And here I am twenty years later cursing Amazon for being out of the "New Nintendo 3DS XL," as I try to find some way to justify dropping $300 on a system I'll only use for 2-5 games tops, instead of paying off my credit card debt.
In the meanwhile I'm playing Pokemon Fire Red on a Gameboy Advance emulator because I can't not scratch the itch. I want to play Pokemon. Not Pokemon Go, but what a buddy and I are calling "Pokemon Stay," or what a coworker called "Hipster Pokemon." The real deal. It's great. I mean, it's exactly the same as it was twenty years ago, but I'm happy to look at it with fresh eyes.
The cool thing about Pokemon is that everybody in the world of Pokemon is on the same page. To live among the pokemon is a privilege. To catch them is a test of strength, will, and character. To train them is a cause of the highest honor. While Pokemon is a game, everybody in the world of Pokemon is serious about what they're doing. You can't walk a few feet without being called out and challenged to a fight. There's a ritual to it; you can't say no to a trainer battle, and you can't run away from a trainer battle. There's a singularity of purpose to the world that everybody shares. Questions like the economy, food, healthcare, and the quantum mechanics of Pokeballs are all waved away in the utopian pursuit to catch more pocket monsters.
Like I said earlier though, the grind gets kind of tiring.
Nintendo is this sexy femme fatale that I keep falling in and out of love with. It'll be a while since we've last seen each other, and she'll catch my eye, and the next thing I know we're hooking up. I'm talking sweaty, steamy, in the corner. At first we're just catching Pokemon, but then they show me Majora's Mask 3D and it's like I have a window into this magical world that I only ever dreamed of when I was a child.
One week later, I'm browsing through the virtual console, realizing there's no GBA games on there, and thinking that maybe this relationship doesn't have long-term potential.
When are you going to get your shit together Nintendo? I want so badly to love you, but you're not ever there for me the way I need you to be. It's bad enough that you don't have good third party games, and that you make me buy the old good games again every time a new console comes out, but the fact that there are tons of old games you don't even offer is what really makes this not work. All I wanted was Metroid Fusion, babe. The new Pokemon is fine. I like what you've done with Zelda. But it's not enough. I can't let you into my home again.
I'm sure you'll find some young "founder" that hasn't been burned by the likes of you yet. That's fine. I have my PC over here. Sure, it might not have all the flashy gizmos that the New Nintendo 3DS XL does, and the things I play on it aren't so innocent and joyful, but it doesn't do me wrong. It treats me with the respect I deserve.