Saturday, November 5, 2011

Topic: Gaming - Pokemon

Gaming is an important part of my lifestyle. What little time I have left between chillaxin' with friends, writing, homework, and life screwing me over, I dedicate to gaming. It's something that was in the house before I got there, and I'll be taking with me to my own household, when I finally decide to strike it out on my own.And one of the franchises that's been in my house since I was a small child was Pokemon. It's a staple in the house, along with Mario, Zelda, Ratchet and Clank, Spyro the Dragon (the original Insomniac games), and Crash Bandicoot (the Naughty Dog games.)

But lately, I've been catching shit for the whole Pokemon thing. No one can give me a reason why, but I'll suspect that it's "Hurrr, you still play Pokemon. You should grow up." But you know what? I loves me some Pokemon games, even now.

Above left: What someone who makes fun of
my Pokemon habit looks like.
There's a mix of reasons for that. One, Pokemon Blue was the first game that was ever truly mine. I didn't have to share it with anyone. I got to play my game, on my GameBoy Color. And the feeling was amazing. Two, I like seeing the games evolve into what they've become today (inb4 sellout.) Three, I still enjoy the hell out of them for what they are - a solid strategy RPG. And four, the spinoffs are fun too.

Now, before you go jumping down my throat about being in my 20s and still playing games designed for children, take a second to stop and think for a second: if you do, you'll look like that guy up there. Do you really want to look like that guy up there? Nah, didn't think so.

The main games in the Pokemon franchise are, whether you like it or not, solid tactical RPGs that're pretty damn customizable. And if you're really into it, it opens a whole new set of doors into the mechanics of the whole thing. Essentially, there's two tiers to everything in a Pokemon game: a casual tier, where you can just play through the story, get your badges, and battle your friends over local wi-fi. And then there's the hardcore tier, where you can specially train your Pokemon for their best stats (IV and EV training,) competitively battle with others, or set special rules that you have to follow throughout the course of your journey. (Go watch a Nuzlocke challenge on YouTube or read the comic on to get a better idea of what it is and to see how srs bns Pokemon can get.)

And it's not just the mainstream games that get that treatment, it's spinoffs as well. And everyone knows that when it comes to spinoffs, Pokemon is pretty damn successful. (Just off the top of my head, there's the Pinball franchise, Mystery Dungeon, Ranger, Stadium/Colosseum, PokePark, the upcoming Rumble Blast and more that I know I'm blanking on.) And when Pokemon does a spinoff, they do it right. PMD (Pokemon Mystery Dungeon) is one of the best mystery dungeon games I've ever played. (Keep an eye out for a post on those in the coming couple weeks.) Pokemon Stadium entertained me for literal months when I was a kid, and still does. There's a few horrible games in the franchise, sure, but every franchise has their weak spots.

Any way you slice it, Pokemon's not just for kids anymore. As long as adults can have fun too, Pokemon will continue being everyone's game.

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