Play or Pass: Pokemon

Welcome to the FINAL post in my year-long series “Play or Pass” that takes on the proverbial “must before death” theme with video games. Every other week I will be covering one or two games from “32 Video Games You Have To Play Before You Die,” a list compiled by BuzzFeed based on a reader poll. I will not be critiquing the list itself, but rather I’ll be discussing each game or games in whatever manner feels fitting and will attempt to answer a couple simple questions: Have I played [insert game name here]? If yes, do I consider it a “must” and why? If no, do I want to play the game before I die? I’ll be going through the games in the order in which they appear on the BuzzFeed list. Good? Good. Let’s get on with the games!

Week twenty-five: (32) Pokemon

too many pokemon 2

Alright folks, we’ll here we are…the last “Play or Pass” post. *sniff*

Before I get all weepy (and I probably will), we have one more game to discuss. Or, in this case, a series in general, I suppose, since these days, telling someone to play a Pokemon game is like telling someone to eat a pizza — it’s far too broad a statement to make.

But before I narrow things down,  let me say a thing here about the Pokemon games:

They are the best kept secrets that everyone knows about.

That doesn’t make much sense…

…or does it?

Continue reading “Play or Pass: Pokemon”

I Am Not A Novelty

The following post originally appear on United We Game, 31 July 2014.

Image by Flickr user Hen3K Hen3KImage by Flickr user Hen3k Hen3k

I see you. Staring. Staring at me. You think I don’t notice? You’re right across from me on this train; you’re not invisible.

All I want to do is play Pokemon on my way to work in peace. Is it the tablet? The fact that I’m using the tablet like a game controller instead of for reading, which is what women are supposed to do with tablet-like things, right? Read? Read and not play games? Because women don’t play games?

Take a look around. Nearly everyone, men and women, on this train is looking down at their electronic devices, and I can guarantee you that the majority of them are playing something. Because we play games. I am not a novelty. We all play games.

Continue reading “I Am Not A Novelty”

#Pokemon20 – Oh, how things have changed (for me)

If you had told me a mere decade ago that I would someday play and enjoy a Pokemon game, I would have laughed straight in your lovely, stupid face. Now here I am, laughing at myself. Laughing at my former stubborn and ungracious self. Laughing at the “gamer” I once took myself to be. I even wrote about it, about the negative feelings I once harbored towards anything and everything Pokemon.

I guess I’ve come a long ways. Or some ways. Some way that led right round to the very thing I thought I once despised: Pokemon. Last year I developed my first game project, which involved playing my first ever Pokemon game, LeafGreen. I’ll say it — I had a blast. The game was much more fun than I thought possible, and it even led to me starting up Pokemon Emerald. (Stalled now, unfortunately, but waiting for me when I’m ready to come back.) To celebrate #Pokemon20, I’m re-sharing here my experiences with LeafGreen that I documented last year.

Happy anniversary to an indelible series, one with as rightful a place in gaming as any series, ever.

Project 151 – Playing Pokemon LeafGreen
A New Initiative
The Game and the Starter Poll
The Starter Chosen
First Impressions and a Question
Slow going but making progress
Get while the getting’s good
Round and round (with Pokemon, not Ratt)
One Badge Away from Victory
The home stretch…maybe? Maybe not.
Oh, I’ll get it done, eventually, I promise

My winning LeafGreen team.
My winning LeafGreen team.

(Oh, and Happy Leap Day. That’s something special, too.)

Project 151: Oh, I’ll get it done, eventually, I promise

When I started Pokemon LeafGreen earlier in the year, I though I might have it completed by the end of the year. Well…suddenly, it’s the end of the year.  And…I am not the Pokemon champion. 😦 Oh, I’m stupidly close. Just look:

Round 1: Lorelai and her icy Pokemon
Round 1: Lorelai and her icy Pokemon
Lorelai defeated!
Lorelai defeated!
Round 2: Bruno and his fighting Pokemon
Round 2: Bruno and his fighting Pokemon
Bruno defeated!
Bruno defeated!
Round 3: Agatha and her ghostly Pokemon
Round 3: Agatha and her ghostly Pokemon
Now you're making me blush...
Now you’re making me blush…
Agatha defeated!
Agatha defeated!
Round 4: Lance and his dragon Pokemon
Round 4: Lance and his dragon Pokemon

Only, as many of you know, that was not the end of the game. After defeating Lance, my happy dance was cut short upon him informing me that he was a big, fat liar, and that, in fact, I WAS NOT the Pokemon champion, because my stupid, stupid brother Lars had beat me to it. He was the true champion and the one I had to beat. Well just…shitonabrick. I entered his chamber and was greeted with the fight of my life. My team was simply no match for his, and I lost. Simple as that.

Well, maybe not that simple. With the supreme busy-ness that’s accompanied this holiday, plus having way too many other games to attend to, LeafGreen is currently on the backburner. But I’m nearing 60 hours with the game, which is pretty impressive in my little gaming book.


I’ve actually made my way through the Elite Four a couple times, only to choke in the end. I have in mind a few things that I need to do, like beat the Elite Four over and over again so that I can level up my necessary Pokemon, but I imagine that’s a pretty crappy strategy. Any advice? Without the necessary stamina and focus, I’m probably not going to get back to Leaf Green in earnest until after the holiday. Or not until I can handle more grinding.

