Too Old for Pokemon?

I purchased a 3DS when it came out last week, yet I find I’m playing a certain standard DS game on it more so than any of my 3D games. That game ladies and gentlemen, is Pokemon.

Yes, I am 26, I have a full time job, a girlfriend and ‘grown-up’ gaming consoles. No I don’t regard myself as being too old for Pokemon.

Although I’m sure everyone who has any sort of passing interest in gaming (your on this site for starters) knows what Pokemon is but for those who somehow don’t the basics are as follows…

You play as a boy or girl who travels round the games map collecting little creatures/monsters/ You then train these critters by taking part in battles against computer opponents. The idea is, as your Pokemon level up, you use them to beat Pokemon Gym Leaders who in turn give you new abilities and open up another part of the world for you to travel to. The end game features the hardest opponents, know as the Elite Four. To fully complete the game you basically need to beat everybody and catch every Pokemon which is no easy accomplishment. Pokemon has spawned various games as well as films and TV shows.

It’s a big deal.

Pokemon games are surrounded by a myth. Apparently, unless your a child, this game is for kids and as such should be avoided by adult gamers. So why am I finding myself playing it?

The combat in Pokemon seems simple enough at first, with each Pokemon being based on a particular ‘type’, such as Water, Rock or Steel. It’s just like a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Fire beats Grass, Grass beats Water, Water beats Fire. You can get through the game using this basic philosophy, however, you can take the tactics to a whole other level when you consider that certain Pokemon that have dual types. Suddenly, a Pokemon with dual types can almost negate its weaknesses. The latest instalments to the Pokemon line of games, Black & White, feature more of these types than ever before.

Another feature of these games are the moves your new found friends can learn as they level up. You’ve of course got the basic attacking moves which get more powerful as your Pokemon levels, so for example a Fire Pokemon may start with a move called Ember, which is a basic Fire attack, but it learns a move such as Flamethrower later in the game, which is a stronger Fire move. You then have support moves which can include lowering your oppositions Pokemon’s stats (it’s accuracy, maybe even it’s speed) or perhaps bolster your current Pokemon’s stats, thus adding more tactics into the fray.

Black & White introduces a new element to the series. Each Pokemon that you catch has it’s own ability. My little Roggenrola isn’t effected by the effects of fighting in a sandstorm for example. Not every Roggenrola in the game however have this ability, if I were to catch another it may have a different ability altogether.

The previous Pokemon games have included not just one vs one battles, but also two vs two. This basically means that instead of just sending one Pokemon out to battle, your sending two. You can attack ether of your oppositions Pokemon with ether of your Pokemon, but be warned they can attack ether of yours too, so watch out for what type (Fire, Water etc) your opponent is using compared to your own. Black & White takes it up another notch, introducing three vs three battles meaning you may need to re-think some of your strategies.

At the moment, including all the new monsters added to Black & White, the number of Pokemon you can catch is up to 646. That’s a heck of alot of Pokeballs… To catch all of them, your going to need help. Good job the game has awesome multiplayer features!

You can trade and battle over Wi-Fi, or wirelessly between consoles. Battles between your friends are great fun, as I know from first hand experience. A couple of friends use tactics which demonstrate just how much depth the combat system has. They use certain Pokemon first so that they can use a move which will improve the next Pokemon’s attack. They know the best combinations of types, the best time to use certain potions and items, how to make a powerful move even more powerful…

…needless to say, I wouldn’t dare battle them…

So yes, it looks cute… but don’t throw away what can be an addictive videogame series based on face value. The way the game plays out suits the Nintendo DS perfectly and it’s a great multiplayer game.

It has more tactics and features than most people give it credit for. Once I sit down and start playing it I find myself getting engrossed for long periods of time, battling every trainer I can find so that I’m ready to face the next Gym Leader. Although I’m not too fussed at catching all 646 of the little beasts I do hope to finish the main storyline.

Anyone else out there who’s a fan of the series? Or does anyone disagree with me? Comment below or over on our Facebook group.

I’m 26, and I play Pokemon.


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