The Pokémon video game franchise has not deviated from its successful, kid-friendly formula since its days as a Nintendo Game Boy staple in the 1990s. In the past two decades, lookalike sequels have piled up with distressing regularity, but unlike the creatures for which they are named, the games have not evolved. They’re still slow-moving, predictable, overly explanatory kid stuff with a weird undercurrent of slavery, including out-and-out auctions. These are the not-exactly-shocking observations made in “Pokémon Diamond And Pearl (Honest Game Trailers),” the latest video in the Honest Game Trailers series from Smosh Games. Typical excerpt: “Journey once more to the magical world of Pokémon,” says voice-over whiz Jon Bailey, “and prepare yourself to face yet another painfully slow tutorial segment.” Funny, sure, but standard fare for snarky parody videos of this nature.
Then, at about the 1:45 mark, a little comedy miracle occurs. Bailey announces, in that grand voice of his, that the latest Pokémon game will contain 107 new Pokémon and then promises, “You bet your sweet ass we’re going to name them all!” And he does, over the course of the video’s next two and a half minutes. One can imagine the writers at Smosh Games (five are credited here) having a blast coming up with the lamest and most ridiculous fake Pokémon names imaginable, all of which are read with gusto by Bailey. It’s one of those “Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes” jokes which starts out funny, becomes wearying, then returns to being funny again simply by going on for so long. Some standouts include “Girl Kirby,” “Feeeeeed Me Seymour,” and “Kevin Smith.” The trailer manages to find the bright side of creative desperation.