I'm watching the credits of Pokémon Blue roll by on the screen of my cell phone. A few days ago, I downloaded an emulator and a ROM of the game[1. I own a hard copy, which I'm pretty sure means owning a digital copy is legal. That's the way I've always heard it, anyway.] on my Droid. As of this morning I've spent approximately 25 hours playing. I don't know how long the game normally takes people, though there's a lot of grinding involved, so that's sort of an arbitrary lower limit on speed. (Compare: I once beat Pokémon Snap, which I think was an N64 game or might have been Game Cube, in under an hour.[2. I remember enjoying that camping trip. Bringing a TV and a video game system makes the outdoors a lot more fun.])
My gut feeling about the experience is to be cynical, because there are a lot of things about the game, narratively, that don't make a lot of sense, or seem sort of backwards. Like, is Gary supposed to be a member of Team Rocket? And why does no one have hobbies that aren't Pokémon related?
But that wouldn't really be fair -- because this game came out in 1996, sixteen years ago, and it still holds up to a full play-through. The problem with the plot, if you can call it that, is that it's just enough plot to hold together a well-designed game built around solid, fun mechanics.
I can't think of many games from the early Game Boy years that have just disappeared, but that's probably because they disappeared so thoroughly they never seemed worth remembering. There are failures in the earlier systems that are notable for their groundbreaking awfulness, but by the time we reached the Game Boy, it seems we'd hit a point in video games as an art form where only quality work would live on.
Now, I'm going to go catch Mewtwo.
EDIT: I caught him. I named him Jubjub.