it’s only been a few months since i’d put aside pokemon pearl in disgust even though i was only at the halfway point, but i ended up getting sucked back into it and spending way too much time finishing the game recently instead of progressing through pokemon black which i’d also started. the main reason was because my nephew, who has soulsilver, really wanted to trade and battle, and i didn’t have any new critters to trade with him. so being the nice uncle i am i spent a lot more time with the game and wound up exploring features of the series that i usually don’t pay much attention to, including breeding, the safari zone, and online trades. i spent way too much time tending to my honey trees (but after days and days of regular checking twice a day with still no munchlax in sight i gave up on trying to catch one), and i actually saw all 150 of the pokemon in the regional pokedex, a first for me for the series but no doubt made easier by the game itself which requires that achievement before you can import pokemon from the GBA games. completing the regional pokedex became a mini-obsession and i definitely made good progress, although i got to a point where i had to level up too many pokemon that you can’t catch in the wild and my interest waned.
as for the other features i hadn’t previously explored in this game, i checked out the underground in order to find fossils, but as i suspected it seems otherwise completely pointless unless you’re really into building up your secret base (although the multiplayer might be worth trying). i caught all three of the legendary pokemon trio in this game, including the roaming one (also a first for me for the series). in a wi-fi trade i encountered pokerus, the pokemon virus, for the first time, although i still have yet to see my first shiny pokemon (although i saw one listed in a trade). i checked out the battle zone, the post-game pokemon stadium/colosseum-esque area, but didn’t find it to be too interesting, and although i enjoyed playing around with swarms, the poke radar, and the dual-slot mode, trying to complete the national pokedex just seems like an endeavor way beyond my level of interest.
although i came to appreciate pokemon pearl for all that it packs into one tiny cartridge, overall i still felt the same way as i had previously, which is that it, particularly the platinum version, feels like the summation of the series begun with the original pokemon red/blue but that it doesn’t add much that really feels fresh and new. pokemon black/white seems like an attempt to revitalize the series and actually strips away some features instead of adding them. my verdict is still out on that game, but so far i’ve definitely been enjoying it.
to end, as is my custom i’ll give a shout-out to my final crew. yet again it seems that steel pokemon can do no wrong, and bronzong was completely solid, even more so than the starter empoleon. roserade was pretty decent, although rapidash wasn’t a star player. even levelled up, blissey was fairly weak and useless, and it’s going to be a while before i feel motivated to use a normal-type pokemon again.