No video game series has touched the hearts of so many the way Pokémon has. It's actually hard to believe that a game series first released in 1996 could still be this popular after all those years, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. This year alone, Pokémon GO and Pokémon Sun and Moon have already made major headlines, with the former revolutionizing mobile gaming as we know it, proving that #Pokemon continues to be a force to be reckoned with (and won't be leaving us any time in the foreseeable future).
Why is this? How could something as simple as cute little cartoon animals you can catch and train have evolved into this omnipotent gaming behemoth? A new fan-made trailer for the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon explains this phenomenon better than anyone else could... without even using words.
More Pokémon Sun and Moon coverage:
- Poké-LEAK?! Pokémon Sun and Moon Demo Reveals Pokedex and Final Starter Evolutions
- Ash-Greninja Isn't The Only Secret Reward You Can Get From The 'Sun and Moon' Demo
- Pokémon Sun and Moon: Franchise's Most Frustrating Feature Is Out, Pokemon Snap Mini Game Is In
The Power of Nostalgia: Pokémon Fan Trailer Plays With Our Memories and Emotions to Promote Pokémon Sun and Moon Better Than Any Official Trailer
The video is entitled "Pokémon: Evolutions," which is appropriate considering its theme of evolution both real and digital. It was created with "nothing but love. A lot of love" by John Wikstrom and a fairly large production team, and we're here to assure you—that love is palpable.
It follows a simple narrative: boy discovers Pokémon, boy falls in love with Pokémon, boy grows up and joins the daily grind of adulthood, boy rediscovers Pokémon again. But there's something about just reading those words written by yours truly on the stark, white backdrop of a gaming website that doesn't come close to actually watching it all unfold.
I will admit—I fall into the exact demographic this video is hoping to hit over the head with a ten-ton nostalgia hammer. Everything in this video speaks to me. From the Game Boy Color, to shoving that giant cartridge in the back of it (though my original copy of Pokémon was Blue), to the carefully organized binder full of Pokémon cards complete with hand-drawn cover, to the issue of Nintendo Power on the table, to the little Pokémon figurines, to the pizza Lunchable, to the cans of Surge, to staying up past my bedtime playing games without my parents knowing...
If there's one thing John and his team have put effort into, it's the details. Many of these things might mean absolutely nothing to today's kids and new Pokémon fans, but for all of us who grew up in that time and experienced these things for ourselves, it's like looking back in time at a younger version of ourselves.
Just as we can relate to the child in the video, so too can we relate to the adult.
Going to our new adult jobs, sitting at our adult desks, buying things with our adult credit cards, reading/playing/watching things alone on our adult tablets. Our adult lives are nowhere near as colorful, as exciting, as filled with wonders as those days of our youth were...
...which is why seeing Pokémon advertised in stores again, seeing those same characters we grew up with, seeing the way it has evolved just like us, well, it's like a little breath of nostalgia-laced fresh air to reinvigorate our imaginations and make us feel like kids again.
It's strange, actually. Despite all the reiterations of Pokémon that have come out over the years, Sun and Moon is the first new Pokémon game I actually plan on buying. Even I wonder to myself why this is.
I played Blue, Yellow, Silver, and Ruby (as well as all those early spin-off games like Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Stadium, and Hey, You! Pikachu!), but since Ruby, I've not played a single Pokémon game. I dabbled a bit in Pokémon GO, but it didn't hold my interest long enough for me to catch more than a Pidgey or two.
For some reason, however, everything that's been released about Pokémon Sun and Moon, its new features, characters, Pokémon... well, it's got me excited about Pokémon for the first time in a while, and imagining starting out on a new Pokémon adventure is giving me a feeling of childlike excitement like no other.
I feel like this video perfectly sums up my feelings about Pokémon over the years. I may not have played any of the games in a long while, I may not have my trading cards anymore, I may not wake up early on Saturdays to watch the cartoon (I need my adult sleep), but Pokémon will forever live on in the recesses of my mind as a source of childlike happiness, wonder, and fascination...
...and that's something no amount of evolving will ever wash away.