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I dug through the crates a bit and found an entry from my first attempt at blogging, back on a video game site some years ago. Looking back at it, I still wasn’t entirely comfortable with how I wanted to present my voice to my audience. Here it is in its original form. (Also, for the record, I did end up getting Pokemon Black. And I still love using parentheses).

I remember when I was 8 years old and I was about to leave California for Italy.  It was gonna be a long trip, to say the least.  About a week before the move, I got a package in the mail from my grandparents.  It contained a yellow Game Boy Color with Pokemon (not putting in the accent over the e) Yellow (matching!).  It was my first handheld game system and my first handheld game.  I’d heard about Pokemon before, but this was pretty much my first exposure to the game.  I’d seen the anime before and I was happy to see that the game was much better.  Despite not looking as cool as the games on my PlayStation, I quickly got wrapped up in its little world, eventually also getting Blue and Red version and playing the hell out of those.  I even started collecting Pokemon cards.  Speaking of which…I should get around to selling those.

As everyone knows, the slogan was (and probably still is) “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”  Catching 151 of them, when some were version-specific, seemed like a tough task, but, given that nobody in my new neighborhood spoke English, I kinda didn’t have much else to do.  With the help of Pokemon Stadium, my only N64 game (the local store only sold 3 different games), I was able to combine my collection pretty quickly.

After nabbing all of them, I felt a pretty big sense of accomplishment.  It was quite a bit of work.
But then…..

They announced the next generation.  With 100 more Pokemon.  And more colors.  Gold and Silver.

At this point, I’m like “shit…250?”  I ended up getting Gold, Silver, and Crystal, but my desire to catch them all was minimal at best.  I figured I’d just catch “most” of them since, ya know, already having 151 was already pretty ridiculous.

Forget 100% completion.  And it’s not like I was about to catch all of these assholes.

After finishing the second generation games, I kinda stayed off Pokemon for a while.  It didn’t interest me as much.  As I started playing games like Final Fantasy, Pokemon suddenly seemed so small and primitive.  “They can only learn four attacks!”  “There’s no story,”  “The graphics blow,” etc.

Little did I know, I’d end up coming back again.  It was time for another crazy long cross-continental flight (about 18 hours of travel or something like that).  I had long since gotten bored of my GBC games.  I figured I’d get a Game Boy Advance.  The local store was still tiny and my options were down to:

1.  Some absurd game about Barbies.

2.  Pokemon Ruby.

Groudon actually looked like he could kick some ass.  So I picked it up.  And sure enough, I got into Pokemon again like it was 1999 or something.

Naturally, I picked up my fire starter and blew right through the game.  And I thought I was done with Pokemon.  I really did.  I figured that was it.  I completely skipped over FireRed and LeafGreen.

About a year ago, there came a time when there wasn’t much coming out on the PSP.  And somehow, I actually had money lying around.  I picked up a DS and…of the games available, there were some ridiculous Miley Cyrus games (or something like that), and…Pokemon Platinum.  I ended up buying that (along with Knights in the Nightmare, which is really fun), as my first DS games.  Since then, I’ve beaten Platinum and SoulSilver (for the nostalgia).  I think that now that I know about IVs and EVs and crap like that, I’m seeing a level of depth I didn’t see before and it makes it more playable for somebody my age.  Yeaaah, that’s my excuse.

Naturally, by this point, I’ve gone from catchin’ ’em all to catching 2 that can fight (and a handful of “HM slaves,” as they call them) for the main story before building a good fighting team at the end.  I usually end up with maybe 30-40-ish.

I’m probably done with this series (at least for a while).  The new game that was announced doesn’t seem too exciting so far.

Other notes:

– When I started watching the show again after I first got the game, I pretty much took the Pokemon strengths on the game to be the real deal and the show to be BS in a way.  When I saw Pikachu downing these huge, far more powerful Pokemon, I was convinced that Ash’s Pikachu was super hax (before I knew what hax meant).  Combine that with the fact that Ash was annoying, and I kinda rooted against him at times.

– Just how tiny are those kids on the show, anyway?  Apparently, Charizard is like 5’7″.  That’s not much taller than my mom, yet he towers over the characters like some sort of massive dragon.

click to zoom

– Why isn’t there a cool reward for catching them all?  Like a super rare, powerful item or something?  I remember on Red, all you get is this dude saying “Cool, you caught ’em,” or something like that and he gives you a certificate.  WTF?

– Isn’t it great how the parents let these 10-year-olds fight around the world with magical monsters and they don’t even bat an eye?  That’d be quite some childhood.

-Also, HMs should be eliminated.  Forever.

-Only once did I bother to nickname my Pokemon (when me and some friends decided to replay the oldest Pokemon games we had – first as a joke, then it ended up turning into a super nostalgia-fest).