A few years back, with some long plane flights looming, I decided to dip a toe into the murky waters of the Pokémon franchise, and bought Pokémon Moon.
I thought it was pretty fun, though the main “go beat up small children and their pets until you become the league champion” plot kind of dragged on and didn’t hook me. I really enjoyed the story of Lillie and her little escape artist, and even wound up buying some merch since I happened to be in Japan where there are many stores that sell Pokémerch.
And only Pokémerch. The amount of money you could drop on crap with Pikachu’s smiling face plastered on it is just astounding.
Anyway, for a variety of reasons, I decided to go back a few years and try out Pokémon Black 2.
This was a mistake.
I managed to slog my way to the end of it, and I even started enjoying things after about the 7th gym, but there are just so many quality-of-life features from Moon that apparently weren’t around in Ye Olden Days of 2012, like being able to see whether an opponent will be completely 100% immune to the move you are about to throw at it or being able to see at a glance what items each of your team members has equipped, and the plot – as it was – completely failed to hook me.
I will put it this way: I finished the game less than 2 hours ago, and the only thing I can really remember about the story is that my rival was intensely upset at the bad guys because they had stolen his sister’s pet kitten.
I did need to cheat a bit and look up what my opponents were weak to in order to make it through the final boss gauntlet. In some cases, this didn’t help because my selection process for team members more-or-less began and ended with “does this guy look cool?” and that is a bad plan in a game that is based largely around exploiting elemental weaknesses in a crazy 18-direction game of rock/paper/scissors.
So when a guide says “all of the opponents in this fight are weak to Ghost, Dark, and Bug”, and I realized that I did not have a single Pokémon that was either Ghost or Dark OR Bug… well, I kind of had to brute force my way through that.
I lucked out a bit because I had caught a Magnemite in an early zone and evolved it all the way to its final form and gotten it fairly high level, and this is important because it’s one of the few Pokémon that cannot be killed in one shot. As long as you have sufficient healing items on hand, it’s effectively immortal, and I managed to beat one of the “Final Four” simply by using it to soak hits until my opponent could no longer use its more powerful moves.
Put another way, I won that fight by getting punched in the face until my enemy wore himself out punching. Bards will not sing of my victory this day.
At this point, I understand that I can move all of my virtual critters from the older game into the newer game that I already own, and that if I feel like buying one of the Switch games I will likewise be able to move them over to that game. I think this is where I’m supposed to start complaining because not all of the old monsters are present in the new games? When I bought the Black 2 cartridge, the guy who sold it to me seemed to feel very strongly about this, and I didn’t quite know how to respond to his quest for a kindred soul.
Wait, no. I’m actually supposed to pick a Favorite Generation of game and find Intensely Personal And Valid Reasons why my Favorite Generation was the best ever.
Damnit. This is going to get complicated.