Pokemon Y and the Nintendo 3DS XL July 28, 2014Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Nintendo, Nintendo DS Hardware, Pokemon.
Tags: Nintendo 3DS XL, Pokemon X & Y
Back in April I mentioned that I had picked up a Nintendo 3DS XL and a copy of Pokemon Y with some Amazon gift cards and credits I had.
I haven’t really said much about it for a few reasons. Mostly it my feeling that single player games don’t quite have the same “shared experience” potential as MMOs… and me being lazy. But, this blog being something of a gaming diary… as much as it is anything… I setup a placeholder post to write about Pokemon Y once I was done.
And I am done!
You can see the laziness factor, in that I finished up back at the start of the month. And, of course, “done” in a Pokemon game is open to interpretation. I completed the main story line, thwarted Team Flare, collected all of the gym badges by defeating each gym leader, and then went on the beat the elite four and Diantha, the regional champion.
That is, by about any measure, the minimum you need to do to say you “beat” or “completed” the game. I spent about 32 hours just doing that without getting into trying to complete the National Pokedex, explore every nook and cranny (there is always a lot of stuff hidden in the game), run through the battle mansion/tower/subway, pick up the Lumiose City side quests, get involved in battling against other players, or probably half a dozen other things I am forgetting.
Pokemon games are deep and getting deeper with every turn of the franchise.
If Nintendo did not see its mission in life as selling hardware, putting Pokemon on Windows as is… not even talking about making it an MMO… would kill. And the fact that Pokemon X and Y are 3D modeled, rather than being sprites as they have been in past generations, means that they could probably pull this off and end up with a game that looked pretty good on a big monitor.
But Nintendo sells hardware, something that is embedded in the culture of the company, and even disappointing Wii U sales won’t convince them to move off of the platforms they control ala Sega. Besides which, Pokemon is on the GameBoy side of the business, and the Nintendo 3DS hardware is selling well.
Anyway, that aside, I finished up the game, as defined above, and naturally have some comments to make.
Let me start with the good.
First, of course, is that it is a Pokemon game and delivers all you would expect from the series.
It also looks great. The update bringing Pokemon to a 3D rendering technology was a big move, but it paid off. It was completely natural, not a shocking change, because they got the “feel” of the graphics just right in my opinion. I had to go back and look at an older version of Pokemon to remind myself of the difference. (Comparisons with older version in a previous post.)
It let the game camera move, so that not every moment of game play was a top down view.
And, since the it rendered rather than being sprites, it scales up to the bigger screen on the 3DS XL hardware. This is a big deal for me. I am now at the age where I need reading glasses to decipher any small text, such as that on the screen of my faithful old DS Lite. But moving to the DSi XL meant I got bigger text, but the graphics just got blocky. But with Pokemon X and Y and the 3DS XL hardware, it scales up nicely and looks good.
I will say that the 3DS XL is a very nice piece of hardware and, in my opinion, well worth the price over the standard size 3DS. You get a bigger better screen and much better battery life, since they were able to fit a bigger battery in the unit.
But back to the game.
Connectivity to the internet seems to have been solved. Back with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, it was something of a chore to get yourself hooked into the Nintendo WiFi network. That got better with Pokemon Black and White, but was still more complicated that it ought to have been. Now, with the 3DS hardware and Nintendo’s latest revision of its online presence, it is much easier to get online.
Being online is also a bigger part of the game. The 3DS hardware looks for other units in its area so you can see if somebody has their wifi on and is playing Pokemon in the vicinity. (I used this to catch my daughter playing Pokemon under the covers after lights out a few times!) One of the new features I like is the “Wonder Trade” option in which you just pick a Pokemon from your collection and offer it up for a random trade with somebody else in the world. I have gotten a few neat Pokemon that way and try to choose interesting ones to send out. This feature is on top of the global trade center, which is the Pokemon trading auction house serving the world.
The story is good. Team Flare and their leader are involved in a Bond villain conspiracy to protect the beauty of the world by destroying most of mankind.
The world looks great. The new region, Kalos, is based on France and includes a few cultural stereotypes. A new Pokemon that looks very much like a French poodle is conspicuous in the game, as is a high speed train that looks like the TGV and Lumiose City which is modeled on Paris.
