Pokemania Returns

I went out and bought Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold a few months back for my daughter and I to play together. She loves pokémon, and so do I, and I figured it would be a good way to bond. Furthermore, I rather liked this particular generation of pokemon, so I was rather excited to play a new updated version in the Diamond-like graphics (which I thought were stellar upgrades from Ruby/Sapphire).

The problem became that in order to bond, I wanted to keep my place near my daughter’s so that her and I were always exploring the same areas together and we could battle each other with similar level Pokémon together. Well this sucked for me because I was really excited to play SoulSilver again. So, I decided to dust off FireRed, which I never had even really played since I bought it. My thinking was, well since I playing the second edition, might as well re-visit the first as well.

This also has gotten me back into Diamond as well. Though, my involvement in Diamond hasn’t been anywhere near as high. I basically go in, see what is swarming, check on berries, collect an egg, get new berries, fight a couple high money trainers, get a ribbon and that’s it. I have been thinking of adding the Final Four fight to my routine too. I’m trying to level up a Ralts to get hypnosis so that I can breed a bunch of Ralts with Hypnosis and Mean Look (already bred that move into the Ralts) so that I can use him as a pokemon catcher.

If you haven’t noticed, there has been one odd consequence of this particular return to Pokemon. Namely, I’m paying more attention to the depth in the game. Previously, I had always just romped through the game, happily just putting one of each type in my party so that I had good combinations to beat any type of team. Facing a Water-type? I tend to put in Raichu and be done with it. However, now I sit down and am looking at the EVs1 and IVs2 of Pokemon.

So far, I’ve only been concentrating on IVs. My thought is that why should I bother paying attention to the EV I put into my pokemon if they don’t even have the proper IVs? So to start my expedition into getting “perfect” pokemon, or at the very least better than average pokemon, I decided I needed the right tools for the job. This meant that I needed to get Dittos. I need a ditto with at least a perfect IV in every stat so that I can breed that into other pokemon. Moreso, I also want to have a ditto with a nature that compliments that stat so that I can breed in appropriate natures as well as the stats themselves.

This led me to a capturing pokemon to do this. I started with the synchronize ability because it gives you a 50% chance that the pokemon you meet in the wild will have the same nature as the pokemon with synchronize if it is leading the party in Pokemon Diamond (and I assume SoulSilver as well). This led me to Natu, Abra, and Ralts lines as well as Espeon and Umbreon. Abra was my first choice because it was strong and i knew had some possible helpful abilities. But one thing I wanted in addition was Mean Look. Mean Look makes it so that your foe can’t escape and I thought this particular skill would be great for catching running pokemon that I still hadn’t caught such as Mesprit. This instantly took out Abra and Natu, neither really had that ability. Eventually I settled on Ralts because it could learn hypnosis later in its development which would help catch pokemon as well, and had a better speed than the Eevee evolutions.

So here I am breeding up Ralts with Mean Look and then leveling that Ralts to get Hypnosis. Once I have a male and female Ralts both with Mean Look and Hypnosis, I will start breeding those two together because this allows the born Ralts to have both from the start. At that point I will breed them until I have a ralts with each nature. I will then find ones that have strong IVs in Speed (and hopefully Defense and/or Special Defense) and then pump EVs into Speed and (special)Defense. This I feel will give me the best pokemon to be able to catch other types of pokémon that I want.

It is all very complicated really, and this is the reason that I really have been getting into Pokemon so much of late. I am finding that hidden depth to the game that people generally ignore in it. It is actually quite surprising to me how much depth this game actually has. Each step I turn I find a little more. First I look at breeding, which in and of itself has a ton of depth, this leads me to IVs, which leads me to EVs, and evolving, and weaknesses, and special vs. normal attacks/ defenses… There is a ton in this game besides the basic fire beats grass stuff that is easily discernible.

It makes me excited that there is a new Black and White version of the game coming up.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. EVs are Effort Values. Essnetially this is a hidden system whereas your pokemon gains stats based on the pokemon it fights. So if you defeat a fast pokemon, your pokemon will get a little faster in the end. This is such a genius system that I want to somehow incorporate it into my MMO design as I think it would fit in real nicely to my skill-based system.
  2. IV stands for Individual Value. This one is basically a randomized value that each pokemon gets at birth. Basically dictates whether it is good at one thing or another. It isn’t flashy, it is a system that has been in place in RPGs for eons, but it does add a lot of depth to the game as the IVs can be bred from one pokemon to another.