When it comes to the videogame that I think really got me into gaming, I am inclined to say it was Pokémon Blue. Readers would recall almost 500 articles ago that I started gaming on the Nintendo Entertainment System with a Super Mario Bros. bundle. However, me starting to be a gamer and me being hooked into this for life (at least, so far) are two different times. So, Pokémon Blue, despite me giving it and its diehard fans (the Genwunners) a really tough time nowadays, was still an amazing experience at the time. I believe it was my first roleplaying game, and I also believe that the whole RPG genre, as complicated as RPGs are to define, is much more immersive for me and more demonstrative of what gaming is all about compared to platformers.
As a result, I got into a lot more games because of Pokémon Blue, and spent considerable time invested in the franchise then. I got the trading cards, watched the anime, bought the Pokémon Master Trainer board game, and discussed it openly with the locals. My Nintendo NSider Forums screen-name, ANTIROCKETCLOUDY, is a result from LARPing Pokémon. (I'm not gonna go into that further unless requested, 'cause I have an article to write.)
Nowadays, while my fascination with Pokémon is still strong as ever (that's why we've been writing about it, oh, I dunno, every week or two on KoopaTV for months now?), I've put Pokémon Blue behind. I even voted Super Mario Bros. 3 over it in a hypothetical GameFAQs Best. Game. Ever. 2015 bracket, though now I'm not really sure why I did. Pokémon Blue is just so technologically backwards in every area possible, and future games in the franchise have improved so much that Pokémon Blue is pretty much unplayable today. It's that much of a difference, and I'm not blinded by nostalgia that I can't see that.
It appears that Game Freak recognises the steady progress of technology with the Pokémon franchise, which is why they always have the fat guy at the beginning of almost every main series RPG talking about the latest in Pokémon series technology. I've compiled a list of his quotes below in chronological/generational order, because I think documenting this progress is important:
- Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen:
“Technology is incredible! You can now store and recall items and Pokémon as data via PC!”
- Pokémon Silver, Gold, Crystal [, HeartGold, SoulSilver]:
“Technology is incredible! You can now trade Pokémon time[/overseas] like email.”
- Pokémon Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald:
“If you use a PC, you can store items and Pokémon. The power of science is staggering!”
- Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum:
“Technology just blows me away! I mean, now you can play with people around the world...wirelessly!”
- Pokémon Black, White, White 2, and Black 2:
“The power of science is amazing! Now you can use infrared to do all sorts of things in the blink of an eye!”
- Pokémon X and Y:
“Science is amazing! If you use communication technology, you can look all over the world for players who are playing at the same time you are.”
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire:
“To think that you can get data from the friends you pass by even your Nintendo 3DS is in sleep mode! The power of science is staggering!”
- Pokémon Sun and Moon:
“The power of science is amazing! A simple press of a button and you can trade Pokémon or battle with the people around you!”
We can observe a clear improvement in communications technologies and wireless connectivity as the years go by. We went from the unwieldy Link Cable to wireless, infrared, and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection/Nintendo Network technologies. Unfortunately, with new technologies come new challenges.
|Left: Modern-day Wonder Trade across the world, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (2014).|
Right: Local Link Cable trading, Pokémon Blue (Green) and Pokémon Red (1995).
For example, Nintendo basically wants you to have your 3DS constantly trying to StreetPass and look for other 3DSs. That sucks battery life. They want you to always be connected to a wi-fi connection (that's what the Pokémon X/Y quote is about), which really can strain the 3DS. It doesn't help that there's a massive decrease in battery life from the Game Boy and even DS days to the 3DS.
I fondly remember, back in 2009 before there were portable computers that had live voice-chatting with microphones, RawkHawk2010 and I would have our Nintendo DS systems on Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl, and be connected to one another via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. That generation of Pokémon games had voice chat with the DS's very low-quality microphone! So, we had those running, and we simultaneously played Super Smash Bros. Brawl on friend mode. This was our way to have a form of voice chat while playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and I believe the purpose was to record narrated videos to put on YouTube (recorded with my potato) of us playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl together. ...It didn't work out, I think.
(The Wi-Fi connection was so bad, a 5:09 match took 6:30 in time!)
It's important, if you're going to try to do schemes like that, or even if you have a lot of wireless-using devices in your home all across the house, that your router is properly placed and your signal is strong enough. Sometimes, that's not possible through normal means. Fortunately, just as there are these technological challenges created by technological innovations/opportunities, technology and entrepreneurship create solutions. One of these is made by the start-up Luma Home, Inc. (not related to Rosalina or Super Mario Galaxy... I think), which pledges to have Surround Wi-Fi with three key parts: Safety, security, and speed. You can buy three Luma hexagons to put throughout your house (and they'd help you figure out their optimal places) for the high-sounding price of $400, but I imagine it's worth it for those with the need.
|I'll suggest to Luma to change their design to a pentagon.|
With solutions such as Luma out there being powered by the incredible power of science, it's only a matter of time before the problems made by science are solved. And then, there will be even more innovations in the future, and the cycle will continue, bringing us more and more progress.
Hopefully, Pokémon sticks around for that cycle of progress!
Ludwig updated this article upon Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon's release, with the quote its technology-marveling person had to offer. KoopaTV was not compensated for this post by Luma, and none of its staffers have used Luma's product personally, so don't this as a personal recommendation or endorsement of them. In fact, KoopaTV recommends you don't deal with Luma because they lied to KoopaTV about promoting this article on their own social media channels. If they can't even do that, how can you trust them with your home's online infrastructure?
Probably the most egregious and divisive example on KoopaTV of Ludwig bashing Genwunners is when he claimed the mass-murderer and all-around creep Elliott Rodger was a member of their ranks, and the two were connected.
Ludwig first thought about the fat guy in every starting town when writing about the Rotom Pokédex.
You should just ignore how much Ludwig bashed all of science when he advocated for Team Art over Team Science in Splatfest.