Saturday, April 28

Game: Pokemon Pearl (DS) Click for more info

Okay, I admit it: I'm a Pokemon virgin. Not for the want of trying of course (what's new?); I actually thought the franchise was pretty fun and the concept an interesting one. In fact, the cartoon series got me through at least one Imperial revision session. And game-wise, the promise of being able to battle friends RPG style was pretty intriguing.

I didn't play before mainly 'cos of the hassle. First you had to find someone else with a GameBoy. Then you both needed a copy of the game. And then a link cable. Oh, and of course you had to arrange a time at which to meet. With the advent of the DS , almost all of these hurdles have been removed.

But what of the game itself? Well in essence Pokemon Pearl is a very lightweight RPG. You collect a team, you level them up, you play through a story. Quite paradoxically, however, it makes up for this straightforwardness by offering tons of Pokemon to collect and develop. Since it would be almost impossible to level them all up you have to pick, and as a result you end up with a pretty large number of variables to play with.

Is this a good thing? I'm not so sure. As an obsessive games player I find it difficult to pick which particular Pokemon to level up, and so development becomes a bit of a chore. I can see how others would welcome this mechanism though. Apart from that, the story itself seems a bit slow.

I've yet to play any multiplayer battles, whether local or online. I'm hoping they will redeem the rest of the game since I don't think I'm feeling it as much as I should be; certainly not enough to continue playing if online battles fail to live up to their promise.

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