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Hype, Pokémon, and Storylines

Posted July 18th, 2014 at 06:56 AM by BeachBoy
Updated July 18th, 2014 at 08:03 AM by BeachBoy

You can never really leave what you love. Or at least that's what I still tell myself, and love that I do.

Fourth of July. My girlfriend and I go to a barbarcue at our friends. We arrived early and our friend Ryan had to go out to get some extra supplies, and he tossed me a green gameboy to pass the wait. Pokémon Blue was inside, which happened to be my very first game. It was a rush of nostalgia unlike any other. So many memories... Picking Charmander on my sixth birthday. Who could evolve to Beedrill the fastest in elementary school. Diving constantly in Sapphire and becoming the world's greatest wailord fan. Achieving 175 at the Battle Arcade (the greatest thing I ever accomplished in Pokémon). Getting moderator at PC (running around in my PJs). All my memories here (though I wish I could figure out all these name changes).

I started to do a Nuzlocke run of Blue (if a Pokémon faints, it's considered dead and released). I got to Sabrina in a couple of days and was hooked again. Years ago, I had quit video games and left smod to tackle life; I not only tackled life, but did spectacularly well. My girlfriend and I move into our new apartment Monday. I'm happy, but what I forgot was how video games, Pokémon specifically, helped me get away when the stress of finals did hit me. So before I could finish Blue, I simply bought a 3DS and X on a whim. And now, I'm posting to PC in similar fashion, and I miss the people that missed me. Looking back brought back a lot of emotions (but not enough to get noticed at my internship, haha, laying low).

But in this revival, I can't get this thought about hype out of my head.



I missed Black and White, followed by Black 2 and White 2. Just before I left PC and a legacy I didn't fully appreciate at the time, people were trashing them. I remember us creating the forum and posting the speculation threads and how awful it was prereviewed. It was disheartening. Now I come back, and from what I looked back though, people thought B/W/2's story was incredible. Or at the very least, refreshing. We expected the worst and got the best.

Now I'm playing X, and yes, it's easy and the storyline feels weak (and as I've read on the forums, many hated it and the lack of post-game). So I made it a blind Nuzlocke, turned EXP share off, forbid the use of items, and have certainly been trying to not to die (I'm holding on my a Hawlucha and Lucario by the fifth gym).

What's so lovely about Pokémon is the surprise, even if you've seen events in different ways. What was so spectacular was what was unexpected. With CoroCoro revealing everything, and building up hype, I wonder if we are the ones that ruin our own experience. What if you missed it? What if you just played the game? Do you think you would even be able to hold yourself to that? Not with Z or the remakes, but another generation.
Trade speculation for surprise.
Trade the fear of missing out for the delight of surprise.
Trade being-the-first to being-immersed.


And so I'm going to go back and play White and Black 2 without spoiling much further, because there's a certain sense of joy we tarnish when we ruthlessly judge every thing detail. GameFreak has added features along the way, and when it does, we just complain about something else.

I'm trying to figure out how to balance anticipation and surprise, I guess. What characteristics bring about the most satisfying in-game experience? Nuzlocke has worked well for me, to bring a degree of randomness, but if a game is ruined through speculation, how should I approach new games? It's like balancing online and offline interactions, which perhaps doesn't have a happy medium, but rather leaps from one to the other.

Anyway, hi. It's been a while. You look lovely.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Forever's Avatar
    good choice pokemon black and white were the best games ever invented ever
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 07:58 AM by Forever Forever is offline
  2. Old Comment
    hashtag's Avatar
    Black is terrible couldn't play past the 5th gym #terrible
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 08:29 AM by hashtag hashtag is offline
  3. Old Comment
    BeachBoy's Avatar
    Fitting name, then.

    And forever is still forever. Least some things have stayed consistent.
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 08:31 AM by BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Diddy Kong's Avatar
    I was done with Pokemon (again) after Black. I didn't enjoy it like I thought I would, but I ended up getting bamboozled into buying X because I liked the 3D battling and it looked fun.

    Overall I enjoyed it. It was fun. But I am still undecided on ORAS. (Someone will say, "You'll still get it") That's certainly likely. RSE was one of my favorite gens.

    Good to see you around, Ryan. Glad things are going well for you! And yes, the name changes make things completely confusing.
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 08:38 AM by Diddy Kong Diddy Kong is offline
  5. Old Comment
    BeachBoy's Avatar
    Klippy! Another familiar name.

