Why do you strive to be very best?
I recently found my SoulSilver version and decided it was time for me to set out on yet another adventure to become the best trainer. As I booted up the game, erased what data was on there (shedding a tear for some of my old friends) my roommate asked me something.
“Why do you even play Pokémon? I don’t see the appeal of it.”
I stopped for a moment. I didn’t quite know how to answer that.
“It’s not about the story,” my friend answered, “it’s about something else. It’s about the world.”
“No, no. The stories are pretty good.” I added. “But... everyone sets out on their journeys for different reasons.”
I then realized that there are scores of reasons to pick up Pokémon. Some people strive to breed the perfect Nidoking and spend hours upon hours hatching eggs until they get one with the perfect nature. Then they must make sure it has the maximum amount of EV points and has the perfect move set, making it the closest thing to the “perfect” Nidoking.
Others will, in fact, play for the story. “What’s Team Plasma up to? Am I the bad guy?” “Did I actually kill Gary’s Raticate?” “I will stop them from destroying the world!” The stories have gotten progressively better and more engrossing as the years have gone by. Each game’s story is better than the last (arguably) with bad guys wanting more and more from the Pokemon of legends. Some people set out to defeat the bad guys and are content with their partners once the story has ended.
Then there are people like me. When faced with this question I had to give myself a minute to think about. “Why was I playing SoulSilver again? Why this game?” And it came to me. There are people out there, like me, who just strive to be the best trainer they can be. Team Rockets will come and go, but champions are forever chronicled in time. Granted, everyone eventually faces the Elite Four and the Champion and will face great challenges along the way. But that’s not what I aim for. I aim to defeat Red, the strongest trainer of all time. Some people say Cynthia could give him a run for his money, but I disagree. He was THE Champion, the most powerful trainer in the world, and he will wait atop Mt. Silver for the next worthy opponent. I play this game to be that opponent. Some people strive to be the best, like no one ever was. And is that so bad?
The desire to grow stronger with your partners to reach your goals, that’s why you play Pokémon. It’s something that can resonate within each of us and that’s why these games are so great. If you don’t believe me, start up an old game of Pokémon and see what happens.