My history with Pokemon dates all the way back to 1999 when I got Yellow Version for my birthday. I got into the series however when I got Sapphire Version in 2003 and since then the series is of interest to me. My sister got Ruby Version and we oftentimes traded cartridges until late 2004, when it was finalized that Ruby was mine and Sapphire was hers (which I was more than OK with, since Ruby had better Pokemon imo and the ruby is my birthstone).
Generation IV's new mechanics (the separation of physical and special moves by what kind of move they were rather than their type for example) were necessary landmark changes. However, I dislike the lack of creativity for some of the names, namely Infernape and Monferno; I also thought that some of the designs were lacking (Croagunk, Toxicroak, the Lake guardians to provide some examples). In the game department, the cry of Dialga was a very large disappointment. The sprites were a small improvement in comparison to the previous generation (bar sprites for Kanto region Pokemon + Teddiursa in FireRed & LeafGreen), and the 3D-scale game Battle Revolution was very successful, though it wouldn't have been too hard for them to redesign all of the graphics for the Pokemon (Nidoking looked like it did in the Pokemon Stadium games, for example).
I'm from Texas, but I used to say I was "from California" because I thought that "sounded cool."
I have the Yellow, Silver, Ruby, LeafGreen, Emerald, Diamond, Platinum, SoulSilver, Black, Black 2, Omega Ruby, and X versions, as well as Stadium 2, Gale of Darkness, Colosseum, and Battle Revolution. I used the Pokemon Trainer in Brawl until I got tired of his impractical gimmick (3 characters in 1, which greatly hinders skill development). Behind Mario and Kirby, Pokemon is the franchise I'm third most familiar with.
I bought Blue on the 3DS virtual console in March 2016. I'm currently training my team of Blastoise, Fearow, Machamp, Alakazam, Jolteon, and Nidoking in Victory Road so I don't have to rely on "game over" experience by repeatedly battling (and losing to) the Elite 4. I caught two of the Legendary Birds (Articuno and Moltres), and I plan to catch the third and transfer them all to Pokemon Sun. I also played through Sapphire Version, which had belonged to my sister previously.
Teams (under construction)
These are my "on-hand" teams for each game. Many aren't actually "on-hand", but they are the Pokemon that were on my team when I beat the Elite 4 and Champion.
- Blue Version - Filburt, Jackson, Goro, Dr. Fate, Jolteon, Murakami
- Silver Version - Kludge♂, Lana♀, Sheepman♂, Woody♂, Cyril♂, Fei Long♂
- Ruby Version - Foghorn♂, Whispy♂, Boomboxer♂, Irene (Castle)♀, Fang♂, Everest
- LeafGreen Version - Sumo Bro.♂, Jackson♂, Rick♂ (now a Steelix), Salvo♂, Fievel♂, MIMIEN♂
- Sapphire Version - Bill♂, Craig♂, Hector♂, C-19, Ariel♀, Alpha 5
- Former team members - Wave♀ (dropped for Salamence), Cairn♂ (dropped for Aggron and Claydol), Starro (dropped partly for Gorebyss and Claydol), Raphael♂ (dropped in part for Aggron and Salamence)
I watched the TV show actively from 1999 to early 2004, right before the theme song was changed to This Dream. After that, I infrequently watched the episodes as they would come on on Cartoon Network. The primary reasons I dislike the anime as it is (as it became in the late 00's) are the lack in effort for the voice acting (James sounds like a nasally congested Barney the Dinosaur, the voices of the Pokemon all sound the same and the voice actor portraying them does a very lousy job), removal of trademark themes and tunes, and poor opening songs. One thing that is a step up are the graphics, but that's it.
In general, having taken off my nostalgia goggles, the anime really wasn't anything spectacular. The conclusion of most episodes was always some variant of Pikachu being stolen by Team Rocket and Ash using one of his other Pokemon to pop their hot air balloon. Additionally, the physics weren't accurate to the games, with Ash having defeated several ground-type Pokemon with his Pikachu's electric attacks. This wasn't fixed until the D/P arc. It was also annoying that Ash never evolved many of his Pokemon, but that didn't matter, since any of Ash's under-leveled Pokemon could take on fully-evolved Pokemon owned by expert trainers thanks to plot armor.