I was at a party last night, and I sat down next to someone playing the new Pokémon.
We chatted a bunch. It was 4am, an ideal time for me to be chilling out, watching someone play. We started chatting about the games, and their evolution. I tried to chart where I stepped off from the franchise. I had Blue and Silver on my Game Boy/Game Boy colour. I emulated Sapphire and Leaf Green. I think I skipped Diamond/Pearl, then played White. X and Y, Sun and Moon and now I’m gonna skip Sword and Shield. I tried to track back how many consoles had existed and got lost. Apparently after the Game Boy Colour there was Advance, Advance SP (looked like a little make-up box), then Game Boy Micro. Did you come here to see me list things? I think I had a point, and largely it’s that I thought I was somewhat on top of things in the Pokémon universe, but I’m actually way behind. The games have continued to explode exponentially and I’m not with it. Cue the classic Simpsons clip. I used to pride myself on my insane Pokémon knowledge. I’d almost rote learned it by playing them so goddamn much. I knew what levels most Pokémon evolved, when they’d learn moves. I knew where most of the hidden items were in the game. I had all the puzzles memorised and could bust through Silph Co. in record time. I could easily finish the game without the Flash HM. Am I flexing? Only if you think this is all admirable behaviour.
These days, my knowledge has slipped into the realm of obsolescence. Things have changed, the world has moved on, and so have I. I still deeply love the franchise, but in a way that I understand is a relic. I don’t think I’ll ever truly play another Pokémon game, and I’m quite fine with that. I still get excited hearing about how the franchise evolves. I love learning about new evolutions, innovative features or spins in the game. That Alolan form thing was nifty, giving Pokémon new elemental types and designs. I did DV on an episode of Pokémon last night, and it was really neat to see just how expansive it’s all become. I was lost, with very few Pokémon I actually knew. It was kinda cool being out of touch, knowing that I had so much more to potentially learn.
It’s weird to think that this franchise is still a goddamn powerhouse. Between Pokémon Go, the aforementioned Sword and Shield, the (probably thousands of episodes by now) animated show still going strong, and Detective Pikachu hitting the screens this year, it’s kind of nuts. There are still toys, card games and apparel being churned out. As far as I know, it’s still massive in Japan, and Nintendo basically have a license to print money.
Yet Facebook, if you think I’m gonna follow the Bulbasaur Propaganda page that you suggested you’re dead wrong. I’ll heart react every post that comes across my news feed, sure, but I’m not giving you the satisfaction of being right.
Is there such a thing as a Nintendo Switch emulator yet?