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

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

These are the devotees who insist everyone who merely discovered their thing is “doing it wrong.” It’s like they can’t loved it unless they are aware other people don’t. Gamers might be the worst of all about this. Assure how they react when someone recommends 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 available to “casuals.” But I am going to defend the Gatekeepers, only a bit.

I’ve been that guy with Pokemon , one of my favorite things in the known world. If I had to decide between get a million dollars and continuing Pokemon around, bury me in a stack of Pikachu plushies, because I’m holding strong. I’ve been a fan since I determined a sticker on a glass occurrence 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 eat whatever your parents 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 degrees. They’ve ranged from being hard because they were actually sort of shattered( like Pokemon Red/ Blue ) to being hard because the tears of innocents are delicious( like in Pokemon Diamond/ Pearl/ Platinum .) I adoration this, partly because I enjoy wailing at my handheld consoles, but also 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 developed my lane to godhood. When I became champion and went back out into the forests, other coaches seemed upon me and despaired.

And then X and Y “re coming out” in 2013, who the hell is the first Pokemon plays to be in 3D, meaning that Nintendo ultimately had a way to promote their precious monster plays in a way outside of “There’s even more of these goddamn critters in this one! ” But it was also clear they wanted to bringing a new generation of musicians into the fold — < i> casual players, who hadn’t suffered material I had. So these games give the player an item called the Exp. Share very early. It dedicates every Pokemon experience levels after a battle — not just the ones who took portion. This constructs leveling up your ogres behavior easier, because now they all get a piece of the ass-kicking pie. A sort of monster-fighting communism.

And poof , that sense of attainment, of defeating the world with blood, sweat, and potions? Gone. The game now defaulted to Easy Mode an hour in, and a desperate pilgrimage to prove yourself against other combatants and a senior citizen who couldn’t remember his grandson’s name was reduced to a leisurely stroll.

Sure, the Exp. Share constructs the Pokemon experience a friendlier one, specially if you want to raise a bunch of Pokemon really fast and use them for multiplayer battles and stuff. It’s great for that. And it was nice to receive in the earlier games, when it came to the player afterward in the tale, almost as a reward for trekking your fourth-grade ego across a goddamn continent. But X and Y ( and video 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 game that suddenly everyone was playing. I invested times getting those “You’re still playing this series? ” remarks, and suddenly Pokemon Go bursts from a cracking in the earth, blotting out the sun. And when I express my distaste, I get, “Why can’t you just let people enjoy things? “

I know, I know. But the things you desire as a kid — genuinely love — 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 goes from something certain people enjoyed to something everyone sort of likes.

So many of the most recent enters 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 any aspect of this game that people might curse during or feel 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 games. The “OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT” that imbued every quest. It’s like spicy meat — the ache is part of it. Knowing that it’s not for everyone is part of it.

Again, I don’t want to strike people about this, or send a pee-stained letter addressed to Nintendo that asks why children get these Pokemon games, and why a man 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 wrong with being an elitist about artwork, about desiring something down to the last detail, including the rough rims. I have every right to hate change. I have every right to flip tables and attain Tweets in all caps to no one including with regard to, 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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