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To be the very best

Hello there! Welcome to the world of Pokemon!

My first memories of Pokemon came with an issue of Nintendo Power. Back in 1998, when Pokemon was just another Japanese thing destined to not reach American shores, Nintendo Power made inserts, half walkthrough and half comic, to insure us that yes, Pokemon was coming, and it would be good.

These inserts were a thing of beauty. Not like pictures you frame and put on your wall, but they were honest to god beautiful. They showed us a world, where you were able to go on the adventure of a lifetime. There was no story besides the story that you created, the path that you forged through friendship with Pokemon. Pure escapism, glued and stapled inside a magazine.

And, eventually, Pokemon came out, unlike all the other Japanese games we saw images of in gaming magazines, and we could play it. It was a physical thing, in our hands. This was the most confusing thing about it. We were used to seeing hordes of Japanese games, only to have the best, the brightest, not release for years, if at all. And here was this game, the most brilliant of the brilliant, getting a physical, stateside release. It was baffling. It was unheard of. It was fantastic. The only games I was more excited about when they came out were Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII, and they were franchises with years of history behind them.
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