I went into the new Pokemon game blind. Didn’t go to any trouble to learn anything about it. So when I started it up I wasn’t sure what to expect apart from the basic stuff that the series never strays from. Having played it for a while now I think I would call it an alternate universe retelling of the original. That’s not totally accurate, but it echoes past games in the same way that the Silmarilion echoes in The Lord Of The Rings. I recognize that reference is going to be lost on a lot of you. Just trust me on this, it’s totally clever and applicable.
I had a lot of trouble in the beginning of the game. Not knowing what anything was I was never sure that pokemon to favor. I didn’t start getting the hang of things till about 4 gyms in. Eventually, however, I was able to get a handle on things and find some creatures I liked. Now my team makes a little more logical sense that just “I THINK THIS POKEMON IS CUTE I WILL BATTLE WITH IT!”
The encounter rate is crazy high. Higher than Final Fantasy 4. If you step into grass you will be set upon by creatures. Hundreds of creatures. Early on I couldn’t catch pokemon for crap. I’m not sure if that’s a game mechanic or I just sucked, but it took quite some time for me to get a handfull of monsters to do my bidding. It probably didn’t help that I was Hell bent on catching the event legendary from the Wi Fi connection.
They finally fixed a bunch of the most annoying crap about pokemon in this version. You can get rid of and recover moves without too much hassle. Including HM moves. Also, training machines last forever. So you are free to mix and match to your heart’s content. Getting enough coin to afford one in a store is a trick, but at least you keep it forever when you do. Honestly, this stuff should have been fixed after the first generation, but at least it’s fixed now.
Apart from that stuff it’s pretty much business as usual. Which is fine by me. Pokemon is a wonderfully adaptable franchise. With any luck I’ll be able to share it with my offspring someday. It doesn’t look like I’m ever going to get tired of it.
In unrelated news, my birthday is Sunday. I welcome you all to shower me with praise and gifts for surviving another year.