My video game play preferences tend to be subject to a certain amount of… hrmm… variability.
If I am into a game at a given point in time, I play it a lot and don’t want to put it down. If I am not into a game… well, no amount of telling myself I should play can get me to log in.
No doubt, if you follow the blog closely (I’m sorry), you will have noted my changing whims and passions when it comes to video games. I think that is pretty normal, when it comes down to it. I might be a bit more binge-y than some, but things change and interests wane. Sometimes a game is done and sometimes you are done with a game.
But what do you do when you have finished the game but still want to play?
Such is my issue with Pokemon at the moment.
For me, Pokemon is one of my most binge-y games. I am either really into it and play every day, or I am not into it and can’t bring myself to take my 3DS off the charger.
Right now I am really into having quite enjoyed Pokemon Sun. Unfortunately, I have pretty much done everything I wanted to in the game. I finished the story, defeated the elite four, became champion, captured all of the island Tapu Pokemon, captured the ultra beasts in the end game story, and completed the Alola pokedex.
But I still want to play, so I have pottered around a bit, upgraded Poke Pelago all the way, gotten the Festival Plaza up to level 76, and considered filling out the National Pokedex again.
However, the National Pokedex situation is… sub-optimal. In a way, I like that it is in Pokemon Bank, so it can take data from any of the 3DS Pokemon games. But in order to check where you stand, you have to log out of Pokemon Sun… and that takes a bit as the game taxes the old 3DS some… then open up Pokemon Bank, updated the Pokemon stats, and get the listing of what you have seen/captured so far, then save and close that out and launch Pokemon Sun again, at which point if I haven’t written down my next few goal Pokemon they will have fallen out of my short term memory already. The joys of being old.
So the only key thing left to do is build up a team to battle other players… some might say that is the whole point of the game… but that is one aspect of Pokemon I am not really into. When I get to that I lose interest and never get anywhere.
But I still want to play Pokemon.
No problem, I have a lot of older Pokemon games. In fact I think, between my daughter and I, we own all but one of the DS/3DS series of Pokemon games. Neither of us has Pokemon Yellow, but other than that we are covered.
If I wanted to use this play time to work on the National Pokedex I would have to limit myself to the 3DS titles or Pokemon Black & White / Black & White Version 2, since those are the only ones that can place Pokemon direction into Pokemon Bank. Still, we have all of those titles.
Then there was the other issue, in that almost all of those games are “done,” at least for specific definitions of the word. I am bad at going back to old games that are in progress and picking them back up again. And, while you can erase and restart Pokemon games, I am also loathe to wipe out past efforts.
So I decided I would pick up a new copy of a title I had not played myself from the Nintendo eShop. That left me with four choices, Pokemon Moon, Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Omega Ruby, and Pokemon X. I have played through companion titles for all of those games, which were Pokemon Sun, Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, and Pokemon Y. The variations of Black & White were out because you they are only available at retail at this point used or at inflated prices.
As much as I enjoyed Pokemon Sun, Pokemon Moon was too similar and I had just wrung about all the content I wanted out of the pair, having played my daughter’s copy for a bit to finish up the Alola Pokedex.
Playing Pokemon Blue was an interesting archeological exercise, a delve into the history of the series, but not something I was keep to repeat, even if Pokemon Yellow has color.
Pokemon Y was enjoyable enough, but the Kalos region didn’t thrill me and this first attempt at 3D in Pokemon was awkward at times as the camera seemed determined to keep you from looking in the direction you needed at times.
All of which left me looking at Pokemon Omega Ruby. Not a bad choice. The game has been out for a while and is available at the Nintendo eShop.
It also has a extensive end-game involving the capture of legendary Pokemon to keep me going.
Finally, while I finished up Alpha Sapphire, I only just got there. It was the at the end of my binge cycle, so picking it up again… and I tried for a bit… has left me stumbling around. Better to start fresh again. Also, there is a bit of the Civilization aspect to this, where starting off is often one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game… once you get past the tutorial telling you things you know already.
So I downloaded it and started off. Since I had already fulfilled the house rules obligation to not start with the same Pokemon as my daughter, I felt free to pick the fire type starter Pokemon, Torchic.
How he is described:
As cute as Torchic looks, this Pokémon can shoot fireballs of more than 1,800 degrees F out of its mouth and scorch its foes as black as cinders.
It is a pity that he evolves into rather less attractive forms. (See the starter Pokemon for the game here.) But such is the way with Pokemon, the starters are always cute but lose that aspect as they evolve.
I kicked off the new game last night and, being in binge mode, am already two gyms in. I did consider running the game as a Nuzlocke challenge, but decided against it. I just wanted to dive in and collect them all, as the motto goes. I might try Nuzlocke another time.
I have gotten used to some of the great features that Game Freak put into Pokemon Sun & Moon… I do miss just being able to drag and drop in the storage box for example, and having to burden Pokemon with HMs for travel and such will be annoying… but Pokemon Omega Ruby has some good aspects of its own, like letting you know when you’ve caught all the Pokemon in a given area. We shall see how long my current passion/binge can sustain me.