Thankfully, the rising spirit of Christmas has helped negate much of my negativity concerning LeafGreen, because hey…I beat the Elite Four! I’ve beaten them several times! That’s a decent accomplishment, and one I’m happy holding onto for awhile. I made a promise to myself to complete the game and I will, when the timing is right. Which is not now. Hell, Christmas is just a couple hours away and I’ve got things to do, to make, and to enjoy!

Merry Christmas folks, and may your holiday be filled with goodness and positivity. 🙂

P. S. Thanks also for all the Project 151 support. Rest assured that I’ll be back next month with another update, hopefully of the I-BEAT-IT! variety.


#Listmas2014: Pokemon LeafGreen has taught me a thing or three

#Listmas2014 is in full swing, as is my desperate attempt to complete Pokemon LeafGreen. While that bit might not be going very well, things are looking grand Listmas-wise! Here’s my first entry for the event, which is about…suprise! Pokemon LeafGreen. Sorry, it’s been on my mind quite a bit lately, most for reasons involving the difficult time I’m having beating it. (More on that in an upcoming Project 151 post). When you go to check out the post below, (which I just know you’re going to do…yes?) be sure to check out the other Listmas posts now up on United We Game. The event runs till 12/31, so there’s still lots of time to get in on the all the Listmas action!


11498039056_c922edae81_hImage by Flickr user aidanone* (CC)

The second half of this year has been, for me, all about Pokemon LeafGreen. After plenty of internal debate and more than a little help from my Internet friends, several months back, I decided to play LeafGreen, my first ever Pokemon game. I wish I could say that I’ve completed the game, but I haven’t…yet. (I’m really close though!)

Despite the fact that I’ve been playing video games for a while now and thought that I knew everything I needed to know about them, LeafGreen has instilled a number of importance lessons that I either completely took for granted over the years or, for one reason or another, just never learned. So here, for you and #Listmas2014, are three big take-aways that I’ve gotten from, of all things, a Pokemon game, proving that the world really does work in mysterious ways.

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Project 151: The home stretch…maybe? Maybe not.

For some reason, my last Project 151 post feels like it was f-o-r-e-v-e-r ago. Maybe that’s because this last month of play has consisted of two things: obtaining the final badge and grinding. Lots and lots and lots of grinding. So MUCH goddamn grinding! {sob}

It doesn't feel like I've put in 50 hours, but there is it.
It doesn’t feel like I’ve put in 50 hours, but there is it.

With that in mind, I’m just gonna ask outright: what in the world do I have to do to beat the Elite Four? If you have any tips, just head right to the comments, because it’s taken nearly all my willpower to NOT go online and be a big cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater.

In any event, if you’ve been following along with me here, you know that since my last post, I only needed one more badge to complete the set of eight. Turned out that this meant I needed to do a little backtracking. I knew I needed to head to a gym, but it took me some time and traveling to figure out which one I hadn’t been to yet. So I spent a couple playthroughs just wandering from town to town. It wasn’t a total waste as I took on some trainers that I had previously missed and was able to level up my team pretty well, which at that point consisted of Charizard, Pidgeot, Snorlax, Victreebel, Persian, and Nidoqueen (occasionally switched out for Onix).

Gettin' busy with the TMs.
Gettin’ busy with the TMs.

Continue reading “Project 151: The home stretch…maybe? Maybe not.”

Project 151: One Badge Away from Victory

Forgive me universe, for I have faltered. It has been over a month since my last Project 151 post, and I still haven’t beaten the game. But goddammit if I’m not close…so freakin’ close!

No time to relax in the hot springs!
No time to relax in the hot springs!

Picking up from my previous post, I was faced with the option of going through Silph Co. for something unknown and the Seafoam Islands for something else unknown. Based on a couple helpful comments, I opted to head first to Silph Co. Holy crap, y’all, I did not expect to spend so much time there! Eleven floors of Team Rocket madness, for which I really wasn’t prepared. Though, actually, my team fared okay – it was the mental acrobatics of remembering where you had been and where you had to go that almost broke me. I didn’t have the opportunity to shoot through Silph Co. in one go, which would have been the smart thing to do. Instead, I played in fits and starts over about a week, and each time it started things up, I couldn’t remember exactly where I needed to go. So I spent a number of brief sessions just going around in circles. I was actually glad to see that ol’ bastard Lars again, because facing him meant that I had to be going in the right direction.

Continue reading “Project 151: One Badge Away from Victory”

Project 151: Round and round (with Pokemon, not Ratt)

When we last left our intrepid Lora (i.e. me), she was stuck in the Safari Zone in Fuschia City.

I would like to throw...YOUR FACE!  Guess that doesn't really work with Poekmon, huh?
I would like to throw…YOUR FACE! Guess that doesn’t really work with Pokemon, huh?

Before the recent Labor Day holiday, I didn’t have much time to play. In the spare five minutes I had here and there, I did nothing but wander through the Safari Zone (spending so manys $500!). I really, really, really wanted to know what the secret surprise was at the end of the zone! While there,  did manage to catch a number of different Pokemon — one of which I added to my team (Nidorina), which now looks like this:

Been steadily leveling up everyone but Charizard, but we all know I don’t like grinding.

Continue reading “Project 151: Round and round (with Pokemon, not Ratt)”