Being born in the 90’s I grew up alongside Pokémon, and it became a fundamental part of my childhood. I absolutely loved Pokémon Yellow, and I took my Game Boy Colour everywhere with me. I remember being limited to only one hour a day on my console, and greatly looked forward to Christmas as it was the only day of the year where I could play for as long as I wanted. As I got older I stopped playing the original games so much, and naturally moved onto each new generation as it was released.
However, while I followed Pokémon through each new release, many friends along the way simply gave up with it and stopped playing altogether. I have never fully understood why; it gave me so much enjoyment as a child, and it continued to do so throughout adolescence and the beginning of adulthood. So why stop something you enjoy so much?
1) A Game For Everyone
One of the most common arguments I’ve heard for people giving up with Pokémon is that it’s a “kid’s game”, and they are no longer kids.
Now, I’m not going to dispute that; the games are mostly aimed at younger children. But so what? Maybe I’m just immature, but I still enjoy playing hide and seek and doing cartwheels around a field with my best friend.
Not because I’m a child, but because I don’t want to stop doing thing I enjoy just because they’re “for kids”.
2) Too Many New Pokémon?
What are we up to now? 700 and something? Gone are the days when I could name every single Pokémon in ten minutes. Now I’m constantly finding new ones I’ve never heard of, and having to research before I attack because it’s almost impossible to tell which types they are. But surely this just adds to the fun of it?
I’m not saying you should dive straight in to Pokémon X and Y and learn the moveset of every Pokémon you encounter; why not just move up through the generations slowly, and learn along the way? There’s no reason to give up on a game you once loved just because you don’t want to keep up with the ever-progressing work of Nintendo.
3) Too Many Ridiculous New Pokémon?
Ah. Now we’re getting somewhere! I have to agree here; there are a lot of newer Pokémon that just seem completely Farfetch’d (….get it?!). I mean, an ice cream cone that evolves into a bigger ice cream cone? That’s not particularly imaginative. Or a bag of rubbish whose species is literally “trash bag”? Come on now!
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I completely get this. There are so many ridiculous Pokémon now. A candle that evolves into a chandelier?? …..Actually I think that one is quite clever. But nonetheless, it’s still no reason to give up. Not all of the first generation Pokémon were based on animals; what about Magnemite, basically just a floating magnet? We just have to accept the fact that while the first generation of Pokémon are much more creative, ideas eventually run dry.
4) It Will Always Be A Challenge
Unlike many other childhood games, Pokémon doesn’t become that much easier as you grow up. It isn’t a game that relies on a young and immature mind to be enjoyable.
Granted, playing as an adult gives you the advantage of being able to think ahead and play to a proper strategy, whereas I remember as a kid I just wanted to catch certain Pokémon because they looked cool. If anything this means you can appreciate the game more as an adult, because you can enjoy the entire storyline whereas kids can have fun by simply running around and catching Pokémon at random.
The storyline of Pokémon is something that hasn’t weakened, and the later games are even better as there are lots of external parts to the main story. As an adult you have a better chance of actually completing the game, which I know I never did as a kid.
5) You Don’t Need A Console
Did you throw away your old Nintendo consoles when you moved out of your home? Did you misplace them amidst the packing to go to university? Did you just simply lose them or throw them away because you “outgrew” them?
If the reason you no longer play any of the new or old Pokémon games is because you don’t have the correct consoles, nor want to spend the money on them, then no matter. You can download emulators onto your laptop for free (just make sure it’s from a trusted site!) and play old games to your heart’s desire. As long as you download the correct roms for the games, you can practically relive your childhood.
When I first found out about emulators the nostalgia hit so hard I started bringing in my laptop to school so I could immerse myself in Pokémon Yellow during lunch break. Even if you loathe to pick up new games, it’s well worth playing the old ones again just for that wonderful nostalgic feeling.
6) But If You Do Have A Console…
One word: portability! You can’t exactly carry around an Xbox or a Playstation with you everywhere you go, but you CAN carry around a DS/3DS.
Every major Pokémon game has been on a portable Nintendo system, which begs the question; why stop playing? You can play pretty much anywhere you want, and it’s the sort of game that you could sit and play for hours on end or just play for occasional 20 minute stints on the move.
Also, did anybody else hear the good news from Nintendo Direct? The original Red, Blue, and Yellow Pokémon games will be available to buy from the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS! Surely this completely annihilates any reason anybody has to not be playing Pokémon right now!
7) Audio-Visual Improvements
Remember the cute 8-bit graphics in Pokémon Red and Blue? Well now, not only are the graphics a hundred times better, but you can actually watch your Pokémon battle in 3D! Talk about a visual improvement on the originals.
Not only that, but the audio has also greatly improved, yet the remakes still generally use the same music as in their previous games. Personally I am a fan of this, as I find the music to be one of the most memorable things about the games, and all I have to do is listen to the original Pokémon Centre music to take me right back to my childhood years.
Okay, so you don’t want to bother with all the new Pokémon in the last few games because, let’s face it, there’s a hell of a lot. But what about the remakes? I bought a Nintendo 3DS solely for the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and it did not disappoint.
It’s like…imagine your favourite book as a child. Now imagine that book becoming interactive, with more descriptions and more pictures. It’s a bit like that. It’s not the best metaphor, but you see the point I’m trying to make!
We’ll always have a soft spot for the originals, but surely that gives us more of a reason to play the remakes, and rediscover our love for the game whilst still keeping up to date?
The main point I’m trying to make here is that if you enjoyed something once, why not enjoy it again? You don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money on buying the games and their corresponding consoles, but what about just spending a couple of hours on the originals, for old times’ sake? It’s also worth checking out the newer games, as they all offer something different and have their own adaptations from the previous games that make them unique. I admit that nothing beats the originals, but you won’t know that yourself unless you give the newer games a try. Who knows, maybe you’ll rediscover that old Pokémon passion and become a fan again! Either way, you will not regret it.