Original: James Jean - Fable #74

If you've watched BoJack Horseman, read recent Archie comics, or been rejected by someone who says they like you but your genitals gross them out, then you're familiar with asexuality⁠—but probably not as familiar as you think.

A 2019 poll found that 76% of those surveyed weren't able to accurately define asexuality, despite 53% of respondents asserting that they could.

And that's fine. I can barely do it after years of research, and according to modern definitions I'm a full-fledged "heteroromantic" "asexual," which, according to Dr. Google, places me among an estimated 1% of the population who are incapable of feeling sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of gender or sex. Or, as Stefani Goerlich explains in sex-therapist-speak, "Whereas heterosexuals are sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex, and homosexuals are attracted to folks of the same sex, asexuals are [sexually] attracted to nobody."

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CULTURE

New Professor Oak Has Major Boomer Energy in Pokemon Home

Professor Oak has evolved into Grand Oak, and it's not pretty.

The Pokemon Company

Pokemon's cloud-based storage system, Pokemon Home, has finally been released for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, and there's a major surprise in store for longtime fans: Professor Oak is back.

Everyone's favorite Pokemon professor, the man who gave many of us our very first Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander in Pokemon Red & Blue, has returned to assist us in bringing our old friends into the modern era. Except Professor Oak has changed. Oh boy, has he changed.

Professor Oak The Pokemon Company

In a horrific twist of fate, the Professor Oak we once knew, the Professor Oak who elegantly sported a white lab coat and said quippy phrases like, "The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the Pokemon!" is gone. Or rather, he's evolved.

Grand Oak The Pokemon Company

Now calling himself "Grand Oak" and sporting an overgrown gray mane of hair, a popped collar, and green arrow rave glasses, the world's foremost Pokemon professor has hit a late mid-life crisis.

Currently, Grand Oak seems much more likely to brag to trainers about his Jimmy Buffet cover band than to actually provide any helpful insight into the world of Pokemon. By this point, Grand Oak has undoubtedly purchased a motorcycle and most likely bought into some racist conspiracy theories about "the kind of people who join Team Rocket." He also got very mad when his grandson, Gary Oak, asked him to remove those stupid glasses––like seriously dude, you're in your 70s, what are you thinking?––and has firmly decided that Gary's entitlement validates his vote for Giovanni.

As time moves on, the Pokemon franchise does, too. You either die a respected Pokemon professor, or you live to become whoever the hell Grand Oak is.

CULTURE

Why Pokemon Home Is Overpriced

Pokemon Home has some cool features, but the price is a tough pill to swallow.

The Pokemon Company

After months of teasing, Nintendo has finally revealed the details about Pokemon Home, their new cloud-based Pokemon storage system. Unfortunately, it's pretty underwhelming for the price.

In fairness, Pokemon Home offers some cool features. Similar to Pokemon Bank––the former Pokemon storage system for 3DS––Pokemon Home functions as a...well, home, for Pokemon from all your previous games. That means with Pokemon Home, you can transfer your favorite monster from Pokemon Bank, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee, and Pokemon Sword & Shield, essentially allowing you to bring any Pokemon you've ever had to your Nintendo Switch. There are a few catches though.

Pokemon Home The Pokemon Company


For one, the majority of transfers are one way. Aside from Sword & Shield, with which Pokemon Home is cross-compatible (as long as a given Pokemon exists in Sword & Shield), once you send a Pokemon to Pokemon Home, you can never send it back to its original game. The other exceptions are the Pokemon Let's Go games, which do allow you to send Pokemon back unless you ever transfer them to Sword & Shield, at which point they, too, are barred from returning.

Compatibility issues notwithstanding, Pokemon Home also offers some nice trading features, including the ability to request specific Pokemon from a global audience and a "Judge Pokemon" function that allows players to check how strong their Pokemon are. But the real shining gem of Pokemon Home is its revamped National Dex, which will include multiple Pokedex entries from across the various Pokemon games and special entries for Mega and Gigantamax forms. Players can even check out Pokemon moves and search by abilities.

The problem is that all of this, while nice to have in one place, comes at a considerably steep price for what's being offered. While Pokemon Bank was available on the 3DS for $4.99 per year, Pokemon Home is set to cost $2.99 per month or $15.99 for a full year discount. Moreover, Pokemon Home only works alongside a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which adds an extra $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year. Ultimately, if you primarily use your Switch for Pokemon, you're paying roughly $36 per year to access Pokemon Home.

Pokemon Home does have a "Basic" free version for people who have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription but don't want to pay nearly double for Pokemon storage; it's borderline useless, though. While the "Premium" Pokemon Home service allows players to deposit up to 6,000 Pokemon, the Basic plan only allows a measly 30. Basic subscribers are also barred from using the Judge Function, hosting trade rooms, and most importantly, transferring from Pokemon Bank (which likely houses the vast majority of long-time players' monsters).

If all of the features included with Pokemon Home truly were novel, then there might be an argument for the Premium price. But global trading and "Judging" is available in Sword and Shield, and if the judging in Pokemon Home is an improved version, then there's no reason not to implement it in the game people already paid $60 for. So at the end of the day, players are spending $15.99 annually for a necessary transfer function and an updated Pokedex...and that's assuming they already use Nintendo Switch Online.

Of course, $36 in a year isn't an exorbitant amount of money, and if transferring your most cherished Pokemon from game to game is important to you, then it's money well spent. At the same time, Nintendo charging so much more for Pokemon Home in comparison to Pokemon Bank, despite not providing any real justification through functionality, feels like a low-blow to lifelong Pokemon fans.