Sunday, November 29, 2009

The first three generations are dead to me

Recently I was going through my backlog of games to try and set up a plan of attack for beating them all. During the process, I found the following Pokemon games:

1st gen: Red, Blue, Yellow and Stadium 1

2nd gen: Silver (the same one I wrote the FAQ using), Crystal, Stadium 2

3rd gen: All 5 + the Gamecube games

After looking it over, I decided to add them to the pile of stuff I'd be eventually throwing up on Kijiji for the simple fact that 4th gen has completely spoiled me, and I can never go back to anything playable on a GBA.

Right now, I have completed files on Red, Blue, and Yellow, a dead battery on Silver and Crystal (thank heavens for the Mega Memory Card), a half-done Fire Red run from before Diamond/Pearl launch day, and barren Ruby/Sapphire/Leaf Green/Emerald games that were strip-mined for Pal Park.

Now that you can get every Pokemon with either 1 game + an internet connection or just DS games, I don't need to play anything from 3rd generation back any more. I tried reading goon runs (RedChocobo's epic Let's Play runs for Emerald, FR and Crystal) to see if it would inspire me to bust out the GBA again but nothing. Why is that?

First off, I can't go back to RBY because the inventory in that game is broken - 20 in the main, 50 in the PC, and that's it. Good thing there's only 20 usable TMs... oh, wait. The base game comes down to "install Dugtrio/Jolteon, problem solved". Add in the lack of running shoes, and little things that they got rid of like having to go into the Pokemon menu to use HMs... yeesh. I know the originals were groundbreaking, but when the newer games largely use the same formula with a much improved interface, the original games just can't hold up today.

The 2nd generation makes minor improvements to the 1st but I just played Johto/Kanto again in HG/SS, so if I want to explore Johto again I can blow away the file on HG and start again. Oh, and the whole "doesn't save anymore because the battery died PSP-style" issue can't help matters. I could replace it or use a *gasp* emulator, but I got an exemption from the soldering portion of shop class in junior high so it's not really feasible.

And then there's 3rd gen, but I got enough satisfaction out of clearing Emerald a couple of years ago and can redo Kanto again if I want to for some stupid reason in HG/SS. The 50 TMs return identically in 4th gen, and of course the changes to physical and special moves in 4th gen threw me for a major loop when I had to speedrun Ruby for a fresh set of Regis (this was pre-movie Regigigas). Once you can use Breloom with three types of move (Grass, Electric, Fighting) off the physical attack instead of one, it's hard to go back.

If I ever get a chance to start a retro game of the week blog (which is the plan if I retire before I'm 27 by way of hitting the lottery or a game show), I might revisit them for the heck of it. But for now, make mine Platinum.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My retirement from Mystery Dungeon

There is a main-game related blog entry I want to do, but it's an ongoing story and I'm holding off until it's over - which looks like it'll be December 23, 2012 at the pace it's going now. It involves the Battle Tower and a streak that looks like it's going to make Cal Ripken Jr's look short.

When I get bored of the main games, I'll sometimes borrow a copy of one of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. I keep thinking that as someone who appreciates a good eastern-style RPG, I really need to get into rougelike games in order to have a fuller appreciation of the genre. But not any more. As of November 16, 2009 I am officially done with the Mystery Dungeon series.

And here's why.