You see, not only did The Legend of Zelda turn 35 in the last few weeks, Pokémon, another franchise near and dear to my heart, also celebrated its 25th anniversary the other day. The Pokémon Company (TCPi) released a delightful retrospective video as part of their celebration:
Anyway, more to the point, Pokémon was my first “real” video game, and it’s a franchise I have a lot of fond memories of, from battling against my neighborhood friends to hunting rare creatures on my college campus in Pokémon Go.
With nearly 900 of these cartoon creatures in existence, it seems nearly impossible to narrow it down to my top 25 favorite, but I’m gonna try it anyway.
One fateful day many years ago, someone handed me a GameBoy Advance and a copy of Pokémon Sapphire, and my life was never the same.
I suppose you could take that in the literal sense – i.e. I became a huge geek after that, and my chances of ever being able to pretend I was a normal human being were completely shot – but I think there’s something more there too, something less tangible and obvious than discovering a new hobby.
The things that are a part of our childhoods often have a bigger impact on us than we realize, but we tend to brush these things off as being “not mature enough” to have any real significance in our lives. We look back at the hobbies we had and the games we played as children and think, “Yeah, that was fun, but it doesn’t really mean anything now.”
We often remember how we first discovered the things we’re passionate about. It might be the book that got you to enjoy reading, the first camera you ever owned, or the movie that made you realize you wanted to be a film director. Though I remember may of those things, the ones that really stick out in my mind are the video games.
Not long ago, I realized my blog had been lacking in one of my favorite subjects – gaming. Sure, I talk about it here and there, but I’ve never really focused on it for a whole blog post (except perhaps Writing Lessons from Ace Attorney, but even that was more writing-focused than gaming-focused).
Growing up, gaming was never really a big deal in my family. I played a version of Pac-Man that plugged into the TV and enjoyed my fair share of computer games, but that was about it. Without these three games, I probably wouldn’t be the gamer I am today. Sure, I’d probably enjoy a few rounds of MarioKart or play the occasional game of bowling on Wii Sports, but nothing too intense. These games really changed my life for the better, and ever since I played them for the first time, they’ve opened the door to more geekery and gaming.