Pokémon: A Thing Of The Past?

Pokémon X and Y were both released as of yesterday, October 12th, and I was fortunate enough, or should I say brave enough to endure the onslaught of 10 years old who attended midnight launch at GameStop accompanied by their fathers who were clearly terrified at the fact that adults were buying a Pokémon game.  I know Pokémon is usually viewed as a kids game, but we all know that it really isn’t.  When Red and Blue version were released oh so many years a go, we were the kids running through bushes squealing like pigs in anticipation of a new Pokémon game (yes the kids at GameStop did do this).  Anyway, my point is that many adults who have continued to play Pokémon have been doing so for years, so it’s only natural that we would want to continue playing the games that have captivated us since adolescence.  Why then do so many people tell us that Pokémon is a game for kids?  Why do they tell us that Pokémon is a thing of the past?

When I was growing up I was at the heart of the N64 movement.  Nintendo was truly at the top of its game and there’s no denying that.  It was a gaming company that truly did rule the roost when it came to gaming of any genre.  It didn’t matter if you were a young child, a teenager, or an adult.  Nintendo had something for everybody’s gaming desires.  This carried over into their handheld market as well, with the Nintendo Game Boy.  Even games like Pokémon had a more mature feel than they do today.  I know that’s a bold statement, but games back then were less flowery than they were today, making those cute, cuddly Pocket Monsters seem more like…well, monsters rather than sweet and lovable companions.  So, why the change in presentation?  I like to think that as Nintendo has matured as a company, it has broadened its focus to encompass “family” as a central component of its gaming mission.  Yes, games like Pokémon have only benefited from graphical updates (Pokémon X and Y look beautiful in 3D), but the mood of the games seems to have changed a bit as well.  This isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, I welcome change in any series that has built such an enduring franchise, but I also believe it is this change that has begun to foster criticism toward adults who continue to play Pokémon.  We’ve transitioned into a new age of Nintendo and all we can do is stay true to ourselves because Pokémon is not a thing of the past.

Pokémon is where many of our handheld gaming careers began.  When I think back to the 90s, the game I remember playing most was Pokémon Red Version.  I played the hell out of that game and it is the reason I have continued to love and enjoy this enduring collection of wacky, sometimes ridiculous animals.  Really, not much has changed since the 90s in terms of handheld gaming.  The 3DS is really just a supercharged Game Boy when you really look at it.  Yes, there is internet and yes, you can wirelessly connect to others, but many of the changes have only been within the methods to perform certain tasks with our handheld systems, not in the functions themselves.  I guess what I’m getting at is that, if anything, the 3DS is actually a very mature handheld Nintendo product, but it has been revered as “childish” by many due to Nintendo’s current position in the gaming market.  Kids having a 3DS is no different than a small child owning an iPhone.  The only difference is in how the products themselves have been marketed.  Because Nintendo has aimed for a younger demographic, it is the older fan-base that has become isolated.  It is because of this that people find it strange when adults play games like Pokémon.  This is unfortunate because it has been the older generation’s money that has supported Nintendo thus far, so it’s only natural to a bit frustrated when other people can’t respect that.  Think of it from an investment standpoint.  If you were putting hundreds of dollars into something you believed in, wouldn’t you want to get something out of it?  If it’s something you enjoy, wouldn’t you want to feel free to do so?  I think so.

I’m sick and tired of living in a world in which we let others dictate what we can and can’t enjoy in life.  I don’t care if you’re a 10 year old kid, a 45 year old virgin, or the Queen of France.  If you love Pokémon, then play Pokémon!  Who cares what other people think.  Pokémon is not a thing of the past, it is cross generational.  It is something that resides in all of us because it has been part of our lives for so long.  If anyone wants to criticize people for playing games like this on the 3DS or whatever platform you play on, then go ahead and criticize every single adult that plays childish games on Facebook, their smartphones, and their tablets.  Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?  Unlike many of the games on the platforms I mentioned above, playing Pokémon can be an extremely rewarding and social experience while also including an enormous amount of strategy.  So, the next time someone tells you that “you’re too old to be playing Pokémon,” don’t be afraid to give them a piece of your mind.

-Ocarina of Time Nerd

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About Joel

Live, love, play video games.
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7 Responses to Pokémon: A Thing Of The Past?

  1. Vitosal says:

    I hear you. I think Pokemon is still in essence kiddie-fied (is that a word?) but from what I’ve heard the last couple of games have seen more adult themes embedded in them. I stand corrected on that, you are the expert here. If I owned a 3ds i think i would only buy Pokemon games because i really enjoyed those when i was younger. I wonder if i can get an emulator for the ones that came out after gold, silver,ruby,sapphire, etc

    Do you think you could upload a bit of game play from X&Y?

    That’s the only thing that put me off about the newer versions, is that the gameplay is still exactly the same, it’s not immersive enough for me anymore.

    • Joel Palermo says:

      Yeah, you’re right about it being somewhat “kiddie-fied,” although there are some more mature themes weaved into the games. I haven’t played a game since Ruby, so jumping back into Pokémon via the newest versions is very eye-opening for me. I avoided the games for a while because I also found them to be repetitive and stale, but X and Y are very different in regards to how they look, which makes it feel like a whole new experience!
      I know you can get an emulator for Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal. I’m not sure where to find the other versions after that though. I’m sure searching them up online would give you a good amount of results though!
      Also, I’ll definitely upload a bit of footage sometime soon. I don’t have a good way to capture gameplay, but recording from my computer or a camera wouldn’t be too bad.

      • Vitosal says:

        sweet, looking forward to that. I’ll start checking today to see if if i can any that works. Did you see I finally have videos for me Vitosal Plays series? 🙂

  2. ancientfolklore says:

    Adults are kids at heart too, there’s nothing wrong with being a kid.

    When I say kid, I don’t mean those characteristics such as hyperactivity or being annoying, I mean curiosity and really enjoying things.

  3. Pingback: Pokémon Cards and Band Members – What More Could You Want? | Sans Sheriff Music

  4. Pingback: ‘Pokémon Y’ Is Taking Over My Life | Ocarina Of Time Nerd

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