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Analysis of the "Genwunner/Twoer" perspective

PoDiRancher

Active Member
I just can't like Gens 1 & 2. I appreciate them setting the foundations for the rest of the generations but playing them feels like a chore.

Blue and Silver are boring rivals. "Why would I want to fight someone who makes excuses for their losses? The only thing I get from them is a sense of pity. Blue is more appealing after the events of his initial journey (for me his character was fun in Gen 7: both the Alola games and LGPE) than as a rival. Silver is just boring to me. Much prefer rivals like Barry & Cheren who aren't worshipping you but don't antagonize you. Heavily hate the idea that not being a jerk means you're not as good of a rival.

Despite Gen 2 being my least favorite, I love the sprites. Probably my favorite in the series. Retro games tend to have more appealing artstyles for me. So I can give it that.

In terms of plots, I couldn't care less about Gens 1 and 2. The formula of "antagonistic team uses legendary for goal" may be tired out to some, but I take that over getting involved with the mafia. I want to play a fantasy setting with outlandish ideas. Flooding the earth? Resetting the universe? That's cool.

I think Pokémon has always had a great sense of mystery and hasn't changed at all. The world building has gotten better and the subtle details are fun to look for.

Music: Old gen is so much less enticing when listening to their modern remixes. Granted new technology gives them better results but I think FRLG more than HGSS/B2W2/LGPE's renditions of the Gym Leader theme so time isn't always a factor.

I get these games are childhood nostalgia fests for some but they haven't aged all that well and I don't see a reason to revisit them
What is it about feeling that more competitively-minded rival characters make for better rivals which you hate so much? Can you elaborate? The way I see it, while it's technically possible to have a rival which is completely unemotionally invested in defeating you (as opposed to merely winning; there's a nuanced difference there which I think distinguishes an opponent and a personal rival) I just don't see how a smile and a handshake is supposed to get anyone hyped to see their rival again. "Gee golly, he's sure got a firm grip!" doesn't exactly instill any degree of fervor in me anyway. This is why I think a more passionate and intense rival is simply more interesting. But again, I'd like to hear you elaborate.

I like your perspective on the plot though, you make pretty good points.
 

Ignition

That damn smile
What is it about feeling that more competitively-minded rival characters make for better rivals which you hate so much? Can you elaborate? The way I see it, while it's technically possible to have a rival which is completely unemotionally invested in defeating you (as opposed to merely winning; there's a nuanced difference there which I think distinguishes an opponent and a personal rival) I just don't see how a smile and a handshake is supposed to get anyone hyped to see their rival again. "Gee golly, he's sure got a firm grip!" doesn't exactly instill any degree of fervor in me anyway. This is why I think a more passionate and intense rival is simply more interesting. But again, I'd like to hear you elaborate.

I like your perspective on the plot though, you make pretty good points.
It's not that they're "competitive" as my favorites (Barry, Cheren, Gladion) are highly competitive. It's how unnecessarily aggressive and antagonistic they are. The idea that a rival has to trash talk and be a jerk to be emotionally invested in a rivalry is such a common misconception that I hate. I've seen intense friendly rivals who have more going on to them than just "we're going to be highly aggressive because we share a goal"

The aforementioned rivals (minus Gladion but him being an edgelord isn't taken seriously by anyone lol) push you forward but they don't kiss the ground you walk on. They're all passionate about getting stronger but they still acknowledge you as a friend/ally. It makes them see more like characters instead of someone who just exists to antagonize/praise you. Pokémon fans (not saying you) have this weird generalization where fans are either edgy or friendly which is undermines the purpose of a rival.
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
Rodpaco said:
However, if you put aside the nostalgia for those who started with R/B/Y, I think FR/LG are just much more enjoyable to play.
I agree. I actually rarely play the Gen I games even though I own the Virtual Console versions of R/G/B/Y. I personally think that their limitations are irritating, whereas LG/FR at least have more to do, especially in the post-game. I also prefer the remastered soundtrack in LG/FR compared to the 8-bit R/G/B/Y soundtrack.
 

