Game of The Week: Pokemon Pearl

Monday, July 09, 2007

alternative title: A game with a really ridiculous premise that's eating my time.

I remember the very first time I played Pokemon. It was 1998. Erap was in MalacaƱang. I was in highschool. I think the real reason why I got around to playing this game was that at some point in my life as a student, I was so bored out of my wits I'd try anything that didn't end me up dead or in jail. I got an emulator from the internet, the accompanying roms, and used my 0.1GHZ computer to load up "Pokemon Red".

Basic premise of the story of Pokemon Red is that you're a kid tasked by a professor to adventure around a world populated by animals called pokemon, making friends with some of these magnificent creatures and entirely grow with them by learning all about this new world while at the same time being the best in training your very own pokemon.

Okay. That's the sanitized version of it.

Here's the lowdown: You're a prepubsecent youth who one day encounters a strange old man who calls himself "Professor Pokemon" (a name that should already send serious red flags when given a realworld context) and he gives you a strange animal called a pokemon in exchange for running away from home to collect more "pokemon" by imprisoning them in small capsules called pokeballs that can be anything but comfortable to stay in. There are roughly 150 types to capture, assuming you have that much balls.

You will use these pokemon you captured to fight your way through hoards of wild pokemon who probably want you dead more than anything (clue: it's because they hate being imprisoned in your pokeballs). Think using cockfighting to save your life. From wild cocks. Hordes of them hiding in the grass, waiting for you to pass by.

Throughout your journey, "poketrainers" will challenge you with money at stake. If you win, you get to rob them of money (and quite possibly dignity, citation needed) and vice versa. Again, think using cockfights to save yourself from highway robbers.

To prove you are a really amazing "poketrainer" you have to go to gyms, which are basically fraternities of poketrainers that you have to beat up with your enslaved animals. Once you beat everybody inside their base including the leader, you get a badge reminiscent of a boyscout badge. Kinda like certifications for cockfighting. "Senior Sabongero Expert" etc.

Towards the end you get to save the world from an evil organization who is hell bent in ruling the word by, wait for it -




using Pokemons!

I'm not sure how. I'm not really into finding out, but you have to defeat these bad dudes by winning cockfights erm pokebattles against them. I'm not sure how that'll stop somebody though but I never really got that far in the game.

That's the long and short of it. To sum up the premise it's basically a cockfighter roleplaying game for kids.

2,213,342,123.24 sequels later comes Pokemon Pearl. A quick glance at the game tells you it's still the same game with slightly different factors (like names and there are now 400++ pokemon types to enslave) and you'd think it probably took a programmer 5 minutes to create this latest incarnation of Pokemon (3 minutes to think of the title)

I'm not sure why this is a kid's game. I'm not even sure why I have it loaded in my DS. Maybe it's the badges. Maybe it's the fixation to "catch 'em all".

Or maybe I'm just bored of my fucking wits.

Yeah, that.

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