/We’re Losing More Than We Realize When These Classic Pokemon Games Retire

We’re Losing More Than We Realize When These Classic Pokemon Games Retire

The cast of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are seen standing in front of Team Rainbow Rocket's base.

Image: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

Welcome to Exp. Share, my city‘s Pokemon column in which we delve deeper to explore notable characters, urban legends, communities, and just plain weird quirks from around the world. Pokemon franchise. This week, we take a look at the upcoming 3DS and Wii U eShop closures and the effect they will have on the series.

3DS and Wii U eShops are two weeks away Turning off on March 27th and taking with him digital access to the system’s library in the process. From the point of view of preservation, this is already a parody, but for the Pokemon series, this will have a particularly devastating effect on the access and functionality of the entire franchise.

Keep in mind that we used to play games like Scarlet Pokemon and Violet either Sword and shield on the switch, Pokemon it was primarily a portable series. Sure, the series had a console. spin offs as pokemon stadium and pokemon snap, but in general, these pocket monsters have always been able to fit, well, in your pocket. Now, the 3DS digital store is shutting down, taking a sizeable chunk of currently available products with it. Pokemon games. As it turns out, Nintendo’s lack of care to preserve its games has already done a number on the franchise before this.

Phil Salvador, director of the library of the Video Game History Foundationlaid it all out clearly in a chart on Twitter. The graph illustrates that by the time the 3DS and Wii U shut down at the end of this month, only about 26 percent of Pokemon video games released in the United States will be available for purchase.

Even before the 3DS and Wii U stores disappeared, swaths of Pokemon history are already difficult to access legally. A staggering 41 percent of Pokemon the games are already available via physical copies only, as Nintendo has yet to add games for the Game Boy Advance or original DS RPGs to any digital store. This ranges from core games like Ruby and Sapphire even spin-offs like the strategy RPG conquer pokemon. With the closure of the eShop, 3DS games like Sun and Moon it will only be available through physical copies, which will inevitably become expensive collector’s items selling for obscene amounts on places like eBay.

In addition to losing native 3DS games, The Pokémon Company ported the first two generations of Pokemon games to the system via Virtual Console, which was a rare example of Nintendo trying to keep old games accessible through legitimate means. These titles were also compatible with pokemon bank, which meant that players could transfer their Pokémon from these games to modern entries. Now, there will be no way to reproduce the original. pokemon red, Blueand Yellow through Nintendo stores, and the physical cartridges for these games have long succumbed to depleted internal batteries, making some features like Gold and Silver‘s day and night cycle obsolete, or at worst, making it impossible to save your progress. I still have my original copies of Yellow and Silver, and after 20+ years, the cartridge innards don’t work on my Game Boy Advance SP. While getting physical copies of games can be a hassle, hardware like the analog pocket makes playing them relatively simple despite Nintendo moving away from native backwards compatibility entirely. This assumes that any old cartridges you find can still be used.

Brigette is seen next to the Pokémon Bank logo.

Image: the pokemon company

Also, the 3DS eShop has acted as a bridge between the past and the present of the series because the system is the only way to transfer old pokemon from old to modern games. From Diamond and Pearlhe Pokemon The series has allowed you to transfer your monsters from old games to new ones. That has gotten more complicated since Sword and Armor removed the all-encompassing National Pokédex, but the act of trading old Pokémon and bringing them with you into future games has been a special part of the series for many fans. When the 3DS eShop shuts down, it will take pokemon bank and conveyor, two exclusive system apps, with it. These apps were used to store and transfer old Pokémon and are compatible with Home Pokémon, the modern, standalone storage app for the series console. Those who have the apps in their digital collection will still be able to download them to their 3DS, but they won’t be available to anyone who jumps into the series after March 27.

The decision to pull the plug on the old digital stores is out of the hands of The Pokémon Company, but for a series that is so obsessed with the experience of decades of his fan base as Pokemon, it’s disconcerting to look at the numbers and realize that nearly three quarters of your gaming history is on the verge of being completely inaccessible by legitimate means. Right now, the only reason some of the non-Switch games are available is because Nintendo has put some of them on the Nintendo Switch Online service. It’s a start, but even those are derivatives like pokemon snap and pokemon puzzle league. This is Nintendo’s state of preservation. The company spends years building a digital library because it doesn’t invest in backwards compatibility, and years later it executes a wrecking ball. Pokemon It’s not the only series to suffer from this callous call, but when a series has been so tied to Nintendo’s handheld history, shutting down the last bastion to preserve it leaves us with nothing but insurmountable remnants that we can only analyze on wikis at line and YouTube. video essays. What a shame.