PoDiRancher

Active Member
It's not that they're "competitive" as my favorites (Barry, Cheren, Gladion) are highly competitive. It's how unnecessarily aggressive and antagonistic they are. The idea that a rival has to trash talk and be a jerk to be emotionally invested in a rivalry is such a common misconception that I hate. I've seen intense friendly rivals who have more going on to them than just "we're going to be highly aggressive because we share a goal"

The aforementioned rivals (minus Gladion but him being an edgelord isn't taken seriously by anyone lol) push you forward but they don't kiss the ground you walk on. They're all passionate about getting stronger but they still acknowledge you as a friend/ally. It makes them see more like characters instead of someone who just exists to antagonize/praise you. Pokémon fans (not saying you) have this weird generalization where fans are either edgy or friendly which is undermines the purpose of a rival.
I guess I just don't understand the motivation to want to beat those types of characters. If you look at sports or eSports competitions, anything from UFC to NBA, there's that element between a lot of top players. Look at Jon Jones and Rashad Evans (former teammates) or Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas, this is the kind of stuff people think of when they hear the word "rival," there's a certain connotation imo. In anime it's a common thing too, the Vegeta/Sasuke types. What's your personal motivation for wanting to run into those characters again, to beat them? Maybe that'll help me understand better, I'm really interested in this but maybe it just comes down to a simple preference, idk.

I agree. I actually rarely play the Gen I games even though I own the Virtual Console versions of R/G/B/Y. I personally think that their limitations are irritating, whereas LG/FR at least have more to do, especially in the post-game. I also prefer the remastered soundtrack in LG/FR compared to the 8-bit R/G/B/Y soundtrack.
Yeah, there is more to do in the remakes, no doubt about that. It makes the games feel more fleshed out. I feel like part of their identity is missing though since they are basically gen 3 games, but it's a very slight and subjective thing that will bother very few people.
 

Ignition

That damn smile
I guess I just don't understand the motivation to want to beat those types of characters. If you look at sports or eSports competitions, anything from UFC to NBA, there's that element between a lot of top players. Look at Jon Jones and Rashad Evans (former teammates) or Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas, this is the kind of stuff people think of when they hear the word "rival," there's a certain connotation imo. In anime it's a common thing too, the Vegeta/Sasuke types. What's your personal motivation for wanting to run into those characters again, to beat them? Maybe that'll help me understand better, I'm really interested in this but maybe it just comes down to a simple preference, idk.
The 3 I mentioned feel like both friends and rivals without being too sappy nor antagonistic. They see the MC as a source of motivation to get stronger but also feel like they're reliable as a friend. They each have interesting reasons for wanting to become the strongest and, despite establishing trust in you, aren't afraid to challenge you to succeed. It's like when I play a multiplayer game with my friends: yeah, I trash talk to get a reaction out of them but there's also times where we're learning from each other and using each match as a way for both of us to improve. There's more to them than just "jerk" or "your loving childhood friend". So my motivation is to see their progress and how much our journey impacted them. It's not like they're any less competitive just because they don't call you a loser every 2 seconds. They still want to get strong and compete. Someone irl like Blue or Silver would become tedious while someone like them would be a great friend. Most of the other rivals feel like extremes but they feel like a perfect middle ground. I wish people would stop associating rivalries as aggressive and hostile or that it can only be intense if you act that way. I had a rival from our school's rival district during my days in track and I'd say we were intense despite being relatively friendly.



I don't feel anything but annoyance with the first 2 rivals. They feel like inconveniences that only motivate me to click through their dialogue ten times fast. I don't get motivated to prove people wrong who show no will to recognize me with even a shred of decency. I just stop caring after the initial encounter. "Oh yeah you'll be the best and I suck. What's new?"

So to answer your question: I'm motivated to see how much they improve as both people and Trainers while also seeing how much passion they have in both themselves and our rivalry. With the other 2, they only care about your strength late into their journeys while these three want the best for you so they can have the best rival to challenge themselves
 

PoDiRancher

Active Member
The 3 I mentioned feel like both friends and rivals without being too sappy nor antagonistic. They see the MC as a source of motivation to get stronger but also feel like they're reliable as a friend. They each have interesting reasons for wanting to become the strongest and, despite establishing trust in you, aren't afraid to challenge you to succeed. It's like when I play a multiplayer game with my friends: yeah, I trash talk to get a reaction out of them but there's also times where we're learning from each other and using each match as a way for both of us to improve. There's more to them than just "jerk" or "your loving childhood friend". So my motivation is to see their progress and how much our journey impacted them. It's not like they're any less competitive just because they don't call you a loser every 2 seconds. They still want to get strong and compete. Someone irl like Blue or Silver would become tedious while someone like them would be a great friend. Most of the other rivals feel like extremes but they feel like a perfect middle ground. I wish people would stop associating rivalries as aggressive and hostile or that it can only be intense if you act that way. I had a rival from our school's rival district during my days in track and I'd say we were intense despite being relatively friendly.



