If you played Pokemon Go in its initial heyday, you might remember the loading screen. We had an amazing time looking at our phones during the Pokemon Go boom, and for many of us that first loading screen helped define nostalgia for that era. We see the minimalist version of a Gyarados rise above a bridge, as a distraught human stares at his phone, unconscious. Everything is meant to be a warning not to keep our heads buried in our phones – and we remember it so well because we all spent those first few months with our heads buried in our phones.

It’s not just the Gyarados we remember – it’s also the server crashes, the three-step issue and Pikachu actually being rare. The game has undoubtedly improved since then – although the Kanto Eeveelutions didn’t – but there was a special, wobbly magic to those early days. Now, however, the loading screens have so much more character, and I’d love to see the games in the main series learn a couple of them.

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The Gyarados screen is so memorable because it was the first, because we had it for so long, and because it was clean. I don’t think any loading screen we’ve had since then has lasted in our collective memories, mainly because each screen represents either an event or the transition between those occasions before moving on to something new, and so they never stay long enough with Pokemon Go like the Gyarados attackers did. While no screen has had the same impact on the game, they each seem to understand the world of Pokemon better than Pokemon sometimes understand itself.

Pokemon GO Promo Research Discovery Package Image

Take the current screen, for example. Ahead of Meloetta’s arrival, the loading screen features a moonlit gig on what appears to be an abandoned ship, Meloetta in front of the glowing moon while Exploud plays drums, Jigglypuff holds a broomstick like a guitar, and other Pokémon watch with delight. Most of the Legendaries or Myths are just a bit there in Pokemon these days – there’s no show like this involved.

A previous Halloween screen saw various Ghost ‘mons propped up by moonlight – listen, I love the moon, okay? – and he perfectly captured the spooky essence of Lavender Town; something that the main Pokemon games often failed. We also saw vibrant battles in the loading screen, Snorlax and their heads sledding, Pikachu getting ready for Christmas and New Years, Pokémon frolicking on the beach, and mons hiding in caves, in fields or atop a cliff.

Pokemon Go promotional image.

Niantic is having its best year ever, thanks to explosive sales of Pokemon Go.

Pokemon is a huge franchise with so many well-known and charismatic characters to appeal to, so you’d think such a world-building would be a snap 25 years after its debut, but it still feels a bit flat. The Wilderness was a big step in the right direction, and all signs are that Gen 9 is phenomenal, but Pokemon is lagging behind its potential. Gen 2’s Goldenrod is still its best city, and Gen 8’s Hulbury had a huge chance to become one of the defining parameters of the series. The similar gameplay loop and continued focus on novice players means Pokemon has often done the same thing in different ways, rather than actively relying on established concepts or worlds that came before it.

Pokemon Legends Arceus seems like a step in the right direction, glancing at Sinnoh from a new direction like Star Wars did with Rogue One. This gives Pokemon a chance to bypass the typical eight gyms, linear roadmap, and make its settings count for something, integrating Pokemon into the world rather than creatures that inhabit specific catch areas. .

pokemon go

via Nintendo Life

Meanwhile, much like PoGo’s loading screens, New Pokemon Snap has explained exactly what a world teeming with Pokemon should be like. Outaway Cave is the best cave in Pokemon history, and with some downhill caves in the main series – nothing more than a mini cave in Sword & Shield – hopefully the next game in the main series, which ‘it takes place in Africa or elsewhere, can take all these influences on board.

Pokemon is a great game, because the basics are brilliant – it’s a cinch, remember – and even without changing too much, it can still provide a fantastic experience. It looks a bit like Haunter; The Ghost-Poison ‘mon is one of my favorites, full of charm and personality, and it’s clearly evolved since it first appeared in the’ 90s, but it’s not quite there yet. He’s not a Gengar. Like a certain other Haunter I know, I feel like Pokemon is hanging on to an Everstone. Entering Generation 9, he must let go.

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