The coveted experience share item, which was used to pass half of the experience gained by one Pokemon to another in your party, so you could boost up lower level Pokemon without having to go back to low level areas, now shares experience with your whole party. My daughter, rather than ending up with one high level Pokemon doing all the work and five more way below level Pokemon hoping that the big one would not faint and expose the rest of them to almost sure defeat, actually ended up with a pretty well balanced party. I know that it saved me from having to do a bunch of passing the item around to first level up one Pokemon and then another. In fact, I did very little grinding experience just for levels.
And then there is your avatar which you can now customize. There are clothes shops and items to pick up all over the game. When I look at the avatars in the Wonder Trade, they all look very different, not just a few variations on the same theme. It is actually quite impressive.
Finally, the game saves very quickly. Past versions of the game took a long time to save. But Pokemon X and Y save so quickly you might not notice it saved at all if you blink.
The Less Than Good
I don’t have anything hugely negative to say about the game, so don’t take these the wrong way. But they are part of the whole package.
The camera gets out of control at times. The thing with the 3D rendering and the camera being able to move can become a problem. There were a couple of times in Lumiose City, where I was trying to get to a specific location and the camera would just not point in the direction of the building I needed to see. To quote Yahtzee Croshaw, “The camera is like the working class: if you can’t control it, it will plot to destroy you.” I ended up having to go away and come back again at a different angle to see the right doorway. This feels like a rookie mistake, Pokemon never having been 3D before. I suspect it will be better in the next game.
I am still disappointed I cannot take screen shots whenever I darn well please in the game. Since the 3DS XL unit uses an SD card for memory, it seems like the hardware maker’s paranoia about memory usage ought to have dissipated. I can just get a bigger card… and the approved method for upgrading cards is literally “copy the files to your PC, then copy them to the bigger card”… if I run out of room. But having worked with the hardware team at various companies, I understand how deep seated that need to keep things in the smallest footprint possible is. But I was hopeful in that the game allowed you to take pictures at certain photo spots and save them off. Screen shots of a sort. And then I copied some of those photos off of the system and… they are tiny.
I expected a little more. And to take the pictures there is a whole convoluted camera interface where you have to focus and hold the 3DS just right and set the depth of field… all for a tiny screen shot. It isn’t like they couldn’t render the pictures bigger, they just didn’t want to. So 400×240 is all you get. Such is life. Better than nothing I suppose, but not close enough to my dreams.
Then there are 719 Pokemon. At some point more just is not better. But I do like the new ones with Pokemon X and Y better than some of the ones that game with Black and White. And if you play the “Name the Pokemon” category on QuizUp, you’ll find that the names mostly reflect what they look like. A friend who had never played Pokemon did surprisingly well just guessing.
The 3D effects work everywhere in the game, but you have to hold the 3DS unit just right for them to look good. I turned the 3D slider to “off” unless there was something I really wanted to see mostly because I got tired of holding the 3DS XL in exactly the right position. But the same goes for every other thing I have tried on the 3DS XL. Everything is good enough in 2D, except Netflix, which looks like hell on the small screen with lots of pixelation and artifacts. But that isn’t a 3D problem, that happens no matter where I have the slider. The hardware just isn’t up to decoding video.
But the biggest thing I can say against the game… which some will take as no insult at all… is that it is very much a Pokemon game and follows the set formula of all the games that went before it. Each game has some new bits and pieces… Pokemon X & Y have aerial battles and Pokemon you use as vehicles in a few special sections of the game… but the core structure remains the same. You are a young person in a land where everybody is obsessed about Pokemon. Your mother is surprisingly accepting of you traveling around the region at the behest of some professor of Pokemon studies in order to capture Pokemon, battle strangers, defeat the various gym leaders, and take down some criminal syndicate by defeating them in Pokemon battles. You then go on the challenge the elite four and the regional champion and enter into the hall of fame. There are caves, both rocky and made of ice, puzzles to solve, a bicycle to ride, a power outage to fix, random strangers to battle, and a legendary Pokemon to catch. Same as it ever was.
But that is not a necessarily a bad thing. A Pokemon game will never feel as fresh as after your first pass through, but the conventions are comforting in their way. You know, in a way, exactly what you are getting.
All in all, Pokemon X and Y reaffirmed my devotion to the series. I am looking forward to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire coming out this fall. That will be just in time for my daughter and I to binge on over the break at Thanksgiving. I actually like the remakes quite a bit. Color me conservative. At least the remakes do not feel the need to include another 150 Pokemon.
A Return to Pokemon April 2, 2014Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Nintendo, Pokemon.
Tags: Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon X & Y
I can hear some of you groaning even now. Hush!
