Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 26, 2014

Email: A Pokemon Game, Some Day

Another malcontent talked about how pokemon does a lot of things right. I thought I’d give you a progression of the series. Pokemon consistently adds quality of life features with every generation, which makes the older games more and more unplayable. However, I feel the coolness factor has gone down from the older games, as the stories become more and more “anime” or “japanese”

Pokemon Red and Blue are the first games in the series. The battle screen could be a little clogged, you couldn’t hold many items, and it was pretty buggy.

You fought Team Rocket, a mafia-like organization. They had a secret base under a casino, and orchestrated a raid on a business in the biggest city of the game, to steal advanced technology.

Cool areas you explore include the Lavender Tower, a pokemon cemetary where you fight ghosts and possessed psychics, the old, abandoned power plant where you can capture the legendary bird Zapdos, and the cerulean cave, a gauntlet of the toughest pokemon in the game, where you can fight Mewtwo, the result of “horrific gene slicing experiments”.

Gold and Silver came shortly after. It was for the Gameboy Color, and looked much better. Lets look at pictures of a the battle screen from both games.

The Johto region you play in was less urbanized than Kanto. Ecruteak village has old japanese style buildings. The biggest city, Goldenrod, has far less tall buildings than Saffron from the previous generation.

The game featured an internal clock, and it became night time at the right time. Some pokemon only appeared at night. There were also some special events that could only occur on certain days.

You once again fight team rocket. Their leader, Giovanni, left 3 years ago (after you beat him in the previous games), and the rocket executives are trying to call him back. They poach pokemon for their valued parts, broadcast a radio signal that drives pokemon mad, and take over a radio tower to try to call for Giovanni. Lance, the strongest member of the Elite Four, helps you on a mission on team rocket, and makes his strongest pokemon use its most powerful attack on a store clerk to interrogate him.

The areas weren’t as cool, and the game seemed easier. You fight the Elite Four in the same location as the last game, returning to Kanto. In Pokemon Red and Blue, the strongest enemy trainer had a level 65 pokemon, but in silver, the champion was only level 50. It might have seemed somewhat underwhelming, until after you get past the credits.

The game essentially had a Second Quest.

When you continue your game, you can return to the Kanto region from the previous games! The landmass you could travel doubled. Three years and had passed, the Region had changed. The Gym Leaders (basically the bosses) were all stronger. One of the cites had burned down after the local volcano, and the Gym leader instead operated out of a dingy cave. The old powerplant was renovated and reused.

After you beat all the new gym leaders, you could fight the main character from the previous games, who featured a level 81 pokemon. (however, it was pikachu, which was weak, and the stronger pokemon were around level 76).

Some people thought the Kanto region was kinda barebones. It was, but only because the cartridge had no more space.

After this game came out, the previous generation was all but obsolete.

Starting with the new generation, Ruby and Sapphire, the rot began. It was still probably my favorite generation.

Ruby and Sapphire again brought about lots of quality of life improvements. Your backpack was given pockets which sorted different kinds of items, and had more space. The graphics got a big boost (of course). You could have dual battles were you and your enemy used 2 pokemon at once. You could dive deep underwater. You could customize your secret base in caves and up trees. If you connected your game with a friend, you could fight their team in their secret base. You could choose between two types of bikes, instead of just one from the previous games. Rather than the ~50 new pokemon from the previous generation, there were around 130 new ones this generation.

Instead of Team Rocket, You fought either team Aqua or team Magma, depending on your version. They were environmental activists, instead of mafia.

Team Aqua wanted to Fill A Volcano With Water, and later raise the sea level.

Team Magma wanted to make that volcano erupt, and increase the world’s land mass.

They steal a deep diver submarine to try and control ancient pokemon, coinciding with their team’s theme.

Cool areas in the game included a shipwreck, a misty cemetery island, and

I distinctly remember being disappointed at the end of the game. I was certain you would be able to return to the previous two generations. Starting with this generation, GameFreak started metering out content. In the previous two generations, they crammed as much as they possibly could into the cartridges, there were even some weird glitches due to the tricks they used to make it all fit (http://pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Missingno)

Now, rest of the generations dont need to be outlined as thoroughly, and this email is already getting long enough. Ill just paraphrase the most important stuff.

