Ah, Pokemon. The game I never played in my youth- the game I’m not nostalgic about. Yet everyone else is. Pokemon X and Y came out October 12. and that got me thinking about the Pokemon series in general. The experience I have with the franchise is largely that of a bystander. I played leaf green a year ago, and got all the way to the caves before the Elite four- then quit. Too much level grinding to get my Pokemon team up to strength. My brother played leaf green, diamond and pearl, black and white, silver, and we both had some good times with Pokemon Snap (a picture-taking game). He and his friends were heavily into the metagame and strategies for pokemon and used to spend hours leveling their pokemon and defeating certain enemies rather than others to get EV’s (earned values). Advanced stuff. His friend even made charts in her notebook detailing the stats required to max out categories on her strongest team- all lvl 100 mon’s.
I, unfortunately, didn’t get into the game at that level. But I played Pokemon Showdown.
Pokemon Showdown is a web-based battle simulator that allows you to create the team of pokemon you’ve always wanted to make- with the moves you want, stats you want, skills and items- as long as they could actually be configured that way in the real game. There are ban lists for super cheap combinations and moves such as Sheer Cold (a OHKO move if it hits) and Blizzard (an absurdly strong, 120 power- move that has 100% accuracy if the weather is hailing). Yes, in Pokemon, weather matters. Sunny Day changes the weather to sunny, allowing certain grass types to shine (using moves such as Chloroform to regain HP) or Solar Beam (which charges faster in the sun). Drizzle (an ability that Politoed has) makes the weather rainy, dampening the spirits of any fire-type: they have less potency in their fire-type moves and get hit harder by water-type moves. In addition, some water types up their speed in the rain, making them slippery targets for moves.
Pokemon Showdown’s great- it has a bunch of modes, a ranking system, a supportive community, compatability on any web browser (and on mobile devices) and it’s got all the sprites and the music from the Pokemon Games. It’s great for reliving the times that I barely had, playing Pokemon back in the day.