Pokemon is a great game for the imagination as can be seen in all the spinoff merchandise in stores and web sites. The new Pokemon game is Pokemon Black and White and it is incredibly hot. I wanted to buy my son a new set of Pokemon Black and White Cards and the Pokemon store was sold out. I did get him two Pokemon Plush Toys (Pokemon stuffed toys) and he was happy.
One of the secrets of Pokemon’s success is strictly the premise. It is the only game that I can think of offhand that requires the gamer to train and battle beasts rather than use axes, helicopters, or guns to fight with (Mario has similar originality). In Pokemon, you master warhorses, not lances. This puts a lot of emotion and some separation in the game. Most games are immediate in the sense that it is me doing the fighting. If I win it is me that succeeds and if I lose it is me that burns and crashes. I can get bigger weapons, or become more skillful in my technique, but it is a direct battle. Not so in Pokemon. In a battle, a whole lot is determined by the Pokemon’s attributes vs. the attributes of the rival. I have to assess and gamble on my Pokemon, and I don’t have full control once a battle begins, although I can encourage it and offer it aid.
In Pokemon an affectionate attitude is maintained toward your monster that is different than the pride you might feel over the weapon you wield or the confidence you feel possessing an arsenal. In Pokemon you don’t just keep getting stronger and stronger in a linear way. You have to learn a lot about the other Pokemon. The diversity that Nintendo programmed into the game is excellent and ensures endless variation. Pokemon is a world that is only half explained. It doesn’t get old (not without very extensive and long playtime at least) and there are always plenty of surprises to keep one interested.
One can feel a lot of ways about a sword like Excalibur. There is an art to that sort of fighting. Blasting games though just give us raw power and smug satisfaction. Nurturing a living creature- treating it when it does well, nursing it back to health- these evoke different emotions altogether. Remember Tamagochi? Pokemon is something like that only a lot better. Pokemon Toys