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Alright, time to own my cardinal sin: I don't like this series. Any of it. Its annoying cash cow status, the way it feels like a cruch for Nintendo's handhelds when it has far better games, I do not like Pokemon. So then-
I do, despite this, have a lot of memories of early playthroughs of the first games, most of them fond. And they are still good memories of a decent RPG system, some interesting designs and some dhallenging levels. But upon a replay, I was just struck with such complete apathy for the whole situation. It's ironic that Professor Oak praises me for treating my mons with love when I have so many in the PC I've never even used and, except for the HM moments, The player really only uses Pokemon as tools of combat. They are a means to an end, and in my mind the "bond between mon and trainer" is superfluous at best.
And there are ways that could work fine. The Scribblenauts series is one of my favorite series ever and they have virtually no plot and almost no characters matter. But Pokemon insists on praising me for something I'm simply not doing. I feel the same way beating Giovanni in a Poke battle that I would beating him in tennis. Sure I trained for this, but nothing about it feels particularly heroic. Red and Blue suffer from this weird dichotomy where it feels like a sport most of the time, but I'm apparently being heroic other times. One or the other people, please.
The highest stake I have to fear is "I don't want to battle this guy again" or "I don't want to play that dungeon again". My Pokemon are never in danger of death, the world is never in any real danger, the stakes are illusions. And yes, maybe they are in other video games, but they are way better at hiding it.
The designs are fine I guess. Not great, just servicable for a first outing.
I'm not a genwunner, I don't really like these games for much more than memorial value. There's a lot of Franchise Original Sin some forget about. I will own to never playing a game past Ruby, but comparing conversations with others, I really don't want to.
To me, it's a superfluous experience.
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