A Pokemon journey

You may ask yourself what brings a person in their 40s without children to expose themself to possible public ridicule by confessing to playing a kids game. Part of it is attention seeking, but another bit is wanting to break a stereotype. Which is weird because I don’t feel the need to do the same with books. Or maybe I’m just afraid that if I do, I will end up raving about Harry Potter or the Twilight series or something.

On the otherwise mature RPG-focused podcast Active Time Babble a few months back, one of the female panel hosts confessed to previously wanting to be a hard-core semi-professional Pokemon fighter/trainer. My mouth fell open at this point, as I had no idea you could do that. Nor did I realise that it could be an enormously complex game, where breeding Pokemon could pretty occupy people’s thoughts for months on end. I always got Pokemon and Tamagotchi‘s mixed up in my head somehow.

Since yesterday, thanks to THE ZOCH, I have a loan Nintendo DS Lite running the Pokemon Diamond game. First impressions are that compared to an Ipod Touch, the screen is much lower definition. Those Pokemons and the people you talk to are tiny. We’re talking a quarter the size of your pinkie fingernail. so straight away, any appreciation for the characters is muted, and confined to their hair colour or shape.

Nintendo do quite a good job of introducing you to what you have to do, and starting you on a journey. At no stage did I feel abandoned or at a loss. This is good. 

A typical battle - level 23 vs. level 30 = not fair!

Next, there’s the stylus / pen. Half the time your right finger is on the buttons A or B because there’s a ton of text and speech to get through, and all of a sudden you’re in a fight between your Pokemon and another monster. This requires you to click with the pen on your preferred attack. The monster then has an attack, and you alternate slowishly till the monster dies. I am sure that the difficulty will ramp up shortly, as I’m mowing them down right now. Mwahaha.

Turns out, the whole point of the game is to “discover things about yourself” if you listen to Nintendo, and “to collect all 493 Pokemon” if you are like everyone else. So far I have been given 1 Pokemon, and my task is capture the other 492 “in the wild”, which seems to comprise of finding them, injuring them, and then throwing a Pokeball at them to contain them. They then get added into your Pokedex, and you can use any one of yours to fight harder and trickier wild ones in future.

It’s going well. I’m 1 hour in.

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