I recently started playing Pokémon Black after having skipped every game since Emerald, in which I racked up over 200+ hours and managed to kill a shiny Ralts without even noticing it (something I will never live down). Currently, my pokémon are all around Lvl. 25 and I am becoming quite familiar with the role each pokémon plays best. However, I realized something even more profound, these levels that I'm at right now have been my favorite, most enjoyable in every playthrough I've ever done in pokémon.
I'm definitely not a Blue/Red veteran, my first experience with the pokémon games was an online ROM version of Pokémon Yellow which did not save. This meant if I closed the window, I lost all progress.
While I never got any further than Mt. Moon (parents and siblings do not seem to understand the concept of "DO NOT EXIT"), I was able to enjoy the game since the gameplay is the same throughout.
However, with my latest playthrough of Pokémon Black, I realized that levels 20-30 are by far my most favorite. For most pokémon that are capturable in the early parts on the game, the level of evolution is ~Lvl. 25. I personally find nothing more enjoyable in a pokémon game than evolving my pokémon into more badass versions of their former self. Nevermind I forgot that I left an everstone on my Oshawott until level 21 or that I used to think starters gained "super moves" at Lvl. 40 if you didn't allow them to evolve. Since I tend to create balanced teams and train all my pokémon to be in the same level range, I get a sudden rush of pokémon evolutions around level 25. This also means that my pokémon are finally learning some of their signature moves; moves that finally allow me to develop a strategy to combat other pokémon with unique skills/moves and create lethal combos during double/triple battles.
I see lvls. 20-30 to be the first true burst of progress in these games. Tall grass isn't as formidable as it once was and the trips to pokémon centers become more sparse. The genuine feeling of accomplishment starts to set in, and this gentle, downward slope of training allows you to experience the real essence of pokémon: train, evolve, battle, and growth of relationships with your party of pokémon.
Clearly though, there are still 70 more levels for pokémon to evolve and gain better moves. While I enjoy those periods, the atmosphere of quick, satisfying growth during lvls 20-30, becomes diluted with the increased grinding and constant worry of whether or not the new moves are better the older ones. Some level ranges become a serious grind, that require runs upon runs through the Elite Four or endless circles through a good patch of grass.
All in all, I love the mentality of "out with the old, and in with the new", and feel that lvls 20-30 capture that though perfectly. I'd love to here which levels or parts of pokémon you love/hate/loathe/used-gameshark-for.
PokéCenter Laps is a one-shot article theme since I rarely post on TAY. Expect another when Pokémon X-2 comes out.