The Imagination of Nintendo

I bought a Switch. It was a little impulsive. E3 was last week and they announced they are doing a core Pokemon RPG for the Switch.

If you are unaware, I’m obsessed with Pokemon. Plushies and figurines litter my room to the point a friend visiting asked where the 12 year old was. I’m the 12 year old. The moment they announced some nebulous Pokemon RPG for the Switch, I was in. I went out, hit up three Targets, and bought one.

There are about six games for the Switch. I picked up Zelda. There is a beautiful world with lots of weird things to kill you, and some neat abilities. Zelda is an amazing life lesson. Run up to a goblin thing with a branch, hit it and do no damage, proceed to have it kill you in one shot. See a lake, try to swim across it, die immediately from cold. This is the game. “I want to do this thing!” Die. Still, it’s a beautiful world.

Then I picked up Mario Kart 8. There is no sense in Mario Kart 8. Truly, there never has been, but I haven’t played since college. The lanes wobble either due to psychedelic haunted houses or Bowser punching it.

The maps are gorgeous, imaginative, expansive. They tell entire stories, while only taking three minutes to do a few laps on.

Image result for mario kart 8 screenshots tough guy mountain

While the fact you hang glide is cool, you’re hang gliding after driving down a waterfall. To get to the top you drove up a water fall. You drive upside down, sideways, every which way. You’re really not sure where you are in relation to the ground. Every once and a while you want to throw up a little at how the world moves because it’s not supposed to move that way.

Image result for mario kart 8 screenshots tough guy mountain

That’s a space station. There are three Rainbow Roads and each is more ridiculous than the other. It’s incredible. One is over a city, this is in space, and the other I can’t quite remember but it’s an acid trip.

Why do I bring this up? Between Mario’s LCD and Zelda’s attempt at becoming Skyrim, my imagination is exploding. I didn’t realize how stagnant it was. I do think NieR: Automata helped a little, but it’s also been putting me into an existential depression.

Fantasy and science fiction more and more needs to fit into a neat box. I blame our zeal for science. Everything must make sense. It must have an explanation. Mario Kart doesn’t care about your science. It doesn’t care about gravity. It doesn’t care. It inspired me not to care, and to write a few more imaginative pieces.

My first Pokemon battle

First, I swear this kick will end. At the end of the year. When the Pokemon 20th anniversary is finished.

Second, it’s not really my first, but my first in a long time. It was also against a significantly better opponent. I’ve never played someone I know who is significantly better than me. To be honest, I’ve been afraid to play him because I know how much he puts into the game, and it makes me look lazy. In a video game.

We battled twice and it reaffirmed a lot of the Pokemon themes, which was cool. First, he whooped me. I was able to take out three of his Pokemon in the first battle and five in the second. However, in that second battle a lot of me getting ground was he couldn’t use the team he wanted, and he was trying to show me all his bug types. Oh, did I mention he was only using bug types? I knew exactly what I was up against. Still put in a grass/poison type.

I learned a lot about moves I usually don’t utilize, switching out at good times, and using poor moves. I also learned my Pokemon are slow. So, so, so slow. I went first once.

So as cheesy as this sounds, it was a worthwhile couple battles. It was a lot of fun. It was also awesome watching someone I consider a master play. I’ll have to train some more.

Interested in battling, trading, or exchanging tips? My friend code is 1091-9607-6694. I have X/Y, Alpha/Omega. I will be getting Sun/Moon. I do not have IV bred Pokemon. I’m a little more natural.

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire: The Movie

Pokemon X and Y attempted to create a cinematic feel and failed. Why? Because it was cheesy, over the top, childish, and far too easy. They focused so heavily on quickly leveling up your Pokemon, that everything else was secondary. Not to mention, when Ash runs around and finds weird Pokemon that fly past him, he pulls out the Pokedex. When it’s something unknown, the Pokedex pulls a “WTF, mate?”

Within two hours, I’m walking along with the other guy, and we spot a group of beautiflies. You know what happens? Pokedex updated. We didn’t fight them, we literally just watched them fly past us and we took in the moment as something special to us. The creators finally realized, just like if we were Ash, “If you saw it, you likely indexed it.” This adds a level of game play that has always been missing. This is what separates it from just a video game where you have to grind out Pokemon, to an experience where the unexpected actually registers on the mechanical level.

That’s all it took for me to shrug off the fact I couldn’t change my hair style and clothing. Forget it. Ash changed once every five or so seasons. I can last a game. Especially at the cost of moments which perfectly mimic the TV show.

I’m not even through the first gym. The search feature has been addicting. You can now specifically hunt down Pokemon to get them to have rare move sets or abilities. I had a level three poochyena which started with thunder fang. Sure it was a game mechanic at the time, but I’ve had other really awesome moves, learned far later, show up on level fives. Capture has been varied in success.

I haven’t been this excited about the franchise since Diamond and Pearl, where I really started my Pokemon adventure. Sure I was in college, but some of us are both later bloomers, and eternally youthful on the inside. Just glad they could rekindle my inner fanboy.

If you play Pokemon, I’m always up for new trading partners, rivals for battle, and other internet hijinx. Email me your friend code, and I’ll shoot you mine. Email is in the side bar.