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Posted by niflhe (116 posts) -

It's the 20th Anniversary of Pokemon! Hooray!

Pika!, indeed
Pika!, indeed

I've taken the opportunity to play a bit of Pokemon Yellow on the 3DS Virtual Console and this game has given me a brand new appreciation for every later game in the series. Red, Blue, and Yellow are rough. And not in a "diamond in the rough, just polish it up" kind of way, but in a "holy shit what how" way. There are so many baffling design decisions, that it's a wonder how this game became a worldwide phenomenon. It's even more fascinating how R/B/Y holds such a nostalgic place in my heart despite all of its flaws.

For instance: Psychic Pokemon are completely overpowered and unbalanced. Ghost types that were supposed to counteract Psychics were instead completely ineffective. Bug type attacks were super effective, but the vast majority of the Pokemon that could learn Bug moves were part Poison. Which Psychic was super effective against. The most effective Psychic-killer wasn't a Gengar or a Butterfree, but instead a Jolteon who could learn Pin Needle (and half the time, you should just have Jolteon use Thunderbolt to do more damage). That said, you could always use Electrode with Explosion to try and take them out.

I am become Jolteon, Destroyer of Psychics
I am become Jolteon, Destroyer of Psychics

The statistics governing the Pokemon are extremely unbalanced. Generation 1 has five stats: HP, Attack, Defense, Special, and Speed. Most are self-explanatory (HP is how much health, Attack and Defense are for physical attacks, Speed is how fast you are) but Special is what is the most interesting stat here. Special determines both how much damage you deal with Special Attacks and how much damage you take from Special attacks. Pokemon with high Specials were naturally more useful than Pokemon with low Specials as they dealt more damage and took less damage in return. And to top it all off, Psychic attacks all relied on the Special stat. In Generation 1, if an attack was Physical or Special was determined by the type of the move, not necessarily the move itself. For instance, all Grass moves were Special and all Fighting moves were Physical. It wasn't until Generation 4, some ten years later, where the moves were physical or special depending on move itself.

Adding to the frustration are weird quirks almost designed to drive the player insane. Being put to sleep is practically a death sentence, because waking up from sleep takes up your turn. Moves meant to double your critical hit chance actually cut it by three-quarters. Every single move in the game (except for one) has a 1/256 of missing because of how the game is programmed. Binding moves trapped your Pokemon, making you unable to attack or switch out. If the Pokemon binding you is faster, then the only thing you can really do is hope. And if you're hoping to use a One-Hit Knock Out move, then you need to be faster, since those are all based off of Speed. Slower than your opponent? Then that Horn Drill ain't hitting. Ever.

Mr. Wreck Your Shit, Mr. Crit Your Face
Mr. Wreck Your Shit, Mr. Crit Your Face

Speaking of Speed, it is responsible for its own brand of game breaking hilarity. Look no further than the lovely Pokemon to your right, Tauros. Critical hit chances are dictated solely by Speed, specifically Base Speed/512. Tauros, with 110 Base Speed will critical hit over 20% of the time. Add into that a move which will paralyze your opponent 30% of the time, and it's almost no wonder why there have been so many balance changes to the formula over the years. Fun fact: The Critical Hit formula in Generation 1 is also a little messed up: It ignores all user and opponent stats, so if you boosted up your Attack, the critical hit could actually do less damage. Go figure.

And the culmination of all these weird design decisions and flaws is Mewtwo, who holds the distinction of being the single most powerful Pokemon to ever exist in the game ever. No other legendary Pokemon has come close to the sheer destructive power that Mewtwo holds, as it is able to completely obliterate your team with a thought, all while healing back any damage you might have been able to inflict upon it. Capturing Mewtwo without the Master Ball is fool's errand, and defeating the level 100 Mewtwo in Pokemon Stadium is a momentous task requiring more than a little luck. And Electrode Explosions. Mewtwo is so powerful because of all of the issues R/B/Y has and barring some unforeseen circumstance, there will never be an equal contender to its throne.