While 2014 might be the Year of Faff elsewhere, around here it seems more like the year of renewal and return to past happy times. Nothing new around these parts. I am bland about The Elder Scrolls Online, completely indifferent to WildStar, and can’t think of any other new games that have sparked any real interest in me. No, it has been all throw backs to paths already traveled of late, what with the return to World of Warcraft, poking about in EVE Online, running up some time in Diablo III, dragging out the revamped version of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, and even revisiting Warcraft III.
Which, on reflection, does sound like a lot of time spent faffing about, so my year might actually be in tune with the godmother’s. Might have to go grab that Year of Faff logo.
Anyway, with the year shaping up as it has, why not add in Pokemon?
It was just about six months back where I was ready to bid a final farewell to Pokemon.
But as Christmas approached, my daughter had a change of heart and put a Nintendo 3DS XL on her wish list… because that is what grandparents are for. And, sure enough, at my dad’s house on Christmas Day there was just such a unit (in red) under the tree for her, along with a GameStop gift card from my sister.
We had to get out of the house right away after Christmas to get some games. GameStop is a very busy place the day after Christmas. And while my daughter was primarily interested in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, she did also pick up a copy of Pokemon X.
Still, I am not sure that we had shaken the malaise that Pokemon Black & White put us in. (Some long term veterans of the series reported similar feelings.)
Pokemon Diamond & Pearl was where we started. The game was fresh and exciting. Pokemon Platinum came along, the traditional interim remix of the previous titles, and we were still engaged. Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver, remakes of Pokemon Gold & Silver, were the peak of our time with the series. The game, the details, the Pokewalker (which I wore every day for a couple years) were all great. That was when I actually sat down and caught them all. At that point, “all” meant 493 Pokemon.
We were excited for Pokemon Black & White. We went to events, pre-ordered the games, and were ready to go on day one. And things kind of fell flat. Some combo of having played through several versions of the game already (and the base game is always nearly identical at a certain level), missing elements like your lead Pokemon walking with you in-game or the Pokewalker, and something of a general coming of age for my daughter and her becoming interested in more “girly” things than playing video games with dad contributed to this.
There was no spark there. We tried a couple of times to go back and finish the game, but we both sit at 6 gym badges out of 8 and no further. Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 were pretty much ignored by us.
So when my daughter started on Pokemon X on the 3DS XL, I was interested to hear how she liked it. While she gave it generally favorable reviews, there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm behind them. She was much more interested in Animal Crossing.
So it sat for a couple of months. I liked the idea of the 3DS XL and its big screen as well as another shot at Pokemon, but there didn’t seem to be a enough interest from my daughter for me to take the plunge. And then a couple weeks back, suddenly she lit up on the Pokemon X front. She seemed to be quite into it, so I looked around and saw I had enough gift card credits at Amazon to pick up a 3DS XL myself.
Gift card money at Amazon is a special resource to me. If somebody gives me money, it goes into the general fund and gets used to pay bills or buy cat food or whatever. But credit at Amazon feels like it is uniquely mine. I can’t use it to pay the mortgage or the phone bill. I can set that aside and used it on something for me.
So I splurged last week and spent my credits on a black 3DS XL, which for some reason was $10 cheaper than the other colors along with a copy of Mario Kart 7… because Mario Kart. Well, actually, I needed to but the 3DS XL and another title to get a “free” copy of Pokemon X or Y as part of a promotion Nintendo was running.
Last Wednesday the unit arrived.
I unboxed it, started it charging, then began setting it up. I had get it on our wireless, then create a Nintendo eShop account, then link that account to my Club Nintendo account, and then get everything registered so I could get my code for a copy of Pokemon Y that could be downloaded from the eShop.
As annoying as that might sounds, it actually went pretty quickly, mostly just worked, and was still a lot easier than getting one of the old DS Lite models up and connected to Nintendo WiFi back in the day. (One of the most common email questions I got for quite a stretch was, “How do I get Nintendo WiFi to work?!?!?!?!”)
I was a little hesitant to only have a downloaded copy of Pokemon Y. The tradition is to have the physical cartridge, and we have at least 10 such Pokemon games in our storage box along with just about everything else purchased for the DS series. The 3DS line, which can use the DS series cartridges, stores data and downloaded games on an SD card.
The SD card thing is probably good in the long run. The 3DS XL came with a 4GB card and you can upgrade it to a 32GB card if you need more space. The upgrade process is a bit… simple? You take the card out of the 3DS, copy the files to your PC, then copy those files to the bigger SD card, and then put it back in the 3DS.
