First things first, all of the character tee shirts (Ethan, Lucas, Lilah, Zeke and Chef Brian) in our store have been marked down to $13.95 to clear the way for new inventory later this year. As with the previous six generations of character shirts, once these are gone, they're gone for good. We will not be reprinting them. So if you've been eyeing one of these shirts, you'll want to move on it soon (and nab it at a discount to boot!)
Now, a couple of days ago I tweeted that I'd never played a Pokemon game, that I'd managed to avoid coming into any direct contact with the franchise for the past 15 years. This got quite a reaction from a number of people who clearly hold the game in high regard.
I was going into my freshman year of high school when Pokemon first came stateside, so it was not in any way a part of my childhood. Not only was I not into handheld gaming much, but I was very much into "next-generation" 3D gaming of the day, like Resident Evil, and Quake. Pokemon looked like a kid's game (and still does, as far as I'm concerned), another attempt to cash in on the Tamagotchi craze that was going on, and I ignored it.
Obviously since then Pokemon has become a juggernaut of a franchise. Still, it never held any appeal to me. As a general rule I don't like Japanese RPGs and I still think the idea of raising little 2D "chibi" sprites to battle is silly. I concede that appearances can be deceiving and the game no doubt probably has a decent gameplay system in place and that it requires a great deal of strategy. Interestingly enough, I'm willing to bet that if they took a Pokemon game, slapped 3D graphics and a more adult art-style on it (monsters that don't look like stuffed animals would be a start), and put it on the 360 or PS3 where you could easily jump online for versus matches, I'd probably be all over it.
But the presentation/concept doesn't really grab me, and so here I am, having never played a Pokemon game and perfectly happy for it.
However... I make a habit out of recommending games to you folks. If there's a game I like, I tell you about it, I suggest you go out and try it. I used to talk about Fallout 1 and 2 regularly, urging people to find it in the bargain bins of their local game shop and give it a try, because I felt they were incredible RPGs that not enough people had played. I'm passionate about the games I recommend, and I know for a fact from reader response that a lot of you trust my word on these things.
So I figure I owe you the same. A lot of you have told me I'm missing out, having never played a Pokemon game. 'They're amazing games', 'You have to play at least one Pokemon game in your lifetime', you've said.
Alright. I promise I will play a Pokemon game. On purpose.
I'm probably not going to rush out and grab one today. Likely I'll even wait until whenever the new Pokemon Black/White is released. But I assure you, I will heed your recommendation, and I will do so with an open mind. I will try a Pokemon game, and then if I hate it and never touch it again, at least you know I've given it a chance, which is all I ever ask of you concerning things I recommend.