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Nintendo Needs to Give Older Pokemon Games the Same Treatment as Its Other Franchises


When it comes to retro gaming, Nintendo is the biggest name around. That’s no surprise considering how long the company has been a household name in the industry. It knows how to use that history to its advantage, with regular remakes and ports of Nintendo’s classic games. But the Pokemon games of the past seem to get the least love when it comes to preserving their legacy, even with how often the franchise is updated with new additions.


Pokemon is the highest-grossing video game franchise of all time, so it’s no surprise Nintendo is so consistent with new releases into the series. But one area that seems to be getting ignored is the huge potential of revisiting its classic entries. With Scarlet and Violet right around the corner, it’ll likely be a few years until the next mainline game after those. With that in mind, it could be the perfect time to give the older games a new life.

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Classic Pokemon Deserves More Love

Of the retro games from Nintendo’s three biggest franchises, Pokemon seems to get the least attention from the company. Classic Mario titles have recently gotten ports in the form of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection, as well as even older games like Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World being available through the Nintendo Switch Online classic consoles. Likewise, the original Legend of Zelda game and Ocarina of Time are among the retro Zelda titles available on the service. Older Zelda games also get some great remakes faithful to the originals, like 2019’s Link’s Awakening and the rumored Wind Waker remake.

The same can’t be said about Pokemon. The availability of previous generations of Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch is limited to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which were poorly received remakes of their 2006 originals. Meanwhile, games from the same era as the Mario and Zelda ports and remakes on Switch have no availability on Nintendo’s current console, and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. Only the Pokemon Stadium spinoffs will be making their way to the Nintendo Switch Online service, with no mainline games on the way since none of the Nintendo handheld consoles are available.

Nintendo Should Focus on Pokemon Ports Over Remakes

Of course, these early games have been revisited before, but even these were so long ago that they’ve become pretty hard to come by as Nintendo’s hardware has moved on. Gen 1 and 2 are available on the soon-to-be closed Nintendo 3DS eShop. Gen 1 was also remade for the Game Boy Advance, while Gen 2 and 3 were remade for DS. However, the point still remains that none of these earliest generations of Pokemon are playable on the Switch. What’s more, the fact that the remake schedule follows the same order as the original releases means that there’s no indication of them being revisited a second time.

Given this, the best way to give Pokemon the same love that Mario and Zelda have been getting would be to include emulators for Nintendo handhelds in the Switch Online service, similar to the ones that exist for the NES, SNES, and N64. That way, their original greatness is preserved, avoiding the risk of a poorly received reimagining like the Gen 4 remakes. It also means more selling power for the service itself, and is a much easier option than giving them second remakes. It would also give Switch Online a much-needed subscriber boost. Nintendo has a controversial record with preserving its own legacy, but something like this would bring some of its most legendary games to a new generation of fans.

MORE: Older Nintendo Games That Are Still Overdue For a Switch Port



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