Sunday, 2 February 2014

Things what I don't get:Pokemon

I am going to start a series of blogs, of which my GTA one would probably be the first. I am going to call it "Things what I don't get." This one is going to be about Pokemon. With my 3DS being the only Nintendo handheld I have owned, the whole Pokemon game phenomenon has pretty much passed me by. I understand, from the internet and people I know, that Pokemon is a pretty big thing and a nostalgic touchstone for many.

With all this in mind I got a copy of the newest Pokemon (X not Y, though the difference is lost on me). I played a good 6 or 7 hours, waiting for the inevitable love that the internet told me was going to happen. It didn't. I don't think that there is anything wrong with Pokemon X, I just didn't understand why I was playing it. It opens with you playing a kid and you mom telling you that you have picked to do Pokemon and essentially shoved you out the door. No narrative reason why the character was chosen, no story motivation, nothing more than a vague direction to go out into the world and be good at Pokemon fighting, erm because. I get the impression that this is roughly how all Pokemon games starts.

I play through, picking up more pokemon than I think I would ever have chance to use/level up, bouncing from one fight/duel to the next, in a world that, again for unclear reasons, is obsessed with Pokemon dueling. It may seem churlish to accuse a game of being pointless, but that's how it felt. For me there was no impetus to keep playing and leveling. I clearly wasn't experiencing an interesting narrative, or indeed any narrative at all. Seemed to me that the entire game was going to be grinding up Pokemon and fighting them, until at some point I had grinded enough of the right kind of Pokemon that the game would end with me being declared the best at grinding Pokemon to fight.

As with GTA I am sure I have missed something somewhere, There has to be more to Pokemon than grinding right? Some sweeping story that I missed? Can anyone help me out.

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