I don’t have a ton of history with the Pokémon franchise, but there is just so damn much fan art based on it that it’s hard to avoid tripping across it here and there – and once you’ve seen the same characters enough times, it’s hard not to get a little curious about them.
Granted, most of the fan art is extremely inappropriate for the target audience, but I think you can say that about pretty much any popular series.
That curiosity led me to play through Pokémon Moon a few years back, and It was pretty good. Obviously the next step would be to try Pokémon Go or one of the Switch games and we certainly can’t have me doing anything like that.
Instead, I decided to try Pokémon Black “Version 2”, mostly because the main character seems very popular with fan artists and because I figured it would be cheaper.
Actually buying the game was… well, more of a challenge than it should have been. For some reason, even though it came out after the launch of the 3DS, it was still a DS game. Nintendo makes SOME DS games buyable via the WiiU Virtual Console, but this isn’t one of them, and you can’t buy any DS games on the 3DS eShop.
For extra fun, apparently bootleg Pokémon cartridges are super common and tend to come with fun side effects like not being compatible with the 3DS or not being able to save games or, well, you know, work.
So, buying a copy of this 2012 game in 2019 took looking through a few sites on How To Spot Counterfeit DS Games and then taking my 3DS over to a local used game store that would let me put the cartridge into my system and verify that it would (a) launch and (b) had a saved game in-place. Having passed both tests, I paid forty bucks for the thing and then sat on actually playing it for several months.
Then I had to look up how to delete the existing save data so I could start a new game. To the young lad named “Brandon” who previously owned this cartridge, I apologize for giving all of your painstakingly-collected virtual monsters the one-way-trip to oblivion, but there was only one save slot and I needed it.
Anyway. I started it today. Got about twenty minutes in. Collected my starter Pokémon after carefully looking up what all three of the starters look like when evolved – I did not want to repeat the mistake I made with Moon, where my adorable kitten monster turned into some weird pro wrestler thing towards the end of the game – and got myself on the road to becoming the Unova region’s next Pokémon Master.
Side note: it was mind-blowing to realize that it has only been a few years since this:
Was an entirely uncontroversial question. The 2010s were a weird decade.
Anyway, I am looking forward to this. Apparently I am going to need to look up vulnerabilities on my own, or something? Moon had handy “this move will really hurt your opponent, you should use it” tips that I quite liked. This does not. I am probably going to be crushed by random virtual five-year-olds for a while.