Nintendo released the first Pokémon games in Japan 17 years ago, but with each new generation of battling critters, the formula has remained largely unchanged. While the series hasn’t ever risen again to the mass child hysteria that surrounded the release of those first titles, it has always been hugely popular with the kids. Considering the timespan between series entries, Nintendo is stuck with the unenviable task of hypnotizing a new generation of grade schoolers with each new game.
With a pair of new titles right around the corner (Pokémon X and Y) the Nintendo hype machine has moved into high gear. The newest promotional video is a song called “Catchatronic,” a dubstep-lite Frankenstein’s monster of a tune, stitched together from cliché dance-music sounds and autotuned voice clips from the Pokémon cartoon—the most prominent being that one dude that says “Gotta catch ’em all” in the old “PokéRap” song. And in what is perhaps a subtle admission of how terrible the song really is, you can enter for the chance to win fabulous Pokémon prizes if you manage to sit through it long enough to see the video’s secret codes.
Between capitalizing on their terror to promote Donkey Kong and exposing them to this aural abomination, it seems Nintendo is starting to develop a low opinion of children. Maybe kids today are into this sort of thing. Or maybe this song is meant to appeal to the loyal 20-somethings who’ve stuck with Nintendo all these years and will be driven by unwavering nostalgia to eke out a tiny bit of ironic appreciation for it.