While Nintendo itself may not be doing too well as of late, it’s flagship Pokémon series sells like hotcakes. While many consider Nintendo to be the house that Mario built, it sure is Pikachu who is paying the bills. For some reason, it seems like I am seeing that little mouse more than the Italian plumber in the past few years. Of course I am exaggerating, but it is starting to make me wonder, how long will it take for people to get Pokémon fatigue?
The recently announced remakes Pokémon Sapphire Alpha and Pokémon Ruby Omega are being met with seemingly universal love, despite the originals being described as the worst in the series. I, for one, grew up with Pokémon and especially Ruby and Sapphire, so of course I marked out a little. But when does too much Pokémon become too much of a bad thing?
Years ago it seemed like Pokémon releases were few and far between. But in just the past 5 years we have gotten a directors cut (Platinum) two remakes (Gold and Silver) a 5th generation (Black and White), sequels to those games, a 6th generation (X&Y) and now two more remakes later in the year (Alpha and Omega). People complain about annual franchises like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed every year, but no one bats an eye at Pokémon. Not to mention all of the spinoffs and how heavily they are represented in Smash Bros., trading cards, mini figures, etc.. It is hard to blame Nintendo as the profits don’t lie. However, it has come to a point where I can’t keep up.
Pokémon is supposed to be the perfect “on the road” game, something you can pick up and play at any time, but all these releases keep it hard to stay in the loop. I couldn't even fully beat Heart Gold before I had to move onto White and I didn't even get to B&W 2 let alone X and Y. These all came out practically within a year of each other. There are times I would love to go back and play some of my older Pokémon games, but I cant. Why? Because I traded all my high-end Pokémon to the next generation, pretty much making my game a paperweight. It’s all about playing the last game and moving them through space and time. Granted this is something I love about Pokémon, but all the micromanaging is just getting intense.
I’m not the only one who thinks this either. I know plenty of people who just completely skipped over B&W and moved right onto X&Y, which is a shame because B&W is arguably the best in the series. So there are two options if you aren't a hardcore poké fanatic: Either get lost in the shuffle and try to play the older releases while waiting for the next entry or just completely skip some and jump to the newest game. This trend of releasing a new Pokémon game every year isn’t one I see stopping anytime soon, but just like all great empires, the people get sick of the same thing over and over again and demand change…but I’m totally getting Y and Alpha eventually anyway.
*However it will be a delight to use my Blaziken from the original Ruby and play him in Sapphire.