    Find it interesting that Black didn't cut it but X got you with the 3D. And yeah, Sapphire was my favorite, so I won't be able to resist the remakes.
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 09:04 AM by BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
  6. Old Comment
    DJTiki's Avatar
    I loved Generation 5, it still holds as my favorite, it had a lot of small tweaks that some people take for granted(like Reusable TMs and Dream World Abilities), it even expounded upon online play a bit. I loved story and gameplay(especially PWT!). All in all, I liked Gen 5, and Gen 6 kinda fell short for me, in a lot of ways.
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 10:51 AM by DJTiki DJTiki is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Pendraflare's Avatar
    Generation V is my favorite, too, Black and White are pretty nice for the story and only using new Pokémon, and hold some nice challenges, especially the final battles with N and Ghetsis. As for the sequels, which are my favorite games in the series, they're not as much on the difficult side but have more to do, including more variety, more post-game and some good development throughout. You just have so much to do between both games.

    XY are a close second though, massive variety and cool 3D wins it for me.
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 11:43 AM by Pendraflare Pendraflare is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Tsutarja's Avatar
    Ah, so the BeachBoy I've heard so many good things about from the older staff has come back to PC. :)

    BW and B2W2 were "okay" for games (still not as good as Gen 4 imo), but I dunno how to compare it to X and Y in terms of gameplay.
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 01:10 PM by Tsutarja Tsutarja is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Dixie Kong's Avatar
    Ryan, keep your beachy butt here. :(
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 09:13 PM by Dixie Kong Dixie Kong is offline
  10. Old Comment
    BeachBoy's Avatar
    @DJTiKi, much appreciated! Glad you threw your hat in the ring. I'm going to sweep back and go through, and I bet I'll agree with you.

    @Stargazer, what about that "challenge mode?"

    @Zach, hi. Yes that's me, haha. Drop me a vm, would be great to get to know you!

    @Jak. okay, gotcha :V
    Posted July 19th, 2014 at 05:03 PM by BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
  11. Old Comment
    bobandbill's Avatar
    Overall gen V imo were fun.

    Story wise - B2W2 was imo a step backwards again from BW which was the strongest by far from the main games, just... still weak when looked at. But that said, X&Y really went backwards imo in that regard. =( But ignoring that they were still fun Pokemon games. At least B2W2 still made actual characters out of a number of gym leaders for instance.

    Overall I much preferred B2W2. I felt it executed the smaller things better, and offered way more to do beyond the main quest (and really used wifi stuff well too). Join Avenue, the local wifi missions/minigames, white hollow/black tower being improved, the movies, the world tournament were all great additions in their own right. BW meanwhile just lacked besides explore other areas and the battle trains and catch them all, yadda yadda. Dream World just didn't cut it.

    On this:
    Quote:
    I remember us creating the forum and posting the speculation threads and how awful it was prereviewed.
    I think it is fair to say that people do this with every set of new games in fact. 4th gen had it too, for example. So did X&Y. Meanwhile, soon enough I anticipate DPPt to start getting the treatment RSE have the last few years when a wave of kids who started out with them start getting nostalgic and really appreciating them. Just like with RBY, and GSC. Screw the others, enjoy (or don't) each set of games in your own way imo.

    I also feel that it is better to try to not overhype new games too much. Lower expectations (=/= low expectations) means less dissapointment at worst, and greater surprises at best. It's now an advantage that the Japan release isn't a half year or whatever beforehand which I think contributed a bit to that with previous gens.

    (Also - hi!)
    Posted July 19th, 2014 at 10:14 PM by bobandbill bobandbill is offline
  12. Old Comment
    BeachBoy's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobandbill View Comment
    Overall gen V imo were fun.

    Story wise - B2W2 was imo a step backwards again from BW which was the strongest by far from the main games, just... still weak when looked at. But that said, X&Y really went backwards imo in that regard. =( But ignoring that they were still fun Pokemon games. At least B2W2 still made actual characters out of a number of gym leaders for instance.

    Overall I much preferred B2W2. I felt it executed the smaller things better, and offered way more to do beyond the main quest (and really used wifi stuff well too). Join Avenue, the local wifi missions/minigames, white hollow/black tower being improved, the movies, the world tournament were all great additions in their own right. BW meanwhile just lacked besides explore other areas and the battle trains and catch them all, yadda yadda. Dream World just didn't cut it.

    On this:
    I think it is fair to say that people do this with every set of new games in fact. 4th gen had it too, for example. So did X&Y. Meanwhile, soon enough I anticipate DPPt to start getting the treatment RSE have the last few years when a wave of kids who started out with them start getting nostalgic and really appreciating them. Just like with RBY, and GSC. Screw the others, enjoy (or don't) each set of games in your own way imo.

