Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Staff writer shares her opinion on the harmful effects of nostalgia surrounding Pokémon.

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Ashling Bahadursingh, Staff Writer

I love Pokémon. I have ever since I was in first grade and saw Pokémon cards being traded around the playground. Is there anything more appealing to a kid than exciting, colorful cards used to play a game that no one knew how to play?

I mean, there probably is. But to someone who’s had the nickname Ash since I’ve been able to comprehend my own name, there definitely wasn’t.

Most people who like Pokémon can recognize that their love of it has roots in nostalgia. So, because no video game is being released right now, the one they play is the one they had as a kid—every game sucks. I don’t think it’s fair to judge the new generation, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, on the basis that you’re no longer ten years old.

That being said, I do think there are some definite flaws with the games. The Pokémon fanbase is huge and Nintendo knows that whatever they put out, people will play. Even if it’s glitchy, buggy, and feels like it was released before it was ready. The game is far from perfect, and for being as big of a franchise as it is, I’m sure it could’ve been much better technically. The criticism fans have in that regard is well-deserved.

I’m not trying to say Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are perfect, but rather that when we criticize Pokémon we have to take into consideration the question of: Can Pokémon ever win?

Not only is Pokémon, like every other game, being put up against other games, but it is also being challenged against itself and the sweet nostalgia people have attached to it. No matter what Pokémon does, the game will never be exactly what people want, because it will never make them a kid again.

With the release of every new generation’s starter Pokémon comes a wave of people complaining about how Pokémon designs have just been going downhill since the generation they first started playing. And of course, they believe the designs have plummeted! How many people as kids are looking at Pokémon designs and thinking about anything more than how cool it looks?

And I think we forget there are children right now, starting to play Pokémon with Scarlet and Violet are thinking of how cool the it looks! Isn’t it important for the next generation to experience that wonderful feeling previous have had, without constantly hearing those complaints?

My point isn’t that you can’t have a preference based on nostalgia but rather that we should allow ourselves and others to enjoy things without constantly holding them up to an impossible standard. Also, I did not memorize the Pokérap just for Pokémon to not be cool.