MissingNo, Glitch Extraordinaire and Master of Disaster. And also permanently messed up my Hall of Fame records in Pokemon Blue.
MissingNo, Glitch Extraordinaire and Master of Disaster. And also permanently messed up my Hall of Fame records in Pokemon Blue.

All of these negatives don't sway my memory, however. R/B/Y holds a special place in my heart because it's the first game I can clearly recall that let me wreck unintentional havoc on the game's intended design. Buggy to a fault, R/B/Y inadvertently unlocked the part of my brain that enjoys breaking things down to understand how they work. This is best seen by the myriad of glitches and bugs ranging from as simple as fishing on the statues in each Pokemon gym to giving yourself 128 Master Balls by talking to an Old Man, flying to Cinnabar Island, fighting the glitch Pokemon MissingNo., and then shuffling some items in your bag. Or you could teleport away from a trainer fight, fight another specific trainer, and then wander around until you encounter a Level 7 Mew. Seriously. No, seriously. R/B/Y made me feel like anything could happen and all of the kids at school would share what cool thing came up. Arguing if Mew was real, seeing what kinds of glitches we could create, and just outright breaking the game was a fantastic time in my young mind.

R/B/Y are rough. I have no doubt about that. But there's something interesting hidden under all the jank, teeming under the surface, waiting to be let out. Later games would come in and fix many of the issues, adding in new ways to combat the Psychics and having damage formulas that made sense. These later games would expand the world, add new Pokemon, give the player more tools and more options to enjoy the game the designers built to enjoy. But maybe part of the enjoyment for R/B/Y came from the unintentional aspects of the design. I think my nostalgia is from breaking the already broken game and "pulling one over" on the designers. And I think that's partially why I enjoy games to this day - I love exploring the mechanics of games to get at how they work, and then exploiting them to the greatest effect. When I'm breaking a game, I'm having the most amount of fun I personally can have. At least, that's what my two Level 100 Mews tell me.

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#1 Posted by Substance_D (370 posts) -

I played Pokemon Red when I was a kid with way too much free time. Playing it now, I realize I don't have time for games like this anymore. Sure, it would be fun to replay it, but this game is extremely slow paced, repetitive, and boring. The combat is boring. The story is boring. Even the music isn't quite as great as I remember it being.

Call me cynical, but as much as I like Pokemon, I think it's easily one of the most overrated franchises out there.

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#2 Posted by niflhe (116 posts) -

@substance_d: You may be cynical, but I don't think you're wrong. Playing through Yellow has made me really appreciate the newer games even though the real basics haven't changed.

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#3 Posted by liquiddragon (3287 posts) -

Fun fact about Tauros. I guess that's why every pro player I saw back in the day used Taruos. Taruos was actually the only Pokemon in R/G/B/Y I consistently had trouble catching. I always used plain Pokeballs to catch Mewtwo btw, it wasn't hard.

lol This is a very critical look at the original Pokemon games. I like all the stats you have about the game but I don't think it's intended general audience was really complaining too much about balance and it's not hard to figure out why Pokemon became such a phenomenon. All the glitches were sure fun tho!

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#4 Posted by Travis_J (115 posts) -

I played Red and Yellow and Silver back when they came out then stopped until X/Y and picked it up again and immediately remembered why I liked these games so much despite taking a break for more than a decade.

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#5 Posted by kasaioni (2397 posts) -

@substance_d: Even as a Pokemon fan, I can't deny that the first generation is dry.

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#6 Posted by webby (733 posts) -

Although Gen 1 suffers from balance issues and many of the problems you mentioned. I could overlook them at the time. The game allowed me to play in places which I recognized outside of the game, fight against characters I knew and just find Pokemon which I liked. Going back to Gen 1 is much harder, but at the time the ability to collect my favorite Pokemon and train up who I wanted then to compete against my friends was pretty cool. For me, I guess it was more the idea of a Pokemon RPG that I fell in love with, so at the time it was easier to overlook the problems and slowness of the mechanics.

