Last week, the internet ‘lit’-up (see what I did there?) at the release of the first official trailer for Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon. The trailer showcased both the new setting: a very Hawaiian island, and, more importantly, the brand new starter Pokémon. So in light of all this Pocket Monsters hype, I’m taking the opportunity to talk about my on-and-off relationship with the classic Nintendo series.
Like most of my generation, I grew up with the release of very first Pokémon games. When Pokémon Blue was released in Europe I was but a wee five year old girl. I didn’t get my hands on that cartridge until at least two years after its release. I do remember watching the anime, collecting the trading cards and watching Pokémon: The First Movie, but I’m fairly certain this wasn’t during the height of the series obsession.
My experience with Pokémon Blue is, of course, absolutely drenched in nostalgia. My Game Boy was a glorious thing to behold; a hefty grey brick, with a green monochrome screen that you had to squint to see in the sun, and its eternal thirst for four AA batteries. I relied on that block of Japanese engineering for endless hours of portable entertainment (and my mother still swears she wouldn’t have survived the South of France without it). Of course, Pokémon Blue was the game I probably spent the most time playing; not only because it provided the most playtime, but also because it was just so very engaging.
It was my very first RPG experience; that feeling of euphoric excitement of being dropped into a great open world, one that offers so much opportunity for exploration and adventure, has remained with me ever since I pressed ‘Start’ all those years ago. It was so mysterious, so daunting, and yet exhilarating to have to make your own way through Kanto, to choose which Pokémon you wanted on your team and to determine how much they grew. I was never one of those people with ambitions to catch all 151 Pokémon; once I’d chosen my ultimate team, I was sticking to it.
Part of that team was made up of my beloved starter: Charmander. When it comes to first-generation Pokémon, I’ve always been firmly on the side of any fire Pokémon in general. I think it has something to do with the fact that they’re universally considered almost entirely useless by the competitive community. With any iteration of Pokémon, regardless of whether they’re considered the ‘best’, I always pick the fire type starter; perhaps out of a sense of loyalty more than anything else.
This leads into my ultimate Pokémon confession; I’m not very good at it. In fact, I’m what many would consider a casual Pokémon player; I’m never bothered by stats, I’ve never bred Pokémon to create perfectly engineered baby monsters, and I almost always get absolutely trashed when playing competitively. I catch Pokémon purely based on whether I think they look cool or whether they’re a fire type, hence why I evolve all my Eevees into a Flareons.
After Pokémon Blue, I somehow missed Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver, despite being what many consider the best iteration of the series, and went straight to Pokémon Sapphire (the soundtrack to that game is amazing, and Wingull…. I like saying Wingull… alot). But unfortunately, I never got to finish Pokémon Sapphire. I sucked at Pokémon as a child, and by the time I got round to it as an adult, my Game Boy Advance had tragically passed away. I may purchase and play Pokémon Alpha Sapphire at some point before the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.
I didn’t play another Pokémon game until the release of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y in 2013, mostly because I’d lost interest up until that point. But it was the exciting 3D world, awesome starter Pokémon, and sexy French professor that convinced me to give the series another look. I’m glad I did, because now I’m riding that sweet Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon hype train all the way to 23 November.
So get lit son.
Okay, I’ll stop.