So here's the thing: Until a month or so ago, I had never played a Pokémon game.
That wasn't really an indie-rock hipper-than-thou thing on my part. I mean, it is true that I'm of such an age that I was never in the target demographic for the franchise, which may intersect with why I never got into the anime, but hell, there are a lot of things I'm into where I'm nowhere near the target demographic.
No, mostly it was because the only portable video game system I'd ever owned until recently is an Atari Lynx. I never had any of Nintendo's portable gadgets. The original Game Boy seemed primitive even when it was new (monochrome graphics in 1989? really?), and I was just never very interested in portable game gadgets thereafter. Since Pokémon games never came out for anything but, that meant I couldn't have played any of them if I wanted to.
Well, then came the point when Nintendo converged their console and portable product lines and came out with the Switch, which was both. And I... still didn't pay much attention, until one day a few months ago when I was wandering around a Large Retail Establishment and noticed they were on sale. So, pretty much at random, I bought one.
And then did practically nothing with it until the end of the summer, when I hurt my leg and had to spend most of September and October over at my mother's, flat on my back in the Tempurpedic Suite without much to do. It was about then it occurred to me that I owned a modern portable gaming device. (Better still, by buying another one of the dock gizmos for it, I could use it with the large TV that happened to be mounted on the wall in the room I was stuck in, and which until that moment had been useless to me because only capable of tuning to Fox News. No, seriously.)
I'm not going to lie: while I was over there, we mostly used it to play Stardew Valley, which my mother got weirdly attached to watching me play. (She is currently very annoyed with me because I hate the fishing minigame in Stardew Valley so much that we cannot progress, but anyway.) But, I happened to mention to my colleagues in the EPU studio that I had a Switch and was so employing it.
I had forgotten that one of those colleagues, Mr. Pearson "Doc" Mui, is a huge fan of Pokémon.
So, that's a long and convoluted story about how the very first Pokémon game I ever played was Pokémon Let's Go Eevee. By a strange convergence of timing, I happened to be in a position to own a Pokémon game for the first time at exactly the point where Nintendo had deliberately made a Pokémon game designed for people who had just wandered in out of the hall to see what all the noise was about. (It's evidently a remake of one of the first-generation games, which is why, despite having started playing in 2019, I only recognize the monsters from 1998.)
I won't bore you with the details of my extremely belated journey of discovery, because I'm sure that, like everyone else in the world, you've all seen it long before me. I will note that I have to confess, I was not expecting a game so obviously aimed at children to be so... spreadsheet-y.
I flatter myself that I eventually got the hang of it, at least well enough to finish the storyline. (Of course, the fact that Doc went to some promotional event or another and then sent me a gift code for a weapon of mass destruction didn't hurt. Boy, was that Team Rocket asshole surprised. :)
I'm still rubbish at catching anything that won't stay in the center of the screen, though. I'm glad the Let's Go capture mechanic didn't continue into Pokémon Sword (which I bought, but am not letting myself play until I've finished Friends Like These).
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.