4/5/2022 -- Pkmn RSE
I've just been realizing lately how much of an impact Ruby/ Sapphire/ Emerald has made on me.
When I was a kid (think up through around mid-late middle schooler) I would stay with my parents at their work during the summers. And for the last few of those summers, I sat in various hidden corners of that office and played pokemon games over and over. I hadn't thought about it too much, but I guess the Ruby/ Sapphire/ Emerald trio was one of the generations I played the most.
I have strong memory of playing gen 5 (just Black and White - I could never get through BW2) repeatedly, but I guess that could be because of the initial backlash I remember it getting, at least from the community I saw around me online and amongst my friends. But as I think about it, gen 3 I must've played the same amount of times over -- and as I revisit that generation (albeit through a different ROM that changes and adds a few things), I'm increasingly realizing how much that generation sticks with me and how much it means to me.
Revisiting those games has also helped clarify part of the reason I didn't like Alpha Sapphire. Being outside of the energy of it's immediate release (and due to my lovely girlfriend's incredible thoughtfulness towards games and the way people interact with them combined with her willingness to make me aware of when I'm just reacting to something without real engagement), I can realize that part of me pushed to write off the game from the start, mixed up with the culture of complaining that newer pokemon games were just too easy (as if that somehow made them less fun or meaningful). But going back to it, I remember that a large reason I didn't enjoy the remake is because of the sheer lack of vibrancy in the coloring.
As I ask myself just what exactly I like about these games that makes them not only memorable but that pushes me to announce, albeit in some miniscule corner of internet, my feelings about it, I've realized some things that I think make these games especially appealing to me. The elite four trainers are great -- using rarer types I personally like, the hot springs and Mt. Pyre and Lavaridge town, a town in the trees and a town only accessible from coming up from underwater -- and of course, Wallace and Wally, the former who's name was in the running for my name just coming out. The music is fun and exciting, the pokemon are great -- I intend to intersperse a few of my favorites from gen 3 in this too long dialogue to break it up a bit visually.
And even outside the games themselves, of the two pokemon DVDs I had growing up, the one I prefered was my Advanced Battle DVD. It was from the Advanced Battle anime that I started to really imagine with pokemon, to think about what life situations they could be in and what they'd do, or how their moves could be used to do something other than just fight -- the contest competitions of Advanced Battle I like better than those in the D/P anime, which I also watched a lot of as a kid. Drew, May's main contest rival and another pokemon character who's name I gave some non-ignorable thought to, and Harley showed different ways of engaging with pokemon that kept my interest in the series strong and ever-present.
Besides that, Wallace, Drew, and Harley are all just ridiculously gay. I love these sparkly, over-dramatic, showy men, even though in the anime Drew and Harley are dicks.