pokemon!! what can't already be said about it?? i don't think anyone needs an introduction to pokemon, it's basically everywhere at this point. i would consider it my first real "special interest" in the autistic sense. i still do consider it one as well! pokemon has been with me my whole life (and even before it, i learned my mom played silver on the GBC when she was pregnant with me!) and it still captures me to this day, even if some of the newer releases aren't the best. ^^;
i own almost every game, at least 1 per gen excluding remakes, save for some spinoffs and rarer memorabilia. i also have a collection of the "pokedoll" plush series from japan! i actually used to buy them from a website called hard rock pokemon (now pokevault) straight from japan before the american pokemon center website was even a thing! i still shop there every now and then, since the pokemon center site still doesn't offer everything you can find at a pokemon center.
can you tell i like the pika line + red?
my favorite pokemon game
although gen 4 is most nostalgic to me, it's probably not my favorite gen. very high up there! but not my favorite. that title would have to go to black and white. black pokemon black and white are the series at peak performance, in my opinion. the story is interesting, the characters are surprisingly deep, the graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is fast paced. it's everything i go to pokemon for in a single game!
like many people i would imagine, my favorite part of black and white was Natural Harmonia Gropius' character arc. yes that is his full name. N is short for natural.
i deeply relate to N as a character, for reasons that nintendo probably didn't intend fully. firstly, N comes off as very outwardly autistic to me and i relate to that. his understanding of the world and the people around him and even his manner of speech in the games leads me to that conclusion.
secondly, N is at the very least hinted towards being bisexual through the game not changing the dialogue/scenes between male and female characters. the ferris wheel scene is the biggest giveaway for that, if not another point towards his autism tally, it's stated in that scene that N has some sort of interest in the player, and elsewhere in the game its shown he thinks very highly of them.
i think a lot of the reason i like BW is because of N, but unova pokemon are also some of my favorites in the series! here are some of my favorites from unova!
other than N, i just love BW for everything. i can't properly explain it because pretty much everything about the games are my favorite! the plot, ghetsis as a villian is probably the single most threatening evil team leader pokemon has ever had, the locations, art, everything!!! i'm currently on my second playthrough of white, then after it i am going to replay white2, which i haven't played since ~2012 when i got it. also, the music is better than gen 3, FIGHT ME.
pokepark is a series of spinoff games, both on the wii. it's probably my favorite spinoff series. i'm not saying that to be contratian and my favorite is actually PMDEOS, i'm serious! pokepark isn't that popular anymore which is really surprising to me. it's an amazing series! one of the only spinoffs that actually let you play as pokemon inside a world built for pokemon!
both games surround you, pikachu, going to pokepark with your friends! in the first game your friends are chikorita, charmander and piplup, and in the second they are the unova starters tepig, oshawott and snivy. in the first game you actually fall into pokepark via a sort of portal one day, and in the second you go there with piplup. i don't want to spoil too much, these games are genuinely great and deserve your attention!! here are some screenshots of pokepark 2 (since i lost my pokepark 1 save T~T) to show just how good this game looks!
the wii had a surprising amount of amazing pokemon spinoff games. battle revolution and rumble are also great games! but pokepark has been, and still is everything i've ever wanted out of a spinoff game, and they're some of the biggest nostalgia points for me when it comes to pokemon. i rarely ever see anyone talk about the games outside of "remember pokepark? anyways!" and it's so sad to me because these games deserve way more attention! so please, if you can emulate it or find a copy to play on console. it's well worth it!!
