In case you didn't know the origins of the idea, it all started with a guy who used to hunt bugs in his backyard. Looking for different kinds, watching them grow, showing them off to friends... that's where it all started. Even the social aspects came from imagining insects crawling along a link cable. Pokemon has always been about a few main things: personalization, socialization, battling, and exploration. (Yes, you could name other things, but they sort of fall under these.) As Pokemon grew into the behemoth it is today, it built on the original formula, making each of it's most pronounced aspects even better than before. Pokemon have never felt more yours, and more like friends. The number of ways to link games and play with friends is astounding for a 1 player game. Battling has grown into a full legitimate experience, with it's own following. Exploration has... oh wait... it's largely the same. For a series based on looking for stuff, Pokemon games are very linear, granted this was necessary back on the gameboy. Nobody was putting out some Skyrim or MMO for that little thing. What they made was the closest thing to an open world game it could handle. Go to the next town, beat the gym, and pass through a dungeon to get to the next town. Not a bad formula, but today games can be much larger in scale, including handheld games. Surely there's no need play in a straight line anymore, right? Surely a larger focus on the journey rather than the destination would favor a series built around searching and personalizing. I can't help but feel something went wrong along the way, that in order to hold on to tradition Pokemon has been built around an aspect that was mostly there due to technology not being able to fully realize the dream. Am I being stupid, or is this a legitimate analysis? I don't mean to attack anyone's childhoods (I grew up on Red version) Please, give your thoughts.