Pokémon is the most important video game franchise in my life. Not only is it the franchise that got me into video games, but it is something that has grown up with me. From the highs and lows I have gone through, Pokémon has always been there with me. As we celebrate Pokémon Week here at Secret Stage, I wanted to take a look back at why Pokémon has had such a big impact in my life.
Pokémon is almost as old as I am. This being the 20th anniversary of the beloved series, it’s hard to imagine a time without it. I remember being 5 years old and finally saving fifteen dollars to buy a used copy of Pokémon Red Version. This seemed like so much money to me as a kid, but buying a pass to the wonderful world of crazy and colorful creatures was worth it. I got home, popped that crimson cartridge into the green Game Boy Color that my cousin had given me, and I was sucked into a world that I would never leave.
Over the years, I grew as the franchise progressed. I remember I received Pokémon Gold Version from one of my first-grade friends and got to experience more Pokémon while learning that playing these games with your friends was one of the best ways to play. It became one of the first ways I learned about having common interests with other people, as well as having conversations based on liking one thing.
Jump to the Game Boy Advance era, and I receive a GBA and E-Reader bundle for Christmas. As a total Pokémon nut, I had collected many cards from the collectible trading game that had scannable codes on the sides of them. Scanning them into the GBA E-Reader allowed you to play Pokémon themed mini-games and read Pokédex entries for tons of Pokémon. Skip to a few months later, and I get a copy of Pokémon Sapphire Version from my parents. A whole new world to discover, new Pokémon to catch, and everyone I knew was playing it. I remember coming together to solve puzzles, battle, and trade in such a more substantial amount.
Adding icing on top of the already delicious cake, I got a copy of Pokémon Leaf Green version for the following Christmas. Being able to revisit the world and story that brought me into the series in the first place was so exciting to me! A new coat of paint and the old world seemed new again. Not to mention the added features and areas that were not present in the originals.
2005 hits and the final GBA Pokémon game was about to be released. Pokémon Emerald Version. The final frontier for the Hoenn Region. Literally. With the introduction of the Battle Frontier, a slightly different story line, and a whole bunch of goodies to play with. I was determined to play this game as much as I could and ended up playing over 900 hours of Emerald Version.
That concludes first 10 years of Pokémon and my history with it. Be sure to check back on Wednesday to find out how Pokémon has impacted my life for the last 10 years!