Pokémon - Casual Children's Game or Competitive Strategy?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Casual

  2. Competitive

  3. Both

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    Can you guys believe it? We are almost twenty-four hours away from the start of the next generation of the Pokémon franchise. Those of you who are browsing from international locales, enjoy the game! To celebrate, I figured it was time to write something about Pokémon to, well, "set the mood." Living in a society where becoming a grown up means dropping things that may have been enjoyable in the past, it is nice to be able to go back to a major part of my childhood days with the Pokémon series and enjoy it for what it really is. Having been trained to look at the series in a competitive aspect, it is always interesting to hear the opinions of whether or not this game was strictly geared towards the casual audience or whether it could blur the line of hardcore competitive strategy. It is time to jump in a little bit and explore what the franchise has to offer in terms of competitive and casual gameplay.​
    Pokémon has always been about making friends and getting together for some battling. For those who are completely unaware of the existence of the franchise and just happened to stop by, Pokémon involves raising creatures. As these creatures grow stronger, they obtain new skills and increased stat points. What the ordinary player; for instance, children, may not realize is that Pokémon gain "hidden" values called IV and EV points. These points create status gains that yield a more competitive edge, which is reliant on the nature of said Pokémon. The newest games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, seek to make this process of earning EV and IV points easier. As a bit of foreshadowing into a future works, I will be discussing the new Pokémon games in more detail at a later date, so stay tuned for that. The past generations involved mindless slaughter of thousands of the same Pokémon to obtain the desired points. Legitimately maximizing a Pokémon's potential could take dozens if not hundreds of hours. Battle simulators such as Pokémon Online or Pokémon Showdown can do these stat gains automatically at the click of the mouse. Other means of increasing these points involved using codes and computer programs such as PokéSav or PokéGen from the Project Pokémon communities.​
    A vast amount of players utilize these programs to create a competitive team to battle or impress their friends with. Most children, however, would be unaware such programs exist. Most children that I know of who play Pokémon merely play for the sake of the adventure, paying little attention to the minute details that the competitive battling has to offer, instead focusing on the story of friendship, as the series story lines are more geared towards children, much like the anime. Most children assemble a ragtag team of prized creatures and call it a day. Children would not care much about whether or not a Garchomp's Sand Force will mesh well with a weather team or how Blaziken with Speed Boost could be an outright banned or "Uber tier" combo. I find that children merely are concerned with just dropping the life bar down to zero. For those of us who have stuck around since Generation I or have taken a look at the Smogon University we see that Pokémon is a much deeper series than anticipated, as every single thing counts. Natures are of vital importance in assembling a team. Creating the right set of 252/252/4 EVs and IVs to mesh together with the overall theme of a team takes time to compile as well. Having participated in the Pokémon competitive scene, I can say that a very solid team has taken several hours to compile and complete. Deciding when to switch out a Pokémon and attempting to predict the opponent's next move is all part of the mystique that is competitive battling. With that, where do we draw the line and say that Pokémon is for casuals and where do we draw the lines and say that Pokémon is considered a competitive game? Is it wrong to consider Pokémon a competitive game?​
    Tables like this are a staple to learning competitive play. This is the table of EV considerations.
    To consider Pokémon as a casual type game, a broad definition needs to be provided. The "casual" Pokémon gamer is considered as a player who lightly raises Pokémon without seriously considering IV/EV values, and using personal favorites to battle with friends. Casual players can also take the game pace and enjoy the story aspects. This is a very broad definition. What makes the games "casual" though? Some people think that the casualness comes from the fact that Pokémon is a children's game, a classification that I find wrong. Critics complain that the story of the games are rather weak and way too child friendly, but the story to me was never of vital importance. Other critics claim that the game just lacks innovation and the introducing of newer creatures appears more and more lackluster with each new generation. And of course, a competitive definition is one that utilizes a specific Pokémon's traits and creates a team based around these aspects. For instance, one of the most popular types of teams in competitive battling is weather based teams. Such teams could consist of Sand Storm users, complete with units such as Garchomp with specific abilities, movesets, and stat points. There are many factors to consider, and I find that the best competitive strategies are the ones that provide balance against many other team types. Most competitive players I find say that they disregard the story and focus on training and obtaining their ultimate team, either through the handheld games or through battle simulation. There is a third "tier" we could add here, and that is the group of players who aim to complete the Pokédex in its entirety, a challenge considering the fact that there are now over 700 creatures to collect.​
    Is it wrong if you are a casual player? Absolutely not. I acknowledge that there are times when a player simply wants to get together with friends and fight. I do this all the time, actually. Meanwhile, if you are on a competitive ladder, the stakes are slightly higher with ladder rankings dependent on tier and points that are allocated, as seen on the popular simulator Pokémon Showdown. I personally stand in the middle as both a competitive and casual batting player. I obviously will not use my competitive based teams against a casual friend. It ruins the fun. Where do you draw the line when classifying yourself?​
    To close off, these drawings of the boundaries between casual and competitive are entirely subjective based on the individual experience. Every person who enjoys the Pokémon franchise can draw their own conclusions about the games, but I would love to hear feedback. Are you more of a competitive player? Are you a casual player who loves the social aspect of Pokémon? Feel free to chime off in the comments below! I look forward to seeing you guys in Generation VI!​
  2. Zaertix

    Zaertix GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Oct 20, 2009
    United States
    I think this is the first generation I'll get into the competitive side of Pokemon. I usually play it and I'm done with it, but I think with live-streaming, and the general social importance of the last few generations has changed my gaming style.

