Pokemon natures are just one of the reasons why I appear to be obsessed with Pokemon. If there’s a piece of related Poke-art out there, I will find it and post it, preferably if it’s a crossover with something else. The truth is, I haven’t played a Pokemon game in more than a decade. I used to be hooked on them, so my attachment didn’t stem out of nowhere. In the original Red and Blue, I beat the game at least five times, to the point where I had so many Mewtwo’s in my arsenal, I started naming them Mewthree, Mewfour and Mewfive.
I had two Game Boys so I didn’t have to wait to trade with my friends in order to get all my Pokemon on one game. I leveled up every final evolution using the rare candy trick, and finding Missingno was the coolest glitch/secret I found in any game to this day. I competed in a Pokemon tournament at a mall where I beat a bunch of other kids with my starting trio, Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise, and got to play the “pro” from Nintendo who wiped the floor with me, but congratulated me on not using Mewtwo like everyone else.
I played Gold and Silver as well, tracking down those rare Legendary beasts as they roamed through the wilds, but past that? I was done. My time with the series ended right around the time it wasn’t “evolving” enough for my tastes, or at least not in the right way.
Generation three introduced Pokemon Natures, which you can see below are a new complicated way of assigning types to Pokemon, increasingly new stats based on their demeanor and it also has something to do with the types of foods they like to eat. That led into Pokemon and having genders and being able to be bred to make new, more powerful Pokemon.
Pokemon Natures were the kind of sideways evolution I didn’t really want to see from the series. I didn’t need the game to get more complicated. Instead, what I was holding out for never came.
I never in my wildest dreams imagined that it would be 2014, and Pokemon would still be locked into being a mobile series. I remember once NIntendo 64 came out, I was dying, DYING to play Pokemon on the system with its “crisp, 3D graphics.”
Instead? We got Pokemon Stadium, a horrible simulator and 1/10th of the full game. And we got Pokemon Snap, where you TOOK PICTURES OF POKEMON. In retrospect, that was a pretty fun game in its own right, but as a kid who was expecting a full console adaptation of Pokemon any day now, it was a cruel joke.
Over the years, Nintendo has repeatedly said that they essentially never want to bring Pokemon to consoles, as they don’t want to cannibalize the mobile game and it’s “meant to be a mobile series.” The result is an endless amount of paired handheld games with increasingly absurd names and complicated additions like Natures and Breeding.
So Pokemon are Gundams now?
The games sell well, and from what I can tell, they’re quality, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to get into them as I still hold out hope for a console Pokemon experience. You would think I’d learn my lesson after 15 years, but I haven’t.
To the Poke-fans out there, am I being too dismissive of Pokemon as a series today? Right now, the amount of apparently complexity added to the game seems like a wall I don’t want to climb. The simplicity of the original games was part of the series’ charm, and I look at charts like the Natures one and I’m just like “no thanks,” though I will admit perhaps that’s not entirely fair.
Someday, I believe Nintendo will indeed drop the atomic bomb of a console Pokemon RPG, knowing them probably a remake of Red and Blue which will be perfect. At that point, it’s hard to say that would cannibalize anything, and all it would do is sell Wii Us (or whatever Nintendo’s system is at that point). But until then, I’m just debating if I should try to jump back into the series and starting breeding some Pokemon, as gross as that sounds. I hope they end up with good Natures!
[Photos via Nintendo and Bulbapedia]