Starters (and Pikachu)
Every Pokémon generation has a grass/water/fire starter dynamic. You have Bulbasaur to Squirtle and Charmander to Rowlett, Popplio and Litten. And that bit never fails to excite all players. Pokémon GO’s choice would be, of course, the generation 1’s starters. And that moment when we were presented with our 1st starters way back before the year 2,000 comes rushing back to us. Of course, Pokémon GO doesn’t neglect the Pokémon Yellow players, because if you wait long enough to choose your starter, Pikachu will also appear and satisfy the POkemon Yellow players’ thirst for nostalgia.
While teams were always evil organizations in any Pokémon game (Rocket, Aqua, Magma, Galactic, Plasma, Flare and Skull), Pokemon GO’s teams aren’t evil but they make us remember the 3 Legendary Birds from the Red, Blue and Yellow games. Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres were pretty memorable Pokemon as I’m sure you were very excited upon seeing any of them either in the Seafoam Islands, Power Plant or Victory Road, respectively, and by that point they must’ve been a challenge even just to bring down their HP to be captureable (or some people may have even used their Master Ball on ‘em). The point is that most people remember their favorite of the 3 and most likely would’ve joined the team corresponding to that Legendary Bird.
In the latest Pokémon games, there are over 21 Pokéballs (and 5 special ones). That’s a lot of unnecessary Pokéballs! Thankfully, Pokémon GO keeps it simple and only gives us the choice of 3 Pokéballs. It’s also great that these are the Pokéballs we’ve used on generation 1(sorry Safari and Master Ball, you have yet to be updated into the game). Pokéballs, Great Balls and Ultra Balls are available in Pokémon GO at levels 1, 12 and 20 respectively and hearkening back to our Pokémon Red, Blue or Yellow days, these Pokéballs were the ones we used the most and that just evokes memories of our hard-battled catches, like those Dewgongs at Seafoam Island.
Gyarados and Dragonite
In Pokémon GO, Gyarados and Dragonite are very hard Pokémon to obtain. Gyarados needs 400 Magikarp candies to evolve from a Magikarp, undoubtedly the most candy needed to evolve. Dragonite also suffers from the same fate. 25 candy from Dratini to Dragonair and 100 more to evolve Dragonair to Dragonite totaling of 125, compounded with Dratini’s relative rarity to Magikarp. Both of these makes us remember how hard it was to get a Magikarp without damaging moves to level 20. (Just so it can evolve to Gyarados!) And how hard was it to achieve that level back then? Dragonair evolves to Dragonite at level 55, a record which won’t be broken until generation V by Larvesta and Zweilous.