I'm something of a Nintendo fan. I've also never played a Pokemon game. It's finally time to do something about that.
Allow me to explain. When Pokemon first came onto the scene, I was working at FuncoLand. People had been talking about Pocket Monsters for a while. It was all the rage in Japan, and it was a bonafide hit for Nintendo. I was interested in trying it, as I'm interested in pretty much anything Nintendo makes. However, any excitement I may have had was quickly dispelled when the Pokemon Trading Card Game made its way into my store.
To call the customers relentless would be a gross understatement. The unbridled, rabid need for Pokemon cards became the bane of my existence. What was once my dream job had quickly turned into a nightmare of parents complaining about their kids not getting the cards they wanted, snotty kids crying because we were sold out of the latest packs, and a never ending line of awful people going out of their way to make anyone stupid enough to sell the damn things as miserable as possible for supplying this blight to the youth of the world. Thus, the Pokemon name was forever tarnished for me.
Time, however, heals all wounds, and I believe that the perfect conditions have finally materialized for me to give one of Nintendo's biggest franchises a real shot. My irrational distaste for the franchise started to give way during an episode of one of my very favorite podcasts: Nintendo World Report's Radio Trivia: Podcast Edition. On this show, they play music from various Nintendo games, and it's up to the listener to figure out what games they are. (It's where I got the idea for Stone Age Gamer's Chiptune Trivia episodes). During a recent episode, I found myself listening to some completely unfamiliar, yet absolutely delightful Game Boy chip tunes. I said to myself "I don't know what this is, but I want to play it!" It turns out, the music was from Pokemon. Was I wrong to hate this franchise for so long? Perhaps.
Being who I am, I have amassed a collection of most of the major Pokemon releases through the years, including the original Red and Blue versions. Now, I could have busted out a Game Boy at any time and given them a try, but the convenience factor kept getting in my way. If I was going to play these games, I needed to do it on my terms, and that was a Virtual Console release. The ability to start and stop playing at a moments notice without worrying about saving was a necessity to me, and the only way that was going to happen was on the 3DS VC. Sadly, Nintendo hasn't seen fit to release these games on their service, so I remained without Pokemon.
The other day, I picked myself up a Retron 5. After messing around with it for a bit, it became obvious that I was officially out of excuses. This machine would play my Pokemon cart exactly the way I wanted, and on the big screen no less. So, I went down to my basement, and grabbed Pokemon Blue (because Blue is my favorite color), and made my decision.
I will be chronicling my Pokemon playing here, and yes, I'm starting from the beginning. I've been told many times that I should start with later games in the series, but if Pokemon is going to win me over, it's got to be this one. This is the game that started the phenomena, so let's see what it's got.
I'll keep you posted.