Falcon Entertainment S2 Ep 2: Pokémon’s 25th anniversary special

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The Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto celebration is virtual ticketed event that will cost $11.99. Photo credit: Niantic/TNS

Rafael Magana and Oscar Torres


Oscar Torres: Hello, students and faculty members of Cerritos College. Welcome back to Falcon Entertainment, the only podcast here on Talon Marks where we talk about all thing’s entertainment. As always, I’m your host, Oscar Torres, co-editor for Arts and Entertainment. I’m joined once again by my co-host, Rafael Magana.

Rafael Magana: What’s going on everyone, Rafael Magana here, also co-editor for Arts and Entertainment, and I’m excited to talk about what we’re gonna talk about today.

Oscar Torres: We also have a special guest joining us for this podcast today. And why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself.

Matthew Rodriguez: I am Matthew Rodriguez, and I am glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Oscar: Glad to have you here. And for today’s topic is a special one. On February 27, will be Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate it by talking about our past experience with the franchise and see where it’s gonna it’s going forward in the future. So Matt, since you are a special guest, why don’t you start us out with your experience?

Matthew: Man, where do I start? Well, okay, so my first Pokémon game – my introduction to Pokémon was actually from a friend of mine when I was in the third grade, third or fourth grade, but my first Pokémon game was actually Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which I’m hoping that they remake. We’ll find out soon hopefully. Yeah, man. That was my first Pokémon game. I had no clue what I was doing. I thought that I could use like, simple like, you know… that if you guys don’t know Pokémon, it’s like a leveling system. So, I thought I could use my level five Pokémon to beat some random guys legendary Pokémon, because the power of friendship or whatever, and I used to watch Pokémon on TV as well. So, I thought if Ash Ketchum the main character it can do then so can I, and I was proven wrong many times. But yeah, that was my introduction to Pokémon.

Oscar: Gotta love that.

Rafael: That’s pretty funny. I guess I’ll go next. Um, my introduction was actually the anime. So, I have like this very, like a vague memory of being like at a laundromat. And there is a vending machine, sorry not a vending machine but a claw machine. And in the claw machine, there was a VHS tape with like five episodes on it. And we got it and we won it and I went home and watched it and I fell into like the Pokémon craze. And it’s funny because like, probably a week after my mom got me a Gameboy Advance and Emerald. And that’s how I started playing. And then you know, from there, we’d go on to generation four, which is Diamond and Pearl, which is my favorite and the one that you started with. So, I love I can’t wait for those remakes.

Matthew: They better man.

Rafael: 100%, they better make them I’m so excited. I’m excited for Giratina, man… they would do that in the new engine. Oh my god.

Oscar: That’d be great.

Rafael: That’d be so cool. But yeah, we’ll see what they have in store for us. You know, what about you?

Oscar: Alright, so my first experience with Pokémon was a mix between Emerald and the anime because I remember going to the library and like a pre-order or, let’s say getting a copy or cassette tape of the first generation Pokémon anime, the Indigo League, I used to watch a lot of them as a kid. And then my first game funny enough was Emerald. It was Emerald and then went to Diamond and Pearl. First, I would play Emerald. It was one of my first experiences with RPGs and I grow to love the genre ever since. And since then, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. But in terms of like childhood memories with RPGs, it was Pokémon that got for me to fall in love the genre. And since then, I’ve been playing Pokémon to this day getting the new games all the collectibles merchandise, and playing some of the spin-offs like Pokken.

Matthew: It’s pretty cool.

Oscar: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. I am hoping that the 4th Gen remakes come out, or it gets announced.

Matthew: You know what’s funny is that Pokémon was actually profitable. It’s probably the first like actual game franchise that I actually became really addicted to like I had a DS for and I played games and stuff. But Pokémon is the one that actually put in so many hours in that’s probably the one I’ve been consecutively buying all the games for so I think that’s pretty interesting.

Oscar: Yeah the games take most of the time away from that because there’s so much to do and so much to collect.

Matthew: No yeah, definitely.

Rafael: So that’s something I want to touch on… because every year, besides 2020 I believe, they did the expansion pass for Sword and Shield, they released a new game correct? Every other there’s a new one every Fall so my hope is that now that they’re reaching the… it’s the 25th anniversary correct? Yeah, 25 years. My hope is that the next game whether it be a remake of Sinnoh, fourth-gen, or if it’s something completely new is that they actually you know, start to take the formula somewhere more interesting because as fun as Pokémon is, it works because you know, it’s what everyone likes. What I’ve seen online and what I personally feel is that a lot of people want it to be something different you know, especially with games like you know, what Zelda did with Breath of the Wild they completely revolutionize like that formula. I want Pokémon to do something similar… not go too crazy with it. Like you know of course keep the Pokémon, the collecting, the leveling, and yeah the gym leaders. Well, you know, like let us like go in an open world! Let us hit this gym first or if we want let us go to this gym first, you know, something like that. It’s not impossible, they could do it. They have the resources. So I’d like to see that.

