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  • #9365
    kevlar22
    Participant

    I really enjoy writing about my special interests through blogs and decided to create a forum topic that is dedicated to blogging. I believe that the efforts to articulate our feelings and thoughts on our special interest and life experiences will help start conversations and break the ice. Feel free to write about anything.

    #9366
    kevlar22
    Participant

    Why I Like Pokemon Red

    I am not sure what really got me into Pokemon. I think it was probably my amazement of Ash’s sacrifice for his friend Pikachu in the anime’s first episode from a DVD my mom’s college friends gave to me as a present. My interest in the franchise further grew after watching an outdoor screening of the first Pokemon movie. I had so much interest in traversing that world that my mom bought me a Gameboy Advance and a copy of Pokemon Red. As a kid, the only Pokemon I would battle with was my Charmander and I would evolve it into a Charizard after getting only 3 gym badges (I didn’t know how to get to Lavender Town). Now as an adult, my team would consist of Charizard, Nidoqueen, Raichu, Vaporeon, Fearow, and Vileplume (I choose Pokemon with the sprite art I like best while trying to avoid having two Pokemon with the same type). I like being the silent protagonist with no one judging my intelligence based on my inadequacy of speech. I saw catching Pokemon from the wild and leveling them up to evolve them into their higher stage forms that can’t be caught in the wild as a reflection of my desires to set myself apart from everyone else which can only be done by leaving my comfort zone. I enjoyed how the gym leaders are big hidden personalities waiting to be discovered even though they don’t have much dialogue. I saw Pokemon Red as a charming rag to riches story; a promise that if I believe hard enough that the world would accept my silence not as a threat but as something normal to everyday life, I can create this reality and go around the world and truly live life to the fullest. Choosing a starter is choosing a best friend who would stick by your side throughout your adventure in life because it can see the best in you that the random encounters can’t see. The wild battles with random encounters reflect my everyday struggles of going out into the real world and meeting people who would constantly judge me for being different. I can react to the random encounters by battling them and making them faint or I can make them a part of my team by capturing them which taught me that an enemy of yesterday can be a friend today. I was so obsessed with Pokemon as a kid, that by the time I reached 3rd grade my parents considered my obsession to be an addiction (my mom rejected the idea that I have aspergers and so was unable to understand the traits that the people under the spectrum would have). My parents then decided to ban Pokemon from entering the house but that didn’t stop me from getting copies of later generation games. Some people perceive this game as simple entertainment but to me it’s something much more: an embodiment of my philosophy.

    #9369
    kevlar22
    Participant

    Why I Couldn’t Fully Appreciate Pokémon Silver

    I used to think that the generation II Pokémon games got too much hype. Sure, I liked how Cyndaquil, the starter I chose, evolved into the honey-badger inspired Typhlosion which has awesome speed and special attack. However, I thought that the game wasn’t designed well when you have a hard time making the grass starter Chikorita viable in this game. The game seemed to lack personality to me and therefore I thought that the Kanto region was included in the games so fans can give this game some hype for the nostalgia and the fact that it is the only game in the series with a second region. My explanation for the lack of personality revolves around the game’s gym leaders, villains, and rivalry. However, my eyes were opened once I watched Tamashii’s review of the Gen II games (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgtMVKP2T6Y).

    To me the gym leaders in Johto just specialize in types not covered by the gym leaders in Kanto and don’t seem to have any personality. What made the Gym Leaders in Kanto appealing is that each of them stands out from the trainer classes scattered throughout the region who use the Pokémon of the same typing. Most of the Johto Gym leaders on the other hand feel nothing more but a big source of experience points needed to level up my Pokémon so I can progress further through the game. I can remember their names, but I can’t remember anything specific about their personalities or how they incorporate Pokémon power into their lives. The only particular member of the Gen II Elite Four I liked was Karen, because I enjoy her outlook that trainers should use the Pokémon they like instead of Pokémon that are just strong. The game does have a good balance between fighting Team Rocket and your Rival and progressing through the game by earning gym badges. I didn’t really like Team Rocket’s motivation of attempting to call back their leader with the Goldenrod Radio Tower and I didn’t like how the Rival’s crime of stealing a Pokémon from Elm’s Lab is passed over without any detrimental punishments. However, after picking up the game one more, I noticed small details that I left out when reflecting on this game regarding the Pokémon, trainers, legendaries, and other stuff scattered throughout the region.

