But when I grew up, I put away childish things
-1 Corithians 13:11
Today is the launch date for for Pokemon Sword & Shield, the first new, “real” Pokemon game to come to the Switch since Nintendo and Game Freak pulled the franchise from the Nintendo 3DS handheld platform.
Unfortunate KGB reference aside (the sword and shield of the party), the impending release of this game and the launch of the Switch Lite got my daughter and I discussing a potential return to the franchise.
The Switch Lite, an actual attempt at a handheld version of the Switch (because the Switch is way too big to qualify in the DS/3DS or PSP league… I present the Switch Lite as supporting evidence of this) was really the trigger event for this. My daughter and I have a long history together with Pokemon games, starting back with Pokemon Diamond on the DS Lite in 2008 and carrying on through into the 3DS era. And portability… along with wireless connectivity… was always a big part of the experience. Our solid little DS Lite units traveled with with us many places. They were brought to Pokemon events, played in airports and hotel rooms and on cruise ships when there was idle time as well as around the house.
As somebody who pretty much always plays video games sitting at a PC there was definitely a liberating aspect to having a small, handheld gaming console that could be played where ever we went.
So my daughter and I talked about the idea of a Switch or Switch Lite and the new Pokemon game off and on over the course of the summer. In the end, there was no conclusion reached… which was essentially a negative conclusion by default; we would not be buying a any new hardware just to play Pokemon Sword & Shield.
There were a bunch of little reasons that held us back; pricing, the way the new game was coming together, uncertainty about features. However, none of those would have really stood in our way, except for the big reason, the real reason. And that is the fact that my daughter has almost grown up. She will be 18 soon. She already has her first college acceptance notification. (University of Oregon) She has a driver’s license and a car and a job and a boyfriend and a social life and all the dreams and worries and ideas that come with that time in your life.
And in the mix of all of that there isn’t a lot of time for Pokemon.
About six years back I wrote a farewell to Pokemon, thinking at the time that we probably wouldn’t make the jump to the 3DS platform. But then my daughter came around and we played the games for a few more years. There won’t be a similar reprieve this time. A year from now she will be off to college and the seriousness and growing which that entails.
But there is always a future for childish things, once you’ve gotten past that embrace of adulthood and the seriousness that goes with it. This blog is a testament to that. And, after talking with my daughter about this, she did decide to start a fresh game of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on her old 3DS.