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#7 Edited by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

I had blue on the GB, liked it back then, and then 18 years later bought X for my 3ds. After I got to the Snorlax sleeping on the bridge my mind was blown. Have they just being re-creating the same game with re-skinned towns, maps and pokemon for the last 20 years.

Why doesn't anyone complain about this like they do with other "re-skinned franchises" like COD, Halo, Assassins Creed etc.

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#8 Edited by AlexW00d (7570 posts) -

I had blue on the GB, liked it back then, and then 18 years later bought X for my 3ds. After I got to the Snorlax sleeping on the bridge my mind was blown. Have they just being re-creating the same game with re-skinned towns, maps and pokemon for the last 20 years.

Why doesn't anyone complain about this like they do with other "re-skinned franchises" like COD, Halo, Assassins Creed etc.

They do.

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#9 Edited by MezZa (3038 posts) -

Definitely all true. Anyone who was too young to remember these flaws or just forgot will likely be very surprised going back to it now if they're expecting a game that is as well made as any after. Luckily I remembered most of the balance issues (especially psychics) so it's just kind of part of the charm in my opinion. Personally gold and silver are still my favorites. For anyone looking to play a well made version of these games you should probably just stick with fire red and leaf green. Playing the originals you kinda just have to know what you're getting yourself into.

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#10 Posted by aktivity (461 posts) -

@mezza: I've recently started replaying all the main pokemon games (skipping the re-released games) and having just finished Yellow I still had a really good time. I agree with all the issues mentioned in this thread, but as a casual experience they still had no negative impact on my enjoyment of the OG games. Balance is not something I thought about as a kid, and as an adult casually replaying these games it still didn't leave a negative impression. I only knew about MissingNo at the time, and that only made things more fun for me and my friends. TBH the way I played those game didn't really change over the years, which is why I dropped off the franchise a while back.

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#11 Posted by Y2Ken (2931 posts) -

This is a good analysis! Definitely covers a lot of the big issues that the original games have, despite the nostalgia they induce.

@rebel_scum People totally do complain. I don't think it's entirely valid, though - you say "re-skinned towns, maps and pokemon" as though it's a trivial thing, but that's almost the entire content of the game. Sure, at its core you're still building a team of six creatures, each with one or two types and four different moves. You're still travelling town to town, catching more creatures in the long grass and earning your eight badges before taking on the Elite Four and the Champion of that region. But everything layered on top of that is different - each is a different story, with different characters, hundreds of new pokémon designs, a bunch of new moves... They've even added new types, which is a fairly big shift to things. They do add other things with each instalment too, such as the Contests. Also that Snorlax gimmick isn't in all the games, but even if it were it's only a minor nod. Each game is completely different, but follows that same underlying formula - just enough to feel comfortably familiar but still be a fresh experience each time for me. That said, some people absolutely fall off because each one has that core similarity to it, and that's perfectly fine if it bothers them.

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#12 Edited by Substance_D (370 posts) -

Pokemon's basic game mechanics haven't evolved because Nintendo is afraid of making a Pokemon MMO. That's the natural next step to being able to trade Pokemon and battle other Trainers. Why not replace all the AI with real players who you could battle when you ran into them? Why not let people trade Pokemon anywhere in the same way people can trade items in MMOs? Why not replace the gym leaders with real players who have to keep their Pokemon strong and be undefeated in order to hold their spot as the gym leader?

Because some pedophile might find a way to lure a kid to his house and then Nintendo would get sued and then they would lose the loyalty of parents who buy games and consoles for their kids. That's why Pokemon is still in a rut.

If you think this is all speculation, Junichi Masuda has spoken about this before. His answer is very businessman-like, but basically boils down to, "We are funded by Nintendo to make games that are safe for kids, and MMOs aren't necessarily safe for kids, so we can't make Pokemon an MMO."

GamesBeat: Pokémon has always had some vital social aspects to it, as you said, and they seem to be evolving and growing with each iteration, especially now with the new features in X and Y. Nintendo isn’t really an MMO company, but Pokémon is the one property that most kind of screams “MMO.” Is that something Game Freak has discussed? Is there a reason why it hasn’t gone there?

