Just because it’s nostalgic, doesn’t mean it’s good
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
As I am writing this, my room has more Pokémon plushies than an eight-year-old’s birthday party. I absolutely love Pokémon and all of its adorable nostalgia, but I can admit it’s overrated.
Since its debut in 1996, Pokémon has become the highest-grossing media franchise of all time and the second highest-grossing video game franchise, losing first to Mario. Its video games, television shows, and card game have been adored by children and adults alike. However, the popularity of the Pokémon games has been declining over the last few years according to sales numbers, and I don’t think it’s too hard to understand why.
Pokémon fully deserved its hype when it first came out, but it’s gotten old, tired, and there hasn’t been anything new or exciting about the games for a long time. I think the Pokémon themselves evolve more than the game franchise has.
If you ask me, all the games are the exact same. Once you’ve played one Pokémon game, you’ve played them all. Save for some of the new games updates and new generations of monsters, the storyline, the characters, the style, and the challenges are all the same. It gets extremely boring and frustrating after a couple games, which is why I’ve only been able to play about three. It was great when it first came out, but I think the new games lack engaging plot lines, new challenges, and imagination.
The gameplay is also redundant. Those who have played the games are familiar with how much “grinding” or leveling up is needed to go forward in the story. It takes so much unnecessary time, energy, and patience to level up all your Pokémon that it almost feels like a chore, rather than a game. I play video games to fight things, unlock puzzles, and complete challenges. Grinding may be considered a challenge, but I wouldn’t call fighting about 100 Wurmple and Rattata to go up a couple of levels a challenge.
Furthermore, it takes all the fun out of the game because it takes so much work to level up compared to actual gameplay. Also, there is nothing more frustrating then when all your Pokémon are low on HP and you’re trying to get to a Pokémon Center, but you keep running into wild Pokémon or other trainers.
All the storylines are the same; there’s no creativity or imagination in the games’ plots anymore. There’s a rival or two, an evil syndicate, and a quest that results in you becoming the Champion. It may have been fun and cute when we were all kids, but I wish the game could have evolved or had quests other than just fighting bad guys, getting badges, and catching Pokémon. Even some of the side quests in the game are more fun and engaging then the main game itself.
I am aware how silly it sounds to be complaining about a child’s video game, but I don’t care. If Nintendo had decided to be more creative and imaginative with the game franchise, I think it would still be as popular as it was when it first came out. Pokémon still has a lot of charm, and I will probably pick up a game again for a nostalgic feel, but it is highly overrated.