Matthew: What were your thoughts on Pokémon Sun and Moon? I know that they changed it up a little bit.

Oscar: I actually liked the concept. It was a nice change of pace from gym leaders. I felt like they should take a break from it. And I’m glad they did. Somewhat. Also, like the concept of the legendary Pokémon. Also, the story was interesting and the characters were likable.

Rafael: Yeah, I mean, it was alright. I honestly thought it was really boring. To be completely honest with you. Like I appreciated the idea of like, they’re doing like these Totem Pokémon and all that cool stuff. But like, it was really boring. To me, the best generation is a tie between Gen 4 and 5, between Diamond and Pearl and Black and White. That era of Pokémon was the best to me, because Gen 4 had the best world in my opinion, or maybe that’s just me being biased because I was like, I have memories of that game. So yeah, I’m biased, but regardless, um, Gen 4 was great. And then Gen 5 had like, that super cool story with N and like the Pokémon and he like, he’s not really a villain, but he is and like, that was such a good dynamic, you know?

Matthew: And they had a sequel.

Rafael: Yeah, they have Black 2 and White 2.

Oscar: Which is probably like the best sequel in all of Pokémon.

Matthew: You know, I personally feel that generation 4 is probably the best generation because you had so many games that came out during that time. You got Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, you have HeartGold SoulSilver, which is arguably a lot of people’s like, favorite Pokémon game because of all the content in there. And then you have all the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games that came out during that time and then you have some Pokémon Rangers as well. And then a bunch of games on the Wii. It was like that was a time where so much Pokémon content was coming out.

Oscar: And Pokémon Colosseum.

Matthew: Yeah, well, I think for Gen 4 it was Pokémon Revolution. Yeah. And Oscars favorite, Poke Park.

Oscar: That game is terrible.

Rafael: Is it actually terrible?

Matthew: It’s not that bad.

Oscar: It’s not bad, but it gets too boring.

Rafael: Oh my god. Yeah.

Oscar: But moving on from that. What do you hope to see like… for like new games or funnily enough, what’s your favorite generation to go back to?

Matthew: I find myself going back to generation 4 a lot. Just because that was the one I grew up with the most and probably spent the most time in, meaning both Diamond and Pearl and HeartGold/SoulSilver… those games. What I want to see is… I want to see those remakes. I want to see it remade again. That was my first Pokémon generation. I have to see it come back. So that’s what I’m personally looking forward to.

Rafael: Yeah, I gotta agree that remake would be amazing like, Can you guys imagine Sinnoh? Like in 3D and stuff? Oh my god.

Matthew: Let’s go Dialgia! Let’s go Palkia!

Rafael: That would be so fun. The music! Oh my god, the music.

Oscar: Music is always like the best part about Pokémon just like to hear the battle themes or legendary themes. It’s just so mind-boggling how they could fit that in like in a sound chip.

Matthew: I know like Dialgia and Palkia’s theme. There’s so much going on in that, it’s really good.

Rafael: I know a lot of people like kinda like “meh”. About Sword and Shield but that game had like some of the best music if I’m being honest.

Matthew: I agree it’s got the best battle music.

Rafael: Yeah! That Gym Leader battle when like the crowd is getting hyped and they’re all getting super excited! Then like towards the end like I’m not gonna say who it was but that one person with the one trash Pokémon, her was like amazing. Then like the actual villain’s battle theme has like chanting in it and you’re like “What? Am I still playing Pokémon?”. It’s like some Final Fantasy stuff like holy like it was so cool but yeah that’s what I’m hoping for…Aa to what generation I want to go back to and play, I would say Gen 4 but it’s when you go back now it’s really slow.

Matthew: Oh, yeah. I’m sure they’re gonna address all the issues, the HM issues in that game. I hope they do. I’m not about to have my you know, HM Pokémon filled with all those moves again you know. Having a Bidoof with rock smash and surf and all that.

Rafael: As much as I love that game, it would absolutely benefit from a remake and like fixing it up and modernizing it. Just speeding it up to because that battle speed was like… it took forever.

Oscar: The life gets slowly drained.

Rafael: Yeah, even if it’s a critical it goes super slow!

Oscar: I can make a sandwich in that time.

Matthew: I hope that they could. I honestly want to see Mega Evolutions come back. Can you imagine how hard it would be if Cynthia had a Mega Garchomp?

