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Why is your favorite Pokemon game your favorite?

guydee

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I'm personally of the camp that believes all the main series Pokemon games are so similar that I like most of them relatively the same. My favorite is Ultra Sun and Moon, and most of the reason for that is that it was the first I ever beat. So what makes your favorite stand out among the rest to you?
 

Esserise

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Sun & Moon for mainly three reasons:
  1. The fresh experience. It was really exciting and invigorating to go through a region with a bit of a different goal structure; instead of the traditional 8 Gyms across one (mostly) contiguous landmass, now you have a series of trials that are divided up across four islands. I really liked the sense of progression that came with this - you arrive on a new island and you know you have to complete x amount of trials, and then it’s capped off with a climactic battle against the island’s kahuna, which gives you permission to move on to the next sequence. Furthermore, while the kahunas retain the feel of traditional Gym Leaders (a standard battle against a type-themed expert), the trials themselves put a fun twist on the usual routine. I thought the 2-on-1 Totem Battles were nicely challenging and complex, and the quests leading up to them were usually pretty fun.
  2. The storyline. More than any other Pokémon game, the story of these games got me really emotionally invested in its characters, and getting that final moment with each of them via the photographs in the credits sequence was really rewarding. They also threw a lot of inventive new concepts into the mix with Nebby, Team Skull, Ultra Beasts, and the Aether Foundation, and I think the narrative sequencing was pretty clever. I also think it does a great job at fulfilling the remit of honoring the series’s past (since these are the 20th anniversary games) while also breaking new ground and creating a story that works on its own terms.
  3. The vibrancy and life that fills the region. We really get a lot of insight into how the people of Alola live their lives - and not only that, but of how Pokémon play a part in those lives. So many individual Pokémon are portrayed in a way that illustrates what’s unique about them - you’ve got Pyukumuku washing up on the shore, Zygarde having to be assembled from scattered cells, the tapu playing the role of sacred local deities, Type: Null’s dark backstory and how it manifests, the various Poké Ride species making use of their specific strengths, Rotom’s ability to enter machines being capitalized on in a big way, and on and on. Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon take all of this much further, but even the first installments paint such a vivid image of the Pokémon world.
 

Daren

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Emerald felt like it didn't have any real downside compared to the previous games, while everything else had some noticeable fault or flaw in comparison. The closest to a downgrade I can think of is that GSC had a really big "post-game" area, but Kanto was fatally flawed in Crystal in that after beating Lance no one there was a worthwhile opponent until Blue, making most of it feel more like padding than anything, with even your rival being weaker than the Elite Four were.

Emerald also had the OG Battle Frontier, which was easily my favourite post-game content in the series.
 

Camille

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My favourite is Platinum, and I love it for its large and explorable region, a decent regional Dex for its time, the Champion, Gym Leaders, and Team Galactic not being complete pushovers, the amount of content, and the Distortion World being absolutely amazing.
 

R1ke

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Gen V really:
  • Best story we’ve ever gotten in a mainline series game, really pushes the boundaries of how deep a pokemon game can be - which the second installments directly build upon
  • Enjoyable, well developed or multi-dimensional characters such as the rivals, team plasma, champion and even some gym leaders
  • Reasonably challenging battles throughout the story, never felt like you were just cruising through it
  • Great postgame which offered new areas, legendaries, (actually difficult) trainer rematches, etc
  • Absolute banger of a soundtrack- both battle and town themes
  • Lots of smaller places to explore/small side quests to do that diverge from the main story throughout
  • HMs were toned down but were used enough to make overworld exploration engaging
  • Visually looked great, especially the sprites/backdrops in battle

Just great games tbh, can’t think of many glaring flaws. They had it all.
 

PikachuSmasher

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I really like Gen 4, specifically Platinum. I never really got a console until a while ago, so I used emulators. The first ever game I played on one was Platinum. I love the game's fixes DP's issues and adds more. Beating Cynthia with a team of Empoleon,Staraptor,Garchomp,Weavile,Houndoom and Gengar will always have a special place in my heart.
 

WyndonCalling

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Gold was my first game (albeit after several years of investment in the franchise), and I think it's easy to forget how huge that experience was relative to other games of the time. Putting to one side the trillions of permutations you can create of the core experience through your team options, Johto and Kanto had so many 'sidequests' and time-linked events that the game truly felt like it was a living, breathing entity that didn't simply end once you beat Red - you could still catch Bugs, still hunt for swarms, and still stake out Lapras.

