So Your Favorite Thing Went Mainstream (And You Hate It)

The worst devotees in the world have to be the “Gatekeepers” — the ones who insist you stay away from their pastime, lest you and the other peasants soil it. OK, Nazis are worse, but the Gatekeeper are next.

These are the devotees who insist all persons who merely detected their thing is “doing it wrong.” It’s like they can’t enjoy it unless they know other people don’t. Gamers might be the worst of all about this. Appreciate how they react when someone proposes Dark Souls should have an easy mode. You know, so everyone can enjoy it.

Well, I’m not about to defend the assholes who invest their weekends tweeting death threats at developers over minor tweaks made to a game to make it accessible to “casuals.” But I am going to defend the Gatekeepers, simply a bit.

I’ve been that guy with Pokemon , one of my favorite things in the known cosmo. If I had to decide between get a million dollars and maintaining Pokemon around, inter me in a heap of Pikachu plushies, because I’m comprising strong. I’ve been a fan since I ascertained a sticker on a glass lawsuit in a dying Super K-Mart that said “POKEMON, COMING FALL 1998. ” It’s the first pop culture thing that I ever waited for. When you’re “childrens and” stupid, pop culture typically just happens to you. You ingest whatever your mothers happen to thrown around you. But Pokemon was the first thing that I ever chose to be like “That. That will be my Valhalla.”

The Pokemon series has always had a weird relationship with difficulty levels. They’ve ranged from being hard because they were actually sort of broken( like Pokemon Red/ Blue ) to being hard because the tears of innocents are delicious( like in Pokemon Diamond/ Pearl/ Platinum .) I love this, partly because I desire hollering at my handheld consoles, but likewise because it means that when I win, I am, as the Pokemon anime topic says, “the very best, like no one ever was.” I started as a mute ten-year-old in a three-building town, and I qualified my way to godhood. When I became champ and went back out into the groves, other coaches looked upon me and despaired.

And then X and Y came out in 2013, which were the first Pokemon games to be in 3D, meaning that Nintendo eventually had a route to promote their precious ogre games in a way outside of “There’s even more of these goddamn critters in this one! ” But it was also clear they wanted to bring a new generation of musicians into the fold — < i> casual musicians, who hadn’t suffered as I had. So these games give the musician an item “ve called the” Exp. Share very early. It gives every Pokemon experience phases after a battle — not just the ones who took proportion. This constructs leveling up your ogres style easier, because now they all get a piece of the ass-kicking pie. A kind of monster-fighting communism.

And poof , that sense of accomplishment, of subduing the world with blood, sweat, and potions? Gone. The play now defaulted to Easy Mode an hour in, and a desperate expedition to demonstrate yourself against other fighters and a senior citizen who couldn’t remember his grandson’s epithet was reduced to a leisurely stroll.

Sure, the Exp. Share makes the Pokemon experience a friendlier one, especially if you want to raise a bunch of Pokemon really fast and use them for multiplayer battles and material. It’s great for that. And it was nice to receive in the earlier plays, when it came to the musician later in the narrative, almost as a reward for trekking your fourth-grade self across a goddamn continent. But X and Y ( and the games after them) aren’t “new Pokemon for a new generation, ” because at its core, it’s still Pokemon . It’s simply Pokemon with more hand-holding, whether you have the Exp. Share on or not. Pokemon with a booster seat.

And then, to make it worse, came Pokemon Go — a stripped-down gimmick of a mobile play that abruptly everyone was playing. I invested times get those “You’re still playing this series? ” commentaries, and abruptly Pokemon Go flares from a cracking in the earth, blotting out the sunlight. And when I carry my dislike, I get, “Why can’t you just let people enjoy things? “

I know, I know. But the things you love as a kid — genuinely desire — are the ones that fit you perfectly, like a shoe. Then they come out afterward and say, “Hey, we’ve changed the shape so that it will fit everybody! Isn’t that great? ” Well , no, because if it kind of fits everybody, it signifies it doesn’t perfectly fit anyone, including me. It moves from something certain people adoration to something everyone kind of likes.

So many of the most recent enterings of series that I enjoy, like Monster Hunter or The Legend Of Zelda or Dead Rising or Dead Space , have made a huge deal about how easy they are to get into. It’s not elitist to say that sometimes, doing stuff to garner more “mainstream” appeal can eat a charred turd, especially when “mainstream appeal” is shorthand for “We need to eliminate different aspects of this game that people might curse during or seem frustrated by in any way.”

I adore Monster Hunter: World , but even if it is the most streamlined entry in the Monster Hunter series thus far, I do kind of miss the maddening danger of the previous plays. The “OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT” that pervaded every quest. It’s like spicy food — the suffering is part of it. Knowing that it’s not for everyone is part of it.

Again, I don’t wishes to onslaught people about this, or send a pee-stained letter to Nintendo that asks why kids get these Pokemon games, and why a humankind nearing 30 has to endure them. To those who disagree, I won’t open their mouths and vomit into their throats “BUT SEE, IT’S NOT LIKE PAST POKEMONS. IT’S NOT LIKE MY POKEMONS.” But there’s nothing incorrect with being an elitist about art, about enjoying something down to the last detail, including the bumpy rims. I have every right to detest change. I have every right to flip tables and attain Tweets in all caps to no one in particular, which I think is what Jesus would’ve done.

Daniel has a Twitter. He talks about Pokemon a lot on it, so that’s definitely good news for you .

Go ahead and get yourself a Rowlet plushie while you’re at it. You deserve it .

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