Hello. My name is Jason. I’m over 30 years old, I’ve been gaming for over 25 years, and I will sadly admit that I have never played a Pokemon game... that is until recently.
Honestly, I think I just missed the turn of its popularity when it initially got big. I was in high school, I had a lot on my mind, and when it came to the topic of Pokemon, all I could think was, “That shit’s for babies.” (Keep in mind, GTAIII and Vice City were pretty popular during these times too, so I deceived myself into thinking those games were more mature.) The more time went on, the more Pokemon games came out and the more I missed. The only reason I even knew certain Pokemon characters was through Smash Bros, and even then, I sadly ridiculed the characters as being weak.
I’ve been currently living in Japan for close to five years, and my friends and co-workers constantly kept telling me that the video games that most influenced them or meant the most to them were all Pokemon games. It blew my mind, because I couldn’t understand it. “How is Pokemon more important to them than Mario or Zelda?”, I often wondered. But still, I completely ignored Black and White 1 and 2, because it just didn’t appeal to me.
My friend from Washington DC recently came to visit me here in Tokyo, and while we were out in Akihabara, he asked me if I ever played Pokemon. I laughed and told him, “No. I think I was too old to ever get into it. It just doesn’t appeal to me.” To which he replied, “Oh, really? I only recently got into it through Pokemon Black. It’s a lot of fun! You should try it! I can’t wait to get Pokemon Y.”
After he left, Pokemon X and Y released here in Japan, and everyone was losing their shit. People lining out of every game store and electronic store to try and get a copy of either or each game. I still just didn’t get it.
Fast forward to last weekend. I took my son on a walk, and I naturally walked through Nojima Denki, a relatively famous electronic store, and saw Pokemon X and Y for ¥3000 on a weekend sale. I bypassed it the first time, but the next day I thought, “Why the hell not? I might as well at least give it a try one time, right?” So I grabbed a ticket for Pokemon X (It had nothing to do with any Pokemon knowledge why I picked X, it was just because X sounds cooler than Y.), went to the counter, and bought my first Pokemon game ever.
I brought it home, took out Monster Hunter 4 for the first time since I bought it on day one, and slid Pokemon X into my 3DS. The first thing that blew my mind was, “What language did you want to play in?” Not a single Japanese 3DS game I have ever asked me that. I thought, “I can actually play the game in my mother tongue? Awesome!” So I picked English and started my game.
Ladies and gentlemen, five days later, and I am absolutely addicted to this game. I love it! It may be simple and childish in many ways, and it’s an absolutely easy RPG, but it is utterly amazing! It’s charming. It’s creative! It’s full of new things to find and new things to do. It’s a game that is truly made for anyone and everyone. A truly universal game, and that’s what makes it so amazing to me!
I understand if you scoff at me for starting with Pokemon X. I understand if you think my love for Pokemon X is unjustified without playing the other games in the series. I understand if you think that I don’t and can’t understand the true essence of the Pokemon universe by only playing one game, especially the most recent. But I’m here to finally admit, after so many years, that I was wrong about Pokemon. I was so, so wrong. And now...
I’ve gotta catch them all!
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Lord Disco is a video game addict and has been playing since the ripe young age of 5-years-old. He is married to an awesome wife, has two fantastic kids (Named Logan Tiberius and JoJo), and currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Not necessarily a writer by trade, but he enjoys sharing his opinions with the world, whether they like it or not. Check him out on Twitter @TheLordDisco.