I want to come clean about something. Not many people know this about me. It recently came out at work, and it's caused no end of grief from my co-workers. Still, I refuse to be ashamed of it anymore, so here it goes.
I like Pokemon. And I'm not the only one.
Before you judge me too harshly, I want to clarify this: I like the Pokemon games. That's it. I don't watch the anime or collect the toys or anything obsessive like that. I just really enjoy the game itself. I've been playing Pokemon Diamond over the past week. It's a fun little game, and I'm not ashamed to like it. I'm not alone, either; I personally know at least half a dozen people to pick up Diamond or Pearl over the weekend, not counting the thousands to go to the release event at the Nintendo World Store.
Pokemon gets a lot of guff for being hypercutesy and perpetuating Nintendo's image as a company that makes "kiddie games." Part of that is well justified, as the decade-long cartoonish hype hasn't exactly fostered an all-ages image for the game series. However, once you chip away at Pokemon's cute, colorful exterior, you'll find a solid, entertaining game that will provide many, many hours of gameplay. Pokemon might be really cutesy, but it's still a great game. I'm not the only one who thinks so, either; while GameSpot hasn't released their reviews of Diamond or Pearl yet, they've consistently given Pokemon titles scores of 8.0 or above since Pokemon Blue/Red (Of course, I mean the actual Pokemon games; side stories like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon or Pokemon Ranger don't really count).
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl don't really change much from their predecessors. They add better graphics and a few more features (most important, voice chat-enabled online play), but they still use the same 10-year-old formula: capture monsters, collect badges from eight gyms, beat Team-Whatever-The-Villains-Are-This-Time, etcetera. It's repetitive, but not necessarily a bad thing; Castlevania hasn't significantly changed its successful formula since
Family-friendly games have a pretty terrible stigma attached to them, regardless of whether they're actually any good. Besides Nintendo's main, age-neutral properties, most kids' games are outright horrible adaptations of animated movies put out by Disney and Pixar. They take the property and turn it into a game with as little effort as possible. Let's face it, there hasn't been a really good Disney-branded game since the days of Ducktales on the NES and Aladdin on the Sega Genesis. To this day, Ducktales is a fun game that most post-adolescent gamers can admit is still enjoyable. And if you can't admit that, you're a liar. Uncle Scrooge using his cane as a pogo stick to jump on yetis was and always will be awesome.
I stay away from terrible kiddy games for the same reason I stay away from terrible violent games: because they're terrible. The age range shouldn't have anything to do with it. If a game is good, then play it whether it has colors and shapes or blood and guts. Of course, blood and guts can still be fun; I'm as excited about Suda 51's ultraviolent No More Heroes as I was about Pokemon Diamond/Pearl.
Any other adult Pokemon players who want to admit their guilty pleasure, then please sound in with comments! And if you're interested, share your Friend Code too. I'll go first:
Name: Will | Code: 3265 1484 1390
I have a Rayquaza, a Heatran, and a Giratina I'm willing to trade for an Arceus/Aruseus. Any takers?