I don't feel anything but annoyance with the first 2 rivals. They feel like inconveniences that only motivate me to click through their dialogue ten times fast. I don't get motivated to prove people wrong who show no will to recognize me with even a shred of decency. I just stop caring after the initial encounter. "Oh yeah you'll be the best and I suck. What's new?"

So to answer your question: I'm motivated to see how much they improve as both people and Trainers while also seeing how much passion they have in both themselves and our rivalry. With the other 2, they only care about your strength late into their journeys while these three want the best for you so they can have the best rival to challenge themselves
I don't think people will stop associating rivalries that way, it's the most common and (arguably) interesting ones which just happen to be that way naturally, like with the famous examples I cited. Nobody really remembers chummy rivalries, it's nice for personal experiences in real life but isn't terribly compelling in media imo.

After reading your perspective though, I think there's probably room for the different types to co-exist. People seem to look for different things in rivals so maybe there's just not a one-size-fits-all rival character. Something I like about later Pokemon games is that they featured multiple rival type characters simultaneously (at least one of the generations did, but I feel like there were multiple instances of this). That's better than just having one, I think. Having the jerk, cheerleader, and more nuanced type rivals would make for a pretty diverse experience. Thanks for your input!
 

Ignition

That damn smile
I don't think people will stop associating rivalries that way, it's the most common and (arguably) interesting ones which just happen to be that way naturally, like with the famous examples I cited. Nobody really remembers chummy rivalries, it's nice for personal experiences in real life but isn't terribly compelling in media imo.

After reading your perspective though, I think there's probably room for the different types to co-exist. People seem to look for different things in rivals so maybe there's just not a one-size-fits-all rival character. Something I like about later Pokemon games is that they featured multiple rival type characters simultaneously (at least one of the generations did, but I feel like there were multiple instances of this). That's better than just having one, I think. Having the jerk, cheerleader, and more nuanced type rivals would make for a pretty diverse experience. Thanks for your input!
Said it better than I could! I still like antagonistic rivalries (Sonic and Shadow are probably my favorite rivalry in media) but just don't like when they're directed at a blank state protagonists who have nothing to bring besides the player's imagination. We've had multiples rivalries since Gen 5 (though Gen 6's are pretty much friends) so I also agree on that. While I disagree that chummy ones aren't memorable, I do see the mass appeal of antagonistic ones. To me, I associate rivals as a middle ground between allies/friends and villains so I think it's appropriate that they share tnose traits. Glad we can see each other perspectives on this though!
 

Storm the Lycanroc

Oshawott Squad
Only thing I liked about the rivals from Gen 1 - 5 is that the rival would choose the starter with the type advantage over yours. So you at least had to figure out how to overcome the type advantage. In Gen 6 - 8 they all choose the starter that's weak to yours and makes it less of a challenge.
 
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Leonhart

Imagineer
Storm the Lycanroc said:
Only thing I liked about the rivals from Gen 1 - 5 is that the rival would choose the starter with the type advantage over yours. So you at least had to figure out how to overcome the type advantage. In Gen 6 - 8 they all choose the starter that's weak to yours and makes it less of a challenge.
I did appreciate the challenge in the earlier generations compared to the newer ones. There's a lot of hand-holding in the newer games generally speaking. One element that made the Gen I games so much fun was the idea that you could freely explore the Pokemon world while discovering things on your own without needing a guide to tell you everything.
 

PoDiRancher

Active Member
I did appreciate the challenge in the earlier generations compared to the newer ones. There's a lot of hand-holding in the newer games generally speaking. One element that made the Gen I games so much fun was the idea that you could freely explore the Pokemon world while discovering things on your own without needing a guide to tell you everything.
Very true! Gen 2 took it a step further and didn't even make you watch a tutorial on catching Pokemon, and you could say no to the town guide. I don't mind tutorials personally, but being able to skip them makes replaying a game more inviting. Exploration really payed off in gen 2 as well, since there were more places to go and things to do, and since some were tied to daily events you'd have incentive to check back during different times and days. I remember being very disappointed they removed that day/night in gen 3.
 
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pacman000

On a quest to be the best...
Hand-holding seems to be a thing with newer games in general. You can't discover things for yourself. There has to be a long explanation/tutorial for everything.
 

Venomshock

Well-Known Member
I don't like the phrase genwunner because it makes it sound like preferring generation 1 over the newer generations is a bad thing when it's just a preference.