Gen IV, Diamond and Pearl
Enemy Team: Galactic. They want to take over the world.
Cool Areas: A Mine, full of workers in hardhats; the underground, a network of caves used for minigames, the haunted chateau, which has the ghost of a little girl in it.
New Features: touch screen controls a watch that gives you a bunch of useful apps. Can use wifi for global trading and battling.
Overall: How did you describe Master of Orion 2? A bloated yet worthy sequel? This wasn’t as cool as the previous generations, but it still scratched an itch that no other series can scratch.

Gen V. Black and White
Enemy team: Team Plasma. Basically want to take over the world. The “anime” like story telling that started to emerge with Ruby And Sapphire really starts to take hold, as far too much emphasis is placed on the character N. ThHe main villain even had a team of ninjas, who only appeared to drag to an area because plot.

Cool Areas: For one thing, while the previous generations were based on parts of Japan (http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/thumb/a/a2/Pokemonworld.png/150px-Pokemonworld.png), Unova was based on New York (http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c33/Guan_/IsshuNewYorkComparedcircles.png).

You could explore some egyptianesque ruins, a ruined castle, and a swampy area with small pools of deep water, replacing seas in previous generations, which were large and devoid of features. There was also an electric cave.

New Features: TM’s, which teaches moves to pokemon, were no longer only usable once. Rather than featuring a mix of all generations’s pokemon, this game only featured the new ones until you beat the game, in an attempt to make the game more fresh. There were 156 new pokemon in total, the most ever revealed in a generation. HM’s, which basically forced you to teach a pokemon an oftentimes bad move to get past an obstacle, were minimized in use. You still had to teach a bunch of those moves, but you didn’t need to keep that move on a pokemon on your team for the whole game like before.

Overall: A very powerful generation. Its hard to decide if I liked this or 3 better. However some people didn’t like an emphasis on 3D, and the writing was getting more and more Japanese. For a region based on new york, the game really didn’t feel american.

Gen 6 X and Y
My 3DS was stolen before I could finish these games.
Enemy Team: Team Flare. They “want to make the world beautiful”. They try to take over the world with some sort of machine that harnesses the power of a legendary pokemon.

Cool areas: The region was based on france, mostly paris. I honestly can’t remember any cool areas, but then, I didn’t beat the game. While the New York region wasn’t very american, this region felt very french.

New Features: a new item makes training your whole team much more easy, making it very possible to over level. Secret stats (IV’s and EV’s) were easier to find out, and you could train them for each specific stat, allowing you maximize a pokemon’s potential power.

Anime story reaches CRITICAL mass. You have a lame group of little children that talk to you all the time. The story starts to become more and more of an obstacle to the game.

Overall: Hard to judge, since I didn’t complete it. A LOT easier than previous generations. Really bad story.
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If I were to suggest a game for you to try, I would suggest a ROM of Pokemon Emerald, the tertiary game to Ruby and Sapphire. This has the right balance of quality of life improvements, and not too much dumb story. If you plan on getting a 3DS, you could get the 3rd generation remakes, but those will be prone to having more stupid story injected in, which happened before with soul silver and heartgold.

However, since you’re oldschool, you could probably try gold and silver, or even the original games.

If the games are too easy (they probably will be), you can do a LOT of tricks like you described with FF1 and the strategy of beating the game with 4 white mages. Some of those could include:

-Deleting a pokemon if it is knocked out.
-Not buying any items/using any healing items.
-Only catch the first pokemon you find in every area, depriving yourself of the ability to seek out the strongest pokemon.
-Deleting your starter pokemon. The first pokemon you get in every game is very strong and will usually be taken with you until the end of the game. Deleting it as soon as you have another not only makes the beginning of the game hard but makes finding strong pokemon like gyarados or scrafty all the more important.
-Not healing at pokemon centers, relying only on items.

You guys love emailing me about Pokemon. If I do try Pokemon, I’ll start with Emerald I guess. (I can’t keep all the Pokemon games straight!)

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