Pokémon Reorchestrated: Childhood Upgraded

The music from Pokémon has some strong emotional ties for me, which just makes Pokémon Reorchestrated that much more powerful. This album has taken my childhood and brought it into adulthood.

One Christmas, probably about 13 years ago, my two sisters and I opened up a shared gift: a Game Boy Color (“Atomic Purple,” in all its transparent glory). Along with it we each had our own versions of Pokémon (I got Blue, middle sister got Red, youngest got Yellow). I was 11 or 12, and this was the best thing ever.

I honestly don’t remember how we didn’t kill each other to gain control of the single Game Boy, but somehow we survived; and even better, sometimes I was in control of the Game Boy when it was time for lights-out. Of course, I’d turn out the lights, kiss Mom and Dad goodnight, and snuggle into bed… until I heard their footsteps fade down the hall. I spent hours and hours playing by flashlight, hiding under the covers so the crack under the door wouldn’t let out a single glimpse of light. I obsessed over the game, daydreaming about the next battle in school or humming the songs as I did chores. To this day, the only game guide I’ve ever owned is the “Pokémon Special Pikachu Edition Official Perfect Guide,” which is now dog-eared, missing its cover, and sitting on my bookshelf.

Pokémon is an instant blast back to my childhood – even playing through it now I get brilliant moments of a child’s joy at this amazing new world in which I was The Very Best. That’s why Pokémon Reorchestrated is so amazing.

For example, this one actually made me grin – most of my time in-game was spent listening to the Trainer Battle theme. Skotein, the composer, sticks to the original music so it keeps its nostalgia and familiarity, but he does an excellent job adding an entire orchestra. I don’t know a lot about orchestral scores, but this one definitely sounds right.

While I only listen to songs from the Kanto region, he has songs from each major region in the Pokémon world (except for Sevii Islands, only appearing in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen). I love it so much; they’ve taken my favourite toy from childhood and given it a grown-up twist. Orchestral music now really appeals to me (although as a child I found it boring) – so they’ve taken a favourite old memory, and put it into a current favourite style of music. In doing so, Pokémon Reorchestrated took a piece of my childhood and brought it up to adulthood. Pokémon Reorchestrated: Kanto Symphony is slotted for release later this month, and I know I’ll be getting myself a copy.

  • http://twitter.com/MoracExMachina Morac

    The Amazon reviews for the GameBoy are quite disconcerting… until you realize they are dated 2000 and earlier. Talk about a blast from the past.