Gotta Collect ‘Em All

(Editor’s Note: A�Wait a minute. A�Gotta catch ’em all. A�Gotta collect ’em all. A�I sense a theme here. A�I think that this slogan might just be a clever way to sell product. A�Has anyone else caught on to this?)

I don’t remember how the card game got introduced into the family. A�It’s been such a constant over the last few years that it feels like it’s always been there. A�Every trip to Wal*Mart now ends in the card aisle after a detour to look at toys and video games. A�We visit all gaming shops that we see so that the boys can look for any new or different sets and decks. A�After a couple of months, I pull out the box of cards in a futile attempt to organize them. A�Well, that’s not entirely true. A�I successfully organize them. A�The futility comes in keeping them in order. A�All of this has been going on for as long as I can remember. A�Then again, my memory might be fuzzy and confusing my time with Magic cards and even comics, as the experience with both is much the same.

Well, leave it to the younger generation to set us old folks straight with their fancy new brains and untarnished memories. A�After a conversation with Liam during the podcast, we cleared up the mystery. A�During one of our Cape Cod camping trips, I brought an introductory Pokemon set to see if Liam would play and enjoy the card game. A�I had just started to get back into Magic, but I knew that game would be too complicated for him. A�However, he loved Pokemon, so I thought that the 30 cards would serve as a perfect introduction into these types of games. A�Boy, was I right.

One of the decks had Machop as the main Pokemon and I remember Liam walking around saying, "Ma-chop-chop-chop." He was so enthusiastic about it that he had me saying it, too.
One of the decks had Machop as the main Pokemon and I remember Liam walking around saying, “Ma-chop-chop-chop.” He was so enthusiastic about it that he had me saying it.

He loved the game and immediately wanted more cards and how to learn to play the “real” game. A�So, first I took him to Wal*Mart because they were the only local store that carried the cards. A�Ever since the comic book store went out of business here, Wal*Mart is the only bastion of nerdness in town. A�However, as soon as we were able, I too him to Greenfield Games, which was the closest actual gaming store. A�I’ve mentioned them a couple of times because we do most of our gaming there. A�Admittedly, there was also an ulterior motive to the trip. A�I had just started to get back into Magic, as I mentioned, and I wanted to see what was happening with the game. A�It obviously didn’t hurt that there were other games to put on the wish list, too.

Those games stay on the wish list, too, until the boys are older or Chris and I are able to have more game time together to branch out.
Those games stay on the wish list, too, until the boys are older or Chris and I are able to have more game time together to branch out.

Aiden and Quinn have both followed in the footsteps of their older brother. A�Aiden, especially, has gotten into collectibles in a big way. A�He most recently started collecting Minecraft miniatures and shopkins. A�Pokemon cards remain his favorite, though, I think. A�Similar to me, he pulled out the cards and started putting together a deck. A�We didn’t finish, but at least we are playing with the cards again. A�Hopefully we can finish our decks over the weekend (after I finish organizing the cards for the bazillionth time) and play some games.

I need to get back into the card game because I’m actually interested in the new expansion Breakthrough. A�Admittedly, I don’t know much about the current state of the Pokemon card game and I know next to nothing about the expansion, but they hooked me with this one. A�I’m sure that it is all a marketing gimmick. A�Still, the idea of two worlds, technology and nature, is interesting and the mind boggles with what they can do with that. A�That answer is probably nothing. A�I am an eternal optimist, though, and this optimism has yet to be extinguished.

Hopefully Santa brings some intro decks for the set and we can see if the hype is real. A�Naturally, I hope that it is. A�I haven’t played any magic except for some of the new BFZ expansion in Duels. A�I’ve been filling the void with Hearthstone, as I often do, but I usually hate (and I mean HATE) playing that game. A�Therefore, I need a card game that doesn’t make me want to kick kittens when I play it.

Don't worry little guy. No actual kittens are harmed when I play Hearthstone. Only my dignity.
Don’t worry little guy. No actual kittens are harmed when I play Hearthstone. Only my dignity.

So, let’s explore Pokemon Breakthrough a bit more to see if it can occupy me or if I have to go make nice with Magic again. A�The set is an off shoot of the X/Y series, meaning that it takes place in the Kalos region. A�I haven’t had a chance to play the video games yet for X/Y because Liam and Aiden both have a save game on their cartridge and, well, there’s still only one per. A�I think I can find both games for $40 total, so I will try them soon.

Back to the cards. A�We haven’t ever been in Kalos in the card game other than the most recent expansions. A�This is the 2nd or 3rd card game in the X/Y series because no new video games have been released since that one. A�That, alone, might mean that they push the envelope a little bit more with this set. A�Again, there’s no guarantees. A�Magic seems to have backed off a bit on the power level with the new Zendikar, which sounds weird when you’re talking about Eldrazi. A�Nevertheless, this set is much lower level than even Origins and that was a huge step back. A�Not knowing enough about the card game, I don’t know if they need to make a similar adjustment in Pokemon. A�I guess we will find out soon enough.

C'mon, Santa, bring us the goodies!
C’mon, Santa, bring us the goodies!

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