Deep Dive: Pokémon Edition

This week Josh and I are going to deep dive into a topic we’ve covered on our podcast, Overrated/Underrated. Our podcast is lovingly called “the show where two exes bicker pointlessly about nothing for a half hour” because, well, that’s what it is. Josh and I have individually documented what it’s like to work on this pod together on my blog, and while we’ve had our ups and downs, it’s a great project for us to do together! 

I thought it might be fun to go a bit deeper into things that we enjoy and feel strongly about since our pod is only a half hour. Once a month, we’re going to pick a topic from the pod and we’re each going to post about something we’d have loved to explore further related to that topic!

This week, we’re diving deep into the Pokémon Universe (episode 23, released on April 5, 2020).

While I did not watch Pokémon or collect Pokémon cards as a kid, I became interested in playing Let’s Go Eevee after watching Josh stream it. The game seemed colorful and Eevee looked cute, so I wanted to give it a try. Like most video games that I play, I spent 12 hours each weekend obsessively playing and evolving my Pokémon. As I talked to Josh about it, it was clear that he knew much more about the world than I did after playing for a few weeks. Most people who engage with the Pokémon world have been into it for years, if not decades. As someone who got into it later in life, I wanted to share my thoughts playing Pokémon as an adult.

Let’s go blog readers!

 

Pokémon types are fairly intuitive…except when they’re not

When I first bought the game, Josh recommended that I have fill my Pokémon party with all different “types” of Pokémon. For anyone who doesn’t know, your Pokémon party are the 6 Pokémon that you can use and rotate in battle. Pokemon types are mostly elemental…there are ice Pokémon, water Pokémon, fire Pokémon…all with certain moves that they can powerfully wield. Overall, how these types will perform in battle is pretty intuitive. Water is strong against fire, Grass is weak against bug, makes sense, right? But then come to find out, there are other types of Pokémon like “Dark” and “Fairy.” Dafuq? How am I supposed to be able to tell what goes against a “Dark” Pokémon with the absence of a “Light” Pokémon? Luckily, there are plenty of online resources that tell you which Pokémon are strong and weak against each type.

When Josh recommended that I keep all different types of Pokémon in my party, I was excited to find these six different kinds of Pokémon to put in my party. Come to find out that there are many, many more and that you can’t have a Pokémon of every single type in your party. If you find this infuriating, you’re not alone.

 

Pikachu isn’t that great

You know how all of the Pokémon merch you’ve ever seen has that weird electric mouse thing running around making cute noises? I loved Pikachu before I even knew what Pokémon was. I even bought a Pokémon-themed bookmark as a kid because it came with a little Pikachu charm on the tassle. As soon as I caught a Pikachu in Let’s Go Eevee, I was so excited to add him to my party. He’s always been the adorable mascot of the Pokémon universe, so he must be awesome in battle!

Oh boy, was I wrong.

I don’t think that my Pikachu ever went through a battle without fainting. Seriously, it didn’t matter what type of Pokemon I pit him against, he ended up back in my damn ball. I even leveled him up and traded him for a rare Alolan shocky mouse, and he was still useless! At first, I wanted to make sure to keep an electric type in my party, but my party became way stronger without him. He may be cute and conjure lightning out of nowhere, but this fan-favorite is better to look at than to send into battle.

 

Even as an adult, you can still get attached to a fox/dog creature that rides on your head

At the beginning of Let’s Go Eevee, you get an Eevee that rides on your head as you move throughout the game. You can pet it and high five it and give it delicious berries. And it makes the CUTEST noises! Within minutes I was in love with the little bugger. I made sure to pet him after all major battles and right before every time I powered down the Switch.

In Let’s Go Eevee, your Eevee chooses not to evolve, instead staying in the form of the cute, loveable dog/fox thing that you adore. You can try to evolve him with a rock thing, but he’ll refuse. I asked Josh if my Eevee would be mad if I tried to evolve him and Josh swore he wouldn’t. But after I tried, I went to interact with my Eevee and he had his back turned! Josh lied just to turn my Eevee against me, and I refuse to believe otherwise!

The attachment doesn’t stop with Eevee, either. You can have another Pokémon follow behind you and interact with them. After you’ve spent the game having your bulbasaur/ivysaur/venusaur following behind you and telling you every time it wants to smell the damn flowers, you can’t help but to get attached. Hell, battling with the same 6 characters in your party makes you attached. I was at war with myself constantly at the thought of changing any Pokémon out of my party.

But…they’re my children…

 

Don’t be afraid to send your Eevee into battle…no matter how much it hurts…

Once I got attached to the little bugger, I hated sending him into battle. It made my heart hurt to send him into battle and watch other Pokémon attack him. WE WERE JUST PLAYING HIGH FIVE TOGETHER, AND NOW I’M JUST SUPPOSED TO SIT HERE AND WATCH HIM GET ELECTROCUTED!?

In fact, the more that you play with your Eevee, the stronger that he gets in battle. So this game was essentially made to torture me and hurt my soul. It’s kinda crazy watching such an adorable creature use a move where he turns to my avatar, a heart appears, and then he PLOWS THROUGH HIS OPPONENT, LEAVING A MUSHROOM CLOUD IN HIS WAKE. Weren’t expecting that, were you? Yeah, neither was that big rock monster that tried to attack my baby.

 

Finally: approach Pokémon like a kid!

Even if you’re playing as an adult like I did, remember that Pokémon is a world for children with amazing creatures and the ability to beat serious villains at the age of 10. Make friends with impossible creatures. Catch ‘em all. Name your rival trainer “Buttface.” The world is your oyster!

 

Have you played Let’s Go? What do you like as an adult Pokémon fan?

 

Photography by my talented fiancé. You can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hope_grows_here/

 

You can check out previous deep dives below:

Mario Universe: Renata’s deep dive and Josh’s deep dive.

90s Disney Movies: Renata’s deep dive and Josh’s deep dive.

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