But that just makes it software, which can go away, be erased, or otherwise corrupted, as opposed to being burnt forever(-ish) into a ROM in a plastic cartridge. Such read-only media traditions go back to the days of the Atari 2600 for me. Something about it being on writable media makes me twitch a bit. Old habits.
But the game itself… is great.
It is, of course, straight from the traditional Pokemon mold. Youth with surprisingly permissive parents allowed to go wander the world, filling up their Pokedex for the local tree-named Professor of Pokemon Studies (Sycamore this time), battling various oddly focused gym leaders, thwarting an eccentrically dressed evil organization (Team Flare this time), all while on the way to becoming the Pokemon champion of the region… and collecting them all.
And the number for “all” is now 719. Oh my.
But while everything is the same, everything is also different… or better… or bother.
Everything is now represented on the big screen with 3D model… and when I say “3D” I mean it in the way we mean it when we talk about EverQuest or World of Warcraft. There is also the 3D movie effect of depth, but like most everybody else, I turned that off once the novelty faded and it started making my head hurt.
And the new models and motion in the world and the world itself… just work.
There was no moment of “Oh, now this is much better!” Instead it was just a sense of things being as they were meant to be. In fact, I was rather shocked when I went back to Pokemon Black & White to check where I had left off. Things were much flatter and pixelated just one version ago. Samples gleaned from the internet, because you cannot take screen shots in Pokemon games. (You can, in a very, very limited way in Pokemon X & Y, but that is for another post.) More is the pity.
And just to show the progression over the last decade, the first Pokemon game on the DS platform and the last one on the GameBoy Advance platform.
A lot of work clearly went into Pokemon X & Y and it represents a considerable leap in the rendering technology used for the game.
And while I can be Mister Nostalgia and long for the good old days, I have to say I am very happy with the updated graphics. Of course, that might have something to do with them being tuned for the 3DS screen… and the big 3DS XL screen especially. That screen looks really nice, Pokemon X & Y render beautifully on it, and it is big enough for me to play the game without wearing my reading glasses!
Can’t do that with my faithful old DS Lite.
I will have more to say about Pokemon X & Y in future posts, as well as the Nintendo 3DS XL hardware (besides the fact that it may be the best made handheld unit they have ever produced) in future posts. This post can basically be summed up as:
Pokemon is back! There will be posts! You have been warned!
December in Review December 31, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Pokemon, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Nintendo 3DS XL, Pokemon X & Y, Steam
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How many extra embarrassment points to I get for misspelling the word “embarrassment” in the title of a post?
The usual story, I throw some text in the title as a placeholder, write the post, hit publish, and realize some minutes later that I didn’t actually look at the title. While I fixed the title here right away, the error was immortalized in the URL and on G+ and Twitter. Go me.
WordPress.com broke a few less things than usual this month and provided me with the 2013 version of their blog annual report:
I have flagged the report as public, so you can go and read it here if you want. There isn’t much to it really, just a few basic Top 5 lists. Interestingly, a couple posts that never bubble up to the top 12 I post monthly still get enough traffic over time that they end up on the top 5 for the year. Of course, they produced this report more than a day early, so if as few as 5,000 people suddenly decide to view one of my posts, it could be rendered incorrect. That doesn’t seem likely, but it could happen in theory. If you are really into this report, you can compare it with the reports from 2012 or 2011.
And I mentioned quite a while back that there was a huge surge in Brazilian email list and SEO spam coming in. That seems to have subsided. The new thing this month appears to be online casino spam in Swedish. Vive l’esprit international!
One Year Ago
I wrote a post looking at 50 years of James Bond. It included ranked lists for people to argue about.
Turbine announced that they were bringing back Asheron’s Call 2. I am not sure what became of that.
I was deep into my World of Tanks binge. I was up to the KV-2 on the Soviet heavy line, choosing that path after the three way split at the KV-1. (And the T-28.) I was also still working on the German tank destroyer line.
I crammed together all the ads I could find from the EVE Online splash screen. The launcher killed off those ads.
Five Years Ago
December seemed to be all about the micropayments and the like. Sony Online Entertainment surprised some by putting Station Cash driven stores into EverQuest and EverQuest II. The selection wasn’t great and the pricing seemed a bit off, but I was more interested to know what other SOE products would get the Station Cash treatment.
And then EA announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be microtransaction financed. Or maybe they didn’t.
