I’ve got the Pokemon Blues

I just now realized, by which I mean I realized about a week ago when I started writing this, that Pokemon Black/White 2 is coming out soon. Thinking about that has caused me to catch the Pokemon bug (Weedle, I think) yet again. Luckily, I did not have to wait for my pre-order to arrive; I still had the post-game of White to play through. I powered through White right as it came out, enjoying the freshest Pokemon experience since I first played Red way back in the day, but the big level jump after the big fight with Ghetsis helped me put it down for other things. But an hour or two of exploring the newly opened areas helped me clear the level gap, and I was on to finishing the game up.

I’m a long time Pokemon fan. I picked up Pokemon Red soon after it came out, using money I got for my 13th birthday in October 1998. I hadn’t heard of Pokemon before, but seeing a commercial or something about it in Wal-Mart prompted an impulse purchase. The crazy around Pokemon was something amazing from my point of view. Since I played it beofer any of my friends, I felt like I had gotten in on the ground floor, that me showing the game to my buddies somehow helped the juggernaut. I played that game over and over. When a friend told me about the cartoon, I did something unprecedented: I got up before school to watch it. My interest faded about the time Silver/Gold came out, but I’ve still played all the games in the series and gotten at least a modicum of enjoyment out of them. White 2 is the first time I’ve ever actually double dipped on one generation. I skipped Yellow, I skipped all of the GBA generation at the time, I didn’t play Platinum. Framing the game as a sequel, though I don’t have any idea how sequel-y it really is, is just enough to get me to buy again. That and my Pokemon addiction relapse.

The post-game in White has actually turned out to be more fun than expected. Sure, I haven’t quite managed to beat the Elite 4 for the second time, but I have explored the rest of the White world and caught all the available legendaries. At first, I hated the huge level jump that occurs after the first run through the elite 4, and I still think that it could have been smoothed out somewhat, but now that I’ve caught up I appreciate the high level of competition available. I should be able to take down the Elite 4, and maybe beat Cynthia, before White 2 arrives in the mail. I hope so. I wish I could finally catch the legendaries in Pearl. I played that game for more than 300 hours, caught nearly every normally obtainable pokemon and played though Sapphire and Leaf Green to get the legendaries there. But for some reason, I never went through the effort of catch the Cresselia or any of the legendary Pokemon in that game. Unfortunately, sometime in the year or two since I last played it, it has disappeared. It’ll turn up, I’m sure.

I’ve also been watching the anime. I did get up early to watch it when it first started, but at that time I was already verging on too old for morning cartoons. I saw plenty of the first 60 or so episodes, but after that I stopped paying attention. I did go see the first movie as part of my younger brother’s birthday party. It isn’t particularly interesting, but it is fine as background noise as I read or level Pokemon or fight with Kid Icarus: Uprising. Maybe my opinion will change when I’m more than 15 episodes in.

I am actually excited for White 2. I plan on changing up my play style this time through. Usually I pick 6 monsters as fast as possible, forming a team that I stick with for the majority of the game. So my starter and the bird that is almost always available right away, then the first lightning and fire (or grass or water, depending) along with something like a fighting Pokemon. This time I am going to trade over this Keldeo I just picked up and use a legendary for the first time since Moltres. It should be interesting.

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