I've been playing Pokemon again, are any other dopers?

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?

I’ve been playing LeafGreen and Emerald. I actually loved Gold, Silver, and Crystal; I enjoyed all the little details, and have some pretty strong critters from repeated battles.

  1. If you use the “Move Pokemon” option, it’s still a bit, well, unfluid, but better than the deposit-withdraw-deposit way. A cousin who used to play Gold and Silver with me showed me this and I’ve been using it ever since. I agree with you about a better way of stat-checking though. Why don’t they put that in the Pokegear/Pokenav?

  2. I’d prefer that too, as right now I am running around like a nut collecting Heart Scales in case I want to relearn something.

  3. It seems to me that a lot of Pokemon are not usable to best advantage. Dual-typing is a pain in the rump, all right.

I lurk on a message board about various Pokemon games, and one thing that I noticed is that I generally use teams of non-recommended Pokemon. They get the job done for me pretty well, though.

Recommended/non-recommended Pokemon generally don’t matter unless you’re going to proper tournaments. You can use any ones you like and get through the game, really. It’s just when you go against other people who play it “seriously” that you’ll get horribly horribly beaten.

I kinda like that aspect, though. It’s fun for both people like me who just like the games, and there’s tricky stat-checking difficulty for people who like that kind of thing.

(I have one each of all the duo games plus Crystal, btw).

My friend has been known to take out a few legendaries with his Butterfree, a pokemon that I’m guessing is not recommended. I, on the other had, get trounced no matter who or what I fight.

My complaints about the most recent game (Crystal/Diamond) are:

  1. What happened to all the fire types? If you don’t pick the flaming monkey at the beginning, you’re stuck with nothing but a ponyta.

  2. Few areas to effectively level. If you’re trying to gear up for the elite four, the highest places you can train are in a cave or in the sea. Great if you’ve got a grass type, not-so-great otherwise.

  3. I thought I had another one, but nothing significant comes to mind. oops.
    Anyway, I basically just play to make interesting teams (all bugs, the deadly sins, wimpy underdogs, godzilla monsters, etc). All in all, I think the series is a fun diversion. Though I do remember it being a bit of a let-down, originally. Reading the previews in Nintendo Power, way back before Red/Blue came out, it sounded as if you could really guide the way they grew and evolved as you trained them, rather than the reality of preset skills and evolutions. Oh well. I have Spore to look forward to in that regard.

I always beat my cousins at link battles in the past, but now none of them play anymore.

I am interested in NetBattle but haven’t tried it yet. It would give me a chance to be horribly beaten by actual players instead of the game AI, though.

I recently picked up the new Pearl version and have been playing that for a while. I’ve been following the series ever since the red/blue days, and I’ve always felt partial to the original 150, so I get excited whenever I find one in the newer games.

That is, with the exception of a few. We’ve had 4 generations of pokemon games and areas to explore, does EVERY cave need to be inhabited by geodude and zubat? They go through the trouble of creating a new bug-cacoon-flying bug series in each game, couldn’t they give us a break from those two?

I was impressed with the variety of the elite four. Usually they focus on the more “exotic” types like dark, ghost, and dragon. But this time they had rather mundane types like bug, ground, and fire, and still managed to be really difficult.

I agree with the annoying lack of fire types. There are five million water and grass and poison and bug types, do fire types really have to be this exotic? Being stuck with Ponyta wouldn’t be so bad if it learned a fire move besides the super weak Ember.

But now that I’ve finished the main quest and my selection of pokemon to use has widened considerably, it’s become more fun to mix around and experiment with different ones.

I played Red way back when, then nothing until Diamond, which I’m intermittently toying with now.

It seems to me that they took a fairly clever, sensible system, and cluttered it mercilessly. The interface just isn’t up to presenting all the myriad scraps of information on the huge number of critters you’re theoretically supposed to collect. I’ve come to seriously dislike both the storage system and the Pokedex, and am basically grinding through the storyline with a mostly-fixed party so that I don’t have to fiddle with them. I’m certainly making no effort to “Catch 'em all”, which would only clutter things up worse.

As to the move system…I have only this to add:

VG Cats: Rare Candy

**Balance, **hahaha.

Pretty much the same story here-- played the heck out of Blue (caught all 151!) , picked up Gold but was lukewarm on it, and kind of lost track of the games and the show after that. But I just recently bought Pearl and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

Telperien, thanks for the suggestion about using the move system.

As for the comment about the fire types; I have to say, while I love the fire types, I’ve never really gotten much mileage out of them. They don’t seem to be effective against much that isn’t already covered by more utilitarian types. Aside from when I pick a fire-type starter, I generally don’t end up with one in my main team. But man I love Growlithe/Arcanine (you know, the tiger everyone in the pokeworld thinks is a type of dog?)

And yeah, I like when the elite four have exotic types, or at least when they use pokemon who don’t get much attention otherwise, so as to catch the player off-guard so they don’t immediately know how to take it down.

I used to play link battles with my friends a lot, but all of those guys have moved away. I guess I ought to check out Diamond for the net-link, but I’m really having a ball playing through the remakes of the original games.

Hm… that’s about all I can think of right now, but I might be back later with more.

PS. If you liked the VG Cats strip Balance linked to, check out this guest strip on the same site.