Sunday 15 October 2017

The Kanto Diaries: Vermillion City (dickishness in game design)

Most of the times I find the Pokemon games to be pretty fair. After all, there's no in-game fail state and the only strategy guide you really need is the type chart. However, FireRed just pulled a spectacular dick move on me when I reached Vermillion City.

Now, Electric-type gyms are difficult at the best of times but never more so than when you haven't even had the chance to get a Ground-type on your team. Like, for instance, if you play FireRed because seemingly the only Ground-type before Vermillion City is Sandshrew which is LeafGreen exclusive.

My team when I went into the gym to fight Lt. Surge “The Fighting American” (no seriiously) was a Wartortle. A Rattata, a Nidorino, a Pikachu, an Oddish and a Butterfree. Of that list two are weak to Electric attacks, my Oddish was absolutely useless, a Pikachu is basically useless against other Electric-types and that left me with two passingly effective fighters who nevertheless kept getting paralyzed.

I got beat. Twice.

So, in a funk I decided to pursue the route of the screwed over: power levelling. I stomped my way back the way I came and leveled for a bit then returned to the gym.

Where I was beaten a third time.

Fuming, kicking my Pokeballs down the street in front of me as I went, I decided to try and get some decent EXP by skipping ahead to the next route and picking on some trainers. This was when I passed Diglett's Cave.

Yers, “Diglett's Cave”. Literally a cave named after and infested with a Ground-type Pokemon, five or six steps outside the city of the Electric gym.

Dick move, Game Freak. Dick move. 

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