First off: I may not post a lot here, but I still feel that this is one of the best ways to describe my concerns and engage the issues I discuss herein with the Pokémon community at large. This is my experience with Pokémon and a crisis I currently face.
I, as a lifelong Pokémon fan, am starting to feel like I’m losing my way. I have played almost every main series game, and every generation many times over, and I’ve run into a sort of wall with what to do next, all these years of playing behind me. Some years back, my goal was training Pokémon in my Ruby. Then, that file of 850+ hours ran out due to the internal battery, and I stopped for a year or so. Upon the release of Gen V, I came back into the game in full force, and played 10 hours a day of Black until I reached 999:59 on the time counter. From there, I felt that the GTS now enabled me to put a wholehearted attempt into my new goal of completing the Pokédex. Since then, I’ve completed the Pokédex in all the Gen V and Gen VI games.
Throughout this, I had a sort of moonshot – a final, ultimate challenge for myself: to train every fully-evolved form of every Pokémon to level 100. And, well, I did that. Almost. The last Pokémon, for sentiment’s sake, was Groudon, as Ruby is my favorite game. I caught an Adamant one in Ruby and it is currently sitting in my HeartGold, before I trade it up through Gen V into my Omega Ruby, where I will EV-train it properly. The reason it’s still sitting in my HeartGold is because that Groudon signifies the end of my supposedly final challenge. After that, I have nothing left. No goal, nothing.
I have to this point been trying to avoid this issue, by replaying almost every generation. Ruby, a different copy of Ruby, Diamond, HeartGold, White, White 2, X, and currently Emerald because I haven’t done it in a while. Upon the release of the Virtual Console Gen I games, I completed the Pokédex in all three, and rather than trading, I caught as many of the Pokémon as I could, then traded only the necessary ones, for the sole purpose of spending more time just playing.
I therefore ask you, the Pokémon community: what do you do? How do you prolong your experience with the greatest franchise in history? I want to spend more time in these worlds, with these characters and creatures that have so defined my childhood, but I am at a loss, and what a crushing loss it is. If you may indulge me for a moment: the pressures of adult life are always closing in, and Pokémon has always been the one spark, the light that shines eternally for me. It is always there, always reminding me of a simpler time. Sure, I cynically analyze any new leaks, I watch every trailer, I meticulously EV train, but that’s just my new way of experiencing Pokémon. And I would love to keep doing that, as long as I live, but this existential crisis (if I may be so bold as to call it that) is seriously weighing on me.
I would like to address that yes, we will have a new generation coming to us this November. I have no doubts GAME FREAK and Nintendo will provide another fantastic pocket-sized world for us all to fall in love with again. But, it will most likely not take me until Gen VIII comes out to fully experience Gen VII. Furthermore, November 18 is still over five months away, and even though I’m doing everything possible in Emerald, from the Regis to the Abandoned Ship, it certainly won’t take me that long. This crisis will follow me, as it may very well follow other members of the Pokémon community. Most of my friends have dropped out of Pokémon, but I see no reason to stop. Rather, I must at all costs not find a reason to stop, and I hope that the community members here might be of some assistance. I’m reaching out to one of the greatest communities on Earth, and I hope there’s someone who shares some sentiment or has ideas. Thank you for reading.