I have these vivid memories of downloading a “Pokemon Mario Party” trailer from my favorite early file-sharing source as a kid and being absolutely convinced it was on the way from Nintendo. Like, I definitely went to school and told other kids on the playground I had the scoop on a Pokemon Party game headed to Gamecube, and probably devastated a classroom full of children who believed me for the next several years. That game didn’t exist, obviously, and I think I was actually talking about the Meowth’s Party GameCube tech demo from 2000.
IGN has one of the few write-ups I can find on the demo, but from what little exists on the short clip, it’s pretty easy to surmise my childhood scoop was just a demo made to flaunt Nintendo’s next platform. There was no secret game in the works and mysteriously canceled – I was just nine without an ounce of media literacy and didn’t understand what I was watching. Regardless, I’ve still worked myself up for nearly two decades now, desperate for a Pokemon game that takes the best parts of Pokemon Stadium and marries it to the ideas from Mario Party.
Nintendo, I realize I’ve made many unreasonable requests over the years, but please, you have to give us a Pokemon Party.
I may have totally created this fabled Pokemon Party in my head as a little girl, but the hours I spent in Pokemon Stadium playing Clefairy Says and screaming about the teacher cheating were very real. While my early years were dominated by games like Pokemon Red, Pokemon Snap, and Hey You, Pikachu!, nothing came close to topping the time I spent in Pokemon Stadium, just repeating the same handful of mini-games all day long. When Pokemon Stadium 2 joined the lineup, the short-lived series solidified its spot as my favorite party game from the era.
And can we talk about some of those mini-games for a moment? They’re a perfect fit for the Mario Party format. The only thing missing from the formula is the hordes of golden coins and themed-maps to explore. While there were plenty of mini-games from Pokemon Stadium that leaned too heavily into things we’d already played in Mario Party, others felt innovative for their time. I loved Sushi-Go-Round and Streaming Stampede, both of which required a little more than the average instructions of “see how fast you can mash these two buttons at this exact time.”
Given my age and the era before social media at the time, it’s easy to understand how I quickly fell into the trap of believing Nintendo had a secret Pokemon installment of Mario Party. But outside of that, even as an adult, it’s hard for me just to dismiss it as childhood ignorance. It’s a fit that seems almost like common sense. Why the heck do you continue to embarrass me in front of my fourth-grade classmates, Nintendo? Slap some Johto-themed maps together, replace stars with badges, and let me strategically move my Eevee around the map until I challenge a Pikachu, Gengar, and Rillaboom to a round of Gutsy Golbats.
Next: Stop Making Every Good Pokemon A Boring Dragon
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Andrea Shearon is a news editor at TheGamer who loves RPGs and anything horror related. Find her on Twitter via @Maajora.
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