For what it’s worth, that ending might be my favorite piece of narrative work in the series. I don’t know how much I appreciated it the first time, but when I replayed all the games earlier this year I found it deeply moving. Lord of Hollows is neat but End of Fire, albeit in the usual very vague and ambiguous way, really pulls together a lot of what DS3 is trying to do with all that nostalgia and repetition. I get why people feel that it’s all kinda navel-gazey and pointless but I think it’s genuinely going for a point with that stuff. If it’s your thing, there’s a really good Jacob Geller video on it all that, while I also don’t entirely agree with the sheer positivity (for want of a better word) of his reading, I think does a really good job of taking DS3 on its merits without a lot of the baggage it gets saddled with by being the last Dark Souls game.
I have continued playing Pokémon Violet, and I’ve also taken some advice I saw on twitter and moved the game from the SD card to the system memory. It seems a little better — the framerate is still low, but it feels more consistent, especially when I move the camera. For a bit I was considering just pausing it until it got some patches, if they ever came, but I think I can tough through it all now. It’s still rough though. I did the olive rolling gym trial and had to reset because the guy walked inside the olive and it got stuck on him. If this were any other game, I would not be sticking with it.
But I am sticking with it because the game is actually pretty amazing
Which is a shame, because man, performance aside, this game is actually proving the thing I said in my last comment wrong. It feels like it actually did take some of the epiphanies that Sun and Moon hit on and ran with them — like how Team Star feels a lot like Team Skull, in that they’re not some vague fascist/terrorist collective that wants to remake the world in their image but a group of people that rose naturally out of the conditions of the world they find themselves in. I like that, a lot. And I like this world design a lot — I think it captures that thing those pre-3D games had of dungeon-like levels that, despite their still relatively small size, you can get a little lost in. Its got that cool sense of traversal that PLA did so well. Terastellizing(?) is cool, I like it a lot more than Dynamaxing or Z-moves; it’s not mega-evos but it’s a neat strategic wrinkle to throw into battles and a cool idea to make individual pokemon more unique. It’s got really cool character designs and writing. People on twitter were talking about how much its designs play with gender and, while I think Pokemon has kinda always done that (hi Wallace and Lorelei and basically everyone in PLA, etc.) it’s been really fun to meet this game’s whole cast. It’s also been cool to see how many people immediately read Nemona as autistic and identified with it. These characters are actual characters! That’s cool! More of this please, Pokemon!
People on reddit stop saying "but they're for children" challenge
(Can I make a brief sidenote about how much I hate the “but these games are for children” excuse people bring up when someone complains about their writing/stories/characters/etc.? Children’s media should still have those things! Children’s media is not “simple adult media” in the same way that children are not simple versions of adults.)
The soundtrack especially rocks (with a gratuitous NBA reference)
Also the goddamn soundtrack, man. And that Team Star theme. I literally let that first battle just sit on-screen until my Switch almost went to sleep, just listening to it on repeat. The one thing even the worst Pokemon games have never missed on is music, and somehow I manage to forget that every time a new one comes out just in time to be surprised with how good the soundtrack is. Game Freak’s composition team is second to none and always has been. And now they have Toby Fox too? That’s a certified KD joining the 73-win Warriors moment. Lord.
Anyway, as these games go, I think they’ve made something that, after I found Sword and Shield deeply disappointing on a lot of levels, could be the peak of the series… and yet they had to basically release it as an alpha because TPC needs yearly games to match up with the rest of the franchise’s media schedule. These games deserved another several months in the oven, because they’re absolutely beautiful and I feel like every few minutes something else yanks me away from that, and that’s just so depressing. But hey, if you can take that, they’re really great! (If you can’t, you should try out Legends: Arceus, because that game rules in very similar ways and still runs fairly smoothly.)