This is an argument for how I play Pokémon, which I have been told many times is not the ‘right’ way to play. This is even supported by the anime too which tells me I play in a ridiculously convoluted way.
So you may be wondering, Meg, how do you play Pokemon games? Well Firstly, I collect every Pokemon I can on every single route. I then level up all the Pokemon in increments of 3 or 5 on each route until 50. THEN I pick my endgame team.
The simple reason is I am a completionist and I need to collect all the Pokemon. The other reason is simply because it makes going through later sections of the game easier (in theory). And with that I shall get into the pros of this eclectic style of Pokemon mastering
You get to know all the routes intimately. Did you know that there was a star piece on Route 5? Did you know there was a super rare pokemon on Route blah with only a 0.5% chance of ever seeing? I mean possibly after you had completed the main story. This way of playing you get to collect every single pokemon on every single route. Even the rare, or difficult, or just annoying ones.You get to spend a lot of time with your pokemon too, so you really get to understand which moves are fantastic and which are not. Also every time you reach a gymn/ city/ or story beat you are a powerful pokemon master! The opposition’s pokemon quake before you! (I am of course joking, please don’t scare pokemon. Even though I realise they are digital creatures.)
The downside of playing like this is that it is slow. Painfully slow. By which I mean it gets boring very fast. My only recommendation on surviving this is listening to podcasts, or binge watching something like Netflix or Youtube.(My recommendations for each would be The Adventure Zone, All My Hexes, The Haunting of Hill House, Buzzfeed Unsolved (all of it) and the first two seasons of Basics with Babish). Seriously I have listened to entire (British) seasons of podcasts while playing like this. So unless you like a lot of Podcasts or simple TV shows buckle in. (However, since time of writing this article the author realises there might be another reason everyone might be in doors with nothing to do.) You really get the feel for different pokemon leveling at different speeds and my mind can’t keep track of which often. And then there is the big and most depressing down side of all to playing this method, all your friends have finished the game and you are on route 2. Which sucks. You’re bored but at least you have your level 15 Magikarp for company!
With all that in mind, why do I level up like this? The first few times I played I only really leveled up my starter pokemon and the pokemon I liked, Magikarp and some rare pokemon. Then, I got to the end of the game. I vaguely recall another issue being that I was fighting a friend on the game, and he kept beating me with what I think was a Steel or psychic move that I had no good defense against. So essentially I had left a glaring balancing problem in my team. This is when I decided to go back through my in-game computer to amend this and I realised that I had accumulated and forgotten about other favourite pokemon throughout the game. This is when I decided post game to level up all my pokemon and slowly I got to learn about them.