Some things never get old. Fart jokes, sex, staring at pretty people for both genders, and collecting things. I guess I won't take three paragraphs to get to the point, but the newest Pokemon game just come out, and there's at least one person I know that's super excited about it. Here's the thing. I love Pokemon. I think it's a fantastic game, and I, at one point, spent months collecting every single one of the buggers. I traded, I trolled, and I fought my way to finding over three hundred pocket monsters for my own OCD pleasure. I have a need to get every single one and their evolutions. And no, I can't just have one and have it evolve, I need every stage of it's evolution. That means that I even have a few cocooned creatures just sitting there Hardening. At least their defense is up and they only take 1 HP of damage...anyway....
Thirteen years have passed, and Pokemon is/are still going strong. Yeah, I don't really know how to grammatically structure that sentence with Pokemon representing both singular and plural. With games, plushes, toys, card games, and the like all over the place, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know what a Pikachu is. That's not bad of course, and it does cater to our need to be completionists with each new iteration of the game, but really, when you think about it, at least in the game, what is the point? You only have a few set classes of Pokemon, and it's really all a Rock, Paper, Scissors mentality. Once you have a creature that's "super effective" against a certain type, then stats and the like mean nothing. A Squirtle at level 5 will kill in one hit, a Charmander at the same level, and that remains the fact all the way up to level 100. Yes, I realize I'm using first generation Pokemon, but there's like a million now, and it's hard to even keep track. So what makes the game so great other than the whole collecting bit?
Even as a game it's questionable. If you're going at it from a story aspect, well...what story is there? You're this young boy or girl, every single time, trying to make their way to the championships to win badges along the way and be the best there ever was. Sure there's a Team Rocket or whatnot to stop you along the way and some random, generic trainers and wannabe gym leaders, but in the end it's lather, rinse, repeat. Plus there's the fact that you're essentially throwing a kid into a life or death situation and the parent that you happen to have is all fine with it. What? You're being tossed into a pit of dangerous animals that you have to capture and hope for the best? And while this is all happening there are nefarious evil doers who want to conquer the world, but really, if they just got ONE Master Ball and found the most powerful Pokemon, the game would be over. I don't care that Ash can have Pikachu just kill everything and everyone, but really, one awesome, all powerful Pokemon would do the trick for any villain. And ONE Master Ball. Or better yet, if you're the bad guy, just steal a load of Rare Candy and just feed your top six until they puke, and you've got at least a comparable team to the hero.
Another thing that bothers me is that the hero of our story is just a kid who has no real grasp of the kind of menace the adults are trying to inflict on the world. You're just a kid, trying to catch them all, and while you're doing that, you just happen to stumble upon the villains lair and you take it upon yourself to make the moral decision to stop them? A kid at ten years old? If I were that age, I'd be too busy playing games with my Pokemon than trying to protect the greater population. Even in the cartoon, where there was Ash, Brock and Misty, there was just a lot of possible death, danger, and child labor. Yeah, I realize a lot of Anime do it, but we're talking about the worldwide phenomenon of Pokemon, where you at least need to have an underlying romance between the male and female protagonist, and at least one "perv" who just horn dogs on all the women, who for some reason, when they're nurses and cops, all look the same and have the same name.
That's what makes the game so great, because it does and doesn't follow the cartoon. We get excited, or at least Dani the Universe gets excited, for the chance to plunge into the world of the little pocket monsters, and journey through a new region with new Pokemon. All more or less the same, just that some look prettier or cooler than others, but all fun to try and catch. I think the thing that would have made it a little cooler is if the game played like Mega Man. You didn't know what the weaknesses were of the bosses you fought. You could guess half of them, because they're kind of obvous, like Ice Man and Flame Man, but Gravity Man? How the hell do you beat him? So through trial and error and frustration, you fight them trying to learn what's what, or you always have your trusty default weapon to try and beat them up. I don't know how that would translate to Pokemon, but I think it'd be cool.
Anyway, Pokemon Black and White 2 should be out by now when you read this. I hope you're enjoying it and I hope that it's different enough to warrant a re-buy. My god, why do the bikes or the running shoes have to come in so late in the game? Do your character's legs not work right off the bat? That's just weird. So, is it worth getting? Should I fork over the forty bucks or should i just keep my obsession with collecting to World of Warcraft? Let me know what you think in the comments below