Masuda: Of course, we hear all the opinions we get from our fans about an MMORPG. But right now, we’re still unsure whether this core gameplay at the center of Pokémon – catching the Pokémon and raising them – would really translate well or really match the MMORPG format. Right now we think the best way for the widest possible audience to enjoy the games is the way we develop them now.

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#13 Edited by MezZa (3038 posts) -

@substance_d: uh, what? You just took what he said and reinterpreted it to fit your belief. He never said anything about Nintendo and their family friendly policy, or a fear about what may happen to kids in an mmo setting. I even checked the article just to be sure you didn't miss including the info in your quote.

All he said was that they are unsure if the core gameplay loop would still be as fun for all the playerbase in an mmo environment. Which I agree with him. Competitive pokemon isnt fun for everyone, and mmo's aren't necessarily a very fun genre. The genre is pretty boring and time consuming in my opinion, and so is raising proper ready to compete pokemon. Which you would be more pushed toward doing if everyone was running around fighting eachother freely.

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#14 Edited by senrat (359 posts) -

Yep, played those games before the internet and with my friends. I spend an large amount of my childhood playing Blue. Was told about the missingno glitch by my cousin. Was hard to believe, such a strange glitch. I caught a weird looking Golduck with the glitch, and when I imported it to Pokemon stadium it still had the strange color. Was quite unique to have such a weird looking Pokemon, my friends were jelous and I wouldn't tell them where I got it. Good times.

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#15 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1623 posts) -

Pokemon still gets me every time. I just have to play them.

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#16 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4396 posts) -

Gen 1 pokemon games were too easy, granted they are for kids. I walked all over the final bosses with no effort. Hypnosis and Sleep Powder made everything else irrelevent.

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#17 Edited by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

Gen 1 is really interesting competitive wise despite all of its flaws when compared to the newer gen. Gen 1 psychic is in a lot of away fairly comparable to the later gens dragon type. The type being good is not really the thing. Rather is just so happens good pokemon have that type as a good bonus. In this case special is a really good stat and psychic types have a lot of it and in the other gens dragons just have massive stats. A psychic type is not using psychic move for coverage rather than strong neutral STAB damage much like dragons use dragon type moves. Most of the time they would be preferring to hit with their coverage moves. Or taking advantage of their sub type which like with dragons maybe be the more defining feature.

The real thing that caused psychic types to fall from grace was split in the special stat rather than the balancing of the type. Every psychic type essentially lost a massive amount of effective stats. One only need to look at current 6 Gen dragons. The introduction of the fairy type haven't really dented them all. Sure the fairy type do work as intended are a massive threat to pretty much all dragons.

The fairy types all just have a stat disadvantage when it comes to the likes of the dragons. Which is a wise move on Game Freaks part. Because as opposed to Gen 1 psychic and dragon types, fairy type really is just that good. Slapping fairy type onto any pokemon massively improves that pokemon rather than being just nice. This makes in line of something more like steel type one off the other added for balance types. Which also never became the type to rule them all due to lacking magical stat distributions.

Another topic that is interesting when comparing gen 1 to the other gens is the fact that it actually has the highest percent OU competitive Pokemon compared to all the other generations. 19 OU pokemon out of 151 puts it at 12.6%. That's 23.7% if you reduce that down to fully evolved pokemon. So pretty much a 1/4 of the dex is entirely viable. Which is very impressive for the most unbalanced of the gen. I did overall percent for the rest of the gens also. Their are some pretty interesting numbers there for discussion.

Gen 1 12.6% > Gen 2 9.6% > Gen 4 8.9% > Gen 5 7.9% > Gen 6 7.2% > Gen 3 6.7%

One would naturally expect these numbers to drop a bit as you add more pokemon but I still feel like they give a good idea on how each added balance effected the meta game.

The changes in Gen 2 was no slouch. Sure it was one of the biggest drops but the pokemon added in gen 2 were notoriously terrible.

The physical/special split in Gen 4 looks like it was easily the biggest change for making the most pokemon viable since its the only time that number has increased. Also there was some pretty solid dex editions with some new evos for old pokemon. So that can't be understated.

