So, what’s the deal with Pokémon and similar companies rolling out remakes of old games and mobile apps of some of our favorite titles from childhood? I’m giving you my ~ millennial ~ thoughts on the concept of nostalgia in the gaming industry.
I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and saw news of the recent English release of the mobile app Digimon Links. This got me thinking – the Digimon franchise is hot on the trail of both The Pokémon Company and the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise in terms of a mobile app. But why are we seeing these new renditions of our old favorites suddenly popping up as we enter adulthood? Perhaps the nostalgia factor, tugging at our heartstrings and causing us to revisit the games we used to love. Let’s take a look…
Is it possible that there is anyone on earth that somehow missed the release of Pokémon Go? I don’t think so. Last year we saw our fair share of highs and lows with the release of the massive mobile title. Pokémon Go allows users to become their own trainer, and “travel” around the world catching Pokémon and battling gyms. Every kid’s dream, right? I know it’s still mine! Not only did this game captivate the youth who are currently watching the latest Pokémon series on TV; teenagers and adults alike were all banding together to take down gyms and catch elusive monsters. There’s just something about Pokémon that hits you right in those nostalgic feels, and still brings us all together, even 20 years later.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links
Perhaps not as well known as Pokémon Go, but definitely just as lit. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links allows users to play as their favorite characters, building their own deck, and battling familiar faces. The best part? All of the voices are done by the original characters! Ah, Seto Kaiba, how I’ve missed you. Perhaps you were a fan of the traditional card game. I’ll be honest, I collected a few cards, but never really dueled; honestly, too much math to figure out my depleting life points for my young brain to handle. Now, in Duel Links, players can collect and build a deck all their own, collecting cards from their favorite characters (you better believe my deck is stacked full of dragons). Not only that, but you can duel other players all over the world. It truly feels like an updated version of smuggling your cards in school, comparing and showing them off to all of your friends at recess.
Although I haven’t played Digimon Links yet, it looks like it won’t disappoint. The closest thing I ever got to a Digimon in my youth was a figurine, or like, a Tamagotchi – def not the same thing. Digimon Links allows users to have a Digimon of their very own, as they battle, raise, and digivolve their companions. While Digimon may not be as big as the other two titles, it was still a childhood staple. I may or may not have binged it on Netflix a few years back, no shame here. I’m looking forward to diving in to the digital world here soon, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
So, What’s the Deal?
Perhaps the success of these games comes from advancing technology. As kids, we all wanted to transport to the Pallet Town, try our hand at a duel, or take care of a digital monster of our own. Now, we can make that happen. Mobile apps have the capabilities to make us feel as though we have ability to control our own character and our own story. We can build our own team of Pokémon, our own deck of cards. While franchise games centered around Nintendo consoles gave us this opportunity, they have always been more plot-driven. The mobile apps allow the user to decide what they want to get out of the game. Maybe this ability to have more control over our story is what draws us back in.
As we move into adulthood, we can’t help but think of our after school TV time spent watching Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Digimon as “the good ole days.” Let’s be real, the other day I saw a child in a Pokémon shirt and thought to myself, “ah, youth.” If you’re like me, you’ll always associate positive memories with these few shows/games that dominated talks before school or playdates huddled around one person’s Gameboy Advance. If there’s any way to ensure success, go back to the people that were loyal to your content from the very beginning. It certainly leaves me wondering what else from our childhood will be making a new and improved appearance in the future.
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CALL ME CARO
Flannel Enthusiast. Pokémon Master.