Matt Hackmann


The thoughts and goings-on of some programmer dude.

Bloggy Blog 14 - Kayla Will Always Be Closer to Catching Them All

I don't recall how it came up, but a couple years ago, Kayla had made mention of enjoying the original Pokemon games for GameBoy. At the time, I was messing around with GBA modding, inspired by a real rabbit hole my brother was going down. In my posession were two GBA SPs, so as a new thing for us to do together, I procured a copy of Pokemon Blue for myself and Yellow for Kayla. The idea there was that we could play in tandem and, once we'd built our pokeymans up enough, play against each other.

I failed to take into consideration the Animal Crossing Effect.

This phenomenon I've just invented and named is a reference back to what happened when Kayla got her copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons way back in March of 2020. She'd been watching me play my launch day copy and asked if I thought she'd like the game, thinking she might get her own copy. I was a little waffley in my response, as $60 is a bit of coin to drop on something that ends up not being enjoyed, but ended up recommending it because, similar to above, it was a thing that we could eventually play together. I needen't have waffled, because by the end of that first week, she'd put way more hours into the game than I had. This even though I'd had the game a few days longer and had also been a fan since the GameCube version and had been deprived of new Animal Crossing since 2013. To this day, she still has one or two hundred more hours of gameplay over me.

Back to Pokemon.

I got the games, set her up with a swank modded SP with a sharp, backlit screen and she proceeded to power through the game, leaving me way in the dust. This was nice in that I could ask her for advice or tips as I played through, but meant that all of my pokeymans would be way under powered compared to hers in a head-to-head match. Still, it was a fun little thing to bond over, even if I never finished the game or got to a point of being able to battle her.

Why I tried this again recently and expect different results, I'm not sure. Twice, even.

Weeks before the arrival of the wee baby, I bought each of us copies of the GBA remake of the original game. Partially, this was out of curiousity on my part to see how a glow up of the original would be on more modern hardware, partially I wanted to complete the original game just to say I did. (For the record, Leaf Green and Fire Red are the superior versions). I never even made it as far as I had in the original version, and Kayla once again smoked my ass, even in the new content the remake had that the original had not. In my defense, I was still working at the time and she had just gone on leave, so there was a need to fill boredom on her part that I didn't have. Still, she was playing with home field advantage because she knew that Pokemon game so well.

Once more, I tried to level the playing field by picking up the GBA generation of games, Ruby for her and Emerald for myself. I kept up for a while, mostly because I didn't have any loyalty to a generation of Pokemon game and Kayla was initially hesitant to try something new and figure out all the new pokeymans and strategies that would come with. But, fourth verse, same as all the other ones before. She eventually pulled ahead and has since completed the main quest of the game, while I'm wandering around trying to figure out what the fuck I'm supposed to be doing. We tried one battle together and I got my ass summarily handed to me.

Maybe I should just stick to playing Tetris against her. She'll never be able to beat me at Tetris.