I think a lot of things from Red and Blue and Yellow were dumb like how you had to change boxes manually whenever a box would get full oh and also the hundreds of glitches. But I have awesome memories from all those games. :)
 

Mr.Munchlax

Great Ball Rank Trainer
It's not that they're "competitive" as my favorites (Barry, Cheren, Gladion) are highly competitive. It's how unnecessarily aggressive and antagonistic they are. The idea that a rival has to trash talk and be a jerk to be emotionally invested in a rivalry is such a common misconception that I hate. I've seen intense friendly rivals who have more going on to them than just "we're going to be highly aggressive because we share a goal"

The aforementioned rivals (minus Gladion but him being an edgelord isn't taken seriously by anyone lol) push you forward but they don't kiss the ground you walk on. They're all passionate about getting stronger but they still acknowledge you as a friend/ally. It makes them see more like characters instead of someone who just exists to antagonize/praise you. Pokémon fans (not saying you) have this weird generalization where fans are either edgy or friendly which is undermines the purpose of a rival.
True, I played the original Gen 2 games when they first came out as a kid but after playing Sword & replaying Crystal, I have to say that I like Hop way better than Silver now. Silver seems more like the polar opposite of Trace or the Kalos rivals who just acts like a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. In contrast, Hop starts off as a rival who praises you but he goes through his own character arc in the game in order to gain confidence, self respect, and ultimately discovers what he wants to do with his life. It's not as fleshed out as I wanted it to be, but it's still more fleshed out than Silver's arc.

Bottom line: I still love Gens 1-2 & have fond memories of them, but they're not the pinnacles of perfection as everyone makes them out to be.
 

PoDiRancher

Active Member
I can only speak for myself, but I don't think Red or Silver are perfect rivals and I doubt that many do, just that they're the type we like. Blue was particularly a let down at the end, I don't see how anyone could be satisfied with the game's conclusion (at least in retrospect as a jaded adult lmao). He didn't have anything even remotely interesting to say when he lost his Championship title, which makes the battle anticlimactic to me. As for Silver, I think one more encounter with him would've been nice. In the end he finally learns to treat his Pokemon correctly, to accept defeat, and even seems to learn to respect you a bit, but seeing him become more friendly and those characteristics bloom just a bit more would've made him the perfect rival imo.
 

Ariki

Well-Known Member
For me, what sets the first two generations of Pokemon apart from the rest is that they are the most down-to-earth stories in the entire series, something that another poster has touched on. Don't get me wrong, I loved the plots of Gen 5 and 7 but what stops them from being series classics is that they are designed for newbs mapwise, and their grandiose plots can be difficult to suspend one's belief with if you're not into the concept of alternate realities (a concept I argue has been a very part of the premise of the series since the beginning with the conceptualisation of versions but I digress). Unova is literally a straight corridor in BW (something that is somewhat fixed in BW2) while Sun and Moon can be cheesed if you use the Rotomdex to help you locate where you're meant to go next.

And the newbs I'm talking about are those that people love to complain about in Dynamax adventures - inappropriately dynamaxing Pokemon with a type disadvantage against the enemy or dynamaxing a Pokemon and spamming an ineffective max move. The list goes on. The newer games are designed for them. The people who get lost easily in caves, who don't know type match ups, or who can't grasp the concept of how to catch a wild Pokemon.

And then when you mix in the need to create a streamlined game that also caters for an online competitive crowd, well, you wind up with games like Sword and Shield where the hand holding and the light plot (and it is light - I argue lighter than the original Gen 1s!) delivers up an unsatisfactory RPG experience.

And it's those flaws that provide a stark contrast to Gen 1 and Gen 2 which are very unforgiving to newbs. You sink or swim in those games. The hand holding is minimum, and there are rewards for those who explore the non-linear map designs (when compared to Gen 5 and onwards).

If GF are serious about recapturing the magic of Gen 1 and Gen 2 they need to reconceptualise who the audience is for the mainseries games and what side-series games could be developed in tandem to target the newbs and the online competitive crowd. I would welcome a battle simulator with HOME connectivity with frequent DLC patch updates to add in new moves and mons that caters to the competitive crowd and I also welcome a "Let's Go" game series that reconceptualises each region that focuses on a fun easy experience through the world of Pokemon that leaves all the non-linear exploring, unforgiving battles to a mainseries game where the plot draws you in with vibrant characters that make you feel like you are in the world of Pokemon.

But it's GF we're talking about and they're unlikely to split the mainseries games in this way. All we can hope for, in Gen 9, is an option to take away all the hand holding aspects.
 

pacman000

On a quest to be the best...
Thing is the first games were for new players too; they just allowed players to learn as they went along. Choose the wrong move! Get lost in a cave! That's part of the experience!
 
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