It’s been at least 10/11 years since I got Pokemon Red for my birthday and unlike all the cool kids in school, I never grew out of the franchise. In the interim where the game went from ‘cool’ to ‘gay’ to ‘retro cool’ I’ve always been a Pokemon fan. I’ve considered myself to be a ‘Pokemon Lifer’ much in the way that Ghostlightning is with Macross. Now, even though I’ve got a million stories to tell about things like my level 98 Venasaur and my bad experiences with GameShark Pro, I’m not going to stroll down memory lane with this post because A. It’s all been said by others before I’m sure, and B. this post would get very long, very fast. Instead, I’m just going to talk about my current playthrough.
The other day, my brother, No Name, and I decided to all go back and play the original Pokemon games. We all still remember the ins and outs from the old days, even if I easily spent 10x as much time playing Silver once it came out, so we knew it’d be fun to not only revisit, but to bring out future knowledge to the old games. The two of them are playing Blue on emulators, and since I use a shitty mac, I opted to use my good ol’ Red cartridge that’s been around since fucking ancient times (well enough, since my brother’s Blue died years ago.)
I decided this time to play the game how I had always wanted to but had never had the patience to when I was little. You see, the Pokemon games give you a monumentally overpowered starter Pokemon, and you can easily beat the whole game by leveling that fucker like mad and letting him stomp every single enemy you fight, which when you’re a kid is fun enough anyway. Even back then, I did like to spice things up, and would sometimes take a Pidgey or something and have it be my main Pokemon and let it get overpowered, but it’s still basically the same strategy.
Eventually, I’d started using a 6-mon party of equal levels, though I didn’t do this till Silver, and the 3rd gym leader was fucking impossible if you didn’t have at least 1 overleveled Pokemon so the plan always went to shit. This time, though, I’m playing the game the way I really feel the creators intended. I’m catching every Pokemon available in each area, and keeping a balanced-leveled team of six which gets switched out for different needs and areas. The game is much more challenging this way, and fun for it since you really feel like you’re accomplishing something while you play.
Neither of my party members opted to play this way. No Name wanted to rush through until he could get to the Pokemon he wanted, so he overleveled a Charmelon till he got to the point where he could catch a wider variety. My brother played it with a party-of-three strategy (as he always has), focusing on leveling those 3 dudes and blasting through with them. He has a Blastoise, Nidoking, and Fearow that he focuses on and since No Name and I had other shit to do in the past 2 days, my bro got way ahead of us and already beat Giovanni, the prick. I know No Name plans to do a lot more with the game, but not sure what my brother aims to do. Possibly just reset after he beats it and go again through.
As for me, I plan to use my strategy till the end, then once the world is opened up, go back and train all the other Pokemon to evolution so I can fully complete the Pokedex. I’m pretty sure we have a connector cable, so i might just buy a copy of Blue to get the exclusive Pokemon (or one of my compatriots may end up doing the same.)
As for me, I’ve been playing less than either of them, and my style of playing takes a whole lot longer. I’ve only just gotten the Sylph Scope and am about to fight the 4th gym leader, Erika. I currently have 30 Pokemon total, and my play time is 11 hours, 7 minutes (most of a game I’ve played in a long ass time.) Here’s my current team.
~ Potemayo ~ Pikachu ~ Lvl. 26 ~
Attacks: Mega Punch, Thunderbolt, Flash, Swift
Comments: Named after the moeblob from the self-titled anime. I caught him rally early on but he’s been the biggest pain in the ass to train since I haven’t gotten to the point where there are a lot of water-types to fight, and because his defense is total shit. Even against an opponent whose weak to him, he can take a lot of damage if they land a hit, so it’s important he finishes quick. Thankfully, thunderbolt and mega punch both work really well. I might just buy an assload of irons and spam his defense up. I’m waiting till he learns thunder at level 40-something to evolve him. I have always wanted a Raichu.
