Tuesday 3 May 2016

Xerneas, the legendary imposition

Talking of things I get an itch to do every couple of years: Pokemon. Every once in a while I'll upgrade to the next Nintendo handheld up and, inevitably, the first game I buy will be a Pokemon title just out of sheer nostalgia. I find them to be nice, low strain games to fiddle with as I listen to the radio or during a spare moment and I rarely get very far in them. In fact this time round is the first time I've got as far as catching the game's legendary, let alone beaten all the gyms and or reached the Regional League.

First off, the whole reason I got Pokemon X was that it had the coolest looking legendary on the cover: a deer with crystal antlers. Beautiful design, certainly the best of the four legendaries the 3DS game covers were touting at me. Yes, thought I, I want that one, I will play this game.

Then something happened. You see, once I'd beaten Team Flare and captured Xerneas the game asked me whether I wanted to add Xerneas to my party, displacing one of my six Pokemon to the storage system. I agreed. Though I'd never got this far in the game I was sure there must be compelling game reasons for this choice.

The thing is, though, that I resented it. Against all expectation, I had actually bonded with my party and was sort of miffed at the idea that this random Johnny should come in and just assume a place on the team, displacing one of the Pokemon who had travelled across the Kalos region with me.

I'd spent some twenty-odd hours of this game slowly but surely assembling a team that could take on all comers: Gumdrop the Greninja (Water, Ghost); Sizzles the Raichu (Electric); Rosebud the Venusaur (Grass, Poison and bearing a mega-evolution stone); Dorfl the Golurk (Shadow, Ground, Ghost, Steel); Redbird the Talonflame (Flying, Fire, Steel); and Cuddles the Pangoro (Fighting, Dark).

I felt I had as many bases covered as any six-man team could and, honestly, even by sending Sizzles to the PC I've actually benefited on that score. I might have lost Electric attacks but I gained Fairy and Bug attacks.

Still, I find myself in the odd position of wanting to go against the obvious game mechanics and just reinstate Sizzles to the team. We went through a lot, that electric rat and me. If nothing else he managed to one-shot a couple of Gyarados and I hate Gyarados. It was a Gyarados that kept killing me in Pokemon Platinum and I've fostered a grudge ever since.

Funny how we invest in these things, isn't it?

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