After being utterly underwhelmed by BlizzCon, last week’s Nintendo Direct, and yesterday’s PlayStation State of Play, I wasn’t expecting much out of today’s Pokémon 25th Anniversary presentation. But it feels like The Pokémon Company took a good look at the competition and said, “Alright, now watch a master work.”
No shade at all to those presentations and the people who did enjoy them—even I felt a little niggle of excitement for Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade and what Overwatch 2 could be. But Pokémon got my emotions flowing and my hype train rolling and I’m not even that big a fan. It’s the hallmark of a good presser to make someone care about shit they don’t normally care about. I “care” about Pokémon in the sense that I’m still holding onto my nostalgia for the days when it first came out in 1996. The Pokémon Company capitalized on that nostalgia with its overview on every single Pokémon product. That look back reminded me of the pride and joy I felt playing Pokémon Blue on a royal blue Game Boy Color for the first time. I remembered how I bubbled over with excitement explaining this new cartoon to my friends. “You gotta watch this!”
Primed by that wave of nostalgia, I was ready to warmly receive whatever news would come next. A remake of Diamond and Pearl didn’t interest me—I’m a Kanto Kid, I’ve eaten well already—but I know a Sinnoh remake has been on fans’ wishlists and I’m happy to see them get what they want. But the big news: Pokémon Legends: Arceus was so surprising that even I—who only occasionally dabbles in Pokémon—had to sit up and take notice. An open world Pokémon? Surviving 2020 New Year+ just got a lot easier.
I think the Pokémon conference worked in ways others maybe didn’t because it wasn’t a long-winded presser explaining the minutiae of things we already knew, but instead had a little bit of something for everyone. Pokémon respected the fuck out of our time, offering a quick update for every strata of Pokémon player, from mobile to console, while also announcing something totally new and unexpected. And all in a delightfully brief 20 minutes. Would that every video game event followed suit.
This event also wins because The Pokémon Company brought out this guy: Takato Utsunomiya.
What Pokéball have you been keeping him in all this time and can he please do every Pokémon event from now on?