Gold itself is now significantly long in the tooth, but Heartgold remains magnificent. It updated what were already some of the best tunes in the series, introduced follower Pokémon, gave us excellent minigames with the Pokéathlon Dome, and just generally looks beautiful. There are flaws with the meat of the gameplay (specifically in relation to level and general difficulty curves) but these have never been particularly important to me, not least because Pokémon is never really a 'hard' game in the conventional sense.
 
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Shiny Celebi

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Pokemon Silver is a simple game with a very pretty region and nice, relaxing music. The new Johto Pokemon are pretty cute honestly and Dark and Steel types were interesting. Its decemtly challenging as well. Kanto being the second part if the game gave it way more content than most of the games afterwards.
 

Chevywolf30

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Let's Go Pikachu because it's the only one I've played, remind me to revisit this thread in a year or so and ask again.
 

Rockapheller

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Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.

Now I have got to be honest, Hoenn at the time was my least favorite region, because I never fancied any Pokémon designs, and overall the impression that Hoenn gives was not for me. My first ever game was either one of original Hoenn games, I don't remember which version it was, but I stopped playing that game very early, because I hated the designs of Pokémon I'd encounter. So I bought Omega Ruby just because it is Pokémon. And honestly, my first playthrough was not fun even the slightest. I remember feeling regret for buying the game, and I would eventually either sell or trade it for another 3DS game, I thought.

But everything changed for good when I decided to fill a Living Dex on my Pokébank.

I had no idea the game had functions and features that I had to use while going after every single species, such as DexNav's Pokémon hunting skills, Mirage Spots on Latias/Latios, following tides and time of the day to capture specific Pokémon, chasing legendary Pokémon at specific times of the day/week. The details in the game were so entertaining, surprising and fun that I never in my life enjoyed a single game as much as my Omega Ruby playthrough. To add it even more, I encountered a shiny Carvanha when I expected it the least. I was on the road to visit my friends, and my 3DS charger light was turning on and off, reminding me I am about to run out of charge. I was just surfing in the water to find rare Pokémon in case I encounter one until my 3DS dies. That is until I faced off against that shiny Pokémon. My heart was pounding so hard that I would die if the console died before I caught the Pokémon. But I made it and added it to my collection to trade it for a really useful legendary Pokémon later on to fill my living dex.

I fancied the games so badly that my Omega Ruby cartridge died just randomly years later, and I bought Alpha Sapphire because of how much I love these games.

The downside of Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire for me is that in the battle department, there is no challenge. You just level up your Pokémon very easily and defeat every enemy with no trouble at all. Other than that problem, I would say the games are just flawless in my book, and I will always have fun playing these games.
 
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Almonds

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Gen 5.
BW has the best story ever.
B2W2 has the most expansive post-game stuff ever. Also, challenge mode is a nice bonus.
 

Neyo

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My favorite game is probably AS. It just holds a lot of nostalgia value for me, and the music is amazing. US/UM are 2nd for good gameplay and postgame content.
 

Puddle

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Sword and Shield are my favourites and probably always will be, because they're inspired by my home country, the UK. I feel a strong emotional connection to Galar because so many aspects of its geography and culture relate to my own life experiences. This has inspired me to delve more deeply into the roleplaying aspect of the game than usual, assembling a "dream team" with significant nicknames, imagining myself as a Gym Leader and so on.

One of my favourite animals is the wolf, so having a pair of them as the mascots made Sword and Shield all the more special. I adore Zacian and Zamazenta.
 

Keith

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Diamond/Pearl/Platinum and X/Y are my favorites.

D/P/P: The Sinnoh games were the first time I got to experience a main-series game in full. Before then, I had Red and Yellow, but an uncle of mine bought them from a yard sale. I couldn’t get those cartridges to work for the life of me :bulbaFacepalm:. When D/P came out, my mom bought me a Game Boy Advance SP and Diamond. I instantly fell in love with it, from the introduction to Lucas and Barry to the starter Pokémon to the gym battles, and so on. Once Platinum came out, seeing the new sprites and Giratina’s Origin Forme was icing on the cake. I replayed that game so many times.