    I also feel that it is better to try to not overhype new games too much. Lower expectations (=/= low expectations) means less dissapointment at worst, and greater surprises at best. It's now an advantage that the Japan release isn't a half year or whatever beforehand which I think contributed a bit to that with previous gens.

    (Also - hi!)
    So, let me see if I understand: while you thought B/W had a superior storyline, it was B2/W2 that made it more preferable because of all the little things? And as for story: B/W > BW2 > X/Y ... Am I following you?

    As for the hype, I believe you're right. I wasn't around to see the X/Y hype, but I did wonder what is was like (please tell me there was a "Mr. Mime is now a fairy" thread).

    And I find myself finally appreciating DPPt for all it's worth. I miss them. I miss the Battle Arcade especially.
    Posted July 21st, 2014 at 04:33 AM by BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
  13. Old Comment
    bobandbill's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BeachBoy View Comment
    So, let me see if I understand: while you thought B/W had a superior storyline, it was B2/W2 that made it more preferable because of all the little things? And as for story: B/W > BW2 > X/Y ... Am I following you?

    As for the hype, I believe you're right. I wasn't around to see the X/Y hype, but I did wonder what is was like (please tell me there was a "Mr. Mime is now a fairy" thread).

    And I find myself finally appreciating DPPt for all it's worth. I miss them. I miss the Battle Arcade especially.
    Correct. BW's story was the best of the three (and all the main games for that matter imo) - it's just that it's still lacking. But that's another ramble/rant. =p

    I think there was probably? Certainly the fairy type thing dominated a lot of discussions, haha.

    Platinum just had so much to do in it. Even though I preferred rse's contests, they were fun to do - add in berries and etc as well with that, the battle frontier (HECK YES THE ARCADE), the pokerader (I used that so much), the underground... it was stacked with things to do besides battling and catching them on. I love that too, but if that's all a game really has then after so many Pokemon games played already it just won't do enough even if the story was okay for myself to last as long as others. I play games for the gameplay most of all, especially with Pokemon. So that is why I preferred B2W2. It had more to do in them and was more polished overall.
    Posted July 21st, 2014 at 04:47 AM by bobandbill bobandbill is offline
  14. Old Comment
    BeachBoy's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobandbill View Comment
    Correct. BW's story was the best of the three (and all the main games for that matter imo) - it's just that it's still lacking. But that's another ramble/rant. =p

    I think there was probably? Certainly the fairy type thing dominated a lot of discussions, haha.

    Platinum just had so much to do in it. Even though I preferred rse's contests, they were fun to do - add in berries and etc as well with that, the battle frontier (HECK YES THE ARCADE), the pokerader (I used that so much), the underground... it was stacked with things to do besides battling and catching them on. I love that too, but if that's all a game really has then after so many Pokemon games played already it just won't do enough even if the story was okay for myself to last as long as others. I play games for the gameplay most of all, especially with Pokemon. So that is why I preferred B2W2. It had more to do in them and was more polished overall.
    I still feel that my 175 streak in the Arcade is the greatest thing I'll ever accomplish in Pokemon. Glory days.

    And I would love to hear that ramble/rant.
    Posted July 21st, 2014 at 08:12 AM by BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
  15. Old Comment
    bobandbill's Avatar
    That is quite impressive!

    Luckily it is a ramble I prepared earlier. ;p http://bbs.studio-revolution.net/magazine/?p=58 On a webzine I run, although this was written some time ago (and co-written too for that matter)
    Posted July 22nd, 2014 at 05:26 AM by bobandbill bobandbill is offline
  16. Old Comment
    BeachBoy's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobandbill View Comment
    That is quite impressive!

    Luckily it is a ramble I prepared earlier. ;p http://bbs.studio-revolution.net/magazine/?p=58 On a webzine I run, although this was written some time ago (and co-written too for that matter)
    Update it now that BW2 and XY have provided perspective.
    Posted July 22nd, 2014 at 09:40 AM by BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
  17. Old Comment
    bobandbill's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BeachBoy View Comment
    Update it now that BW2 and XY have provided perspective.
    Hmm, I would probably rather write other articles I have in mind (when I have time...) rn, but maybe? Although it would probably be better writing a new article instead (like a follow up).

    Hope that entertained at any rate.
    Posted July 23rd, 2014 at 05:38 AM by bobandbill bobandbill is offline
 

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