"What if I didn't use my massive cannons? Wait, no, that's stupid."
Sure, there was some strategy, but as long as you didn't, say, send a walking flower to fight a creature that's literally made of fire, you could hold your own against most foes.
But then fans grew up and got serious about winning. They collectively said, "Hey, this game where monsters battle monsters is fun, but how can I add spreadsheets to it and get this m***********g PARTY STARTED FOR REAL!?"
Like many games, Pokemon has a lot of math going on in the background -- there are hidden statistics and calculations that determine how strong your critters are, sort of like how supercomputers secretly control the elaborate simulation that is our existence. Dedicated gamers have gone through the looking glass and figured out the inner secrets of Pokemon. For example, here's how "individual values," one of several hidden statistics, are calculated:
For those of you who don't feel like digging out your TI-89s to follow along, here's a practical application comparing two Pokemon:
What, that doesn't make sense to you either? Well, don't look at me for an explanation -- I've played the majority of Pokemon games, but this still just looks like a calculator got diarrhea to me. The only context I can provide is that a Marill is this:
The Pokemon Company