Gotta Catch 'Em...Zzz
by, 1st April 2010 at 10:34 AM (324 Views)
Before I get into this blog's real topic, you will all be no doubt happy to note that I have quite calmed down from the whole "omg the point is being missed" rant following the pressing of my Berserk Button (thank you, TVTropes). Am I still annoyed about the whole deal? Well, honestly, yeah...but as far as borderline blind fury, not so much. Of course, part of that could be that I'm more half asleep right now than anything else...
With that completely unwarranted non-sequitur out of the way...Pokémon. Gotta Catch 'Em All. Used to be the catchphrase as well as a lyric from the original series English dub. Of course, that was back in the day when there were only 151, a number which, to those of us who started out with the first generation, seemed pretty insurmountable itself (especially for those of us who knew no one else who played and couldn't trade to fill the Kanto Dex).
In retrospect, those very well could have been the halcyon days. (f you don't know what halcyon means, go to m-w.com, look it up, and then bookmark that site. Vocabulary expansion ft-frickin'-w.)
See, 151 was a lot, but it was still manageable, even for those of us who couldn't find trading partners. Even in the Johto Dex, when 100 was added to the original 151, it was even more difficult but still handleable.
And then came the onslaught.
Between generations III and IV, 242 new Pokemon were introduced, nearly doubling the count from Generation II. Sure, these later gens only suggested that you see their ridiculous number of Pokémon, but that was only until Professor Oak got involved...who still demands you catch every freakin' creature, despite there now being nearly 500 of them in the Gen IV National Dex. *facepalm*
And the sad thing is, it's only going to get worse.
We already know there's going to be at least 2 more, but if trends hold, there's going to be at least 80-90 more new Pokémon in Generation 5. This will put the overall National Dex count up near 600. Six hundred creatures! How can anyone expect anyone else to keep up with 600 of anything? Let alone 10-13 year olds, who also have school, extracurricular activities, and in some cases puberty to deal with? I can't keep up with 493, and I'm an adult! Granted, I have other responsibilities of my own as well, but still...I forgot Dunsparce even existed until I stumbled across it early on in SoulSilver. Seriously. (In my defense, however, Dunsparce is very forgettable.)
Is there no such thing as oversaturation anymore? Haven't we reached the point where there are too many Pocket Monsters as it is? This constant upping over the overall count in the National Dex cannot go on forever. I shudder to even think of the day when the National Dex might have over 1000 entries. That's an awful lot to ask anyone to keep track of, and there's no workable mnemonic device that can handle even 400 components!
Consider this, back in Generation I, before the closing credits of the English anime dub, there was a song called the PokéRap. It listed in numerical order almost every Pokémon that existed back then, excluding Mew. This has been copied over Generation II and III, but only for the Pokémon introduced into those respective generations. In a similar vein, for the second move, "Weird" Al Yankovich listed a large number of them in his song "Polkamon," but not all 251 from Gens I and II. Why not combine them all into one rap or song as a mnemonic device? Because it just wouldn't work. The song would be far too long, would seem to drag on, and would likely sound clunky, mechanical, and worst of all, forced. And that's not even considering Generation IV in the equation.
But I have to admit, I probably wouldn't be half as annoyed by the whole deal if it were for one person in particular. Professor Samuel Oak. Oh, sure, in the anime he's nice, kind, and grandfatherly, but in the games, he is a real dick. Not only does he force you into doing his research for him, he requires that you not just see every Pokémon, but also catch them. No matter how rare they are or how critical their continued existence/freedom is to the world. Screw the rules, I have a PhD in Pokéology! Aside from that, in Pokémon Snap, he actually gives you tools to aid in the (non-sexual) molestation of Pokémon, just so he can fill his scrapbook with pictures of them. Passive maliciousness much? This makes him more dangerous than Giovanni, Archie, Maxie, and Cyrus combined, as he's supposedly doing it all for the cause of advancing the world's knowledge of Pokémon. Worse yet, the entire world, player included, is oblivious to his sadistic desires and actually acclaims Oak for his work!
(Side note: am I the only one who wants to see a game in which Professor Oak is the villain, simply because of this?)
And as if that were not enough, consider his messages to the player upon the evaluation of the Pokédex. While other professors encourage the player (or leave the Pokédex evaluations alone, as with Elm), Oak attempts to give the player pointers on how to fill the seemingly interminable Pokédex. This is not conceptually a bad thing, except that he tends to tell you things you've probably already discovered by any given point, and his message changes so infrequently that comments like noting Pokémon can also be found in water take on patronizing and annoyed connotations upon the third or fourth repetition. "How dare you not assist me in my secret ambition to rule the world of Pokémon science? Go jump in a lake! Maybe you'll find more Pokémon there!" (Admitted paraphrase, but after 3 or 4 repetitions of the same thing, tell me you're not thinking the same thing.)
It was somewhat charming and endearing when there was only 251 Pokémon max to try and catch every single blasted one of them to appease Sammy. But as more and more Pokémon show up in the different regions, it becomes a chore. Boring enough for me at least to warrant the preceding hyperanalysis. This cannot go on forever. At some point, either Oak's plot will have to be revealed and he will have to fall, or Game Freak will have to press the reset button. With the increasing number of regions and Pokémon, and with the increased inability to move Pokémon between generations without owning ungodly amounts of obsolete hardware and software, at some point something is going to have to give. Things cannot continue as they have been, or the Pokémon game series will smother itself to death. There is no question about that. The only question left: "When?"
Total Trackbacks 0