A Bittersweet Outlook on Growing up with Pokémon

We’re only three months away from the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and, for Pokémon enthusiasts everywhere, that means three grueling months away from unnecessary amounts of compressed trumpet noises and vast oceans. For a large portion of Pokémon fans, including myself, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were among our first Pokémon experiences. Personally speaking, these games were the catalyst that led to my eventual crippling addiction to nostalgia. And while I’d like to think that I’d feel the same magic and wonderment while playing the upcoming installations as I did playing the originals, it’s just not possible.

After a decade of learning the nuances and strategies of Pokémon, the game itself has taken on a different form. What was originally a whimsical expedition into the unknown world of Pokémon has now transformed into a strategic process devoid of any uncertainty.

Rewind back to March of 2003–I was eight years old and about to have my life changed by the world of Pokémon. My only knowledge of Pokémon thus far was that my holographic cards made me undeniably cooler than everyone else, and that I knew I was ready to disembark on my first Pokémon adventure. This was an adventure that made me think more than I was used to. What starter should I choose? What’s the difference between attack and special attack? Why is my hair that ridiculous color? Why did I spend an hour in the Poké Center spinning berries? And most importantly, why would there be a town made of logs in the middle of the ocean when there two clearly habitable land masses both north and south of said town?

pacifidlog town

Like… Why?

It’s been eleven years and things have changed. I know too much. I know the starters and their stats before I even choose them, I know the team I want to end up with, and I know now that hair was actually a hat all along (mind blown). The entire dynamic of the game has changed for me, yet that doesn’t necessarily make it a worse experience. In a way, I wish I could relive my original Pokémon experience that was riddled with ignorance and wonderment, but realizing that I’ve traded those aspects with knowledge and strategy puts my mind at ease.

Share this post:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponDigg this

About The Author

Feature Writer

Eli Hile is a feature writer at Always Nintendo. He likes spreading his opinions and knowledge on all things Nintendo, and is currently a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Aside from logging countless hours into Pokemon and Super Smash Bros, Eli enjoys playing tennis or golf with friends.