    #9370
    kevlar22
    Participant

    Why I Couldn’t Fully Appreciate Pokemon Silver Part 2

    I liked Pokémon Red because it was convenient to play in my strict upbringing. My family is largely invested in education and my mom didn’t appreciate any amount of time I spent on playing video games. Some video games require time for the player to build up skills to play them and others require the intimacy of reading lots of dialogue to piece together information in order to progress. People argue that the Pokémon games don’t require too much skill, but for me that is a pro rather than a con. For my childhood, I needed a game that I can pick up and progress and put down for a few weeks or months without having to deal with the frustration of forgetting the plot, skills or who the characters are and why they were charming. The Pokémon game series fulfill all these requirements. When I am not focused on my studies, I sometimes dream of going on adventures with people who are a part of my identity (to understand what I am trying to say watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlIkpf2fgYY). I feel like I have this sort of identity crisis due to my strict upbringing; a lacking personality that can only be full by surrounding myself with beings that are full of life and personality. The main series Pokémon games sort of ameliorates this crisis for me; I can befriend beings of all shapes and sizes and enjoy what they have to offer in my travels. Although the Pokémon (Typhlosion, Jumpluff, Quagsire, Umbreon, Girrafarig, and Ampharos) I am currently using in my playthrough of Silver aren’t competitive, I can still pull off wins with them by using strategies that don’t rely on brute strength. I was able to defeat the elite four and champion in one go without leveling up my Pokémon past level 40 thanks to my Jumpluff which had a great speed stat and sleep powder to put my opponents Pokémon to sleep on the first turn so I can switch Pokémon and make setups for great sweeps without taking too much damage and KOs. This made me realize that my perception of Chikorita as a useless starter revolves mostly around how powerful its attacks are rather than how great of a support it can be on teams with its support moves. It also helped me appreciate Team Rockets motives more since they want influence and power (symbolized by their takeover of the radio tower) through following a strong leader instead of building up their own strength with what they have. The Johto region is also full of obstacles that need to be overcome with HM moves, which aren’t competitive but makes the journey through the region feel more like you are traversing it with your pocket monster friends. I made sure that my main party knows most of the moves so I can get to place to place without having to go back to the PC often. Tamashii’s video made me learn that I didn’t took advantage of the game’s core feature: day and night cycles and events that revolve around the days of the week. Playing this game every other weekend and brute forcing through the first eight gyms and then giving up on defeating the elite four and the champion didn’t allow me to appreciate the game on the other days of the week and so I couldn’t envelop myself with the games main appeal: going back to previously traversed locations and discovering new things or taking advantage of special events. I now enjoy how getting from place to place is simple without the need for traversing through multiple floors of a cave or mountain. I would go to Kurt’s house everyday and get new pokeballs that can’t be bought in the pokemart and get haircuts for my Eevee in Goldenrod City so it could evolve into an Umbreon with high happiness. I also enjoy accessing new areas with new HMs I can use in the field once I get the gym badges, so I can find rare items and Pokémon such as Lugia (I chose Silver because of the 2nd Pokémon Movie). Speaking of items, most of the healing and held items I used when I battled the elite four were gathered daily from berry trees and optional areas spread throughout the Johto region making becoming champion more of a result of taking advantage of finding useful hidden items than over leveling my Pokémon. Another perk of going back to previous explored areas is rematches; some trainers will give you their phone number so you can battle them for a rematch or get information on when and where rare Pokémon appear in mass outbreaks. The rematches made it easier to balance the leveling up of my team so that one Pokémon isn’t 10 levels higher than my other Pokémon; as a result, the matches with some of the gym leaders became more challenging and I couldn’t fully evolve my starter until I reached Victory Road after defeating all 8 Johto gym leaders. The game clearly wants the elite four and trainer Red to be a challenge, so it is expected that I must make my team as well rounded as possible to be able to take whatever challenge comes our way even if the challenge is at most 10 levels higher. I guess this game is a successful sequel to Red, not just because it fixes some of the mechanics but also because it stops making the gym leaders big hidden personalities waiting to be discovered. Instead the game is about becoming intimate with the region in its entirety; appreciating all the hidden details waiting to be discovered within the days of the week and through the progression of the game. This game taught me that if I wanted to expand my horizons, I must interact and communicate with the people around me to discover and appreciate the special little things this world has to offer and not just speed through life expecting great rewarding relationships and opportunities to turn up out of nowhere.

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