Oscar: It would be fun but challenging.

Rafael: Her Garchomp was impossible man, oh my god, I remember being a kid and raging.

Matthew: I had to use, okay, so, like I said, I was not good at Pokémon. When I first got it. It took me forever to beat the second gym. Because I didn’t know how things work. And I had a fully evolved starter Pokémon by the time I beat the second gym. So, the Elite Four took forever to beat. I got stuck on the… I forgot her name. I think her name was like Bertha or something. She’s like a ground-type healing person. And I got stuck on there because I think one of her Pokémon had like a one-hit KO move. So, I kept for some reason kept hitting but it literally took me probably like a week or months to get to Cynthia. Oh, and once I got to Cynthia, I was like oh my gosh, this is even worse. So, by the time that Cynthia my started Pokémon around was at level 83, okay? And I had to use, I remember, I had to use I had to use like some legendary Pokémon to beat her. I still couldn’t do it. So the way that I ended up beating her I remember this specifically, it was my starter Pokémon was just Piplup and evolved into an Empoleon versus her Garchomp. And it was really at the point where we were both using struggle, okay, it was so bad. So, the way that I had won was that she used struggle so much that her Garchomp died. And that’s how I beat her.

Oscar: That’s one thing I hope that they keep from the original is that the difficulty because I love how difficult it was even though it was a pain in the ass to deal with. I still had fun because of the difficulty.

Matthew: I hope they bring back the Battle Frontier as well.

Rafael: Yeah.

Oscar: It’s wild. I was like, you know, like that mini-game where you go underground and you collect like the fossils.

Matthew: I loved it, I spent so much time there.

Oscar: You have no idea how much time I spent getting like the fossils.

Matthew:

Yes, I remember that. I was so much fun,

Oscar:

It was like the best part of Diamond and Pearl. Yeah,

Matthew:I hope they bring that back.

Oscar: So um, I think we’re almost out of time here. So, I just want to end things off with like, what would you say to people who want to get into the series or people who want to get back into the series after so long, Matthew?

Matthew: I think now’s the time to do it. Right now, is the time, it’s the 25th anniversary. It’s a great way to get into it. You got games that are easily accessible on the Switch. You could even just download it. Just give it a try. I think it’s really fun. Yeah, to anybody who wants to try it out. Just go for it. That’s all I got to say. Just go for it.

Rafael: Definitely.

Matthew: Doesn’t hurt to try.

Rafael: I agree. Also, Leafeon is the best Pokémon ever. Don’t @ me, just saying.

Matthew: I’m more of a Glaceon person.

Rafael: I respect that.

Oscar: I will say that as well, Matthew. Give it a try. Even if you’re not fan of the mainline game, there’s always the spin-offs like New Pokémon Snap or Pokken or the old ones like Pokémon Rangers, Mystery Dungeon… There’s so much variety that you can choose with Pokémon. And it will be a great starting point. As of now, even with like mobile games like Pokémon Go and Pokémon Unite, and Pokémon Masters, and I’m actually really excited for what they might show this week. Saturday night they’re gonna be doing the Post Malone show I believe.

Rafael: That’s so crazy.

Oscar: That and Katy Perry.

Rafael: Oh my god, I didn’t even know that.

Matthew: Oh yeah, I forgot about that.

Oscar: Yeah. Yeah, but we don’t know when they’re going to announce anything, because I know they’re going to announce something before the day.

Matthew: My money is on Wednesday. They would have announced it by now if it were for Tuesday.

Oscar: I think we’ll get something and hopefully we’ll see what they might show. Hoping maybe next year we’ll have a gen 9.

Matthew: Yeah, we’ll see.

Oscar: All right. But that seems to be it for this podcast. Again, thank you Matthew for coming on to the podcast really means a lot. If you want to advertise like your Twitter or YouTube channel, go ahead.

Matthew: It was a pleasure to be on here. And you could find me on Twitter at Matt dot Disney that is @MattDotDisney, and my YouTube channel is “Matthew!” with an exclamation mark.

Oscar: All right, again, thank you so much for coming really means a lot! And to all the people and to GameFreak and The Pokémon Company, happy 25th anniversary to one of the greatest franchises of all time! Beating Marvel as number one.

Rafael: Dang that’s true? Number one? I didn’t know that.

Matthew: Yeah, merchandising comes in clutch!

Oscar: Yeah, merchandising is a *****. But again, thank you all so much for listening to us ramble about Pokémon, really means a lot, and hopefully next time we’ll talk about your favorite topic again. Goodbye.

Rafael: See you guys.

Matthew: See ya.

Podcast Edited by Oscar Torres

Podcast Transcribed by Rafael Magana