In Azeroth we were still coming to grips with the Northrend instances. In Utgarde Keep we managed to kill off Prince Keleseth, but couldn’t hold it together to finish the instance. Outside, we were running around doing quests.
Meanwhile, somebody was working on a WoW code, akin to the old geek code that used to clutter many a .sig file back when Usenet was cool and we knew the spammers by name.
I actually found some time to play Lord of the Rings Online.
New Linking Blogs
The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.
Please take a moment to visit them in return.
Most Viewed Posts in December
- Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
- Greetings from the Timeless Isle… of DEATH!
- Quote of the Day – CCP Layoffs and World of Darkness
- Shroud of the Avatar… It’s a Thing
- Do You Know the Way to Blackrock Caverns?
- Seated on the Throne of Tides
- Remembering Warhammer Online
- LOTRO and the Latest Insta-Level Scheme
- The Instance Group… Under the Sea
- Four Space Operas and a Funeral
- An Embarrassment of Options…
- Looking Back at 2013 – Highs and Lows
Search Terms of the Month
love strawberry hate raspberry
[I'm with you on that.]
eve online missiles or guns?
[As much as it pains me, guns.]
ccp mintchip fired
[Not that I have seen.]
why would someone transport plex?
[That is one of the mysteries of EVE.]
jita make lego bolo
[All those words mean something, but not when strung together.]
I passed the two year mark in null sec this month. Despite being in something of a lull for the last couple of months due to the lack of a really intense deployment, I still keep my hand in with a fleet now and again. I still enjoy a big fleet fight and sovereignty wars in general.
World of Warcraft
The Azeroth binge continues. I think I have said this before, but everybody in the regular group is playing at about their maximum rate. I know I have been playing WoW more than anything else by quite a margin. It is a combination of Blizzard smoothness, familiarity, and each of us discovering in turn that Mists of Pandaria is actually a pretty meaty expansion… and that there was still quite a bit left uncovered in past expansions. I keep going back to bits of The Burning Crusade with various characters. I feel like I haven’t done very much in that expansion to this day.
The Steam Winter sale has almost run its course. I did manage to find a couple of titles I wanted on deep sale. Company of Heroes 2 is the one I have actually spent some time playing. It isn’t bad, though it isn’t quite Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin in depth. The other game I bought was Endless Space, which I have heard both good and bad about, but which dropped to a price point that I just bought it. Now to find time to actually play it.
It will be the new year, which means tomorrow I will have a post with some ridiculous predictions and such as well as a somewhat delayed yet probably very predictable 2014 MMO and like games outlook. Things I do every year so at least you can plot my insanity/inanity over time.
My daughter also got a Nintendo 3DS XL for Christmas, and immediately used some gift cards she got to go buy Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon X. She has played quite a bit of both since then. I will have to give the unit a closer look. It seems very nice and the big screen means I can read the text without my glasses. Anyway, there will no doubt be a post on that at some point in the not too distant future. Is the 3DS XL worth it, or would a DSi XL and a pile of older games be a better choice?
Then there is the ongoing adventures of the instance group, which I have been slacking on the last two weeks and all the things that go along with that.
And, finally, I have a Mystery Code from the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition to give away. There will be a contest. I expect it will involve screen shots. I can’t help it, I can sit and look at EVE Online screen shots all day.
A Farewell to Pokemon October 15, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Nintendo, Nintendo DS Hardware, Pokemon.
Tags: Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS Lite, Pokemon X & Y
We were out shopping on Sunday. For some reason my wife asked me to come along and for equally inexplicable reasons I said yes. I do not like wandering around the mall “shopping” and begin to behave like an 8 year old in making up games and distractions to pass the time. This, in turn, annoys the crap out of my long-suffering wife, so clearly neither of us was thinking straight on this call.
But as we made our way through the electronics section of Target, my daughter went over to the Nintendo section and spotted the new Pokemon X and Y games.
She actually seemed both surprised and excited to see a new Pokemon game out. I knew it had shipped. I still get email updates from Nintendo and was aware that the new games were releasing world wide this past Saturday. I just hadn’t said (or written) anything about it. (Keen and Graev have some posts about the new games.) But I have to admit I have been interested in the game.
Pokemon used to be one of our things.
My daughter was attracted to the game a long ways back, when we saw a Nintendo DS on display at a store with Pokemon loaded up. It was colorful, the basic functions were immediately comprehensible to her, and the idea of capturing little pets and making them battle held an attraction for her. She was into bugs and dinosaurs and animals when she was that age. (Now, however, she screams bloody murder if there is a moth in the shower with her.)
