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pokemon gamesWelcome to another installment of MakeUseOf Gaming, where we take a look at an interesting topic in the video game world for you to make use of. This week I will be talking about Pokemon, and why the Pokemon games are not just child’s play.

People tend to think of Pokemon as being just for kids, but as I have mentioned in a previous article Become A Master Pokemon Trainer With These 3 Websites Become A Master Pokemon Trainer With These 3 Websites Admit it; you still love Pokémon. I don't care if you are 12 years old, or 30 years old, Pokémon is, and always will be awesome. Maybe since you've got older you stopped watching the... Read More about Pokemon websites, I respectfully disagree. I started playing Pokemon when the first handheld games came out for the original GameBoy. I remember it being one of the very first video games that I sunk hundreds of hours into, and I remember loving every second of it.

Flash forward to today, and I am 24 years old. Pokemon Black and White have come to market recently, and while the changes to the games have been incremental, I still find myself with over 100 hours in play time in the new ones. There is not a single other video game franchise that I have come back to as much as Pokemon.

The Difficulty Of The Game

pokemon gamesPokemon has always been able to strike the perfect balance to be easy enough for a child to play, and yet deep and challenging enough for an adult such as myself to enjoy. Right from the introduction of the game, it is geared to teach you how to play, while actually letting you play at the same time.

The very early stages of the games consist of easy battles designed to get you used to the way the game plays, but as the game progresses the battles start to get more and more challenging. Kids can have fun running around the world and collecting Pokemon and even if the very end of the game is too challenging for them it does not matter, because they will be having so much fun playing either way.

The Hidden Depth

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There is a dirty secret underground world to Pokemon that most players will never even bother to explore. This is the competitive Pokemon scene. In this world the game is not as simple as collecting Pokemon and fighting your way to the elite four. They are worried about what kind of battles their Pokemon participate in so they can properly level them up a certain way through EVs. When I was a little kid I had no idea that any of this existed, and that is the beauty of the system; you do not need to explore any of this to have fun, but if you are looking for a deeper experience, then the option is there.

Value

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Pokemon games are long. It is easy to invest well over 100 hours in a Pokemon game, and considering they cost half as much as a new game for Xbox 360 or PS3, this is a great value proposition. This is of course if you buy the newest Pokemon game. If you play the older ones you can easily emulate DeSmuME- Free Nintendo DS Emulator to Play NDS Games on PC DeSmuME- Free Nintendo DS Emulator to Play NDS Games on PC Read More them for free, or buy a used copy for next to nothing. Any game that you can get many hours of enjoyment out of for extremely cheap is right up my alley, and Pokemon fits the bill perfectly.

Portability

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Who doesn’t love being able to take something they enjoy with them everywhere they go? Well since every major Pokemon release has been on a portable Nintendo platform, that is not an issue. Pokemon is perfectly made for a portable system because it is the kind of game you can pick up and play for short bursts, or sit and play for hours on end. Either way, you will feel satisfied with your experience.

Just Downright Fun

All of these others reasons are great, but the most important reason is that Pokemon is just a fun game. I don’t care if you are 12 or 60, Pokemon has something fun in it for you. You like exploring? Check. You like interesting stories? Has that too. How about collecting? No worries. Oh you like fighting? Well that’s in there too. Pretty much every important thing that makes a game fun is in Pokemon.

Conclusion

If you haven’t played a Pokemon game since you were a child, I recommend swallowing your pride and going back and playing one again. I can promise you that you will enjoy it. Even if you just put a couple of hours into one of the games for nostalgia’s sake, you will not regret it.

Do you still play Pokemon games? Are you a Pokemon hater who thinks it is just for kids? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Marci Minjoe
    June 26, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Love it 20 years later

  2. Jose Thompson
    May 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Overall, I agree with this article. I am almost 40 years old and the game is still enjoyable to me. Although the storyline aspect is not as intriguing as it once was, the competitive battling aspect has me hooked. It's extremely complex and although I still suck on the competitive level I really do meet some cool people at live Pokemon events.

  3. caleb
    April 25, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I know I'm probably younger than all of you, but I still think Pokemon is the coolest thing ever! The problem is that I can't get any of my friends to even look at it, any suggestions?

