I don't live here, I just work here
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January 17th, 2012 (07:20 AM). Edited January 17th, 2012 by Kip.
Join Date: Feb 2008
More and more recently I've been finding myself going back to SoulSilver and the GameBoy Advance games rather than playing Black. And for a while I couldn't really explain it. I just assumed it was for nostalgia value, but I've recently realised that it's actually something else:
I am just a tourist in Unova.
I don't feel like I live there. I'm just here to see the sights. I can hardly remember or know how to pronounce most of the city names ('cept Black City, ha ha ha.). I have to constantly look at the map to see where I'm going and remember where I am. I find myself taking cruises and flying to places just to walk over the bridges rather than battling or exploring. I queue up to get an ice creme and go and ride elevators. I sit there fiddling with my C-Gear and scrolling through my PokéDex, and not actually doing anything.
This isn't because I don't like the game or I've gotten bored of it - far from it: I have a team of 6, all of whom have reached Level 80, still in training and whom I think are fantastic. I've been to every bit of the region, have a Battle Subway record and I've caught a lot of Pokémon. I love the music, adore the scenery, the story, the much improved battle system (still not as good as the GBA's imo but that's a different kettle of fish).
And still - it doesn't feel like I live there. With other games it does. Feels like I've been a resident of those parts and I don't have to look at a map to know where I'm going. And I know that because each time I switch from Black to one of the other games I feel like I'm coming home after an increasingly mediocre holiday. It's like Unova's charm was fantastic in the beginning but after a while it's simply worn off. I can play post-game in Kanto, Johto and Hoenn for years (even Sinnoh at a stretch but not so much), and I have done since I never usually start new games.
Is it possibly a lack of expansion after the game has ended? Kanto had the Sevii Islands, the legendary birds, the caves and the league to play with afterwards. Hoenn had it's massive maps to explore, the Gold/Silver games had more expansions than all of them put together - heck even Sinnoh had the underground and that battle island... place... thing. But Unova... you've explored half of it already when the story ends, and everything else after that just seems... well, easy. And now there's just nothing to do anymore.
Or is it because Unova is cold and soulless... in the sense that it was created for the sole purpose to be different from the other games. It's charms are there but that X factor that you can't quite define isn't, and after a while the whole region just feels dead. It looks appealing, but feels impersonal. Kanto, Johto and Hoenn felt, and still feels, like an adventure. Unova just feels like a story that's been told already, like I've been watching a film and it's finished.
Basically every time I go to Unova in Black I feel that I'm just visiting, and when I go to the other games, I'm back at home. It's curious, isn't it?
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