Pokemon Overview

What do you think of pokemon games? I imagine you don’t enjoy them but I’d like to hear your thoughts

I’ve played, Red, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Platinum, Soul Silver, and White. I beat all of them except for White, where on victory road I realized I was so tired of playing Pokemon, and quit.

Pokemon Red was the first game I ever owned, though not the first one I ever played.
Of all the RPGs I’ve played, Pokemon is perhaps one of if not the most complex. You’re given a huge number of different characters you can capture, they all have different types, they all have different moves that themselves are of different types. Some of these moves are strong or weak against other types of pokemon, the moves get a boost if they’re of the same type as the pokemon using them. The Pokemon have 6 different stats that affect their moves, which are increased both through their level and EVs which are distributed by the pokemon they beat. Pokemon all have different abilities that occasionally affect combat. Pokemon can hold items that affect combat.

Downside, none of that shit matters for clearing the game. You don’t need to know the intricacies of the system, at best you need to memorize the elemental table. Most of beating the game is just grinding and picking pokemon that are super effective against enemies without letting enemies have anything super effective on them. Most enemies, especially in the newer games which are easier than the old ones, don’t carry 6 pokemon and tend to pick entirely the same type for their team. They also quit doing the end-game content like battle frontier or battle subway with tougher challenges that play to the competitive meta.

On the upshot, the multiplayer can tend to be rather complex, with team composition being rather tricky with all the crazy variables you gotta keep in mind. Down-side, EV training used to be bullshit (I heard it got better), and a lot of the battle system comes down to dumb luck. Chances of missing, chances of inflicting status conditions, chances of critical hit. Even though you can use a simulator these days to skip all the tedious pokemon training, competitive play is still pretty much a wash. I’m sure there’s more to it that I’m skimming over because honestly I never got involved in it, but it sounds like a pain to me. There is probably a fair amount of depth to it, but I don’t want to get involved enough in it to find out. In that regard it is probably the most successful RPG in the multiplayer department, and in comparison to most other JRPGs, it also succeeds in pure complexity/differentiation between game states, because even ones like Shin Megami Tensei have a ton of redundant spells that are just stronger elemental damage, where Pokemon made almost all of its moves unique from one another and a massive amount have additional effects. Shin Megami Tensei games succeed on the single-player level because they stress the strategic parts of their system a lot more and aren’t afraid of stacking the deck against the player, though I think they would fail if they ever had a multiplayer component.

Yeah I’ve always felt that they could really bring pokemon to the next level by adding a higher difficulty campaign that stresses the strategic part of the game. I was honestly expecting you to bash the game.

Hahaha, I love how they were asked about adding a hard mode by a fan at one interview, and the guy was just like, “What? But then nobody would be able to finish the game.”

You know I’m harsh on RPGs and kind of a hard-ass and cynic in general, but you also know I’m gonna tell the truth as I see it, and try my best to tell the whole story without distorting anything.

What did you mean by “Pokemon (lots of configurable parts, every monster you encounter is made from commonly accessible parts)”? From: https://critpoints.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/games-for-learning-about-depth

Every Pokemon has 6 stats, HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense. They have a level. They have EVs and IVs. A Nature. They have 1 or 2 elemental types. They have 1 of 1 to 3 abilities. They have a gender. They have a happiness level. They have 4 moves, each of which has an attack power, an accuracy level, a certain number of PP, an attack type, an elemental type, and sometimes an additional effect. These moves can be one of a pool of moves that they either learn at specific levels or can learn from a TM or HM.

These are all the things that can possibly affect the outcome of a battle in even the smallest way.

Beyond that, and unlike most other RPGs, every single enemy you will encounter for the rest of the game follows the above rules. There is no enemy in the entire game that you cannot possess and make an identical copy of.

In Shin Megami Tensei, a lot of wandering encounters follow those rules, but then the bosses don’t, and of course there aren’t nearly as many configurable attributes as above. In Final Fantasy, you can forget it.

Beyond having so many different attributes, isn’t Pokemon shallow because encounters are just about optimization, it’s just that there’s a lot of knowledge involved in it due to so many parts? I think you’ve said this yourself? so is it a good depth example in that it shows how *not* to do it?

I’ve covered pokemon before. Yes, the direct act of interaction during a battle is kind of shallow. It’s mostly about deckbuilding. The standard campaign doesn’t force you to get good. However it’s still an example you can learn from, because few other RPGs do the same thing pokemon does. Few other RPGs have characters that are that complicated.

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