Do you ever sit down and wonder to yourself why you love something even though you're not good at it? Have you ever thought about why you're not good at something? Did you ever feel a pang of grief and even anguish at the thought that you could have been so much better at that one thing, only to recall that you aren't?
I think that RPG's are slow, repetitive, and disengaging due to the lack of real-time input you have over members of your party. More-so, RPG's usually require gross amounts of memorization in regards to moves, stats, types, statuses, and equipment. Sometimes, you're even going to have to do some math in your head, making calculations based on stats and health as you strategically work towards victory of a battle.
Sometimes, I feel like I am utterly trash at the Pokémon meta-game. Actually, no, scratch that, I just am. The vast bulk of every battle I have ever had with a living, breathing human-being has ended in tragic, salty, harrowing defeat - so much so that I barely even feel anything anymore when I lose; nowadays I just expect such an occurrence to happen.
The cherry on top of the shit-cake is the fact that, while I wish I was better... I kind of don't care about getting there. I just have this preconceived notion that it's simply not worth it, that it's not important. "Oh, I'll have a team of level one-hundred's, like almost every other trainer and their cousin's pet stack of dusty VHS tapes. I'll EV train my team and have them go through Super Training Regimens until their stats are maxed out. Yeah, I'll learn a bunch of techniques for outsmarting opponents until someone outsmarts me, and then I have to sit down and study their techniques, identifying their weaknesses and using them until I win again and the cycle reiterates."
All for... more battling? More training? How can training be fun if you don't even enjoy the turn-based format of the battles? You're never going to be the best. That's a one out of a nine-billion chance.
Why do I let people battle me online? Because it's courteous. Because it lets them know that, even though there's not a single shred of satisfaction that comes from engaging with the battle to be had, that they're still worth my time. That they're still worth me sitting down, sucking down my pride (or what's left of it), and losing. But other than that, why even battle? Isn't that required in the main game?
The main game is a different story. Game Freak knows that their franchise is marketed as an accessible, family-friendly series, so they make each installment easy enough for younger audiences to beat (recall the Exp. Share item that allows all Pokémon to gain experience points, even if they were never shifted into battle); this applies for the most part. Naturally, a total pushover of a Trainer like myself wouldn't have much difficulty coasting along whatever region the game had (pun intended for the Hoenn remakes).
Then there are the characters, the species of Pokémon with designs to fall in love with, and the lore. This was the reason that I put up with the RPG elements of the series. Finding out the distinct possibility that Zinnia (spoiler alert) could have traveled from the universe of the Game Boy Advance games of the third generation to the universe of the remakes, reinvigorated the sense of wonder I had for the world of Pokémon. (Hell, I figured all of that out without the help of The Game Theorists.) Discovering the Old Chateau in Eterna Forest awakened a sense of adventure, a yearning for adrenaline and dread - the ghosts that stalked the hallways (with probably fuck-all to do but watch Rotom make funny faces in the television) piqued my craving for the frightening and disturbed in the seemingly innocent little world of the franchise (although any fan worth their salt knows some screwed up stuff can and does happen there). (Holy Hilary Clinton in a hazmat suit, this is long-winded.) And the legendaries. Oh God, the legendaries. From the tense build-up looking for them in some deep, dark cave, or running around the region like a headless Gogoat (bruh), to the rather personal encounters with Pocket Monsters that are not just considered their own species, but technically characters... These, almost inexplicably, are some of the most special moments in the franchise. The design of the characters, to their origins, to the source of their powers and abilities really let you know this isn't just some run-of-the-mill encounter. Catching them is also a fun little challenge; although sometimes not so fun, or so little.
However, as wonderful as all of this is for me, it cannot always overshadow the social aspects of online and competitive battling, and the acknowledgement of not actually being good at something. I know that it can be fun working with several Pokémon as a single strategic, powerful unit to overcome obstacles. I'm aware that if you love battling, it doesn't matter how many times you'll do it, you'll eventually come back to it again and continue loving the snot out of it, as if you never had a fallout with it.
This franchise really is a mixed bag, but I know my sometimes painful obsession with it and passion for it won't just vanish, even if I wonder about myself having a place in any Pokémon community because I simply battle like a dead fetus.