Friday, June 03, 2011

Pokemon Black and White

Most of us would feel a little nostalgic when we hear the word Pokémon. Back just before the beginning of the 21st century, Pokémon was a very big hit all over the world. It started with the slogan Gotta Catch Em' All! And captured the attention of most of the kids at that time. Back when it was just 151 Pokémon to collect, this task is easy to fulfil. Just trade with your friends who has the other version you don't have and you have 150 Pokémon, with the elusive Mew to be obtained via an Official Nintendo Event. For the first generation of Pokémon games, it was Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow on Game Boy.

Then to keep the hype of Pokémon up, the producers introduced another generation of Pokémon, totalling the number of Pokémon to 251. This is a very great success in the strategy to have the players to buy new games (Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal) for the Game Boy Colour and attending more Nintendo Events for another elusive Pokémon, Serebii. In fact, the hype is getting so great that songs like They Don't Understand by Dream Street are being performed in these Nintendo Events.

However, as all things are impermanent, the great hype steadily dwindles as the kids yesterday who played Red and Blue becomes teenagers and say to each other: "You still play Pokémon?" As if to say grown ups cannot play Pokémon.

Meanwhile, Nintendo keeps on releasing new generations of Pokémon and new consoles to play them with. 2003 saw the release of the third generation of Pokémon totals up the number to 386 with Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed and LeafGreen to be played on Game Boy Advance. In 2007, the forth generation of Pokémon brings the number up to 493 and a brand new handheld console, Nintendo DS (Dual Screen) featuring, (that's right) two screens, the bottom one being a touch screen. Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver are the complete collection whereby it is supposed to be possible to catch all Pokémon within the game (of course barring a few special legendary Pokémon that still are only given out during special Nintendo events).

Lost your hope yet on trying to buy them (the games) all and play them to catch them (the Pokémon) all? Well don't do that just yet, just earlier this year, Singapore (and the rest of the world) saw the release of the English version of Pokémon Black and White for Nintendo DS. That's right, the fifth generation is now out, making the world of Pokémon containing 649 different species.

Now for the good news: You just need the games from the forth generations and fifth to catch them all and to attend Nintendo events (mostly based in United Kingdom and United States) to get the more elusive ones. So you just need one console: Nintendo DS. Since the first generation, the game's graphic has improved tremendously. Not only there are:

  • a lot of 3D effects to complement the 2D Role Playing Game (RPG),
  • there are also time system, reflecting the real time when you play the game,
  • the four seasons which changes each month,
  • wireless communication for online trading, online battling, multiplayer battles, double battles, triple battles, rotation battles,
  • breeding Pokémon,
  • planting and harvesting berries to make Pokémon food,
  • Pokémon competition (not battles),
  • tough trainers just to sharpen your battling skills,
  • Pokémon Dream where you play online (using PC) inside your sleeping Pokémon's dream (and transfer Pokémon and items to the main game),
  • video and voice Chat between real-life friends (DSi and Pokémon Black and White only), etc.....

You get to download/befriend those special give-away Pokémon online too!

So if you are like me, a Pokéfan right from the start, and could not afford to bug your parents to buy you new Pokémon games every time a new one pops out, this is a very good time to start playing them. Using money from your Internship, or from your starting salary, those Pokémon games are very affordable and worth it! (Apologies upfront for coaxing hard-working students to waste their money on playing games.)

Why buy now? Because if you have any interest or intend to play Pokémon, now is a much better time to do it before you get caught up in the hassle of growing up and spending more time into developing family and career, your one last shot at being a kid again. Pokémon however, is by no means only for kids, adults of all ages are welcomed to relax and enjoy their time training and catching brand new Pokémon. In Pokémon Black and White in particular, the Pokémon available before battling and winning the Elite Four for the first time are only the Unova (the new region) Pokémon, making sure that you can start afresh with the experienced player and relearn and re-experience the fun of knowing more about each Pokémon.

With online trading and random online battling, there is no fear of playing your game alone any more! What's more there is a dedicated teamof Pokémon players right in Singapore itself !

So knock yourself out and reward yourself for all those years of hard work getting you into NUS and into the workforce!

FYI: The author is going to participate in the Pokémon Video Game United Kingdom National Championships 2011 on the 4th of June 2011 under the Masters Division (age 16 and above) after 3 weeks of buying (and training) Pokémon Black video game featured in the picture.

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