There are so many hat tips to various elements of the expansive Pokémon universe in Detective Pikachu, including a really big showing from a former Smash Bros. stage.
Before we get started, this article contains major Detective Pikachu spoilers. So if you haven't yet been to see the movie, we would recommend you look away now. Now that's out of the way, on to what we loved most about Detective Pikachu. The attention to detail when it came to making sure those of us who have been Pokémon fans since the very beginning left the theater happy.
Detective Pikachu was far from simply being a way for a movie company to cash in on Pokémon's return to the spotlight. There were countless hat tips to the franchise's past, including a major plot twist involving Ditto. Mewtwo being able to communicate with humans telepathically, a reference to Cubone's skull once belonging to his dead mother, and even Harry's apartment building having light-up letters that spelled out "Oak" on its side.
One of our favorite throwbacks from the movie is one you all will have seen, but possibly not realized the significance. The much-touted Pokémon parade where the focal point was the massive balloons floating above the streets of Ryme City. If you were avid players of Super Smash Bros. Melee, and you're anything like us, seeing the floats would have taken you back to a simpler time.
We say simpler time, but having to compete on the dreaded Poké Floats stage in Melee was not exactly our favorite thing about the iconic game. There's a reason why we haven't seen the stage return since. Nevertheless, its recreation in Detective Pikachu made for quite the picturesque final battle. The iconic moment where Mewtwo tears through the Pikachu float is also how the character was revealed to be in the movie during the first trailer.
We jest when we say how much we dislike Melee's Poké Floats stage, sort of. If Nintendo were to reveal it as part of a DLC package on Ultimate then we would 100% download and use it right away. Perhaps its return to prominence thanks to Detective Pikachu will lead to it returning to the Smash universe in the future.