Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pokémon X/Y: Mega Evolutions or Mega Out of Ideas? The Digimon/Pokémon Debacle


Nintendo is no stranger to sticking to their guns. It's the reason that they're still a relevant force in the game industry today. Rather than trying to compete with the the two behemoths, Microsoft and Sony, they always strive to innovate hardware. The same can not be said of software in recent years. I, like many other twenty-somethings, grew up with the timeless question: "Which is better – Pokémon or Digimon." My answer, to this day, is and forever will be Pokémon. Just when I had lost interest in Power Rangers, Nintendo publishes Pokémon Red and Blue in North America on September 30, 1998. I didn't get my Red Version until Christmas that year, but when I did, my hand-me-down gray block never left my pre-pubescent paws.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I have dabbled in all five generations of Pokémon leading up to X and Y being released next month. The only time I've wavered was in the wake of Black 2 and White 2, which are the only two versions that I have missed. But my qualm, as a fan of both Pokémon and Digimon growing up, is how blatantly Nintendo is stealing the term "mega" from Digimon fifteen years later.

Those familiar with Digimon know that the word "mega" is used in many different varieties of the television and video game series dating back to series one. Sometimes it was used as a prefix to a monster's name like MegaSeadramon and MegaKabuterimon. Sometimes it was used as a way to describe a Digimon's absolute, final evolved form. They evolved many more times than Pokémon do. But Nintendo is introducing a new feature in Pokémon X and Y that is such a blatant rip-off of Digimon that it rattles my 10-year-old self to his very core: "Mega Pokémon".

To explain my frustration, you have to realize how beat for beat this mimicking is. To initiate a Pokémon's "mega evolution", a trainer must possess a mega ring that he or she activates during battle while the monster is holding a "mega stone". The stone part I'm fine with. That's on theme for Pokémon and I'm okay with that, but the trainer must activate a "mega ring". Does anyone remember crests from the original Digimon series?

If that wasn't enough, the mega evolution can only be activated if the bond between you and your Pokémon is strong. The Pokémon Direct announcement below is unclear on whether or not this is related to your Pokémon's happiness, a mechanic introduced during the second generation, but that's my best guess. If true, mega rings are a direct rip-off of crests from Digimon, because, like mega evolutions, crests allow Digimon to evolve into their Ultimate forms. Anybody who knows who Apocalymon is can tell you that the reason the Digimon evolved was because of the bond between the DigiDestined and their monsters. Finally, mega evolutions aren't permanent. The Pokémon reverts back to its former state once the battle ends. The exact same is true of those digital little buggers. It has been true for the past fourteen years.

I get that these monsters you collect are supposed to be an extension of yourself through the medium of the game. You are supposed to feel bad when your Squirtle gets K.O.'ed. You just are. That's called teaching children empathy. That's why Digimon began instilling that idea from the get-go by allowing the monsters to communicate with their humans and through crests. I love Pokémon, but with such a vast back catalog of monsters, it seems like new ideas on how to keep its audience hooked are running thin. Now make an MMO already. Final Fantasy did it fifteen years after it became a household name. Pokémon can too. I'm sure X/Y will be the same perfect game it has been since '98, but my 10-year-old self is screaming "Rip-off!" over and over again in my head.



11 comments:

Out of ideas? They came up with an entire generation of new Pokemon, then continued to add on to existing Pokemon. If anything, it's inspiration uninhibited.

Historically, I don't think 29 new Pokémon qualifies as an entire "new generation". I need to see more before I just assume this is any worse or better than Pokémon Colosseum. I will admit. All signs point to awesome. I'm just treading lightly. Believe me. I am one of you.

72 new Pokémon, but yeah, I agree with you.

dude you got problem,while everybody that plays pokemon from 1-5 and when the played 6,they loved the game and the mega evo part,and if i'm not mistaken you claimed pokemon stole digimon mega idea,dude,digimon is not the first franchise to make the mega evo,you remember dragonball?and also it's not mimicking,its inspired by,i mean how many games already inspired by the monster chatching theme as pokemon?monster rancher,fossil fighter,they're almost the same as pokemon,and you called pokemon copy digimon's mega evo,how about digimon season 6 where they can hunt digimon and add them to your collection?i suppose you don't call that copying do you?

okay you CANNOT COUNT DRAGONBALL. DRAGONBALL HAD TRANSFORMATIONS, NOT EVOLUTIONS THE OOZARU AND SUPER SAIYAN ARE TRANSFORMATIONS THEY DO NOT COUNT!

The new XY make me sad. While I was familiar with Digimon, I saw the DigiCrests (which was introduced in 1999) and I was a little interested in Mega Stones ( which was introduced in 2013). I was totally surprised! While I compared them together....things are completed,

Digimon can change its normal forms while Pokemon can't.
Digimon can talk-in-human languages while Pokemon can't.
Humans can transform into Digimon (when transferred) while pokemon can't be transferred.

Trainers Generals can use only one Digivice to catch many Digimon.
Each Pokemon can differ into male and female while Digimon can't

So what?mega evolution is much more of a powerup tha evolution,think of it as burst mode or sied mega of digimon,just because you don't understand the concept doesn't mean you must claim it was a copy,same for pokemon fans,can't we just get along,also i know i'm late but i thought google send me a notice if someone replied to me

Thats the thing,digimons are data,not like pokemon,also in mystery dungeons a human turned into a pokemon,generals,used the digixros to capture a digimon and load them,in pokemon reburst,humans merge with a pokemon similar to tamers

In Digimon World DS, you had to find disks that temporarily in-battle turned the Digimon temporarily into their Mega Digivoulutions. I bet that hits pretty close to home huh...

If they aren't data then how can you store them in PCs?

Burst mode is also a digimon thing
In Digimon saver

Just saying

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