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Topic: What is the appeal of the Pokemon series?

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SwerdMurd

1. Posted:

This isn't a flame topic, nor is it mindless bashing of Pokemon. I'm simply trying to grasp what it is about the series that's made it so successful for so long.

I'm an RPG vet, tackling the original Dragon Warrior literally as I learned to read (I had my brother help me with a lot of the broken, cryptic engrish hints, and that instruction booklet was a "novel" for me as a kid) and getting Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest not long after getting my SNES for Christmas as my first game in the 16-bit era (followed by my brother bringing home FF3 and Breath of Fire from college, which.....yeah, haven't stopped playing the genre since.)

Needless to say, I've cut my teeth on badly-organized text-based menus for close to two decades, and my age doesn't clear two decades by much. However, the Pokemon series has just never made sense, similar to how I never understood how people picked Sonic when there were so many seemingly more polished-playing platformers out there at the time (I play Contra or Megaman, then I slide around awkwardly and miss jumps due to garbage-acceleration physics and lack of precision...then I go back to Contra/MM)

Pokemon just always seemed like Dragon Quest --, what with a similar battle system, devolved into a 1v1 affair with a fairly straightforward affinity system. Although I don't know the series, the story never seemed like anything to write home about, the graphics have always seemed a gen behind (ever since the original GB releases anyway) and it just seems like the collection aspect has been done better in other games.

For those who love/like the series (and for those that have played, but don't like it), what differentiates this series from my perceptions? What am I generalizing and not seeing correctly? I've just never been able to even pretend to get into one of these games, presentation be damned, and I'm trying to get a grip on what I should be looking for. I can't think of any other mega-series that I haven't at least enjoyed, or been able to understand others' enjoyment of.

My sentence structure is atrocious. :)

-Swerd Murd

Owner of VINTAGE Games. http://www.vintagegames.us

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Deleted

2. Posted:

Huh, you don't like Pokemon. Well, I guess that's understandable, but seeing as how the Genesis was the first console I (as opposed to other family members) actually owned and was obsessed with Sonic and still love all the old Sonic games, I don't think I'll be able to help you out with this so-called "seemingly more polished" platformer thing, as Sonic has always seemed pretty darn flawless to me. :/

Not going to start an argument there. Perhaps it's what you grow up with, I freakin' love Sonic.

Well, my first RPG was Dragon Warrior, probably followed by Final Fantasy, Earthbound, Super Mario RPG, Pokemon Blue, ADOM, Angband, NetHack, Diablo, (If you want to even count those last four) and a few others before I became the seasoned RPG player I am today.

Now, Pokemon. Well, you see, the appeal is largely gone now. I'm not in school anymore, there's no trading with friends. Yes, you have online trading and all that, but bah, it's not the same. There's also less hype, the humble beginnings of the series are gone and things are kind of convoluted now.

The story isn't something I paid much mind to, even back then. I cared about stories in fighting games more than I ever did Pokemon's. It's fun and lighthearted, but it's mostly about the gameplay here. The story just gives a sense of progression, and once you've wiped the Elite Four you're free to explore the entire world, hunt down every last Pokemon and assemble a powerful team.

The graphics were pretty damn good for Gameboy. This was the game that pushed the link cable. For years, I only knew one person who actually had one, and only played 2P Tetris once. With Pokemon, all of that changed. I don't think many would argue that Pokemon is one of, probably THE, most epic Gameboy game, not in just hype but in how ambitious it was. It's a really huge Gameboy game, and for the graphics to be as good as they were, wow. It even had some coloration with the Super Gameboy.

Now, I stopped playing this series after Gold. The only one I have after that is LeafGreen. I played Sapphire on an emulator once, and I understood quickly why the hype died down after I left. You play Dragon Quest, right? Well, did you ever play Dragon Warrior Monsters? That game kicks ass, maybe you'd like that more.

If you don't like Pokemon, I guess it'd be pretty hard to like it now. It's just supposed to be addicting, catching your favorites, giving them good moves, battling your friends, and trading to have all of them. It's hard to explain the appeal, and there's not as much for me anymore. I just like collecting, leveling up, and all that stuff in games (especially item drop completion and level maxing in Castlevania, I don't know why. It's just fun, even if the drops are usually not as cool as in SotN). I don't take Pokemon seriously like some people, I like to get my guys strong, try to make a team that'll kick my friend's team, and hope to find some shinies.

Now, a game I don't understand. It's insanely popular in Japan, and I usually like most things that are popular in Japan. People told me that you need to play a long time to really get into it. Far too many ****ing hours later, I come to the realization that Monster Hunter Freedom 2 is the worst ISO I've downloaded for PSP since deciding to see if Sonic Rivals was any good (It's really, really, REALLY god-awful, in case you're curious. I guess it truly has gotten worse since Sonic Heroes). Needless to say, I deleted it and bought Castlevania X Chronicles. How anybody can get any level of enjoyment out of that is beyond me.

Just for the record, no, it was not too difficult. Yes, I played for 40 goddamn hours hoping the game would become interesting. To be blunt, I stopped playing out of fear the boredom would bring suicide or destroy the part of my brain that allows me to feign compassion for living things. Don't let anybody convince you any game, be it Pokemon or this, is only "bad" because "you suck at it" or "you think Pokemon is kiddy". They just push you, and you hope that you'll end up seeing why millions of Japanese people think this is the best thing to come out of Capcom in years. I mean, there's got to be SOME redeeming factor, right? Right? X_X

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SwerdMurd

3. Posted:

could not have asked a better person to respond. I do the exact same thing in Castlevania games--I'm also the guy who's beaten Hard L1 cap on all of them too.

