The original Pokemon games pushed the limits of a ten year old handheld.
Funny how it's become the opposite: now, the question is "how far can we hold back the graphics and other technological advancements, so that customers will still buy our games?"
Pokemon GS pushed the GB hardware to its limits. They had to employ Iwata, an experienced programmer at the time, to compress the code so Kanto could fit into a tiny GB cartridge.
RSE was a good fit for the GBA's horsepower.
Then with DP, Game Freak started to slack off. They reused a lot of assets from RSE (sprites, Pokedex descriptions copied verbatim, you name it) Still on archaic tile-based maps when other series were moving out of them. Still one save file even though there was enough memory for multiples. BW was barely an improvement.
With X&Y, Pokemon is now one of the most plain-looking and technologically simplistic 3DS games, compared to its peers on the same platform (Luigi's Mansion, Kid Icarus, RE: Revelations, etc. etc.)
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