In September of 1998, the United States saw its first Pokémon game; Red & Blue. At the time, I swore I was the coolest 14-year old freshman, so I kept as far away from the series as possible. Why would I be playing Pokémon when I could be playing Half-life, or Metal Gear Solid? The cuteness and charm of Pokémon was something I would not want to catch ridicule for. Now, twelve years later, I’m ready to dive into the series that never dies with Pokémon White. The problem now is, I feel like a creep playing a kids-game.
Why isn’t it ok for a twenty-six year-old man to play a game riddled with cute fuzzies? I’m sure none of us have a problem openly watching Pixar and Disney films.
In the last twelve years, I found out who I really am, accepted that some people will always have something negative to say about what they don’t understand or like, and proceeded to stroll down checkout aisle #3 with a Pokémon game in-hand (without trying to convince anyone that I was buying the game for a fictitious child). After putting five-hours into Pokémon White, I can’t help but think differently. When are you too YOUNG for Pokémon?
I couldn’t imagine an 8-year old child understanding the intricacies of battling these furries. The concept of 1V1 — and now 3V3 — poké-beef strategies is, I would imagine, daunting to anyone out of the JRPG loop. Could I really be underestimating the brains of Poké-fans everywhere?
The answers to the questions I ask may never be revealed, but that won’t take away how much fun I’m having with my first Poké-game experience. Putting all furry jokes aside, the character roster is as contagiously cute as it is badass. Collecting and discovering new Pokémon, mixed with the adrenaline of catchin’ them little f__kers, is as addictive as heroine (not that I’d actually know). There is no shame in Pokémon, other than the shame of how many RPG fans will miss out on a great experience solely based on how “too cool for cute” they are.
“If Diablo were Japanese, and loot were furries… “