Mother, may I?
The first turnoff was the instruction to take off my pajamas, something your mother tells you to do. Really? While I realize the Pokémon series targets youngsters, even my 3-year-old knows he needs to take off his PJs before leaving the house. And why would anyone want to play a game where they’re told to take off their freakin’ PJs!
I found this condescending — not just to me as an adult but to any player. I know if 8-year-old Jason had been told to take off his PJs in a game, he would’ve been offended by that stupidity.
My rough introduction to Pokémon continued when I learned about the player’s quest — again, why are children Pokémon trainers and traveling the world? — and the first few battles.
Combat is boring. Trainers take out their monsters, pick one of a couple of different strategies, and attack, slugging it out until they either win or lose. The allure of finding new monsters lessened when as I realized that most of the critters’ attacks just plain stink. The animations of throwing out Pokéballs and finishing fights are boring as well, and after a few fights, I was tired of them and wished I could skip them.
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Yes, once trainers get into Evolutions, attacks may get more interesting. But why should I have to slug through hours and hours of boring combat to get to that point? Card Hunter, a collectible card game I reviewed in September, has great combat even at low levels because of the way drawing cards brings about a random selection of attacks. Other RPGs have more variety as well — even a low-level character in a Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker game has more options when it comes to fighting.
And I really felt bad when I fought the preschoolers in the first town. My character had essentially become a bully, beating up kids not even old enough for kindergarten.
Kat Bailey, an occasional GamesBeat freelancer, an esteemed colleague, and a Pokémon expert, assures me that X & Y (and the franchise as a whole) gets better once you beat the story. She told me that the story is essentially a tutorial.
Sorry, but I’m not going to play tutorial that’s the size of a game just to reach the meat of that game. The eight hours I spent playing were plenty annoying, thank you.
GamesBeat’s 3DS XL has sat in my work bag for the past week, barely touched. Considering I had played it nearly every day before Pokémon arrived, I feel bad for the wee thing. I just can’t bring myself to pull it out, though — because I’d feel guilty if I weren’t playing Pokémon.
But I just can’t bring myself to play it any further. It’s just too tedious.
And when I have much more interesting collecting games at my hands — Card Hunter and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft — I’m not going to spend my time playing Pokémon.
At least now that this story is done and I have lost my Pokémon virginity, I feel OK playing my 3DS again.
Pokémon Y, meanwhile, can wait on a shelf until my 3-year-old son is old enough to play it.
The author actually went out and bought this copy of Pokémon Y, thinking he might actually like the game. Now he wants his $40 back.
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