Pokémon fans make a lot of requests, but one has always stood above the rest: we want a really great Pokémon game on a home console. With their latest pair of games for the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Scarlet and PurpleGame Freak and Nintendo have finally put an end to 25 years of speculation with a clear and definitive answer: “no”.
You already knew the answer, of course. It’s been obvious for a long time now. Things don’t come to that all of a sudden. That’s not how relationships work. No, the panels were still there, if you wanted to see them. If Game Freak and Nintendo were going to deliver for you, if they were finally going to arrive for you after all these years with a really good Pokemon RPG for a home system – well, they would have done it by now.
Remember: the first Pokémon games were released in 1996. That’s the same year as N64. “Awesome”, you probably thought. “Soon they’ll be making a badass Pokemon game that I can play on my TV!” Can you believe you’ve ever been so naive?
Instead, here’s what you have. Seriously, here is a complete list of Pokémon console games:
Hey you, Pikachu!
Pocket Monsters Stadium
Pokemon Puzzle League
Pokemon Stadium 2
Pokémon XD: Dark Wind
My Pokemon Ranch
Pokemon Battle Revolution
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Stormy, Blazing, and Light Adventure Squads
Pokemon Rumble Race
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure
Pokemon Surf’s Up! Pikachu
Pokémon Shining Pearl
Pokemon Shiny Diamond
Pokken Tournament DX
Pokemon Let’s Go, Eevee!
Pokémon Let’s go, Pikachu!
Pokemon Cafe Remix
New Pokemon Snap
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Now you might be thinking, “I like some of these games!” It’s nice. You have found sources of comfort over these decades. We don’t want to take that away from you. But be honest with yourself, kid: everything you see here is a half measure. These are all remakes, spin-offs, empty gestures that bring no meaningful change. Some of them barely count as Pokemon games. I even invented three. Did you even notice? Not that it matters.
Game Freak may not have put his feelings into words, but if Pokemon Scarlet and Purple say anything, what they’re saying is “No”, as in the phrase, “No, we’re never gonna make the Pokemon game you want us to make. Never in a million years. Go you fuck off.”
That’s what they had to say, because I guess their actions didn’t speak loudly enough for you.
There have been a total of 122 Pokémon games, 25 television seasons, and 40 billion trading cards printed over the past 25 years. Pokémon has become the most valuable entertainment brand of all time. And not once in all that time have they made a sincere and total effort to give you what you want. Yes, they have been sending you this message for a long time.
But now it’s official: they want out. They are done.
It’s an opportunity, really. Game Freak sets you free. They have finally informed you of their intentions by producing Pokemon Scarlet and Purple, an all-new video game experience that somehow: 1) looks like shit, 2) plays like shit, and 3) literally melts your Nintendo Switch. You can run Skyrim on Nintendo Switch, but a blurred Gastly in a field is too much? No. No, what happened here was not an accident. It’s a line in the sand.
Game Freak didn’t deliver what we wanted, but they delivered what we needed: closure.