my favorite pokemon, EVER
jirachi is my favorite of all time! for many, many reasons. many of them personal and sentimental, so i won't go into much detail about them. basically, jirachi reminds me of my late grandpa, who died when i was a child. i was very close to him so his passing deeply affected me. my mom got me the jirachi: wishmaker movie to distract me in the car while we drove to his out-of-state funeral. it came with a promo card that i keep to this day on my "jirachi shrine" that i will post photos of below. everytime i go back to that state, i bring the jirachi card with me. it is very important to me and if i ever don't know where it is, it will send me into a panic, basically. ^^;
other than that, i just love jirachi! it's design, it's character in the movie, how it appears in pokemon mystery dungeon. fun fact! "moonview" originally came from the "MT. moonview" friend area in PMD: blue rescue team that holds pokemon such as the cleffa, solrock and lunatone. it also holds jirachi, and you can't recruit it if you don't have the friend area already before going to wish cave, where you find it at the 99th floor. as soon as i was able, i changed my main character to jirachi in PMD!
i also have a collection of almost every jirachi TPC has given out digitally! i'll try to get photos of them, i don't remember which game they're in now. i just know one, that i hacked to be named lawrence, will always stay with me in the most recent games, no matter what. if i can, i'll make a PKHex copy of his file so i can keep him forever! :D
pokemon fan games tend to fall into two camps for me. the first type are those that strive to create a whole new region. they will usually have full dexes of fakemon, new characters, a new story, all that. i've just never found a game of this type that i enjoy. every one i've played have been mediocre to straight bad. its either unappealing fakemon designs, a over complicated story, the region is boring to explore, or there's almost no story to speak of. i'd love to be shown a good fan game of this type! i just haven't found one yet.
the other type are what i like to call "fan games for fans who would rather be looking at a spreadsheet." these games are characterized by most if not every trainer in the game having a fully EV/IV trained team, utilize held items, and have enhanced AI. this in itself isn't a problem! pokemon games aren't known for their difficulty and it's good to want to make them harder. but. not to the level where you need to get a favorable IV spread (which is never guaranteed) and then carefully monitor your pokemons training to ensure the correct EV gain. there are definitely fans of this type of game, but i am not one of them.
however! that doesn't mean i'm some nintendo super-fanboy who thinks fan games shouldn't exist. quite the opposite! below i'm going to talk about 3 fan games that i adore, and that you should check out!
crystal clear is a hack of pokemon crystal that does a few interesting things! first and probably most impactful to the structure of the game is that it is completely open world. most overworld barriers have been removed and events that rely on story progress, like getting access to the magnet train, have also been opened. you can also pick your starting city, and even customize your character a bit! you also have a lot of starter choices ranging from the gen 1 and 2 trios, to pikachu and eevee, to more obscure choices like cleffa and even smeargle. i haven't completed the game yet so i can't say much beyond that, but every gen 1 and 2 pokemon is also available in some form.
screenshots go here once i get them
now this is probably one of my favorites! pokewilds is a game built from the ground-up in the generation 2 style and is basically meant to be what happened if pokemon became a base building, resource management game. worlds are procedurally generated and its your job to explore, find pokemon to help you with gathering resources, and eventually build bases around the world with enclosures that your pokemon enjoy! there's not much story outside of that. it's kind of like minecraft, you have to make your own fun, set your own goals, all that!
this one i've been playing a lot recently (along with genshin 3.0... sumeru is so fun!) which has kind of captured my attention and made me forget about moonview for a few days. pokeMMO is basically what it says on the tin, a pokemon MMO! you can explore 4 regions as of now: kanto, hoenn, sinnoh and unova. though after you receive the 4th badge from whichever region you started in, the world opens up! a lot of the more MMO-like features also open to you at that point, such as a global shop where people sell pokemon and items for pokedollars.
you know what i said about spreadsheet-like fan games? pokeMMO includes those features, but in a way i actually really enjoy. as soon as you catch or receive a pokemon, you'll be able to see its IVs, EVs and everything about it. this lends itself to the more hardcore players, but a more casual player can pretty easily just ignore it! none of the content in the game requires you to know how EVs or IVs work to do well (outside of the competitive tournaments the game holds). the most you need to know are type match-ups, but if you're playing a pokemon MMO i assume you already know at least the important ones.
all of these were taken with my best friends who i started playing with!