The top pretty much sums up my approach of Pokémon battling. It's a game. Have fun with it by getting better. I’m not someone who would build a team specifically for one event. I’m someone who puts a team together and improves it over and over again. I’ve been with Pokémon since the beginning, and don’t intend on stopping in this lifetime or the next. Since Generation I, my general strategy with Pokémon battling has been Weakness Exploitation, and that hasn’t changed too much over the decade I have been playing. It works for me, and as long as it does, I’ll continue to do it.
Since the Pokémon anime has remained basically the same over the years, excluding video improvements as well as voice actor changes, I have fallen off watching it as much as I did.
On a side note, I feel that I should mention that I hate it when people use the word "Pokemon" instead of "Pokémon".
Eleven years ago, a mysterious VHS tape appeared in my mailbox. There was a bright yellow sticker on the front which said, “Pokémon - Gotta Catch ‘em All!” At first, I didn’t know what to make of it. After all, I was only eight. But it didn't take long for me to realize that Pokémon involved video games and cartoons - the two biggest things that I was interested in at the time. The following Christmas, I got my version of Pokémon Blue and a Game Boy Color.
The game was unlike anything I had seen before, mainly because it was portable and REAL early in my video gaming career. Unfortunately, my continued exploitation of the Cinnabar Island Glitch has made my Blue Version unplayable right now.
I was so into Pokémon at the time that I even started playing the Trading Card Game for a while, but the need to buy new cards made me fall off it quickly.
Super Smash Bros. was amazing. I wasn't into fighting games before I played this. I got it from my friend when he was selling his Nintendo 64 games to buy a PlayStation 2. The fighting was so fast paced that it became addictive very quickly, but it became repetitive and a little claustrophobic with the limited characters and the small stages.
I was overjoyed to learn that Pokémon was going to expand beyond the 151 originals. Me and my brother got different versions of the Generation II games a few weeks after they were released. Unfortunately, this is probably where my Pokémon hype was at it's weakest.
Silver Version looked, felt and sounded almost exactly like it's predecessor. It felt like the exact same game, despite Pokémon being given given the ability to hold items, and the introduction of gender.
Melee was a bit of a disappointment for me. It really felt like it was just a polished version of the first game. I personally feel that Nintendo and HAL Laboratory made a mistake releasing this game alongside the GameCube, since it only had the Nintendo 64 games to build on. The battles got monotonous and even boring after a while.
Hopefully, SoulSilver will do better than Silver did...
I was bittersweet for me when I heard that Pokémon was entering it’s third generation, since I had to get a Game Boy Advance to play it. This generation marked the first time I started to develop a “bond” with my Pokémon, pretty much since that it was also the first time I started playing favorites. My hype was at it's peak when I attended the 10th Anniversary Journey Across America in Cincinnati, Ohio. Unfortunately, I failed to register online for battling prior to the event, but I still got a Typhlosion and a Celebi, and I saw some great battles.
Sapphire was good, mainly because it felt like a much newer game than Silver Version. The graphics were completely redone for the Game Boy Advance, and the introduction of double battling changed my battling tactics entirely. It was also a landmark game for me since it was the game where my Pokémon contracted Pokérus.
It was great to revisit Kanto in FireRed, and the addition of the Sevii Islands and the Vs. Seeker allowed for the fun to last a little longer. But it looked so much like Blue Version, it got boring after a short while, since it felt too much like the same game.
I got a Nintendo DS Lite in 2006, waiting for Generation IV. To kill time with it, I got Blue Rescue Team, since the divergence from the typical Pokémon fare intrigued me, but I was disappointed with the weak storyline. While the end was a bit sad, the whole reason of your existence as a Pokémon just felt foolish.
With the advent of online battling finally coming to light, my Pokémon hype in Generation IV was higher than ever. This Generation had an outrageous amount of advancements compared to it's predecessors. I was so hyped up in this Generation, that I have started to train multiple teams, which was something I had thought of doing in Generation III, but never got around to doing.
Between Diamond, Battle Revolution, Explorers of Time, and Brawl, it goes without a doubt that Generation IV was the best generation of Pokémon for me.
- The first thing I noticed with my Diamond Version was probably what everyone else noticed, simple 3D graphics. It was a minor improvement, but made the world feel a lot less claustrophobic. I didn't own Crystal or Emerald Version so animated pictures of Pokémon was pretty new to me. Team Galactic was the first evil organization that really sold the idea that they were an evil organization and finding out that Cynthia was the Champion was a real jaw-dropping swerve to me.
- I sort of had an epiphany after my first online battle. My opponent asked me that we fight with no "Über" Pokémon. This was a bit of a problem for me, since two of my Pokémon were "Über". But, I followed that rule and lost obviously. Ever since that battle, I realized that "Über" Pokémon were merely a shortcut to power. That's pretty much how I became a non-legendary trainer.
- It was basically the same game as Diamond, but Platinum's inclusion of the Distortion World, Battle Frontier, and the enhanced online capabilities easily made it superior. I liked the enhanced storyline with Team Galactic, the new looks of the characters and cities, the Wi-Fi Plaza, and not to mention the epic battle intros of the Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and Frontier Brains.
Pokémon Battle Revolution
- Battle Revolution was a blessing for me. Despite several gaming sites giving this game a very low rating (Which is precisely why I don't listen to them anymore), Battle Revolution's additions to the console-battling engine of Pokémon nearly fixed all the issues I had with it's predecessors. While the exclusion of free roaming and minigames was a major disappointment, if the long overdue feature of creating your own trainer didn't make up for it, the challenge the Masters Battle presented did. This game has challenged my Pokémon skill and knowledge in the way all it's predecessors have failed miserably to.
- If you somehow haven't noticed, my custom sprite is based off my trainer in Pokémon Battle Revolution. (I'm terrible compared to some other people.)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon 2
- Explorers of Time was great. It was much better done than it's predecessor, mainly because of more open free-roam areas, better character development, and an infinitely better storyline. I managed to get the same starter and partner that I had in the first game. While the ending of the main storyline ends in a similar fashion to it's predecessor, it actually gave me my first excuse to cry at a video game. (Not that I did, of course...)
- Explorers of the Sky is coming soon, and I admit the main reason I want it is to have Riolu as a starter and Shinx as a partner.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl was beautiful. There were so many additions and features in this game that it was amazing that it actually fit on only one disk. There was the Subspace Emissary, the stage builder, online capability, Masterpieces, screenshots, battle replays, and not to mention the inclusion of Lucario, my favorite Generation IV Pokémon.
As of now, I have heard nothing about Pokémon continuing into it's fifth generation. I've heard rumors that It will be stopping. I have heard rumors that it will be continuing. But that is all they are. Rumors. I would be thrilled to learn that Pokémon will be continuing beyond it's already impressive history, but if it is to stop only at it's fourth generation, that would just be okay.
Disappointing, but okay.