~ Claire S. ~ Ivysaur ~ Lvl. 27 ~
Attacks: Tackle, Poisonpowder, Leech Seed, Vine Whip
Comments: Named after Claire motherfucking Stanfield from Baccano. I don’t use Ivysaur too much because I try to keep all my levels balanced and he levels without even goddamn trying. For a while I was bringing him out only once in a while, but it was always to defeat that one too-strong oppoenent which would end up leveling him anyway. Vine whip is overkill and all of the other attacks are worthless, so I want my fucking razor leaf! As for why I picked Bulbasaur, it’s because most of my Red memories are tied to a Venasaur I’d almsot max leveled.
~ The Dude ~ Graveller ~ Lvl. 27 ~
Attacks: Tackle, Dig, Seismic Toss, Rock Throw
Comments: Name references The Big Lebowski. Graveller is the fucking BEAST of my team. He is a fucking tank. His defense is positively absurd – he can pretty much take a hundred blows while blasting away at the enemy’s life. However, you have to be strategic about it since special elemental water, grass, or psychic moves will devastate him. So he’s a lot of fun to use since you can put him out against the guys who use status effects or multi-attack moves and they won’t scrape him. Definitely one of the pillars of my team.
~ Lain I. ~ Pidgeotto ~ Lvl. 26 ~
Attacks: Gust, Swift, Quick Attack, Razor Wind
Comments: Name references Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments Lain. I’ve always liked to have one of these guys on my team since they have reliable attacks and leveling and eventually will have Fly. I’ve been a little disappointed this round, though, since Pidgeotto has really moderate stats and gets poisoned I swear like every fucking time I use him. Still, he makes a good backup attacker when it’s needed and can get in the quick hits. I only just taught him Razor Wind so I’m looking forward to that maybe giving him more power.
~ TheChosen ~ Vaporeon ~ Lvl. 28 ~
Attacks: Tackle, Sand-Attack, Bubblebeam, Quick Attack
Comments: The newest addition to my team, this thing is fucking stupidly overpowered. You get Eevee at level 25 (average level of my team at the time) and it already had WAY more HP than any of my guys. It’s got pretty good resistance to most types, and since I still had the TM from Misty, I taught it Bubblebeam which is pure rape. It can take on just about anything and fucking destroy it. It’s almost just not even fun to use thanks to that. Thankfully, I’ve got Erika’s gym coming up so I won’t really be using it.
~ That One ~ Gloom ~ Lvl. 28 ~
Attacks: Absorb, Acid, Cut, Sleep Powder
Comments: The name is a reference to my old internet name ‘That One Odd Dude’ since it evolved from Oddish. Gloom is the second pillar of my team because like Graverller it is near indestructable. Against water or ground pokemon, it’s Absorb attack is like instant death and with it’s use it can fully heal itself. Combine that with sleep powder, and it can sit there and heal itself at the cost of the enemy’s life without taking damage. Plus, when it’s an enemy that doesn’t have elemental properties, I’ve taught it Cut which is a great general damage-doing attack. So the thing is certainly a tank.
I’m rally loving my team so far. So far, there have only been 2 major changes in the lineup – took out my Raticate at level 20 having just evolved becase it’s defense sucked, I had better heavy-hitters on my team, and it was hard to level. I also recently removed Dugtrio right after evolving to put in Vaporeon since I didn’t really need two ground Pokemon and, once again, Diglett’s defence sucked. If my lineup changes again, it may unfortunately be Pidgotto who gets kicked off unless he really picks up slack with the stats, though I don’t know of who would replace him.
I might need a fire Pokemon before I enter Erika’s gym becuase I don’t really have any definiteve strong-against-grass guys. Really, looking at my team, I may be fucked with this setup. I could actually end up subbing in a Ghastly since it’d be around the right level, or go for one of the nearby Growlithe, though they are only level 15 and a pain in the ass to catch since they always run away.
Expect more posts as I progress.