Imagine a world full of endless possibilities. You can be anything you want. President? Go for it! Own a small business? Get yourself a loan. Teach under privileged children? Mold those minds! You will not find me doing any of that. I will be in my dark room exploring the world of Pokemon and ruining all those who stand in my way.

The Pokemon franchise means a lot to me, and it is by far my favorite RPG. When I was just six years old, I had explored all of Kanto thanks to the Red, Blue and Yellow versions. Next was Johto with the help of Gold and Silver when I was seven. Most of us know that in the Pokemon games you portray a ten year old boy or girl who sets out on a brand new adventure. I guess that’s why Ruby and Sapphire hold a special place in my heart. I was ten when I set out on the journey. The same age as the protagonist.

I had just moved when I started playing Ruby/Sapphire. Granted, the move wasn’t to a fantastic world where powerful creatures exist. It was to a neighborhood about ten minutes away. A lot of changes were taking place and Pokemon sort of helped me out. Going to a new school and having to make new friends was definitely a challenge, but having Pokemon as the constant in my life helped. Of course, all of the kids at the new school were more into Magic: The Gathering. I wasn’t interested in their friendship anyway… Not when I have Gym Leaders and the Elite Four to beat.

My imagination fully took over. I was immersed in the world of Pokemon. From the first time I touched a Pokemon game, I truly felt like a trainer. My starter was Treecko and all of my faith was in him. My little green friend and I took down gym after gym. Of course, I did meet new allies along the way. I can’t remember my entire team, but I do remember Aron and Torkoal. Those three together made me near unstoppable.

Torkoal was my favorite. I had a fascination with turtles when I was younger. Probably due to my marathon viewing of the original Ninja Turtles movies at all times. We took down all the gyms and Team Aqua/Magma. My three friends and I were true heroes. I had never felt so great in my life before playing that game.

To me, Pokemon is one of the best RPGs ever made, if not THE best. I understand that many may believe that Pokemon games are for children, but those people are wrong and should shut their mouths. The world of Pokemon is massive and the story is always growing. Each region has different Pokemon waiting to be caught and trainers with unique stories. I’ve heard people complain that Pokemon is too easy. You want a challenge? Nuzlocke.

The Pokemon Franchise is 18 years old. That’s almost two decades of an amazing and beautiful universe in which people have grown up. I am the resident Pokemon Master here at The Free Cheese and I could not be more proud of that title. I will always play Pokemon. Hell, I’ll even watch the series even though its kind of rubbish now. When I have kids and they play Pokemon, I will battle them and show them what it really means to be a Pokemon Trainer.

Mr. Tajiri, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Posted by Kyle Muehlberger

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