & Leaf Green).
One of the things I always like about the series is that the game is as deep as you want it to be. If you’re just a kid who wants to train cute ones like Pikachu, and Eevee, and get the 8 badges, it’s pretty easy to do. If you want to play around with the type system, and combat strategy, there’s a fair bit of depth there. And then there’s the people who breed pokemon to get all the types on their pokedex and worry about having a beneficial nature for each of theirs.
Take it once step further and you have people who spent hours researching and planning to take things like Effort Values and the Pokerus into account when developing their “ultimate team.” Stories like Mike Krahulik’s experience attending a Pokemon tournament (scroll down to the post by Gabe titled “Pokemon”) or the letter he recieved and posted from a young kid in response (scroll further down the former page and read Gabe’s post titled “Awesome”) give a fascinating incite into this dynamic at work.
Having editorialised on the franchise, I’d like to open this up for discussion of the series, to see if any other dopers are playing/have played the series, and what your thoughts about it are.
Some quck thoughts of mine:
1.) Can we please get a more humane PC Storage system, Nintendo/Gamefreaks? I’m sick of this “enter the deposit system, deposit my pokemon, exit the deposit system, enter the withdrawal system, withdrawal the pokemon I want, exit the withdrawal system, etc” BS! Please give us a system that allows more fluid and dynamic swapping in and out of pokemon. For that matter, how about setting it up so we can look at our stored pokemon’s stats, if not out on the road, at least without having to deposit part of the party just to be able to enter the withdrawal system?
2.) What if instead of learning/forgetting moves, Pokemon “practiced” moves? Instead of having one chance to make a decision about a move, and having to catch a fresh one if you screwed up, we make it so every time a pokemon gains a level the trainer has the option of changing which four moves (of any that the pokemon has learned, or passed by while leveling up) he has available. Since this is primarily a series for kids, a more forgiving game mechanic seems like a no-brainer to me.
3.) Is it just me, or do the original 150 pokemon (particularly compared to later generations) kind of get screwed by the typing system? Many of the best pokemon (in terms of what type moves they learn by leveling up) have the dilemma of being dual-types that make them vulnerable to the very kinds of pokemon their moves are effective against (the old “Ghosts are strong against psychic types, but the only ghost pokemon are also poison-type, and thus weak to psychic” dilemma). Many of the pure-type or more optimal type combo pokemon learn few effective moves in their own type (Scyther, anyone?). What’s the deal with that?
What about you guys?