When Should You Restart Your Pokemon Game?

I’ve been writing about Pokemon quite a bit for the last few days. It’s been on my mind with the release of Pokemon Indigo League on Netflix and the infamous Twitch Plays Pokemon. It’s an easy topic for me to get stuck on considering I own one Game Boy Colors, one Game Boy Advance, two DS’s, two 3DS’s and a copy of every Pokemon game created.

Some of my Pokemon gear
Some of my Pokemon gear

I primarily have all of this swag so I would be able to obtain all the Pokemon in existence without ever having to trade with anybody except myself. I’m not a particularly social critter and before you could trade online I didn’t know any other college aged kids that still played Pokemon. That said, there’s no point in keeping this many games and accessories around if you’re not going to play them. This begs the question: how do you know when you should restart your Pokemon game?

For those of you who play Pokemon competitively, I don’t have answers for you. The way you level grind and play Pokemon boggles my mind and I bow down to your patience and knowledge. For the rest of us who just play for fun, or to “collect ’em all” there comes a point when you’ve run out of things to do. How do you decide when it’s time to say goodbye to the game you’ve been playing and start a new save file?

Pokemon Blue Start Screen

Reasons to Restart the Game: 

  1. If you’ve become the Pokemon Champion.  If you’re only goal was to beat the Elite 4, then it shouldn’t be too hard to say goodbye to the Pokemon you’ve been training and the trainer you’ve created and simply re-start the game. However, you should know that if this is your only motivation I am judging you hard core right now. There are so many things to do after you’ve beat the Elite 4 that deciding to quit right then is hogwash. At least wait until you’re 100% certain you’ve completed the main story.
  2. You’ve completed the main storyThis is pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve completed the main story line for a Pokemon game then there’s not much left for you do to except train and try to fill your PokeDex. While many people do enjoy those and spend many hours on them, it is understandable if you want to restart your game to enjoy the story a second time. I’m not judging you…too much.
  3. You’ve completed the main story and filled your PokeDex. No matter what version of Pokemon you’re playing, filling a PokeDex is a huge accomplishment. Maybe you only caught the original 151, or maybe you’ve caught all 718 of the currently revealed Pokemon, either way huge props to you. That said, If you’ve managed to fill your PokeDex you’ve also probably managed to play all of the game that you want to. While it hurts my soul a bit to see a full PokeDex erased, you might get more joy out of the game by re-starting and going on an all new adventure.
  4. You own both version of a given generation and you’re using one to farm Pokemon. I own both Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver. I use one of the cartridges to store all of my awesome Pokemon and I use the other to get the version exclusives and starters. To get all the starters for a generation, it’s necessary to restart the game at least once and chances are you won’t grow very attached to the version you use for those purposes.
  5. You nickname your Pokemon horrible things and treat them as badly as the game will let you. You are clearly a terrible person who doesn’t understand the point of the game and should restart yours to erase the crimes against Pokemon you have committed. You should also probably give the game to someone who will actually like it and treat their Pokemon nicely.

Now, when will Pokemon games finally allow more than one save per game so we don’t even have to consider this?

One comment

  1. I wasn’t a competitive pokemon player till I went to university and hung around a bunch of similar nerds when Pokemon X/Y came out. It’s kinda crazy how a mob mentality can influence.

    But I’m not a tournament player, and I’m not even that good at battles. Despite that, competitive play has been a fun way to pass the time.

    I rarely restart a pokemon game either. I think they need some kinda New Game +.

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