It was the mid 1990s when a good friend of mine got me a gift that was vastly out of my age range, but I loved the hell out of nonetheless. That game was Pokemon Blue for my Gameboy, a game which I’d still play if I could find my damn handheld in the house somewhere.
Let’s face it…Pokemon, for those of us in our 30s, came at a crossroads between what could be considered part of ‘our generation’ (you know born in the late 70s early 80s) and what was to become the hallmark of the ‘next generation’ (kids born after us old farts). It was essentially a perfect game, it mixed the addictiveness of a collectible card game and the depth of a hugely stat based role-playing game and somehow twisted them into one of the strongest forces in gaming that we’ve ever seen.
The copy that I received featured the Blastoise on the cover, but not wanting to go with Squirtle or Charmander like the game’s Red vs Blue theme set out to do, I instead picked Bulbasaur as my Pokebud as we set off to “catch them all!” The only problem…is that I never did catch them all or made an attempt to do so.
Don’t get me wrong, I was about as addicted as one could be at the tender age of 16. I just found…OTHER…things to worry about. Like Digimon and the growing collection of PS1 games I was amassing thanks to the new job I got at that time. I never got back into the show or the games, but I held a fascination with people who were still so amped about each new version that came out, especially when the Pokemon Colosseum games debuted on the N64.
Now that I’m an older gentleman with children of my own, will I get them hooked on the Pokemans? Absolutely! What better way to whet their appetite for JRPGs and stat based gaming? First Pokemon, then they can run through my classic game library. I can’t wait.