  4. jamiew1710
    October 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I believe that Pokemon is for all ages because, As you said that it has depth and what i find annoying is that Pokemon haters don't know that, they only know the childish part of Pokemon. Pokemon is fun because once you finished the game you can start using your competitive Pokemon and battle people all over the world and make friends.

    In the new games such as X and Y or Alpha sapphire or Omega Ruby, Its different in the stylists way all the sprites ( The image of the Pokemon ) are in 3D and are in fine detail. Its different, but ill except it because it looks cool and they had to up there game because other newer game being made.

  5. FRANK, ALL POKEMON IN MY CRYSTAL VERSION ATM
    February 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    TO THE GUY WHO COULDNT FIND AN END TO POKEMON CRYSTAL , ITS CAUSE OUR GAMES DIDNT LIKE THE ASIN USE THE PATCHING SYSTEM FOR EXTRA EVENTS HOW THE JAP GAMES DID SO NO EVENT CELEBI ARTICUNO , MEWTWO WITHOUT SERVERE REGION LOCK HAX TO REVEAL THE TRUE ENDING OF THESE GAMES AND REDS LEVEL 99 MEW IN THE HIDDEN BATTLE IN THE FRONT PART OF MT SILVER WHEN THE SHINY PIKA AND TIME TRAVEL PLUS GIOVANNIS RETURN EVENT WAS ACTIVE IN A GEN2 GAME, IVE DONE THAT EVENT AND REGION BYPASSED IT ONTO AN ENGLISH POKEMON GOLD AND CRYSTALOR SILVER, THE KOREAN GAMES HAD IT PRELOADED WITH THESE EVENTS AS THEIR WAS NO RED VERSION TO TRADE ZAPDOS ETC FROM , THIS EXPLAINS IT I HOPE PLUS THEIR WAS 251 IN THAT GAME NOT 151 AND YOUD OF NEEDED ALL THE NON LEGENDAIRES ONLY FIRST TO EVEN UNLCOK THE PATCH THATS IF YOU COULD EVEN GET IT IN YOUR GAME, I STRUGGLE TO REMEMBER HOW, A NINTENDO EMPLOYEE FROM JAP EMAILED ME A 8 WEEK HOW TO ON THEM EXTRAS AND THE REAL END TO GEN2 GAMES, I EVEN HAVE YOUTUBE VIDS SHOWCASEING THE HIDDEN ZAPDOS IN THE LAVENDER RADIO ON FLOOR 5 BEHIND THE GUARD THAT NEVER MOVES BUT ACTUALLY DOES IN THE EVENTS SECTION , JUST GOTTA GET A NIN REP TO TELL YOU HOW , DONT MENTION REGION LOCKS OR THAT UR ATTEMPTING TO JAILBREAK A LOCALISED TO DO IT THEY GET PISSED TRUST ME LOL

  6. James Bruce
    September 15, 2011 at 10:05 am

    It's so weird that crappy Japanese exports that pass as cool in the western world (pokemon, seriously?) would get you laughed at by any normal Japanese person. 

    I'm not hating on you or the game here - you should do as you love to do man and it's good you enjoy it... These arguments are a bit weak though, I think. I could replace Pokemon with DragonBall, Monster Hunter, or any other lame Japanese quasi-RPG and it would make exactly the same weak point. 

    • Dave LeClair
      September 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Actually Pokemon sells more units in Japan than it does in North America. It is one of the most popular video games series in Japan. http://www.joystiq.com/2011/01/12/pokemon-black-and-white-reach-five-million-sales-in-japan/

      • James Bruce
        September 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

        Yes, because there are millions of otaku who buy it and the population of japan is greater. I'm not saying it isn't popular at all, but the people who buy these kinds are games are considered the lowest of low in the society. 

        • Bobweb
          December 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

          The population of Japan is less than half that of North America.

    • Sheena Mensinger
      September 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      The Japanese *love* Monster Hunter. Have you even looked at the sales any MH merchandise gets in Japan? Even the side-game featuring the cats sold like stink on a skunk. I'm not sure where you would get 'lame' from regarding the Monster Hunter games, they're simply the best in their genre.