Gen 5 seems to have pretty much stayed the course despite weather wars ruining everything according to some. It was the one with most minor balance changes but it also the one added the most pokemon. Easily the most solid pokemon additions in the series. It also added some of the best quality of life changes for competitive looking at use infinite use TMs. Overall good job gen 5. You were my favorite for a reason.

Gen 6 the addition of faeries and mega evolution to game as balancing seems to have been pretty underwhelming. It is the smallest drop but also added the least amount of pokemon and I ignored megas in my calculations meaning the number is lower in actuality. It's probably about tied with Gen 5 in terms of beneficially making more pokemon viable. Basically as good as alot of quality additions to the cast.

Gen 3 is the most interesting of them all here being what many would consider the birthplace of competitive pokemon. The EV and IV system made you specialized your pokemon. Now each pokemon could play different roles much more than before when each pokemon did just one thing well. In a lot of ways this was probably was fairly large nerf to a lot of pokemon comparable to the special stat split. It was probably a good balance in the long run but it broke a lot of the old designs in the process.

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#18 Posted by Substance_D (370 posts) -

@mezza said:

@substance_d: uh, what? You just took what he said and reinterpreted it to fit your belief. He never said anything about Nintendo and their family friendly policy, or a fear about what may happen to kids in an mmo setting. I even checked the article just to be sure you didn't miss including the info in your quote.

All he said was that they are unsure if the core gameplay loop would still be as fun for all the playerbase in an mmo environment. Which I agree with him. Competitive pokemon isnt fun for everyone, and mmo's aren't necessarily a very fun genre. The genre is pretty boring and time consuming in my opinion, and so is raising proper ready to compete pokemon. Which you would be more pushed toward doing if everyone was running around fighting eachother freely.

Sorry, I was reading between the lines. It's what people who realize that professionals have to frame things a certain way in order to keep their jobs do.

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#19 Edited by MezZa (3038 posts) -

@substance_d: That's all well and good but to present more speculation as proof for your speculation is something else entirely. Saying that we all know what he really wants to say here but can't is just suspicious nonsense.

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#20 Posted by Substance_D (370 posts) -

I linked to the original article. I didn't claim to be quoting him. Get over yourself.

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#21 Posted by redking56 (224 posts) -

Pokémon was never lauded for it's rpg mechanics

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#22 Edited by MezZa (3038 posts) -

@substance_d said:

I linked to the original article. I didn't claim to be quoting him. Get over yourself.

That doesn't really have anything to do with what I said... but I'm not here to argue nor do I care enough to.

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#23 Posted by Haz (404 posts) -

@substance_d: It's funny, I was thinking that I'd feel the exact same way when I get my n3DS Pokemon bundle tomorrow. Pokemon Red was the first game I got to pick on my own as a kid. I absolutely loved it as an eight year old ... but now at 25 years old...? I don't know.

I did like Pokemon X/Y, but the series has some deep problems, which has ultimately left me unable to even finish Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

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#24 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

@haz:You weren't about to finish Alpha Sapphire because the Hoenn games are hot garbage. Everything from the design of the region to the pokemon in those games are just the most unfun. It's inherit in the entire makeup. The updates the new gen gave it still can't help as the mechanics are not the problem.

I think I've only put like 25 hrs into it. I have put nothing less than 120 hrs in every entry of the series except original ruby and emerald. I'm not alone in this. I had a friend who hoped back into the series pretty heavy after skipping 3rd gen. So he didn't have the hate for the original 3rd gen and he hasn't even beat. Other Pokemon fans I know also just stalled out on it.

Gamefreak should have a lesson where they sit every new employee down and show them Hoenn say this is how you don't make new pokemon and region.

Fire Red/ Leaf Green perfectly fine and great games. X/Y perfect fine and great games. The second Hoenn comes around I want nothing to do with it. I really tried this time. I tried to get hyped for it. I prepped some fun pokemon in X/Y to use during my playthrough. Nothing helped.

