"Hey, did you see that Tauros?!"
That was a question from one of my friends while playing Pokemon Go. Tauros, albeit a simple design taken after a bull, had all but slipped my mind. With more than 700 Pokemon now in circulation, I had forgotten how awesome the original Pokemon designs were.
In one respect, it was because of the sheer number of individual Pokemon, rather than a reliance on evolutions. I was constantly reminded of new Pokemon designs, and each new one infested me with the same sense of exploration and awe that I felt when playing the Pokemon game for the first time.
Think about it, throughout the last several generations, Pokemon has seen an over-reliance on continuing evolutionary chains from previous generations. Many of the Pokemon from the first generation, fromChansey, to Mr. Mime, to Lickitung are no longer unique designs and now have evolutions in other games. Even Pokemon like Tauros now have lookalikes in other generations; I'm looking at you, Boufalant.
The first generation Pokemon games had an essence of creativity unmatched by the following generations. The wonder and awe of finding each new critter was never replicated, primarily due to the strength of the monsters' designs.
That isn't to say that there are no cool Pokemon designs after the first generation - as that isn't true either - but the overall set of Pokemon in the following generations never stood up to the first.
Even comparing by type, some of the latter Pokemon designs stand up as nothing short of cheesy, and some are blatant rip-offs.
How many bird Pokemon can we have? I get it, flying type is important in Pokemon, but do we really need 10 different birds that all look like cousins of Pidgey?
I get that we need more ice-type Pokemon, but is the solution really an ice cream cone Pokemon?
Do we need a set of keys as a Pokemon, or a Hawaiian necklace? Surely, the designers can create something cooler than that.
Maybe it was because the first generation came first, and the concept of Pokemon blew us all away. Maybe I'm looking back with rose-tinted glasses. However, going back to play Pokemon Go not only revived a layer of nostalgia within me, but also reminded me of how awesome the first generation Pokemon designs really were.