In anticipations for Pokémon Sun and Moon's release this November, I'm going through each of the generations (that can have it's Pokémon transferred to Sun and Moon in some way) and playing through them with some Nuzlocke rules attached. This is in attempt to try and see how the Pokémon series has evolved, and to have Pokémon throughout the generations all present. These are the games I'm playing:
Pokémon Blue (Virtual Console)
Pokémon SoulSilver (only way Gen 2 can be played and have it's Pokémon transferable)
I'm also going to be writing up my thoughts on each generation after I'm done. I've just finished my run of Pokémon Blue, with the standard Nuzlocke rules + no items allowed during battles, to make the first runthrough relatively simple and easier than it needed to be. Here was my team for the Elite 4:
- Jynx Lv.57 (died to Lance's Aerodactyl)
- Nidoqueen Lv.54
- Venusaur Lv.54 (only brought him out for rival's Rhydon)
- Ninetales Lv. 52 (never used it for E4)
- Zapdos Lv. 53 (died to a crit from my rival's Charizard)
- Snorlax Lv.53
The first generation of Pokémon is actually really interesting - you can really see how everything was thought out to encourage exploration and taking your time as opposed to later generations. This is because outside of a few events, you're never really TOLD what to do. You generally need to figure it out all on your own - this can mean eventually putting two and two together and realizing you need to take out Team Rocket in Celadon to find the Silph Scope for Lavender Town. There's also the fact that once you clear Lavender town, the game really opens up for the player - you can take out Rocket in Saffron, explore the Safari Zone in Fuschia, or just continue finding new Pokémon.
That's another thing - the Pokédex. Despite there only being 151 Pokémon in gen 1, Game Freak really did do a good job in spreading them out throughout the Kanto region. Even though I knew all of the Gen 1 Pokes, I always had a bit of a rush whenever I found a rarer one or even just something that wasn't a freakin' Pidgey.
However, all of this is easily ruined. If you know what to do and have played the game before, the game immediately becomes something that is fun to explore and experience into a very quick game. I clocked in around 26 hours for this game, and a good amount of that was just grinding for the Elite 4, as I was so underleved and didn't want to lose Pokes at that point. After Lavender Town's events, it is quite easy to just rush to where you need to go and avoid most everything else.
Gen 1 is also flawed in a few other ways. Gameplay-wise, moves like Clamp, Bind, and Fire Spin are incredibly powerful. They prevent ALL movement from the enemy, so you're just given a free 2-5 turns of small damage. Then, you're able to do it again without consequence if you're faster. Luckily all of these moves have a decent chance to miss, but it is still pretty boggling that this is possible. Other headaches include crit chance being tied to speed, making some Pokes like Persian, Dugtrio, Aerodactyl, and Dodrio crit machines - good and bad for you. Waking up from sleep takes a full turn, meaning if you're faster, the enemy could very easily just put you to sleep again. If you're able to exploit these in addition to using type advantages, gen 1 is unarguably the easiest gen, and is not made much harder under nuzlocke rules - especially since I basically put on the barebone rules.
Quick note about the Jynx and Zapdos on my team. I had no rules about in-game trades or using legendaries (the legendary birds are considered GOOD but not OP AS HELL like Mewtwo, anyway). Jynx is incredibly powerful in Gen 1 (she basically destroyed the last 3 Elite 4 members single-handidly), and I love her design, so I decided that if I ever got a Poliwag/Poliwhirl as a first encounter, I'd be able to raise it and trade for it. Zapdos is another story. Basically, I had 1 death up to Koga - a rattata that died to a crit on route 1. So I was feeling pretty good. Koga was down to his last Poke, Weezing, and he decided that he'd be a moron and explode turn 1 on my Turde Bird (Pidgeot) and kill it while also losing. Turde was my unofficial mascot and I was pretty sad, so sad that I decided that I would use my team of level 34-37 mons to take on the level 50 Zapdos, something that could've ended in my demise - a high-risk high-reward scenario. I also could've gotten screwed over by getting an encounter before Zapdos (1st encounter rule), but luckily I abused repels to sort of "fix" that. Zapdos almost KO'd my Nidoqueen, and then KO'd my Persian. I kept missing Ultra Balls before one hit and caught it. Funny enough, I rarely used it until the Elite 4 since I wanted to raise my other mons before it anyway (also coincidentally, both of these mons died during the elite 4 run - I made sure to release them after the credits rolled).
Gen 1 is definitely the most quirky of the generations, and it does show its age a tad - but it was still a fun playthrough overall. Sadly there is no way to play the OG Generation 2 games and have those mons transferred to modern gens, so I'm going to be playing through the remake, SoulSilver. Not to spoil too much, but RNG has lead me to choosing Cyndaquil. Stay tuned for my thoughts on that runthrough.