I haven’t played a Pokémon game since I mastered the “Red” version on my Gameboy Color that I got for Christmas in third grade. I remember, as an 8-year-old, having fun playing it; I’m not trying to convince anyone that Pokémon games aren’t fun. They’re not my cup of tea anymore, but that’s a completely personal preference. There isn’t any doubt, however, that the Legend of Zelda franchise is better than the Pokémon franchise.
For one, every game in either series is pretty much the same. There are different characters, slightly different plot lines, the graphics get better with time but the games are essentially all the same.
When it comes down to it, the Zelda franchise is about one thing: saving the world from whatever evil threatens at that moment. The Pokémon franchise, on the other hand, is all about enslaving a variety of creatures and training them to do your bidding. Zelda games are awbout self-sacrifice for the preservation of the world; Pokémon games promote selfishness, greed and competition.
I play “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” every couple of years, and I become engrossed every time I do. Starting as the child version of Link, teaming up with Princess Zelda, getting locked away for seven years and then working through five challenging temples to free the world from evil: “Ocarina of Time” has the best plot of any video game ever.
You spend so much time with Link that each failure becomes a personal failure. It’s not like Pokémon, when one of your Pokémon faints and you just use whichever is next. When you fail in Zelda, you put the entire world in danger. When you fail in Pokémon, the only thing in danger is your personal gratification.
The choice between Zelda and Pokémon comes down to personal philosophy. When you play a video game, are you merely looking for a self-serving competition, or do you want a fulfilling purpose, with something much bigger than yourself at stake?
There is just one question you need to ask yourself: Would you rather play a game to collect wild creatures and force them to fight each other over and over against their will, or a game in which you take it on yourself to save the world?