I have always found Pokemon to be beyond me. I have never quite understood the fascination behind the little game and being as I had never tried it I was sure it was going to remain one of life’s great mysteries for me. Recently though on our way to PAX East VirginWolf ran the entire thing down for me and I have to say I was pretty intrigued. Not enough to buy the game right then but enough to keep it in the back of my mind as a potential purchase.
That purchase came this past Wednesday when I ordered it off of Amazon. I ordered the HeartGold edition because Gold is better than Silver, right? So yesterday when I arrive home from work sitting at my door is the package from Amazon. I rip open the box only to find a white plastic bag with Nintendo branding on it. My special Pokemon game came complete with a little plastic figurine of the odd looking bird on the cover of the game. Yay me. Anyway I open up the packaging, find my metagame token (the Pokewalker) and crack open the actual DS case. Too my surprise Pokemon version 2600 comes complete with a 50+ page instruction manual. Who knew games with manuals that large even still existed. Having seen that monstrosity I decided to jump right into it and this is where the Adventures of Skank Ho really begin.
For those that haven’t played Pokemon HeartGold before (and I am going to assume all of the other 7200 other versions are the same way), the game asks you for a bit of information about yourself. Character Creation 101 if you will. Its nothing too fancy but it works. One of the first questions, if not the first, is are you a boy or a girl? Now I already had personal issues picking up this game based on the pedo factor and well the boy model made me feel a little too uncomfortable so I went with the girl model and what do I name my 12 year old amateur monster hunter? Why SkankHo of course (lack of space prevented it from being the proper Skank Ho). That’s right my Pokemon trainer is named Skank Ho. Everyone in town knows about Skank Ho and her mom is her pimp. No really. I can’t make this shit up.
The first thing I noticed upon getting into the Pokeworld is that this is a traditionally modeled JRPG circa the SNES era of games. Really folks? This is what has captivated you for years and yet you complain about traditional JRPGs on the home consoles? Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem with how the game plays but I do find it slightly hypocritical that many of these same people who love Pokemon and worship the ground it walks on are the same people who consistently bash JRPGs for their traditional approach to game design. But I am getting off track, you don’t want to know about my feelings of anger towards the hypocrisy in the game community towards JRPGs, you want to know how my cherry popping in the world of Pokemon is going.
Skank Ho wakes up and her mom tells her that she needs to go next door to the Pokelab and see Dr. Pokeyouharder or umm… Professor Elm. I venture over to Elm Street and Freddy gives me a quest to stay awake for the night or maybe it was to go see some creeper who lives in the woods because he has a packaged for old Prof. Elm. Elm sends you on your way but not before you get to choose your very first Pokemon. I looked over the three of them multiple times and had no idea what I was looking at so in the end I went with the one who looked like the biggest bad ass, the blue crocodile looking cartoon character (TOTODILE). I was also given the chance to name him so I did and he became Pansy my Blue Crocodile Creature. I then sent out for the creepers house only for him to drop an egg into my hands. Some other freak gave me some shoes that enable me to run. Seriously? I need special speedy shoes to run. I call bullshit on that.
By this point in time Pansy has been in a few fights and I am having no clue on how to catch another Pokemon. I thought this game was about catching them all? Oh right, just like Final Fantasy XIII, Pokemon holds your hand and slowly unveils things to you. To be fair I think the game does a better job of letting you get to the actual game much quicker than FF XIII and for those that have played it before I am sure you blew by the tutorial sections of this game. Eventually some kid who wants to get in Skank Ho’s pants gives me his special Pokeballs (that just sounds dirty). I can capture Pokecreatures. Yay!! And I set out to catch them all, or at least the ones I see. I catch a few, a Pigeon, a Rat, a Caterpillar, a tail bouncing squirrel thing and then it all comes crashing down. Trainers start to challenge me and well Pansy is such a bad ass that I am laying waste to anything and everything in my path. Skank Ho is battling a whiny little bitch on a set of steps and he has this bad ass looking bug thing with a spike on its head so Pansy gets him in the red and Skank Ho tosses a Pokeball. Whiny bitch kid swats it out of the air like I am playing beer pong with guarding as a house rule and the game admonishes me for trying to catch them all. Look fucker you have a Pokething. Skank Ho wants it. So either you are going to give it to her or she is going to, OH WHAT THE FUCK? Nobody dies in this game they just faint. Who thought this shit up? Ugh…
Anyway after I cam to grips with the fact that this game is made for six year olds and not bloodthirsty 32 year olds, I calmed down a bit. I played some more and found the game to have some interesting features like the fact that the system clock seems to dictate if it is day time or night time in the game? Is this true or have I just not played enough because if it is true that is pretty bad ass. If not then it isn’t really anything special. I captured an Owl and then a skidmark or something like that (it kind of looks like a spider) and currently Skidmark is in my pants because I figured out how to work the Pokewalker.
Ending notes for this week:
1) I can’t believe people are obsessive about this but then again I did play it for four hours yesterday.
2) Is there an actual story to this game because if there is I haven’t found it yet? (Rephrased as Can I beat this game or do i have to catch them all?)
3) The names in this game are terrible and make me feel dirtier than a Thai hooker. I feel like I should rename all my Pokemon but I think I would quickly run out of good names and I can see it quickly devolving into my naming them after people I know and those people getting pissed off because their characters will not be what they feel appropriate.
Questions of the Week:
1) I keep hearing about Pokemon teams. What is a good team and early on does it even matter?
2) Are HeartGold and SoulSilver basically the same game just with different creatures to collect?
Tune in next week for a complete chronicle of Skank Ho’s adventures in Pokeherass, err… I mean Pokeland.