Gotta Catch ‘Em All: How Playing Any Pokemon Game Is One Step Towards Insanity

If anyone has followed my writing at all, be it on my blog, this blog, or United We Game, then you may have heard how I’m not like other gamers. I don’t have a ton of nostalgia for owning classic systems or playing all the games that have been groundbreaking for the video games industry. My gaming memories are filled with watching relatives or friends play, or dabbling in console gaming for an hour, while I attended an after school program when I was in grade school. As an adult who is building her gaming memories now with the current generation of games, I have the chance to experience some of the games I missed out on as a kid or teen. One of those games is Pokemon.

The starter Pokemon in X/Y.
The starter Pokemon in X/Y.

I’ve played a few of the Pokemon games that have come out in the last few years, but haven’t finished them. This probably makes it a really bad idea to have started playing Pokemon X, but whatever. It’s a shiny and new Pokemon game and it’s hard to resist trying it out for a few hours. I discovered, after playing a few of these games, how incredibly addictive and hard it is not to want to catch every single Pokemon you find on your journey. The famous catchphrase, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” is not something to take lightly. You will want ALL the Pokemon, or as many as you can find when your character searches the grass for new ones you haven’t already caught. It will also drive you insane.

The Pokemon games are a ton of fun and it makes you feel as if you’re like Ash Ketchum going on this wonderful journey to become a Pokemon champion. Ever since the series was introduced to American living rooms back in the ’90s, I bet every kid wished they were on an adventure with their very own Pikachu in tow to discover new places, make new friends, and catch every known species of Pokemon to fill their Pokedex. I know I did.

The Pokemon games are popular for this reason––it’s the idea of catching them all or training your favorite Pokemon to be a formidable opponent in battle that makes the experience of playing the games so engaging. Everyone has a favorite Pokemon. I’m more partial to the grass type Pokemon, but I do love Pikachu and have him as one of the main Pokemon I use in Pokemon X. There’s no way I’m evolving my Pikachu.

The driving need, no, the obsession to catch all Pokemon makes it difficult for me to see through a game to its completion. I’m always sidetracked with wanting to explore every tall grassy area to battle Pokemon I may not have caught yet. I’m super careful about making sure I drain enough of their health bar to make them easier to catch, but not enough to make them faint. Some Pokemon are easier than others to catch. Throwing that Pokeball and watching it shake from side to side until you hear that “click” is a nail biting moment.

Must find more Pokemon to catch. Gotta catch 'em all...Gotta catch 'em all...
Must find more Pokemon to catch. Gotta catch ’em all…Gotta catch ’em all…

Once you’ve captured one, it doesn’t satisfy your need to catch more. Each Pokemon you encounter is a new one to add to your collection. It doesn’t help that there’s maybe over a thousand different types of Pokemon out there in the game and that’s not including the legendary ones you still have to catch or the starters you have at the beginning of the game. Who has time to catch all of these?! Playing a Pokemon game, while a lot of fun, will drive you mad. You’re constantly making sure you have caught the current Pokemon in front of you or you enviously long for that Charizard another Pokemon trainer who challenged you to a battle has. It’s no joke when the famous, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” rings in your ears like a whisper you can’t get out of your head.

Getting back into the fever of wanting to catch all the Pokemon is causing me problems to advance further into the game. I probably spend an hour on the road just looking for new Pokemon before hitting the next town and gym. I should really focus on getting the next gym badge. Nah, maybe I’ll feed the addiction just a little while longer. Just a little, or until I make myself completely Pokemoned out.

Have a Pokemon addiction? Does playing Pokemon give you a bad case of “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” fever? Share your stories with me in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Gotta Catch ‘Em All: How Playing Any Pokemon Game Is One Step Towards Insanity”

  1. I think at the beginning, I always strive to catch every one I see. But once I have a full team and I have a few gym badges, I stop catching them and get caught up in the story and the other dynamics of the game. But I alwasy start out with that inital ‘I must catch every single one’ mentality.

    1. It’s really hard in the beginning, isn’t it? I think it’s the excitement of really wanting to discover all the possible Pokemon you can catch. I’m sort of like you. After I eventually get further into the game, then I tend to stop wanting to search for new Pokemon to catch.

  2. Considering how many tens of hours I clocked in the first week of XY’s launch, I think it is safe to say I had the fever.

    Thankfully, it has since passed, and now I can look forward to Bravely Default next month. It is a JRPG with a ton of classes, each with a ton of abilities to be unlocked to mix and match to make the perfect fighting team.

    I have a feeling I’ll be catching ‘catch-’em-all’ fever once again – just not with Pokjemon!

  3. I’m the same for all games that involve collectibles. I’ve spent hours on Assassin’s Creed 4 but I’m not even a quarter of the way through yet cos I’ve spent so much time finding stuff.

    1. I have that problem, but more with wanting to complete all the side quests, if I can. The collectibles I’m not too interested in getting, but it’s a similar problem as Pokemon…wanting to have absolutely everything.

  4. While I do love the thrill of catching piles of Pokemon, I tend to follow a modified motto I read on Twitter some time ago: “Gotta catch ’em all, unless they are ugly or look dumb.”

    In the case of Pokemon X, I am certainly not going to waste my time catching some dopey little fairy-type that someone modeled after their car keys.

    1. Haha, that’s a good motto to go by! Only, I tend to still want to collect the stupid, ugly ones just to have them. It doesn’t mean I’ll use them in battle, but I like knowing that I have them in the collection. It’s a problem, I know.

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