Everyone all over the world is glued to their iPhone screens catching the original 151 Pokemon in Pokemon Go, and with the approaching release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, the Pokemon craze is just as relevant now as it was back then. But all of this Pokemon fun made me realize something….
I have never beaten the original Pokemon games….
I am huge Pokemon fan. I watched the show, I collected the cards, I battled competitively, and I completed every main game in the series. Except one. I received Pokemon Blue for my new Nintendo Game Boy when I was a young boy. I played it (and its’ sequel Pokemon Gold) for hundreds upon hundreds of hours. However, due to my young age, I was never able to actually complete Pokemon Blue before the next games started coming out and stole all of my attention. So, in preparation for Pokemon Sun and Moon, I decided to put this spirit to rest and finally beat the original Pokemon.
I guess I am a decently good player. Honing my two decades of Pokemon experience, I flew through the game and managed to complete it in just over eleven hours. That includes collecting all eight Gym badges, beating the Elite Four, catching all three legendary birds with standard Poke Balls, and after all these years, putting that Mewtwo in its rightful place inside of my Master Ball.
Another reason I wanted to pick up these old games again was to explore some of the newer secrets that were discovered years after the fact. It astonishes me that so much time passed before anyone discovered that you could catch Mew in this game. Not to mention the now mythic MissingNo, one of the most famous video game glitches in history. As a committed Pokemon fan, I had the obligation, the responsibility, to catch these Pokemon!
Playing Pokemon as an adult is quite interesting. Many aspects of the game have changed and evolved over time. Despite the greatly simplified battle system of the older games, I was impressed with the level of polish Pokemon Blue had. The graphics popped in spite of limited colors, the menus were clean and easy to understand, and the battles still had that element of tension, even though it was reduced somewhat by my experience.
Pokemon Blue was definitely made to be a casual RPG aimed at the masses, but that is not to be taken negatively! This game is an absolutely brilliant introduction to the genre and to video games in general. I love how it encourages cooperation and friendship building between people. It is fun, creative, and pure. I feel honored to have grown up with such a perfect game, and I hope that kids generations from now will still have the opportunity to experience something like this, something simple, yet unexplainably meaningful, deep, and seemingly everlasting.