Catching ‘em All #3 - Current Progress & ​Pokémon Yellow Verdict

  • Current Standings:

    Pokémon X

    • Badges - 8
    • PokéDex - 403
    • Play Time - 95:55

    Pokémon Yellow

    • Badges - 8
    • PokéDex - 87
    • Play Time - 33:05

    Pokémon SoulSilver

    • Badges - 5
    • PokéDex - 60
    • Play Time - 22:17

    Note: PokéDex counts and the logic behind them vary from game to game so take these numbers as a rough guide for the time being. I'm still working on a more accurate solution.

    Current Thoughts:
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    Seriously I have ​Pokémon everywhere at the moment but that's ok. It's to be expect at this point in the mission. ​Pokémon Bank is my home for collected ​Pokémon but currently the only ones I have in there are the ones I have from ​Pokémon X. Even then the Bank is a mess of mismatched ​Pokémon. So to make things easier in the long run I am manually organising my many monsters in PokéDex order in the first chunk of boxes. The rest will be for spares, trades and such.

    In ​Pokémon X itself I just have my core team which I am using to travel around the place and slowly fill out the ​Pokémon X PokéDex. I still have a lot of the post Elite Four content to do as well but like my playthrough of ​Pokémon X in general I am really taking my time with it. It is a beautiful game so I am more than happy to dip in and out of it when I need a break from SoulSIlver.

    In ​Pokémon Yellow I have beaten the Elite Four but still have a long way to go to finish out the PokéDex there. I wanted to take a break from it because while it is still awesome some of the systems and mechanics in Gen I are well....a bit pants. (More on this below!) So for my own sanity I need a bit of a breather before I go back into it's mess of a menu system. ​

    One huge boon that I have been receiving all year is the Official 20th Anniversary Mythical ​Pokémon Distributions from Nintendo. It is making what would usually be the hardest part of filling out my collection a nice pleasant breeze. Each month brings a new ​Pokémon either directly from Nintendo or from my local Game store via codes. I haven't played around much with the ones I have received so far (Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Darkrai and Manaphy) but I will probably do an Elite Four run or two with them at some point.

    My main priority at the moment is playing through SoulSilver. Jumping into it straight after playing Yellow has been awesome because it feels like I am sort of continuing the story. The jump from GameBoy (with a bit of Colour) to DS is huge and it feels a lot more comfortable to play. I am also using a Pokéwalker with the game too. The little red and white device is permanently clipped to my belt. So while it periodically draws strange looks from my fellow commuters in my travels in and out of London every day for work it has been worth it. On a good day I can catch all three ​Pokémon on a Pokéwalker route by the time I get back home in the evening. Things are starting to draw out a bit now though because I have unlocked all the routes you can before beating the Elite Four but I’m still I am loving it!

    SoulSilver Progress
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    One cool thing I decided on doing for my playthrough of SoulSliver is to track my team as it grows and changes over the length of the game. I only came up with this idea a few gyms into the game so things like levels aren’t included on the first few teams. Tracking my team is also pushing me to change up things more than I usually would too which is cool.

    Here are my teams up to the last Gym Badge I acquired.

    Note: Pokémon sizes are not accurate this is just how I see them in my head while I am playing.
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    So far the Gyms haven’t been too challenging with the only one I had any real problems with being the Ecruteak City Gym. I was way to under levelled for it and botched my first attempt at it. Thankfully the end result of this was me taking some time to really explore the parts of the world map I had access to and level up my team. Now that I have acquired the Storm Badge I am taking some time out of the Pokémon League to catch anything and everything in the Safari Zone!

    Pokémon Yellow Verdict
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    Overall I have had a blast replaying Pokemon Yellow after so many years!

    There was a period in my life for about 2 years were I would play Pokemon Yellow to completion then delete my save data and start again. Eventually Nintendo got around to releasing a steady stream of new Pokemon games for me to enjoy so my Gameboy eventually disappeared into the ether with my cartridge for Yellow inside it.

    Thankfully the powers that be at the Pokemon Company decided they needed some more money and made all three Gen I games available on 3DS! So I splashed the cash and picked up Yellow, my favourite of the first batch of games.

    Overall the game has aged really well despite some issues with some of the more....half-baked systems in the Gen I Pokemon games. The inventory management and PC storage system in this game are a horrible and I can't believe I put up with it as a kid. Seriously the PC system in this game is the worst. All you are given is a list of Pokémon. None of the extra details and summaries you get in the modern games. The worst part the list is of whatever you have named your Pokémon. It’s fine if you just stick to their default names but if you are a crazy person like me and need to give every single Pokémon you catch a nickname it quickly becomes an unruly mess.

    It is also interesting to see the inconsistencies that have developed between Gen I and the modern games. There are multiple references to real world countries and locations throughout the game. Something that was perfect when the game first came out. It gave it strong ties to the real world as a way to help flesh out its fiction. Giving a sense that this was some weird alternate future or timeline for our planet. Now though we have the well established region system that has replaced the need to reference real world places. So you get these weird instances where characters and text in the Pokémon Yellow reference stuff that just does not exist in the world of Pokémon today.

    Thankfully the core of the game is still perfect. The slow exploration of the game's region and the thirst for catching them all pushes you to exploring every surprisingly well thought out nook and cranny of the game world. It still amazes me that they managed to squeeze so much stuff in terms of locations, character, mechanics and systems onto a tiny Gameboy cartridge. There is more in here than most modern JRPGs and as a whole Gen I sets a very high bar for the franchise early on.
    For this playthrough I decided to try a couple of different Pokemon than the ones I usually go for. I also didn't want to rely too much on the Gen I starters because you get all three of them in Yellow! So I picked one and kept him in my team. I of course chose Charmander the original Pokémon to make any young trainer to go weak at the knees at the thought of the potential power packed into such a well thought out design.

    Here's my team as of beating the Elite Four complete with the weird/silly nicknames I gave them,
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    I have found a new found appreciation for status inducing Pokémon like Vileplume because they are relatively overpowered in Gen I. Sleep Powder was a common theme in my battle plans especially when it came to Gym Battles and the might Elite Four. I also went for the required Psychic Pokémon that every Gen I team needs to have. But rather than going for Abra, etc. I set my sights on acquiring a Hypno. Finding that actually after all these years I like what Hypno as Pokémon has going for it.

    Bon Bon, my Marowak was another welcome change up from the norm I used to go for. Along with Cuebone it is perhaps one of the thematically darkest Pokémon you can get. With each Cuebone/Marowak coming from a grim cycle of death and birth where the skull of the Mother becomes the face of the Younger. It is seriously messed up when you think about it. Sif was chosen because I love Eevee and its many Eeveelutions so I usually end up with one or two in my line up. Water was the gap I had in my team so a Vaporeon slotted in quite nicely. Stan was there because you want to keep him pottering around with you on screen. I kept him reasonably competitive into the late game by pumping him full of stat boosting items but yeah…Stan’s stats sucked in Gen I.

    Overall it has been a wonderful experience going back and playing Pokémon Yellow again. The added bonus of being able to transfer them to Sun and Moon when they come out only adds to that enjoyment. These are Pokémon that I will be taking forward in my collection for god knows how long. It is fitting that playing a Gen I game is the thing that prompted me to start this Living PokéDex mission I've given myself.

    Next Time: Pokémon GO Break