We're still a few weeks out from Super Bowl 50, but we've already been blessed with one of the most absurd — and amazing — ads of the season. To commemorate the franchise's 20th anniversary, The Pokémon Company shelled out millions of dollars to create a Super Bowl ad that'll run at the beginning of the game's third quarter. Go ahead, take a moment to wrap your head around that one. We'll be waiting.
Today saw the release of the ad's extended cut — created by an LA-based agency called Omelet — and it does a damned fine job burying the lede. For the first forty seconds, you'll see a diverse crew of young people inspired to dream big and work hard (which in this case involves playing speed chess and getting psyched for a football game). Better still, these scenes are accompanied by the same punchy, aggressive drumline percussion that seems to wind up in every other high-minded sports apparel ad during Super Bowl season. The only real hint that you're watching something a little different is a sign above a locker room door that proclaims "LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS," a nod to the old-school theme song you're probably already humming now. And after all that? A guy steps into stadium, Poké Ball in hand, staring down a Gyarados, a Magneton, a Charizard and a Mega Lucario. Things just got real.
While it would've been nice to have another core series game to go celebrate this milestone, you'll at least have another chance to play through the classics. Nintendo confirmed that Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow will land in the eShop on February 27, just a few weeks after one animal-themed team triumphs over another in a grand show of sportsball acumen.