      • James Bruce
        September 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

        The Japanese *otaku* love MH.  

        Saying it's lame is not related to sales, by the way. There are some exceedinly lame things that sell like hotcakes in Japan. Notice how the worlds most popular console - the Xbox360 - absolutely fails in Japan. This is partially due to a deep-seated xenophobia - they simply won't buy it because it's American. That's not the only reason of course - there's no hentai for it either, another damning factor. 

        The point is, Japan is on a whole different level of gaming to the rest of the world, and the market of gamers there is completely different. 

        If you honestly compare any Japanese gaming titles (RPGs, specifically) with genre leaders here - the Japanese equivalents are a joke. 

        Monster Hunter kind of defines it's own genre though, along with Pokemon, so in that respect it is indeed the leader of *that genre* as you say. 

        Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy what you enjoy - but I do think that if Dave wants to write articles extolling the virtues of some game or another he needs to be prepared for frank criticism. 

        Anyway, you just proved my point. The text in this article could have been replaced with the words "Monster Hunter" and said exactly the same thing. 

    • ghj
      May 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      you are so wrong it isn't even funny, but if you like hating on articles that have good reasoning go ahead man. as long as you like it

  7. Sammieferret
    September 15, 2011 at 3:21 am

    I will proudly say that I've been playing pokemon since I was nine and will continue to play. I am now twenty years old and I did buy white as soon as possible and I was excited for it. My friends even call me pikachu. I love pokemon and probably always will. 

  8. Marian
    September 15, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I was really into Pokemon when I was a child(like age 9 or ten) and it was the new thing.     Then I took a long leave from the scene and just discovered it in the last two years or so.  I actually still have all my games and toys and cards.  I can't wait to finish Pokemon Yellow, which I was unable to do as a kid.  It is so fun to be able to win something that as a child I wanted so much but was too hard for me.

  9. Ash
    September 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    POKEMON FOR LIFE.

  10. casey
    September 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I've been trying to get back into it. I just stumbled across my GameBoy Color and a few of my games. My Pokemon games do not save anymore so I have been using my Mega Memory card but if I am not fast enough to "Backup" within about 15 seconds of turning the game I lose everything! I am going to attempt replacing the batteries and re-soldering the connectors. I should probably pick up a DS too so I can play at night ;)

  11. Jack Cola
    September 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    When I was a kid, I was a pokemon guru. Had the cards, watched the show and new every single pokemon (could almost name them all in order).

    Crystal Version was the last version I had. My Pokedex had all 151 pokemon, but once you caught them all, what happens? I never actually found out how to "complete the game".

    Then about a year passed when then new Pokemon episodes came on TV and GameBoy advance came out. Since then, I never played it as I didn't have a GameBoy advance.

    But it was a great game, and I wouldn't mind playing it again, but I just don't have the time. I haven't played computer games for about 3 years.

  12. Anonymous
    September 14, 2011 at 3:37 am

    I love Pokemon ^_^

    great post

  13. TorchuVander
    September 14, 2011 at 1:59 am

    I'll have you know, I am not a Pokemon hater. I do, however, think it is too simple. For me, beating the elite four means choosing the fire pokemon from the start, and using only it once you have passed the lv. 30 stage. At this point the game plays itself and if you are losing, you have a handy supply of revives. I think repetitively pressing a is no real way to enjoy a game, and I find myself mashing this button repetitively while enjoying other things like eating. Funny thing is, with this strategy, I always win.

    I think Pokemon should be more customizeable, and should incorporate some things from sims as well as from megaman.
    You should have to care for your pokemons health, and in a battle you should move around in a third person view, controlling the pokemon.
    On top of this, the world should be a bit more harsh.

    • Mstrmje
      September 14, 2011 at 6:28 am

      The pokemon are already extremely customizable to the point that many people including myself have not and will never be able to use every customized option of the games. 

    • Austin Appleton
      September 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      If you think it's to easy you should try the competitive scene, or at least try some online battles on the newer DS titles, I'm sure you will have your ass handed to you.

  14. Pokeylover
    September 14, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Nice pix bro! Lol awesome post though!

  15. Chase Vandiver
    September 14, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Great post! +1

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