What was your first Pokémon game? Can you remember what it was like to turn on that portable console and hear the little ding of the Game Boy or the futuristic chime of the 3DS? What did you feel when you saw the opening scene, with Nidoran fighting Gengar, or your character riding a bike while Latios flies overhead, or the video chat with Professor Kukui? What has been the legacy that Pokémon has had on your life? A new commercial on Nintendo’s UK YouTube channel reminds you of the first time you ever played Pokémon, no matter which your first game was, to celebrate the coming of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Aptly titled “A new era of Pokémon begins,” the 30-second ad starts with a player turning on a Game Boy. Monochrome sprites run through a Japanese forest. From here the ad cuts quickly to Pokémon becoming less blocky and more colorful, all appearing in the real-world areas the various regions were based on. Each of these scenes is introduced by someone turning on a system — the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo 3DS. Eventually, all the monsters converge upon a group of kids standing in the British countryside. They then raise their respective handhelds into the air, and in a flash of lightning, they become Nintendo Switches, with the Pokémon turning into high-quality 3D versions of themselves. A new era of Pokémon indeed.
This commercial also seems to confirm the return of 16 more past Pokémon for Sword and Shield:
This is a video game franchise with an enduring legacy, spanning decades and generations. As the series evolves, more people will have their own first memories of playing the game. For gamers who have been with the series since the beginning, this commercial is a major dose of nostalgia. I hope that younger series fans enjoy this advertisement in their own way, as well. For now, it’s clear that Nintendo wants players from all generations to love Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.