Project 151: First Impressions and a Question

Lest you think that I had cast aside my Pokeadventures, think again! I’ve not been shirking my own self-imposed project, however, I haven’t had as much time to invest in it over the past few weeks as I had hoped. Still, I can assure you that Project 151 is underway!

To recap for those of you how may be quite confused at my nattering, last month I announced that I would be playing my first ever Pokemon game this summer. I chose the game (LeafGreen) and asked the community to help choose my starter. Charmander won top honors there. And then off I went with all my skepticism and cynicism in tow. I chose to play as a female trainer name “lora.” She’s fun, spunky, and won’t take stand for pettiness. She’s also ready to take over the world, so watch out!

Progress as of this morning. I know you’re impressed.

Here we are, some three weeks later. Where do things stand? I’ll post a gallery below if you’d rather skip over my summary in words, but in short, things are pretty darn good! Even after watching a handful of Let’s Plays and Twitch Plays Pokemon, I still couldn’t quite wrap my ahead around the gameplay. I’ve only put in a measly 5 hours of pokeplay, but I’m also playing the game quite deliberately — talking to all the NPCs; visiting all the houses, stores, and sites; exploring all paths that appear to be open; and looking for secrets. There’s a story to attend to, as well as tasks to be done. The game is much more RPG-y than I thought it was going to be. I can’t say that I’ve found a point of immersion or reach zen with the game yet, but I am particularly fond of little Charmander. He’s since evolved into Charmeleon, and we’re happily taking on any random encounters with human or beast.

I’ve completed what appears to be the first portion of the game, having done the following:

  • Explored Pallet Town, met Professor Oak, chose Charmander, battled Lars (my stupid brother, otherwise named “Gary”)
  • Headed down Route 1, leveled up a few times
  • Entered Viridian City, explored Route 22
  • Went back to Pallet Town, obtained Pokedex
  • Went back to Viridian City, battled Lars again, explored Viridian Forest
  • Entered Pewter City, defeated Brock, obtained TM Case

I’ve also just obtained the running shoes, a welcome item that makes traveling around so much easier.

All in all, playing Pokemon is not what I expected and I’m really happy with how things are progressing. Most importantly, however, it’s a pretty fun game. I like that it’s easy to put down and pick up after several days (the game recaps upon starting are a really nice touch), it doesn’t require a ton of mental investment, and that you have quite a bit of freedom in deciding where to go and what to do. But I’ve still got a long way to go in many regards. I’m sure there are details to each characters’ battle moves that I haven’t picked up on yet (I’m essentially brawling my way through battles rather than imposing any strategy), and I’m not really sure of what to do with the Pokemon I’ve captured.

This leads me to me first question for the Pokecommunity – what strategies do you employ when leveling up? My Charmeleon doesn’t have a ton of trouble in battles right now at Level 19, but should I be going back to level up all my other Pokemon? (I actually went back to try to level up a couple of my caught Pokemon, but I’ll be honest, I don’t enjoy grinding. If it’s necessary than I’ll keep at it, but still, I won’t be smiling.)

Below are some screenshots of my progress. (Apologies for my non-existent camera skills.) Be on the look-out for my next Project 151 entry in a few weeks!

The emulation looks and plays pretty good on my tablet.
Yes, the community hast spoken!
Screw love; Charmander is a fighter!!
A pocket for every item. Convenient!
A nice place to visit…
(okay, but I’m gonna miss Charmander’s cute smile.)


  1. You can start a battle with the lower-level pokemon coming out, then switch to charmeleon (he takes a hit, but as long as you win, they each get half the experience). I prefer that to going back to the first grassy area and fighting pidgeys and rattatas over and over again.
    The game’s not restrictive about party size, you could do it all with fewer pokemon that are higher level if you don’t want to train evenly =)


    • Y’know, it didn’t make sense to me until reading your comment as to why during some battles several of my Pokemon would gain XP at once. Now I get it — thanks so much for clearing that up! That sounds like a great way to progress and I’m definitely going to give it try.


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