Why I’m Addicted to the Pokémon Games Again

After playing Pokémon from Red Version clear through Crystal, I started to get distraught at how the games seemed to be getting harder and harder.  After learning a few quick tips on how to effectively play the game though, I found that it wasn’t the games that were making playing difficult, it was how I was playing them.

When I was ten years old, I was introduced to Pokémon Red version by a friend on my school bus.  This was about two years after the game had launched, and I knew nothing about Pokémon at the time.  Playing the Red version kicked off an obsession with the games that knew no bounds: I had the cards, did the battles, bought the console games (like Snap, Hey You, Pikachu, and Pokémon Stadium), and watched the show as often as I could find it on.


My first experience with Pokémon, as it was for many others, was a great one.

Then once the advance games came out and I got older, I started using a technique that I had heard about from someone that recommended leveling an entire six man team simultaneously by using the switch out method (putting the lowest level Pokémon in the first slot and switching to the most effective one for each fight as it wore on, guaranteeing that the low level gets combat time for experience).

I found that it was fun to do it this way, and it made me feel like I was being a proper trainer using the super effective moves.  The only issue involved the fact that it made training take forever.

For that reason, I had a very hard time with Diamond and SoulSilver, and resolved to not buy the newer Pokémon games since they were most likely just going to be that much more difficult.


I thought that Pokémon Black and White 2 were just going to be one more churned out content pack. I was pleasantly surprised.

Recently though, a friend gave me his copy of Pokémon White 2 and recommended that I focus on leveling the starter only, then picking up a second and third as they became necessary for the team, triple, and rotation battles.  This was a god-sent technique that put me 10 levels ahead of every trainer I’ve encountered.

My team currently consists of level 80 Zoroark (evolved from N’s Zorua), level 72 Emboar (from the starter), and level 71 Cobalion (my first legendary that I caught  using the first Master Ball you get).  I’m also 40 hours into the game and have not lost a fight (though I came close when I challenged Cynthia with only the crew listed above).  Having the Dark type Zoroark helped immensely with the Elite Four considering the Ghost and Psychic types that two of them use.

Having the winning combination makes playing the game fun for me.  The technique of focusing leveling seemed immature and felt like loading all the eggs in one basket, so to speak.  However, after seeing it in action, I feel stupid for not having stuck with what worked when I was younger.

All that said, the game is addictive again because of the same factors that made it fun before: advancing a Pokémon so effectively that you can level everything in your path makes you feel special.  Not to mention, the trainers are sure to tell you how great you are after you annihilate them all.


Pokémon X and Y seem like a refreshing step forward for the traditionally top down RPG we’ve been subjected to for more than 15 years.

If I can get the money together and make it work, I can see Pokémon X and Y being a system seller for me.  Though I’d much rather think that a Wii or Wii U version would be a better fit for the older fans of the game (which I understand has never really been their target audience, as my family has so blatantly let me know over the last couple days).

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