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

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

These are the devotees who insist everyone who simply detected their thing is “doing it wrong.” It’s like they can’t enjoy it unless they are aware other people don’t. Gamers might be the worst of all about this. Understand how they react when someone suggests Dark Souls should have an easy mode. You know, so everyone can enjoy it.

Well, I’m not about to defend the assholes who expend their weekends tweeting death threats at developers over minor tweaks made to a game to make it accessible to “casuals.” But I am going to defend the Gatekeepers, just a bit.

I’ve been that guy with Pokemon , one of my favorite things in the known cosmo. If I had to decide between get a million dollars and maintaining Pokemon around, hide me in a heap of Pikachu plushies, because I’m holding strong. I’ve been a fan since I watched a sticker on a glass case 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 a child and stupid, pop culture usually just happens to you. You eat whatever your parents happen to set 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 levels. They’ve ranged from being hard because they were actually sort of broken( like Pokemon Red/ Blue ) to being hard because the tears of innocents are delicious( like in Pokemon Diamond/ Pearl/ Platinum .) I desire this, partly because I adoration screaming at my handheld consoles, but likewise 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 township, and I taught my route to godhood. When I became champ and went back out into the woodlands, other coaches appeared upon me and despaired.

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

And poof , that appreciation of accomplishment, of subduing “the worlds” with blood, sweat, and potions? Gone. The game now defaulted to Easy Mode an hour in, and a desperate journey to prove yourself against other combatants and a senior citizen who couldn’t recollect his grandson’s name was reduced to a leisurely stroll.

Sure, the Exp. Share attains 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 material. It’s great for that. And it was nice to receive in the earlier plays, when it came to the musician later in the tale, almost as a reward for trekking your fourth-grade ego across a goddamn continent. But X and Y ( and the games after them) aren’t “new Pokemon for a new generation, ” because at its core, it’s still Pokemon . It’s only 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 abruptly everyone was playing. I spent years get those “You’re still playing this series? ” remarks, and abruptly Pokemon Go outbursts from a fissure in the earth, blotting out the sunshine. And when I convey 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 — actually enjoy — are the ones that fit you perfectly, like a shoe. Then they come out subsequently and say, “Hey, we’ve changed the shape so that it will fit everybody! Isn’t that great? ” Well , no, because if it sort of fits everybody, it signifies it doesn’t perfectly fit anyone, including me. It goes from something certain people loved to something everyone kind of likes.

So many of the most recent entries 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 different aspects 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 enter in the Monster Hunter series thus far, I do kind of miss the maddening danger of the previous plays. The “OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT” that imbued every quest. It’s like spicy meat — the ache is an example of it. Knowing that it’s not for everyone is part of it.

Again, I don’t wishes to assault people about this, or send a pee-stained letter addressed to Nintendo that asks why kids get these Pokemon plays, and why a humankind 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 incorrect with being an elitist about artwork, about loving something down to the last detail, including the rough margins. I have every right to detest change. I have every right to flip tables and stimulate Tweets in all caps to no one in particular, 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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