Of course to play Pokemon you had to buy the hardware, a Nintendo DS. That was the stopping point, until we were about to go on a trip and my wife gave me the mandate to go buy one to keep our daughter entertained on the plane for five hours. So I went out and bought a pink Nintendo DS Lite along with LEGO Star Wars, Mario Party DS, and Pokemon Diamond.
I could have skipped the first two. We spent the whole trip playing Pokemon. My daughter was in kindergarten at the time and needed help reading some of the text in the game… this was before she had been trained by World of Warcraft to skip all quest text… so I spent a chunk of that time reading the game text aloud to her. That was a bit of a chore for me, but got her motivated to read.
The game was such a success that a couple of months later my wife bought me a cobalt blue Nintendo DS Lite and my own copy of Pokemon Diamond and we were off.
We played through that together, went on to Pokemon Platinum, and really hit our peak during Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. We were wearing out Pokewalkers everywhere (and cheating a bit using physics and LEGO). There were mishaps and tragedies and meddling cats, but we were into it. We went to the Pokemon regional championships, played with Pokemon Ranch, and in went to the Pokemon Black and White tour when it showed up at a local mall. I even caught ‘em all, nabbing all 493 Pokemon that were available in the series up to that point.
But then Pokemon Black and White came along and we were not quite as interested. In part that was because we had played so much Pokemon up to that point. We might have been a bit burned out having burned through all the predecessors on the DS, plus a couple of the GameBoy Advance versions, which also ran on the DS Lite.
Then there is also the fact that all Pokemon games are very much alike at some basic level. You start out in the world as a youth, you meet some Pokemon expert, you get your first Pokemon, and you head out into the world to catch Pokemon, battle gym leaders, and eventually take on the regional champions, all while battling a rival and some oddly dressed organization bent on evil. And all of it takes place in a world completely obsessed with Pokemon and where all conflict is resolved by Pokemon battles.
After a few runs through that, you might get a little tired of it.
And then there are the special features each game brings to the table. My daughter and I used to enjoy playing together in the underground in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. It was a shared environment you could link up in on WiFi. We were also fond of the Pokewalker and the way your lead Pokemon would walk around with you in HeartGold and SoulSilver. In Black and White the key features were the graphics, which were improved, 150 new Pokemon (groan), and a lot of online WiFi connectivity (like Global Link) that did not really click with us. Neither of us finished Black or White and we never bothered with Black 2 and White 2. (Which I still think were dumb names.)
Finally, there were just other distractions. Other games to play, other things to do. My daughter was growing up and little things like Pokemon were no longer quite so important. So we have not been playing Pokemon for quite a while. I would say that we are at least two years past the last time either of us played with any read drive.
But the memory of those times, of playing together, of figuring out where to go next, of catching and trading Pokemon, that all remains. And I think some of that came rushing back to her when we were standing there at the counter looking at the new Pokemon. She was gushing a bit when she asked, “Can we get it?”
I had to tell her we could not.
While Pokemon X and Y have the usual range of features and even a slick way to transfer your old Pokemon over to the new games via the internet (assuming you have them all in Pokemon Black or White) using a feature called Pokemon Bank, there was a problem.
Pokemon X and Y are the first versions of the main line of Pokemon games that are exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS generation of handheld gaming devices. Our Nintendo DS Lites are now pretty much obsolete. When Nintendo stops shipping Pokemon on a platform, it is done.
There certainly seems to be some hunger for a version of Pokemon on the 3DS platform. It is on track to be a big seller, moving 4 million units on its first two days. The top Pokemon games of all time are Pokemon Diamond and Pearl which together move nearly 18 million units.
My daughter had an immediate solution to this problem, which was to buy new hardware!
I have clearly failed to instill any sort of sense as to the value of money in my daughter.
I had to tell her that wasn’t going to happen either. At least not right then. Something like a Nintendo 3DS is a Christmas/Birthday present (or maybe a going on long trip present) and not something we just buy on a whim while at the store on a Sunday afternoon. Even the more moderately priced Nintendo 2DS, about which I am a bit dubious given what I have read (turns out it has just one big LED panel for both screens), falls outside of the impulse buy price range in my opinion.
My daughter’s response was in the “Oh well” range of emotions. She didn’t seem all that put out by it and I somehow doubt that a Nintendo 3DS is going to make it to her Christmas list. And if it did, I think she is more interested in Animal Crossing: New Leaf than Pokemon.
So I suspect that we have had our time with Pokemon.