I have a 3DS and DS, so I can also play GBA games. I want to play one, but I always get to a part where I have to grind and I hate it. So which game has the least amount of grinding? Also, I want it to have pokemon from the 1st three generations, since that was when I was into Pokemon and I want to play with those. It would be nice if Charmander was a starting Pokemon since he is favorite.
Which Pokemon should I play?
That would be fire red or leaf green. They have charmander as a starter, I believe. But the new ds ones are fun too. Such as heartgold or Black.
I would say firered/leafgreen has a lot of grinding, heartgold is a long game, and Black is just fun.
By Heartgold I also mean SoulSilver, by Black I also mean White.
Black and white have an improved experience system. Lower levelled pokemon gain more experience against higher levelled pokemon. Works in reverse too however.
There is also an experience boosting item and a specific pokemon that grants a ton of experience that is on almost every route.
You're going to be grinding tons either way.
Fire red and Leaf Green is the only game you can get charmander as a starter, though the DS games allow you to trade with others.
Black and White 2 come out next month though.
Lack of grinding: Black and White made the experience system have a variable that adjusts the XP you get based on a ratio of your level to the opposing Pokemon's level, so it'll have the least amount of grinding. It's also the best game in the series.
If you're unwilling to give up the idea that "Nostalgia=using familiar Pokemon" then HG/SS is the way to go - you can't start with Charmander but it'll have the highest amount of Pokemon you're familiar with. I enjoyed seeing only new guys in Black/White more than when newer games had old favorites in the routes, though, as it captured the sense of exploring the series for the first time a lot better.
Black and white were awful and should be avoided at all costs. The new designs and names for Pokemon are literally the worst I have ever seen in any game. I really only enjoyed one or two of the new Pokemon designs, whereas almost all classic ones are golden. I really enjoyed Pokemon diamond. The Pokemon were good and the game visually holds up war better than red and blue.
I guess Black and White are going to be the best if you don't want to grind, but if you're that desperate to avoid the grind I'm not sure Pokemon is the series for you. A key part of the Pokemon experience is gradually and productively making your way through lots of similar battles to train your team and catch new Pokemon. You're always going to hit a point where progress, whatever form it may take, requires you to grind.
For everyone shouting "Red, Blue, Yellow only, fo life!", Fire Red/Leaf Green were actually really good remakes.
Based on what you've said, I'd recommend either Fire Red/Leaf Green (GBA; remake of first generation, so Charmander is covered), Heart Gold/Soul Silver (DS; remake of second generation and you get to go back to Kanto) or Black/White (DS; newest generation with least grinding).
Heart Gold & Soul Silver feature a good deal of the original Pokemon and are remakes of what were arguably the best games in the series.
Black & White introduce a lot of mechanics that really make the games more fun to play and remove a lot of the grinding/tedium. It also features 100% new Pokemon, only giving you some of the older guys once you finish the main plot. I thought that was cool, because it helps the pacing feel a lot more like the original games and it felt more exciting. If you're looking for a nostalgia trip, or if you're a hipster that hates anything past the first 150, then it may not be a good thing though.
I'd say give the new guys a chance. You'll probably prefer the gameplay mechanics in Black and White and you'll come to love the new Pokemon designs just as much as the old ones.
Black or White is the best place to start. It's a sort of series reboot without being a reboot. What I mean by that is that it has all of the modern improved mechanics and introduces a whole new set of Pokemon which haven't been in any of the previous games, and you can only use those until the endgame content. It's also obviously the best graphically. Just the flow of the battles makes it really tough to go back; they move quicker while still having better animations.
Though I'd agree that HeartGold/SoulSilver would be fine as well, simply for being the longest/most interesting of the Pokemon games. And I like a lot of the gen 2 Pokemon.
I never need to grind because I tend to know when I've met a Pokemon I'm going to use for the rest of the game and don't level any others, but that's something that comes with experience, so I guess I can't guarantee any Pokemon game being grind-free.
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