Why I’m not a fan of catching them all.
A lot of you may know that I am a huge Nintendo fan. A lot of you may also know that I, unlike most Nintendo fans, have a big problem with 3D The Legend of Zelda games for some reason. There’s just something about they way they are designed that both frustrates and bore me. They simply don’t excite me that much.
But there is also another Nintendo franchise that I have a big problem with, a franchise so big it sold over 4 million copies last weekend. Yup, it’s Pokémon. I have a problem with Pokémon. And it makes me sad.
It’s hard not being a Pokémon fan. In high school, all of my friends grew up with Pokémon. They would argue over which Pokémon was better, which episodes of the anime were their favorites, how to EV train more efficiently, et cetera. I, on the other hand, didn’t grow up with a Game Boy. I had a GBA with approximately five games, none of which were Pokémon.
No, my first experience with Pokémon was Pokémon Diamond Version on the DS. At first, I was addicted. I couldn’t stop playing. It was so much fun catching little Pokémon and naming them after my friends, then throwing them into battle and returning triumphant. It was all good and fun, that is until six hours later when I felt like I was just doing the same thing over and over again. Then I stopped playing. I labelled it as a waste of time.
My next experience with Pokémon was White. This was several years later when my original opinion of Pokémon had subsided. I decided to give the franchise another chance, and so I played some White… until I got bored of it two hours later. With the exception of the story (which, admittedly, is quite excellent) and some changes in the graphics, everything else was exactly the same: you catch Pokémon, battle trainers, beat the gym leader, catch more Pokémon, battle more trainers, beat another gym leader, etc. Sure, the Pokémon were different, but that was to me just an aesthetic difference. After White, I told myself I would never buy a Pokémon game ever again.
Then X and Y came along. The trailers I saw looked amazing. I was excited for Pokémon all over again… until I remembered, of course, that I probably wouldn’t enjoy it. Yes, X and Y looked great, but I knew on the inside they were all the same: catch them, train them, battle them, repeat. And so I never did purchase X or Y.
I mean, I can understand the appeal of Pokémon. Collecting monsters can be addicting, and trading and battling them with friends and strangers can definitely be fun. And even though I may never understand them, I can appreciate the deeper, more advanced strategies Pokémon offers, like EV training for example. Learning new things like that can be exciting. But eventually, that excitement dies down. I can only do so much collecting and battling before I get bored.
It’s hard not being a Pokémon fan. I’m in college now, and all my hallmates have Pokémon. I have a Computer Games & Society course I’m currently taking, and everyone is talking about Pokémon. I look at my Facebook news feed, and I see Pokémon everywhere. Yet I, being arguably one of the biggest Nintendo fans out there, don’t have nor want Pokémon X or Y. Yup, I have a problem with Pokémon. And it makes me sad.
Am I alone? Shall I forever be a social outcast? Surely it cannot be so! Discuss in the comments below!