[Giveaway] Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

I remember getting Pearl for my 8th birthday.

Over the summer, I had watched my cousins play Diamond. I didn't know what to do, but it seemed awesome. Having a vague knowledge of the card game, it seemed so amazing to be able to walk around, catch my own 'mons (the ones I wanted, not the ones I got from the trading card packs), and even fish! I made a deal with my parents; if I was on good behavior for the next three months (up to my birthday), I could get a DS.

So I hyper-behaved myself. Although it took forever, my birthday finally approached, and I got the DS. It was the Cobalt-Black model, and it looked really sick. It instantly became one of my most prized possessions.

Anyway, back to the story. I also got Pearl; I didn't know about Palkia, but it seemed pretty cool. I started up the game, and my brain exploded. There was color, music, and magic. As an 8-year old, there weren't too many choices I could make. Suddenly, there was something I had control over. I could choose where to go, I could choose what to do, I could choose everything!

My adventure had begun! I chose Turtwig, and made it all the way to Jubilife City. My Turtwig was the best 'mon ever. It was so tanky and cute and it could beat everything with Tackle. Random Shinx in grass? No problem. Youngster [Generic Name]? No problem. Turtwig was so damn good.

Sadly, I had to go to bed, so I shut my DS off, and dreamed about playing more in the morning.

But when I woke up, rushed out of bed, and turned my DS on, my Turtwig wasn't there; it hadn't saved, because I didn't know how. Right away, I called my cousin up, and he told me what to do. Although I was upset about losing Turtwig #1, Turtwig #2 would almost certainly be better; I knew so much more about the game, and I was happy I knew what to do. After every battle, I saved, making sure that Turtwig #2 wouldn't face Turtwig #1's fate.

Gradually, I formed a better bond with Turtwig #2. We beat Roark (or whatever Gym Leader 1 was called), and Turtwig evolved into Grotle. Then we met Team Galactic. After dying 2 or 3 times to Fire Blast Skuntank, Grotle evolved into Torterra. Torterra learned Earthquake, and swept that miserable skunk away in one shot. You don't beat Torterra four times in a row.

Anything else I caught wasn't good; anything else I faced wasn't a match. Torterra was my life; it's all I talked about in school, all I drew in Art, all I thought about when I was away from my DS. My play time was restricted to ~~10 minutes per day, but I used every minute of it with my Torterra, beating every minuscule challenger that dared oppose it. Fine, that may be exaggerated (Glacia and Ice-Types were really hard, but I brute-forced my way through).

My Torterra got dangerously strong. Volkner's Electric types? Gone in one shot. Flint's Fire types? Gone in many shots after EQ ran out of PP. Cynthia? Dead.

My Torterra was Lv.73, and it was the coolest thing to have. All of my friends were jealous; their Torterra were not nearly as strong as mine.

Time passed, and I moved Torterra through every game I played: Pearl to Diamond, Diamond to Platinum, Platinum to Heart Gold, Heart Gold to Black, and Black to White.

During these periods of my life, I moved around every 2-3 years. Although friends and interests changed, I always had my Torterra somewhere with me. I would other Pokemon fans, and challenge them to battles. Sure, I didn't always win, but I had tons of fun. That's what I think Pokemon is about.

Last year, I finally made the jump to 3D. I played Y, moved my Torterra up (of course, what else would I do?), and beat the League.

Looking for things to do after I finished the game, I became hooked to competitive battling. At the start, I tried using just my favorites, but it didn't go too well. I kept on losing to others with "better" mons.

Eventually, I stepped out of my comfort zone, tried other people's teams, and started getting better. Although I wanted to be the "weird team" guy (who doesn't?), I found different ways to be unique. People may say the VGC16 format (what I play) is overcentrualizing and not diverse, but I've come to appreciate a lot more about the game itself. I finally understand how the game I've played for the past 8+ years works, and how I can have fun while challenging myself. This, again, is what I've found Pokemon to be about.

Pokemon has taught me, and many other Trainers along my path, to step outside of their comfort zones.

TL;DR: Kid picks a Turtwig, doesn't use anything else on his team, moves it up several gens, is still attached to it 8 years later, writes a very long essay/rant on the various things he's learned.

/r/3DS Thread