    But regardless, I don't know if I'll go HARDCORE competitive where I spend HOURS upon HOURS EV/IV training and min/maxing my team, just seems to ruin the enjoyment to me.
  3. Wombo Combo

    Wombo Combo That Ain't Falco

    Mar 17, 2010
    United States
    Casual stopped playing after middle school just cant get into it anymore.
  4. calmwaters

    calmwaters Cat's best friend

    May 27, 2013
    United States
    happy land
    It's not really the battles as much as it is the collecting. I took the Pokemon motto to heart: "Gotta catch 'em all!" So I've never gone past FireRed; too many Pokemon to catch. Of course I do have my level 50 Pikachu, Kadabra, Hypno, Blastoise, Persian, Raticate. And occasionally Pidgeot/(Gengar now that I got him)/Dugtrio/Snorlax/Gyarados/Ponyta...
    Vinnymac likes this.
  5. Transdude1996

    Transdude1996 GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 28, 2011
    United States
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Pokemon sort of has a casual feel to it, but becomes very competitive once you involve friends into the mix.
  6. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolf-husky™ Panties

    Sep 13, 2009
    At the end of another lost highway
    Why not both?
    I play tend to play it with a mix of casual like when I am on break at work, but then when I have the time I do EV/IV training, breeding for personality, ect.
    ßleck and Costello like this.
  7. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    I went ahead and added the "both" option on the poll. :)
  8. Xexyz

    Xexyz GBATemp's™ Official Xexyz

    Jul 29, 2013
    United States
  9. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    For the meantime, those of you that have already voted, I changed the polling a bit so you can add another response. It's a temporary measure of sorts until I figure out how to reset the poll lol.
  10. omgpwn666

    omgpwn666 Guy gamer and proud!

    Jun 14, 2008
    United States
    Casual for me. My whole party will probably be Digletts and Lickatongues.
  11. ShadowFyre

    ShadowFyre GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 29, 2010
    United States
    San Diego
    Pokemon is fairly good RPG considering how much replayeability you can get out of it compared to other RPGs. That being said, I enjoy a healthy combination of attempting to finish my living pokedex before X/Y come out, and creating new teams to battle strangers with. Its a pretty versatile game, where the only flaws I can really articulate is the lack of story and increasingly weird pokemon. However, I can't stand IV breeding/EV training any of my pokemon, need pokegen for that. It seems stupid to put that much time in to legitimacy when people can create those pokemon in seconds, and when you want a big roster of metagame pokemon for versatility in battling.
  12. Bowser-jr

    Bowser-jr GBAtemp Fan

    Nov 27, 2008
    United States
    I agree with ShadowFyre on the whole EV/IV training. With our current methods, it takes way to long. I rather use Pokesav for getting my held items and using pokegen to set up the right nature and EV. Of couse, that might be a thing of the past due to no one working on Pokegen/Pokesav anymore. Not to mention that the Pokebank will have some sort of "new" encryption which will make the harder. Unless they add some new and easier methods to EV train pokemon, we either gonna be stuck to using the long in-game methods or wait for a new "Pokegen" for gen 6 to come out.
  13. ResleyZ

    ResleyZ Swiggity swaggity swooty, I love my own booty

    Oct 11, 2013
    Silicon Valley
    When I went to this years GamesCom, there were nearly no 'children' at the X/Y booth. While it may be made for children, the mechanics allows some really competitive gameplay.
  14. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

    Oct 12, 2012
    United States
    Sandy Eggo
    Like others, I went with "both." I believe I've played every generation (except one), but I have never personally tried competitive battling. I just finished the story, collected Pokemon, etc. But like Zaertix, I think this generation might change things. I'll dip my toes into competitive battling, research how much effort it will take to make good Pokemon in the new system, and see where it takes me.
  15. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

    Oct 31, 2011
    Both, coz it really depends on how you see it,
    For me its my Anti stress game, but its also my "kick everyone i know, online and on gbatemp's asses" game
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  16. aiat_gamer

    aiat_gamer GBAtemp Fan

    May 1, 2008
    I do not understand much about this since I have never played a Pokemon game in my life, but did IO understand correctly? are you saying only children play these games casually?
  17. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

    Oct 12, 2012
    United States
    Sandy Eggo
    No, what he meant was that children are less likely to be competitive battlers, and more likely to play the game because they enjoy the story, theme, etc.
  18. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

    Aug 22, 2013
    United States
    Away from this shithole
    Last edited by Vipera, Nov 14, 2015
  19. TwinRetro

    TwinRetro Global Moderator

    Global Moderator
    Aug 29, 2008
    Hiatus Hell
    While the game started out strictly geared towards children, I think it's evolved (no pun intended) to also target those who grew up with the game as children themselves. There are obvious nods to that goal all over previous games, and I'm sure X/Y will be no different.
    EZ-Megaman, SuzieJoeBob and gamefan5 like this.
  20. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    GBAtemp Patron
    The Real Jdbye is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Mar 17, 2010
    Both, for sure.
    They did a pretty good job at designing a system that is both child friendly, yet complex. You don't have to get into things like EV training, breeding and movesets to play and enjoy the game, but if you want to, it's there, and it adds a very competitive aspect to the game.
    EZ-Megaman, SuzieJoeBob and Veho like this.
  21. Chocolina
    This message by Chocolina has been removed from public view by p1ngpong, Oct 11, 2013, Reason: complaint noted.
    Oct 11, 2013