As for X/Y, I loved the new Pokémon, especially Froakie and Sylveon. I loved the 3D models and graphics. It felt like such a step up from the previous games. I loved the simplicity of the game, though obviously there was so much more they could’ve done with it, especially story wise. Another game I’ve replayed a million times.
 

takoyaki

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I like XY.
The story isn't too bad imo, and I love the graphics. I think it's really beautiful. SM gave the exact opposite of that to me.
I also loved the roller skates. I just played it a year ago!
 

Boss1708

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The problem is that these days, I am not quite sure which is my favorite Pokemon game.

Usually, I would consider Emerald or BW2 to be my favorite Pokemon game, but sometimes I think it's HGSS, and lately I have even been doubting if it's maybe Platinum.

Currently, I am really looking forward to BDSP, hoping that maybe it could become one of my favorite Pokemon games of all time. I hope it won't disappoint.
 

Esserise

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I like XY.
The story isn't too bad imo, and I love the graphics. I think it's really beautiful. SM gave the exact opposite of that to me.
I also loved the roller skates. I just played it a year ago!

SM is my personal favorite, but I really love XY as well! :p

Like you, I really like the graphics. I also love that the region feels so full of culture, and that there are so many little details and points of interest you can look for all throughout. The soundtrack is either my favorite or second-favorite in the entire series, and I remember having a lot of fun with Amie and Super-Training and the Looker Bureau storyline. And of course the PSS was perfection. I think XY had, by a very wide margin, the best use of the dual-screen out of all the DS and 3DS games.

On top of that, you’ve got character customization for the first time ever, and the massive Pokédex creating a huge amount of variety. On a similar note, I think the fact that they created over 700 3D models each with multiple personalized animations and packed them all into this game is just… an honestly jaw-dropping accomplishment.

(Team Flare are also my favorite Pokémon villains, but I admit that’s not a very popular opinion, haha.)
 

Aulos

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I think I consider B/W my favorite nowadays, but Crystal was longtime my favorite, so I'll mention both:

B/W made such a great impression on me perhaps largely because pre-E4 we only had new Pokemon to choose from. Before B/W, I was still relying on Gen I Pokemon I considered reliable for a run-through and not really branching out and trying other Pokemon. B/W did not allow me to do that, so I had to try other Pokemon, and B/W also has a lot of great new Pokemon, quite a few of which are now among my top favorites.

Overall B/W just felt very fresh. It wasn't just the having to use new Pokemon, there was more to it. I remember it making slight tweaks to the formula, but it's been nearly a decade since I played the game, so I can no longer recall exactly how. lol

Crystal. Well, that's kinda a long story. Gold/Silver were such great sequels to Red/Blue/Yellow. I really felt like they did everything right. I know they have flaws, but none of the flaws bothered me as much as the weird things GF has done many times throughout most installments since. It just felt like the perfect sequel. Then Crystal came out, and a large reason that Crystal wins over Gold/Silver is the ability to play as a girl. It was so cool to not have to play as a guy anymore, because us girls (now women lol) play Pokemon, too!

There are other reasons I would pick Crystal over G/S, but much like B/W, many, many years have passed (I think I last played Crystal in 2006). IIRC, Crystal added more weekly events, and we were able to decorate our room a little bit (more?). Those are just my kinds of features. It's no shock that I would come to adore Animal Crossing, and later The Sims, which are now my favorite franchises in all of gaming.
 

olivinelighthouse

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I think Emerald remains my favorite due to how it feels so genuinely endless. The water routes add so much good sprawl and distance to the game in that you never know what's (singing) just around the riverbend. It always feels like there's something more I haven't found yet, that is waiting for me to explore it. In other games, they feel like more of a closed loop - once you are the champion, you know everything, you are the master of the region and its byways. But Emerald has never felt that way to me. Maybe it's features that were unfinished, like the changing cave, and ones that are near impossible (Mirage Island) or wholly impossible (Mew and Deoxys events) to access, that add to this in a way.

The question has also instilled some existential dread in me, as I'm no longer sure what my favorite game even is. Is it really Emerald? What if it's Platinum? Or HGSS? I find myself doubting that it's not BW, even though that's always been bottom of the list for me. I'll go reflect for a while.
 
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