Friday, May 23, 2014

Top 10 Games of All-Time (#6)

6.) Pokemon Yellow

To those who know me personally, I would guess this selection comes as a surprise. It's true, Pokemon Yellow probably wouldn't have the type of impact today that it had on me nearly 15 years ago. However, it marks the point in my life where I officially became a gamer. In fact, Pokemon Yellow is almost solely responsible for me becoming as passionate about games as I am today.

Sure, I'd owned an original NES, as well as a Genesis, but I'd never stayed up late into the night playing hour after hour. Don't get me wrong, I loved Mario and Sonic, but as a really young child, I lacked the patience to play either game to its full completion. I'd never poured over every single detail and explored every single area of a game...until Pokemon.

I'm not exactly sure how the game managed to completely hook me, other than maybe it's just the Nintendo magic. It manages to be approachable, yet challenging. There's plenty to do in the game, but you'll also be rewarded for your efforts. I picked up on this pretty quickly so I wanted to know everything I could about the game.

I read through the instruction manual. I read about it online. Talked about it with friends. In game, I spoke to every character I came across. I learned about HP, antidotes, the difference between a master ball and an ultra ball, repels, and how to target and exploit enemy weak points. So many features that are RPG staples today, I learned from Pokemon.

I think part of the reason I even had the opportunity to fully experience Pokemon is because it was portable. I took my Gameboy Color everywhere; on car trips, vacations, heck - even the bathroom. I wanted to catch them all, evolve them all, and assemble the best team possible. I can still remember my favorite party, the unstoppable combination of Blastoise, Charizard, Venusaur, Gyarados, Zapdos, and - the prize of my collection - Mewtwo.

I also played through Red and Blue (I told you...I did everything), but I chose Yellow as #6 on my list for two reasons: 1) It's the superior game because you can obtain all three starter Pokemon from Red and Blue without having to trade and 2) It was the first Pokemon game I played.

You can probably sense my passion coming through just talking about the game. The incredibly strong feelings I have toward the other 9 games on this list owe it all to Pokemon Yellow. 

I'm certain I will play better games and enjoy other games more, but no game will ever have the kind of impact on me that Pokemon did. It showed me just how deep, immersive, challenging, and fun a game could be.

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