Is it just me, or do way too many people hate Pokemon?  The first videogame I ever played in my life was Pokemon: Red Version.  As I’ve stated in my bio, me and my cousin Anthony took our brand-spankin’ new Gameboy’s upstairs and booted them up.  After choosing our starters, we conquered the initial face-off with our rivals, only to win and turn the game off.  We didn’t realize there was an 80+ hour experience lying beyond that first battle.  And yet, when we finally did venture beyond Pallet Town, it was into a world that would become a part of our lives for years to come.


So, imagine my surprise when, as I grew older, I found groups of people who despised Pokemon – absolutely hated the franchise with all their might.  Their reasons for doing so were as varied as the people themselves.  Some people hated it because it was viewed as a “kids game” (an image which I maintain was established by the cartoon show, and not the game itself).  Others disliked it because it wasn’t hardcore enough.  And finally, there were those who hated it because other people liked it.  Yeah, gotta love the logic in that one.  Regardless of the reason, most of them were irrational and unfounded.

For those who think it’s a “kids game”, let me point something out.  The game can be boiled down to “People enslaving animals, and using them to fight for money or fame.”  Not very kid like, if you ask me.  Just like the film “Wall-E” is wayyyy more than a kids flick, Pokemon is wayyyy more than a kids game.

To those who think it’s not hardcore enough, you obviously aren't utilizing the entire toolset allotted you! All those funny numbers next to things like “Sp. Attack” actually have a purpose, and especially in recent entries, the items and means of manipulating those numbers has sky rocketed.  Needless to say, Pokemon can get pretty intense if played like it’s meant to be.  Not only those base stats, but rounding out your critters with a well balanced, well rounded grouping of defensive and offensive moves is key when competing at higher levels.  Yes, I'm sure plenty of people will just pimp out their guys with "Hydro-Pump", "Flamethrower", "Earthquake", and any number of other uber powerful attacks, because they "hurtz thingzzz" and look cool, but there's a lot more to it than that.  Well, there should be, anyway.

Finally, to those who hate it because it seems like just a bunch of remakes with a few new monsters each time, I must take fault.  How can Madden get by each year, being a simple roster update and a useless new mechanic, and Pokemon, which actually does change things up each time, gets the boot.  In relation to the "Kids Game" label, most kids start playing football younger than they do video games.  But football isn't considered a "Kids Game", is it?!  Jesus, I'm starting to sound like one of those "Video games are a real sport too!" people.  Yikes.

Anyway, just because Pokemon is a handheld game doesn’t make it any less qualified.  The game has excellent multiplayer activity to partake in, and the potential for some very healthy and active communities to surround it, as well as a lengthy main quest to complete.  We're talking seriously daunting 100% completion requirements, AND, some serious strategy if you want to play the *** thing correctly.


I was never one of those fanatics that wanted to capture every existing Pokemon in the game.  Rather, I enjoyed the competitive nature of the game.  That, and I always loved the idea of Pokemon.  The possibility that everyone could own their own personal creatures, that did amazing things.  Let me tell you, many a plastic Pokeball with tiny plastic Pokemon inside was purchased, and thrown around the house very, very often.  It's just such a cool world, and I don't see why people can say that it's just a stupid thing, meant for  seven year olds.  A seven year old could never understand Pokemon like I do.  NEVER!!!

My favorite pocket monster was, and will always be, Charizard.  Not only did he save Ash's ass in the shows and movies like, a trillion times, but he looked the most like a dragon out of the original 150+.  Not like that pansy, fairytale fluff excuse that Dragonite pretended to be.  Pshh!  My second favorite is a tie between Mewtwo and Lugia.  They could talk, for God's sake!

Before this turns into a full fledged rant / nostalgic love-fest, I’ll wrap it up. I’m just not interesting enough to keep your attention for more than a few paragraphs, and I accept that.  Hell, if you've stuck around this long, thanks!

The Pokemon franchise is a wonderfully crafted series.  Sure, it has flaws, but what series doesn’t?  I’ve just never understood the blatant dislike attributed to it.  Hating the cartoon is one thing, but I don’t think you should discredit the wonderful RPG that it’s based on.  So go out, buy Platinum, and play it the way it’s meant to be played!

So true