The Path of Least Resistance (or Why I Will Be Picking Bulbasaur, Just Like Everyone Else)

Introductions No Comment

In the days when I was young, before I became the jaded wreck of a man who stands before you today, I had a dream. What I wanted, gentle reader, was to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them all was my real test and to train them was my cause. That’s the thing about Pokemon. You’ve got to catch them all.

I’d played video games before, of course. Sonic the Hedgehog on my Mega Drive. Monkey Island on the Amiga at my child minder’s house. Presumably another, hilarious, example, in accordance with the rule of 3s. But regardless of how much I enjoyed smashing Dr Robotnik and trading insults with the sword master, I never quite got around to completing any of the games I played. Whether this had been due to a lack of competence, perseverance or interest, everything was about to change when my brother and I were each given a Game Boy Colour and a first generation Pokemon game.

Through a series of what felt like ingenious and convoluted trades, we each acquired all three all starting Pokemon and obsessively went about filling every last slot in Professor Oak’s pokedex, collecting the 8 gym badges and defeating the Elite Four. And then that was finished and my time in Kanto came to an end. I must have clocked over a hundred hours on that game, but I could never bring myself to put that amount of time into any game again. I still enjoyed playing them from time to time, but post-Pokemon Red, the vast majority of my games remained unfinished.

Given all of that, I seem to be spectacularly poorly suited to the Pickymon project. The idea of deliberately leaving the Pokedex incomplete and Pokemon uncaptured goes against my obsessive collector instincts. The idea of putting in the hours to finish a video game, particularly when I’ve already done it before, seems optimistic at best. Trying to do so under artificially imposed restrictions? Very unlikely.

And yet, here I am, about to embark on my first Pokequest in a couple of decades, reading up on which high powered Pokemon are available early in the game and which ones can learn which essential moves. I can’t promise that I’ll make it through to the end of the project, but I can promise that if I do, I will have done so in the least imaginative way possible, taking the path of least resistance at all times. Sorry, but I told you right at the beginning- I’m a jaded wreck of a man.

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