Sunday Thoughts – 5.20.18

Diaries of a former Poke-fan

As a long-time Nintendo fan, it pains me to admit that I don’t have any emotional attachment to Pokémon. Back in the late 90’s, my obsession with Pokémon was short-lived. I bought the games, watched the anime, collected the trading cards and even saw the first Pokemon movie in theaters. But as I grew older, and my tastes and interests evolved, my love for the franchise just sort of fizzled out over time. The last Pokémon games that I actually sat down and seriously played all the way through were the GBA titles. Since then, the series has never really re-captured my interest.

With all of that said, I’m actually excited about the upcoming “Let’s Go” titles for Switch.  One of the most persistent online rumors is that “Let’s Go” is influenced or inspired by Pokémon Yellow. I can see a game like that appealing to an older, nostalgic fan like myself who hasn’t touched the series in years. I could also see the Let’s Go series being an excellent way to introduce the series to younger children.

If you haven’t paid attention, Eevee merchandise is being pushed rather aggressively this year with plushies, t-shirts, and other products. Eevee is almost being treated like a second mascot next to Pikachu. I mean, what’s next? Are we going to see an Eevee float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

In the good ole days, when Pokémon first started, they had the “Gotta Catch Em All” slogan. Back then, there were only 151 Pokémon, so players could still realistically catch them all. Now there’s over 807 Pokémon, which means The Pokémon Company had to distance themselves away from that slogan.

In my opinion, maybe it’s time for the franchise to return back to its roots of “Gotta Catch Em All”? I wouldn’t mind if the “Let’s Go” series returned to a smaller number of Pokémon. Maybe we need a cataclysmic event in the Poke-universe to wipe out some of the crappier Pokémon from the roster.

I mean, we have a Pokémon that is literally a key-chain. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here with character designs.

Last week, I mentioned that the naming/branding of the Switch Pokémon games would “raise eyebrows”. There were a few reasons why I said this. First, it’s very rare and unusual for Nintendo to name their games after actual Pokemon. Normally, they name their games after colors (Red, Blue, Black, White), or letters (X, Y), or gemstones (Emeralds, Ruby, Crystal), or things in the solar system (Sun, Moon).

The second reason I called the branding “eyebrow rising” is because “Let’s Go!” sounds very childish. Even for an IP like Pokémon, which is aimed primarily at children. Five months ago, if I told you that Switch’s first Pokémon RPG was called “Let’s Go! Pikachu”, what would be your initial reaction? The “Let’s Go! Pikachu” branding sounds like that Nintendo 64 spin-off game called, “Hey You, Pikachu!”

But maybe that’s the point behind the branding? Maybe the “Let’s Go” branding is an attempt to introduce Pokémon to a new generation of young children? That’s just a guess on my part, I really don’t know.

Anyways, I’m tired of yapping about Pokémon, so let’s move on to something else.

Emily’s eShop Essentials

One thing I’ve noticed is that players tend to always gravitate toward the ‘Metroidvania’ genre. But if you play your Switch mostly as a portable, then I would strongly advise investing more money into pick-up-and-play titles. I’m talking about the type of games that can be played in short doses. In other words, take a break from all of the story-heavy ‘Metroidvanias’ and go play more quality puzzle games.

My first recommendation is that every Switch owner should purchase “ACA Neo Geo Magical Drop III” for $7.99. My second eShop recommendation is that every Switch owner should buy “Lumines Remastered” when it releases on June 26th. Lumines was one of the best games available on the PlayStation Portable, and Magical Drop III is widely considered to be one of the top 10 best puzzle games of all time.

Before I forget, “Yoku’s Island Express” should be on everyone’s radar. It combines the addictive nature of pinball with the exploration of a Metroidvania.  It’s also coming to PlayStation 4 as well.

After speaking with multiple journalists, there seems to be an overwhelming consensus that Yoku might be one of the best Switch eShop titles of the month. If you’re interested, then I suggest keeping an eye out for reviews. Trust me, I have a good feeling about this game.

Last year, Destructoid’s Nick Valdez had the opportunity to play Yoku’s Island Express, and his impressions of the game seemed very positive.  In his article, he described it as “the chillest pinball game I’ve ever played”. He later explained, “Yoku’s Island Express is so pleasant and chill, it’s dangerous.”

Eurogamer also had very positive things to say about the game back in January.  “It’s consistently charming and often wonderfully surprising. I can’t really think of a lot else like it,” said Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips. “As games go, it feels like pure sunshine.”

PSN US Flash Sale

For those who aren’t aware, there is currently a flash sale happening in the PlayStation store. The sale ends tomorrow, May 21st, at 8AM PT.

The “Jak and Daxter” bundle — normally $39.99 — is currently on sale for $15.99.  The bundle comes with Jax & Daxter, Jak II, Jak III, and Jak X: Combat Racing.

There are also plenty of Capcom games on sale too like Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, Resident 6, Devil May Cry 4, Dead Rising and more.

Another ThunderCats reboot…

Warner Bros. Animation announced that “Thundercats Roar” will debut on Cartoon Network in 2019.  There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said before. The art style looks like it’s regurgitating similar art styles from other modern American cartoons. The humor looks like it’s appealing to the Teen Titans Go audience.

I’m also not a fan of the art style for Nickelodeon’s “Rise of the Ninja Turtles” either.  Poor Master Splinter…What have they done to you?