Rediscovering My Love for Pokémon

I still remember the rush of opening my present on Christmas day and seeing the yellow mouse known as Pikachu on the box of my new game: Pokémon Yellow. Collecting these creatures and going on adventures gave me an excitement I never had before. Who would have thought how easy it would be to become so attached to digital animals? I had to have every game that was released throughout my childhood. After the IV generation, I started to slowly lose interest in the Pokémon games and I was getting more into shooter games on other systems. Having no incentive to get the next-gen Nintendo console, Pokémon was officially out of my life sadly. 

I had been planning to get a Nintendo Switch for some time so I could play some of the party games with my friends, but since I already play games on my PC and have a PS4 and spending the money on it didn’t feel right, I resisted. Pokémon Sword & Shield along with the remake of Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl was available for the console, but they had still not piqued my interest enough to return to the franchise.

After some thought, my girlfriend, Sandy, and I decided to get a Switch! We went with the OLED version because we would have it out of the docking station for most of the time. When deciding to get some of the games, I glanced at a couple of the Pokémon ones but wasn’t tempted enough to bite the Poké Ball so to speak. After a week of playing Mario Kart 8 and Triangle Strategy, I heard a new OLED special edition was coming out on November 4th. Being a person who collects and keeps my old consoles I was curious to see what the new Switch would look like.

My eyes widened. Mouth parted. Breath was caught. It was beautiful! The new Nintendo Switch™ OLED was inspired by the upcoming Scarlet and Violet games coming out on November 18th. Everything about this system was resonating with me. Both of the legendary creatures, Koraidon and Miraidon, are painted on the docking station, graffiti of the three starter characters: Fuecoco, Quaxly, and Sprigatito all over the backside, and the colors combine and complement each other to create a true work of art. I wanted this OLED desperately and needed to see it firsthand.

Photo Credit: Steven A. Clubb / Sandy Lo / All's Fair In Love & Writing / 2022

I spent most of my day staring at the features of this new Switch, which is only $10 more than the regular OLED Switch (Retail: $349.99). The longer I gazed at it, the more I wanted to know about the new Pokémon games coming out. With a few strokes of my keyboard, I was neck-deep in information about them. It has been a long time since I played a Pokémon game. Seeing the giant leap in playstyle and visuals brought me back to my childhood memories of catching my first Pidgey. Remembering all the gyms and battles I went through and struggling as a kid to beat the Elite Four and then the champion.

The differences between those old games and these new ones are astounding. Pokémon games on Gameboy were linear with little to no variation in choices. Scarlet and Violet are now open-world with no restrictions on what Gym to battle first or which route to take to get to the next area. Even now, there are more activities to do other than collecting badges from the victims of my Charizard on my path through Victory Road. Path of Legends has you becoming a Monster Hunter and fighting giant Titan Pokémon to collect ingredients. Testing the strength of my team against these monstrous beasts excites the boss fighter in me. Fighting the antagonists of this game, Team Star, is the third and final option for exploring the new region. Villains have come a long way since Team Rocket.

Photo Credit: Steven A. Clubb / Sandy Lo / All's Fair In Love & Writing / 2022

Hefty quality of life changes has also been made to the game. An auto-battle system has been designed so you may have your front Pokémon run off and fight wild Pokémon without the need for your instructions. TM’s can now be crafted at stations in Pokémon Centers. Photo mode allows you to capture moments in the game you wish to remember. My favorite new feature, and one I look forward to using the most, is the multiplayer aspect. Allowing my brother and a couple of other friends to hop in together and explore the world side-by-side. Even having a raid option for us to work together to conquer a dungeon filled with the new Terastal Phenomenon Pokémon for you to battle.

During my research, I also realized that Game Freak has kept the new Pokémon and evolutions under wraps as much as possible. Even though they did this in the last games Sword and Shield, I still feel excited to go in blind and discover what all of these new, adorable creatures look like, which ones I will want as part of my main team. Will any of them be as cute as an Eevee or as cool as an Arcanine? Finding out only as I play will make me feel like a real trainer learning on the spot, channeling my inner Elsa and running “Into the Unknown”!

Are you as excited for this game as I am? What are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments. 👇

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  • Steven A. Clubb

    Steven is passionate about all types of games from videogames to tabletop. He also enjoys fantasy books, TV, and movies as well as the MCU.