Monday, June 13, 2011

In support of a Pokèmon holocaust


With every new installment of Pokémon Nintendo has insisted on introducing 100 new Pokémon. This is usually welcomed by hard core fans who relish the idea of being able to add another one hundred Pokémon to their previously complete collection which they transfer from game to game. But the sad truth about every new generation of Pokémon is that they are becoming less and less imaginative and are oftentimes very derivative of earlier generations of Pokèmon. So even while the game mechanics improve with every new game the quality of the monsters you are tasked with collecting is decreasing. There is no wonder that fans get so excited every time Nintendo decides to remake an old Pokémon game since it means they get the updated mechanics of later games while they get the charming creatures from the earlier games.

In every Pokémon game the player is encouraged to catch 'em all. When I was a kid this meant 150 pocket sized monsters, 151 counting Mew the special Pokémon Nintendo reserved for their Pokémon events. This was a manageable number that kids could actually aspire to collect. Now there are 646 of them, all of which you have to beat down near death (or unconsciousness) and then attempt to trap in a magic red ball. A much more daunting task then back in the day, it is questionable if any new player would even dare consider trying to fulfill the series catchphrase and really catch 'em all.

For your older players like me which has stuck with the series through the years even if we might have skipped a generation or two, the main appeal of the series is likely to be the nostalgia factor. Red and Blue or maybe Gold and Silver was such integral parts of our childhood that we love to every few years step in to the shoes of a young boy trying to be the very best by capturing all sorts of bizarre looking creatures. But this nostalgia is largely bound up in the first batch of Poèmon like Pikachu, Squirtle or Bulbasaur. As these Pokèmon are replaced by Game Freak's latest creations the appeal of the series lessens. Not only are they less charming then their older counterparts they don't trigger the same sense of nostalgia for older gamer, the very reason they are still playing Pokèmon.

That's why I recommend that Nintendo starts killing off Pokémon as soon as possible. Let's shrink the Pokèmon population to maybe 200. They could keep most if not all of the first gen Pokémon and some of the later fan favorites like Pichu. The rest of them would have to go for the betterment of the Pokémon-kind.

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