Time and time again, I see people get excited over emulators. Who wouldn’t? Having hundreds of games at your disposal and the chance to discover a new hidden gem sounds awesome. For most people, emulators are like a treasure box filled with childhood memories. The franchise that I see people get the most nostalgic over is Pokemon and with good reason. Pokemon is still fun to play. I just cannot fathom playing it on an emulator.
While I rarely had the opportunity to trade and battle with other people in older Pokemon titles, having a link cable is essential to the Pokemon experience. How else are you going to catch them all? Knowing how dedicated the people who design emulators are, it may be possible to trade Pokemon on an emulator, but it just seems dull. Doing that loses the sense of adventure that extends outside of those games. Having to find other players or even driving to stores to get special event Pokemon is not the slightest bit convenient, but it gives the illusion that we live in a Pokemon world. I wonder if Toys R US managers got annoyed of having kids enter the store just to obtain a Pokemon and walk out.
Aside from trading, there are other features that people playing on emulators will miss out on. Players of HeartGold and SoulSilver will be missing out on one of my favorite features of those games, the Pokewalker. Just transfer a Pokemon, put the pedometer in your pocket and level up Pokemon just by walking. I do not know if the Pokewalker was an accurate pedometer, but anything that gives out easy to obtain (if you walk a lot) experience points is a welcome addition. People looking to complete the Pokdex legitimately are going to have to buy the WiiWare title My Pokemon Ranch which communicates with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. I never played it. Capturing or hatching and then transferring 999 Pokemon to obtain Mew sounds tedious.
The best thing about playing Pokemon using actual cartridges is that if you so desire, your Pokemon stay with you. Theoretically, if you have the right hardware, Pokemon caught over ten years ago in Ruby or Sapphire can be transferred to Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire, a game released last year. Can you do that with an emulator? If you are looking to play Pokemon, get a DS Lite or 3DS XL because playing Pokemon on an emulator is atrocious.