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#25 Edited by niflhe (116 posts) -

@ryuku_ryosake: The same thing happened to me with Alpha Sapphire. Over 250 hours in Pokemon X, barely 20 in Alpha Sapphire. I just cannot get into the Hoenn region, at all.

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#26 Posted by Capum15 (6005 posts) -

Playing through Yellow again myself, and man it is pretty rough (especially compared to the most recent ones like X/Y and OR/AS). But still, I find it fun. Though not being able to sort the 4 moves is infuriating since I've gotten so used to moving them to be in a proper order. Also TMs being single-use makes me sad.

Granted I did get a level 100 Gengar before fighting Brock so if my main guys ever get in trouble I have a 'melt the face of my enemies' trump card.

Also need to look up when I can go about getting that Mew. I love that these glitches are still there, breaking these games was always a fun time.

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#27 Posted by niflhe (116 posts) -

@capum15: I believe you can sort the moves by pressing Select.

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#28 Edited by Capum15 (6005 posts) -

@niflhe: ...I never even thought of trying that. Just looked it up and it apparently has to be during a battle but man, that's fine. I'll fight the world to reorder that list if I have to.

Edit: Yep, works. Awesome, thanks duder!

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#29 Edited by beforet (3470 posts) -

I could never play the first gen, even as a child. Just found it too difficult, and I didn't want to grind a team up. My first real Pokemon was Gold followed by Crystal, and then I took a long hiatus until college when I played Diamond (B2/W2 was out at this time) just to see if I could get back into it (I did, Diamond was fun as shit). Never really got the nostalgia people held for that first game.

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#30 Edited by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

@niflhe: I have done alot of thinking about just what make Hoenn so terrible. I have come up with some ideas.

First the exp curve in those games are god awful. Hoenn mons give terrible experience across the board. In the original unless you are doing like a starter only run be prepared to grind an insane amount. The new one added the band aid of exp share aka 6x experience and it worked but I feel like it highlights this problem. With that 6x experience I felt like my party was only just ahead of the curve most of the time. As we seen an average OR/AS completion time is what like 20 hours an original one is closer to 50 hours.

Secondly incredibly boring move pool. In the new version this is mostly fixed but in the original the level up move pools were extremely boring never deviating from type. Infinite TMs is the best thing since the invention of the toilet. Still can't fix that the gen 3 mons overall are still super boring.

Thirdly, the main and primary problem that still plagues the new one in full force, water types everywhere. It doesn't matter that you choose Ruby like me to avoid this as much as possible you will spend what feels like 60% of the time fighting a water type. For one, water types are not fun to fight with them being one of the best defensive and offensive type in the games. Secondly the most common of them you will be fighting are the Lotad family and the Wingull family both lose the grass weakness. Meaning your only counter to all these damn water type is now electric. Remember Blaziken and Swapert two of the greatest starters ever made too bad you never get to use them. The Lotad and Wingull combo came all hit all three starters super effectively. Remember how electric is your only hope. Well there a grand total of three new ones of those plusle, minun, and manectric. Did I mention how boring 3rd gen pokemon are?

Seriously my last two playthroughs of Hoenn games both old and new. Consisted of me teaching a Ralts thunderbolt and only using said Ralts and its thunderbolt until its 15 pp ran out which happened between almost every two points in that game.

EDIT: Seriously look at a list of gen 3 pokemon and ask is it weak to water, grass, or flying. If no, is it normal type?

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#31 Posted by Substance_D (370 posts) -

@haz said:

@substance_d: It's funny, I was thinking that I'd feel the exact same way when I get my n3DS Pokemon bundle tomorrow. Pokemon Red was the first game I got to pick on my own as a kid. I absolutely loved it as an eight year old ... but now at 25 years old...? I don't know.

I did like Pokemon X/Y, but the series has some deep problems, which has ultimately left me unable to even finish Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

Yeah, Pokemon R/B/Y is definitely the slowest paced and least polished. Everyone loves it because it's the first one they played, but in the end it's just a tedious grind. Random encounters, simplistic combat, same old story. People love to rabidly defend anything that's popular or was part of their childhood.

