I first got into Pokemon at the start of junior high. Around that time, I met some of my best friends who were already into the games, cards and anime that helped me learn more about it. My first game (and the reason I wanted a Gameboy Color for one birthday) was Pokemon Yellow, and I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with them ever since. I’d played main series games from Generations 1, 2 and 5, and many spin-offs including the Pokemon Stadium titles, Pokemon Pinball, Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Puzzle League to name a few. I’m now considering picking up either Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire, having only played a rom of Emerald from Generation 3 and still needing to try out Generation 4.
But it was with this newest generation, Generation 6, that I rediscovered my love for Pokemon. Sure, some things were changed to kinda simplify (if you took the option) the process such as Exp. Share giving all Pokemon experience. And some features, while useful, didn’t get much attention from me like Super Training (never been the hardcore competitive type) or Pokemon Amie (though it’s freaking adorable). But my main goal through any regular Pokemon game had always been to “beat” the game, defeating the bad guys and becoming the champion. The one goal I couldn’t reach, however, was “catching” every Pokemon.
In the old days, you had to use a link cable to trade between Gameboys, which for me was impossible because I didn’t own one and didn’t know anyone who did. Because of that, my copies of Yellow and Crystal remain incomplete to this day. But with streamlined online compatibility and the initial goal to simply fill in the blanks of the Kalos region Pokedex recently, I soon realized I had a shot at completing my first Pokedex and achieving that good ‘ol “Gotta catch ’em all!” mantra. Now, as of yesterday, that goal has been achieved. Thanks to my own determination, the offers from those on Wonder Trade and the Global Trading System, and my good friend Lozzy assisting me with completing that ridiculous amount of legendary Pokemon, I now have “caught” all 718 Pokemon. It’s just been a childhood dream come true for me, right up there with getting to go to Disney World for the first time 4 years ago.
It’s hard to believe there was once a time when 150 (or 151 to be specific) was the shining standard in catching them all. The only bad thing about reaching this goal is that I have to contend with all the new ones that come out between now and future generations. I highly doubt I’ll ever complete another Pokedex, including those in OR and AS, but I’ll have Pokemon X as a reminder of the one time I did. So, to anyone else who has accomplished this goal in the past or only just recently as I have, at least we can all say at least once that we were a Pokemon Master.