That's always the impression I got of Pokemon, but I must say that immediate exposure upon the series' genesis would have helped me appreciate it considerably, as by the time I got to it, all the new ground broken had been refined in other series. I might actually go back and play the o.g. Gameboy games and see if I can't gain some perspective.

And I surely hope the "how can anyone get enjoyment" comment was directed at Sonic/Monster Hunter, as I loved every second of Drac X Chronicles.

I did play Dragon Quest Monsters, but stalled out at about the 10 hour mark...I got DQ 1/2 at the same time, and that sort of did some thunder-stealing.

And I love getting comments about not liking a series because I suck at it...the only genres that holds for are sports games and RTS games, and I really just don't enjoy them. I also suck at them, but the fact is that the game doesn't grab me and make me want to get better.

Well concocted response, sir

-Swerd Murd

Owner of VINTAGE Games. http://www.vintagegames.us

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SonicMaster

4. Posted:

Well, one thing about the series is that it's easy for everyone to get started and play. There is also the fun and excitement of catching and evolving pokemon. The battles can be fun, too. Once you do all that, plus the post-story things, you can go back, do it all over, and still have fun!

I have trouble finishing games.
Current victims of shelving: Ni no Kuni, Dragon Quest VIII, Ratchet Deadlocked

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Adamant

5. Posted:

Pokemon just always seemed like Dragon Quest --, what with a similar battle system, devolved into a 1v1 affair with a fairly straightforward affinity system.

It's much more than that. The heart of Pokemon is team design, where you create a 6-man team out of the hundreds of possible characters avilable, then give them each 4 different moves from a massive movepool so the team members perfectly compliment each other. You also manipulate their stats to further enhance their usability. Each new generation has added at least one new gameplay element severely changing the system, the newest addition being that each attack is now classified either "Physical" or "Special", with this classification determining whether the Attack/Defense or Special Attack/Special Defense stats are the ones to determine the attack's power.

It's one of the deepest strategy games you can get your hands on.

Adamant

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Adam

6. Posted:

How is that new? There was a Special stat in the original. Is this something different? I have played each generation of Pokemon (not sure what else to call each set of colors), but the only one I was even remotely "serious" about was the original, so I'm more than a bit out of the loop.

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To the bear arcades again.

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Objection

7. Posted:

@Adam-Between R/B/Y and G/S/C I believe they changed Special into S. ATK AND S. DEF. Recently in D/Pe/Pl they reorganized some moves that were considered Special to Physical. That's as deep as I feel like getting into it. My own interest in the PKMN series died about a year or two ago when I got bored of Diamond after only beating it once.
Unrelated note: my fav PKMNs (not necessarily because of moves/actual stats) are Dragonite, Lugia, and Charizard.

Edited on by Objection

[21:14] pixelman: I blame fheblackdragon
[21:15] pixelman: That's not an f by the way, it's a fancy t.
[21:15] Objection: Tales of Graces "fancy t"
[21:15] Objection: Tinal Tantasy
[21:15] theblackdragon: lol OB
[21:15] pixelman: OB knows what he's asking about.
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Bahamut_ZERO

8. Posted:

"What is the appeal of the Pokemon series?"

ES TEH BESTEST THNG EVR U NOOB 4 NOT LVING IT!!?!!?!?!!

......All that humor aside it's a surprisingly deep combat system, perfect for all ages, and just flat out fun customizing your own team.

Bahamut_ZERO

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theblackdragon

9. Posted:

The main appeal of Pokemon for me is all the fun I had playing it and the friends I made in the process. It came out while I was a sophomore in high school... some of my friends and I would sneak our Game Boys in to school so that we could battle our teams against one another before and after school (while waiting for 7th period or Band practice to start). We'd also play the card game together when it came out too. I used to be involved on an active Pokemon forum back then, too, and I made a lot of friends there (most of us have drifted apart, but there are some I still talk to today).

Come to think of it, that's probably why I don't really like the newer incarnations (anything after G/S) as much as the old ones; it was never really about the actual game itself (which was pretty linear and not really interesting plot-wise), it was about collecting all the Pokemon, battling against my friends, and hanging out on the message boards after school. Color me nostalgic on this one. :)

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Adam

10. Posted:

The dragon said it perfectly. I miss those days. The card game was a ton of fun, too, even if the other kids would pick on you if they saw you had Pokemon cards in your backpack. :D

Once I collected like fifty Tangelas from me and my friends and stuffed them in someone else's bag so they'd just pour out when he opened it. Good times!

Edited on by Adam

Come on, friends,
To the bear arcades again.

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CowLaunch

11. Posted:

I loved Pokemon when it came out, unfortunately I was considered too old to enjoy it. Didn't stop me though, I still have my Pokemon ink stamps, pretty cool. Not that many people in my year played Pokemon (or at least admitted it) but I had a couple of regular battle mates. Never got into the card game, seemed like a waste of money. Liked the cartoon, the morning show it appeared on in my country made fun of it a lot which I also enjoyed.

In general, I think Pokemon appeals to people who are perfectionists on some level. I'd say that I fall into that bracket, which I found the sequels frustrating because the increasingly random and convoluted nature of the series was a barrier to my goal of either 'catching them all' or building the best possible squad.

CowLaunch