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#32 Posted by FacelessVixen (2528 posts) -

I still have nostalgia for the first few games and was really into them at the time. But if by any slim chance that I'd want invest 100 or so hours with a Pokemon game today as I did when I was a kid, it probably wouldn't be from Gen 1 or 2. I mean, I'm sure that I can go back and play Red or Blue without being hung up on the criticisms the other people have about them, but I can always watch a let's play of one of the games on YouTube and say to myself "Yeah, I'm good".

Honestly, Pokemon got really dry for me after the Gold and Silver remakes. The idea of getting into the competitive scene crosses my mind every now and then, but it's a pretty weak reason for me to get a 3DS. That and I can't remember which ones came out after Gen 3 by name.

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#34 Edited by Strangestories (424 posts) -

@ryuku_ryosake: Huh. Sapphire is the first Pokemon game that truly grabbed me. I played yellow first then crystal but Sapphire is what I put probably 200-300 hours into when I was younger. All the mystery with the Regi's, having to decipher the walls in that underwater cavern (without Internet), Swampert and Metagross being awesome, finding Rayquaza by accident. Realizing I should stop being super dumb and level up Crobat till it had a higher speed stat than Latias (Latios?) and use Scary Face or whatever to keep it from running away...Idk it's the first Pokemon game where I actually started to learn how the game worked. None of the games after that got even close to topping it for me. But this is coming from someone who's into the games very casually. Heck, Ampharos is my favorite Pokemon (even have a shiny version woo!) and pretty much replaced my starter in Pokemon X but apparently it's awful.

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#35 Posted by Capum15 (6005 posts) -

@strangestories: I've always found it interesting at how vocal people could be about how apparently terrible Gen 3 was. Emerald is still my favorite game (followed closely by Platinum) and I sunk so many hours into it I had to restart a few times because the internal clock would stop working or something (so no berries would grow and such). I use a Swampert and Absol in almost every game if I can.

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#36 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

@strangestories: Ampharos is Gen 2 pokemon and I like it too. But yeah for me the only Gen 3 pokemon I like are Blaziken, Swampert, Gardevoir(mainly after becoming fairy type and dope Mega), Metagross, Latis, and the box legend trio. But the bare minimum for any gen is that you should like the starters, legends, and pseudo-legends because those are the pokemon they put the most design work into because they are so front facing. That means out of set of new pokemon I like only one non mascot pokemon and mainly because of changes they made in a later gen.

But yeah I don't discount that there's a large set of people for which the Gen 3 games are they're favorite usually being their first or the first time discovering competitive battle.

In a lot of ways it still is very flawed. The terrible leveling curve being one of them which is equal part ymmv and an actual problem.

For me it completely clashes with my play style since I try to keep and evenly leveled team of 6 during likely with multiple substitutions during my play through. This is next to impossible to do in RSE and I have tried in every playthrough. It eventually comes out for most of the game you can keep about a maximum of three pokemon slightly head of the level up curve. Anymore and you will be under leveled. Which would be fine usually nice use of type would help you to overcome the level gap. The problem here is that you overwhelmingly fight more water types than any other throughout the game. This means only Pokemon with electric or grass atacks can actually land super effective attacks most of the time. Causing the rest of the team to fall behind them.

Now on the more universal problems evident in the leveling curve. You have one fairly large level jump with the back to back gym leaders with nothing new in between when you return to fight your father. There pokemon span a 5 lvl range and gym leaders start usually a couple levels above there surrounding areas. This means that your pokemon should be about 7 levels above the curve which is huge when exp trickles in like it does in Gen 3. This requires you to grind a lot or focus on very few pokemon.

Then you get to the end of the game where everything caps out at about lvl 40 after a 5 lvl jump from the 7th badge until the elite four. Then the elite four starts at lvl 46 and goes up to lvl 58. That 12 level gap is easily the largest level gap with literally zero content in between anywhere in the series. And you probably enter the elite four below that lvl 46 unless you really focused an a few pokemon and even then they might be lvl 48 tops. Still it is an unbelievable able cliff of sheer grind.