Remember when Pokemon was fun?
Im sitting here listening to my Chill Vibes playlist I threw together on Spotify when this gem, Route 30 by Mikel, pops into my ears. It started me on a rollercoaster of nostalgia as my cart slowly cranked itself to the top. Along the way I saw the different pokemon adventures that had come out as I was growing from a child into adulthood and at the peak an amazing world of pokemon laid below, LETS GO!
As I descended down into the valley of my pokemon past vivid memories from my childhood flew by. My 1st version I got for a christmas which was blue! Which also prompted my parents to start the “we choose which gifts you open first” tradition going forward. Because I opened pokemon before I opened my gameboy ha ha ha.
From starting with Charmander, to the countless struggles, hurtles, and challenges that would come with being a Pokemon Trainer, especially if you start out as a fire type. I saw images of excitement each time a new pokemon came across my screen. The rush to get another gameboy “for my sister” and fire version so that I could secretly just play them both and complete my pokedex!
I thought back to the many many many times I was excited to pick a starter pokemon and just take off on another exciting pokemon adventure. It got me thinking about how I’ve changed as a player over the years into who I am today. I used to be serious about completing the pokedex (I did complete gen 1, 2, 3, and 4s.) I was serious about not trading “hacked pokemon”, was never much of a shiny hunter though. I learned how to max out IV and EV, how to do pokemon egg moves. I was a serious trainer! Not that I ever tried to compete in pokemon events. Those didn’t exist when the games first came out and when they did it was in major cities only. Not really something a trainer from northern MN could do much about.
Even just a few years ago I was clamoring for more from the pokemon formula. I wanted more challenge or more of a mix up from the standard journey I’d taken 8 times now. Which typing this up now and realizing where my thoughts were then I still love Pokemon. But the pokemon games are the introduction into the pokemon universe. They’re always there to welcome and bring about the same sense of wonder and fun through exploration and the unknown. I wasn’t a kid anymore getting distracted by the colors and lights, and the attraction of adventure to pokemon had suddenly pokemon lost to me because of my own expectations on what the games should be offering vs what the games have always offered. A welcoming stage for new trainers into the exciting world of pokemon.
And it got me reflecting on where I am today. How when it comes to pokemon training I’ve grown tired of the battles and fights to “be the best”. Now I just want to complete my pokedex and study or take care of pokemon. It’d be nice if we could get some kind of stardew valley x pokemon mix one day.
So while I’ll likely never get a pokemon game where we get to be a researcher, explorer, breeder, student, etc. Its fun to watch the excitement of the newer trainers as they step into the pokemon world. I’ll still pick up the games and play them, but my days of being a battle trainer are long gone. I’ll continue to fill my pokedex and cheer on other trainers as they make their way through. But hopefully some day Nintendo/Gamefreak can recognize their original fanbase is now in its 30s/40s and some of us are looking for something different.
Anyways, my point of this trip was to talk about what used to be fun, where my fun evolved, where it is today, and where I hope it could go one day. Pokemon is awesome, and I’m still a fan today. If you’ve grown with pokemon and felt you’ve out grown it or feel a different way about it, I hope this article was useful or fun. I had a lot of fun writing it, which, at the end of my day is what matters most.
I had fun being lost in thought as I pretended to be sitting at a research station with my charizard, totodile, and haunter all sleepily existing in the background.
Professor Chuck signing off