Project 151: A New Initiative

We interrupt your regularly schedule reblog to bring to you some breaking news:

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I’VE DECIDED TO PLAY A POKÉMON GAME.

Pokemon-logo

Sorry, I’ve no idea why I felt the need for the dreaded all-caps, but that’s how things are sometimes.

I’ve never hid the fact that I’ve never played a Pokémon game. I first wrote about my experience with the Pokémon phenomenon on this here blog. Recently, I covered something similar over on United We Game. And even more recently, I’ve started poking and prodding friends, both face-to-face and online, about the games. Which ones are their favorites? What’s a good game with which to start? Will I really be able to die happy after having played one? Y’know, questions.

What’s the impetus behind my seeming coo coo crazy talk? There are a few forces at work. The first is my own fault, which I alluded above. In August 2012, I wrote a post titled 151 problems (and I’m not talking about Bacardi). Maybe you’ve read it, because it seems like the whole damn Internet has. Not that I’m complaining. It’s an honest post that, well, doesn’t display Pokémon in the…uh…best light. However, it as received more views than any other post I’ve written since starting this blog — more than four times as many views as the next nearest post! Now, I’m no big time site, so my stats aren’t anything exciting, but since the beginning of the year, viewings of “151 problems” have grown to make up at least 75% of my daily visitorship.  Now, I also know that’s primarily because of a couple images I have posted there, so maybe that 75% doesn’t care one way or another about the words in the article, but I do. I usually stop to read a random post from which I might capture an image, and maybe 1 to 2 people from that 75% do the same.  And if someone ends up at my blog because they searched for “pokémon,” I’d rather have something good to show for it than a ranty post about how childish I thought Pokemon was when it first came out.

The second reason is all because of Twitch Plays Pokémon. We covered this event (which just started playing Pokémon Platinum) over on Geek Force Network, and I have to admit that I found its first outing (Pokémon Red) very mesmerizing. Part of that was due to the whole social experiment aspect of it, and part of it was watching just how the game played. I’ve never actually witnessed the mechanics of a Pokémon game, and what I saw was much different from whatever I might have expected. All in all the game…well, dammit…the game looked like fun.

And finally, third…the third reason is personal. I am at a point in my life and gaming career that, if I continue to ignore Pokémon, in a few years I will see myself as literally “too old” for the game. Now, in my “151 problems” post, I explained then that I already felt too old for the game in my twenties. But I’ve gained a little wisdom and perspective since then. I’ve opened my horizons to new gaming experiences, all of which have turned out for the better. It’s not a “I must play this game before I die” situation, more like an intense curiosity and willingness to cast aside my preconceived notions about something that I picture as “not for me.” Like I said, the game might be fun. Or I might hate it. Either way, I really want to discover the answer.

And now, after writing all that, I feel like a putz. Hell if I need to justify my gaming choices to you or anyone! If I were decide to start playing, oh I don’t know…Halo, or something, I sure as shit wouldn’t be writing about it in this manner. But taking on a Pokémon game just feels different — like I’m taking on a new job. I’m calling my adventures “Project 151” and I plan on blogging about the experience as it progresses. There won’t be be any schedule to the posts because I’ve no idea how often I’ll be playing the game, but you’ll see them on the occasional Monday instead of my usual reblogs.  I’ve narrowed down the choices to which game I’d like to play, now it’s just a matter of deciding how. An (a) emulator is the easiest way to go, but I’ve also considered re-investing in a (b) handheld again. Right now choice “a” is probably it, but I’ll let you know for sure in the next post.

And speaking of you (and the next post)…

I’m going to need YOUR help to get things started.  Yep. you, you, and you! Next week, same time, same place, I’m going to put up a poll of the starters in the Pokémon game of my choosing. Honestly, me researching and then choosing a starter would probably take me the better part of the summer, so why not let the good and knowledgeable people of the blogosphere choose for me? Frankly, I’m not invested in any of the particular “types,” so it’ll be simple: the one with the most vote wins!

Hopefully this whole process can be something enjoyable for me and you, because I’m sure that I’m going to ask for help and advice here and there. Plus, I’m in for yet another a really busy summer, so having a flexible game like Pokémon at my side allows me to rest easy knowing that at least I’ll be able to get a little gaming in between all the madness.

If you have any final thoughts on the best Pokémon game to start with or on the series as a whole, leave them in the comments. You have my ever-loving thanks in advance.

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We now return you to your regularly scheduled Internet.

17 thoughts on “Project 151: A New Initiative”

  1. If you’re still in the decision process I have two recommendations. For newer versions, it’s gotta be Pokemon X/Y! They finally took steps to fix many of the legacy problems in the games (money and xp earning are most notable here), and finally having online multiplayer is awesome (even if it means getting stomped a lot of the time…). It’s just a smoother experience overall.

    However, I suppose the ones that would get the most mileage out of it are those who are familiar with pokemon already and have been eager for change.

    An excellent place to start has to be Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire! It’s visuals are bright and pleasant to the eye (and have aged well as a result), the pokemon designs are the best to date (in my humble opinion), the plot is the most interesting of the pokemon games I’ve played (though I guess that’s not saying much, this IS pokemon afterall), and it’s got some neat little side-things to do, like solving the mystery surrounding 3 of the legendary pokemon in the game, building your own secret base, and entering your pokemon in some sort of talent contest…thing, which has its own set of demands and rules separate from battling. It’s definitely the highlight of the old-gen pokemon games.

    Looking forward to the next post, hope Treeko is on the starter list. 🙂

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    1. And just when I thought I had made a decision… 😉 I’ve watched a little of each of the available Pokemon games being played (YouTube has made the choice both easy and hard), and I agree that the Ruby/Sapphire games are very nice looking. Without giving away too much, my final choice is coming down to access. Since I don’t have a 3DS, well…that should give you idea of what I won’t be starting with.

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  2. Have fun playing Pokemon! I’m a really big fan of the series, although, I’m probably not the best player out there. I don’t really have any suggestions on which game you should start with, but I will tell you that I think they’re all great. 🙂

    Also, I’m not sure if you’d be interested or not, but I’m writing a fanfic about my Pokemon Emerald Nuzlocke that I’m doing.

    Here’s a link to the first chapter if you want to read it:
    http://strawberrytheglaceon.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/trainer-strawberry-chapter-1/

    And here’s a link to a list of all of the chapters I’ve written so far:
    http://strawberrytheglaceon.wordpress.com/fanfics/

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    1. How cool! I’ll have to give them a read. 🙂

      I’m looking forward to getting started with one of the games. Not sure how often I’ll get to play (really busy summer ahead for me), but Pokemon seems like something that’s easy enough to play on and off. Should be an interesting experience no matter what!

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    1. That does sound pretty cool! To be honest, I’m leaning strongly towards starting with one of the older games, but the images of X/Y that I’ve seen are pretty tempting.

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