Through the illogical leaps my brain sometimes makes, I realised I hadn’t played Pokemon in 15 years and I should do that. Right now.
With next to no effort I found I could play it
illegally on my phone, rather than how I used to, illegally on my computer. Let me say, 17 year old Doyle did not know how good he had it. I quickly found myself delving deep within the world, ensorcelled by its 8-bit charm.
So once again proving olilolo.com is at the forefront of pop-culture, here is our review of the 1996 classic: “Pokemon Red”.
Booting up the game I’m greeted by Professor Oak in what I assume is some sort of fever dream my character is having, since afterwards I wake up in my bedroom. He introduces me to the world of Pokemon and after asks for my name.
Normally I’d go with ‘Doyle’ or something equally imaginative. Hmmm… no, not this time.
Apparently they use your name a lot in this game. Heh, well that’s amusing.
What the name of my boyhood rival? Shit, I’ve peaked too early… think. Okay I have it.
After wandering round and chatting to some people, I eventually met the professor who had previously been haunting me and he gives me a free Pokemon; possibly to keep my quiet about the fact he’s been hanging out in a small boy’s bedroom. I choose the firey Charmander and of course I have to name it.
Vagina, the smelly fucker, then grabs one too and I experience the intricate fight mechanics of the game.
Despite its simplicity, it’s fun and the fights have a lot more to them than they first appear. You can use special attacks which affect different types of Pokemon differently, you can use items, and you can use psychological attacks to lower the oppositions defense.
The world is a fun, but dangerous one. A world where if you step into long grass you could be attacked at any moment. From the smallest rodent to the largest mythical beast, everything wants to fight you.
After licking Vagina in battle, off I go, wandering around the world, capturing Pokemon and making them fight other Pokemon for my own glory. Really it’s a gateway drug to dog-fights and wildlife poaching.
The goal is simple. Catch as many Pokemon as you can. Beat Pokemon masters at the local gyms to earn badges, and work your way to being the best damn Pokemon
slaver trainer there ever was.
Like in the cartoon you come up against Team Rocket. They’re an evil, obviously mafia based, crime gang that use Pokemon for their own means… like everyone else in this game but these ones are bad guys! Unlike the cartoon though, they’re not the same bumbling hipsters and a talking cat. There’s dozens of them. Taking over towns. Running casinos. Carrying whips in public.
It’s a dense world for the Gameboy. There’s forests, towns, islands, and caves. All to explore and bleed of their Pokemon denizens.
The morals of this world are very different from ours though. The first time you fight a Pokemon and don’t capture it, its life ebbs away. What have I done? I only wanted to brutally mangle it for capture, not kill the thing.
Allay your fears though! He’s only fainted, sure he’s now impossible to capture which makes no sense but it’s okay… He wasn’t harmed as you scratched, burned and tortured him. “Just” fainted. Obviously Pokemon don’t die… Oh except later in the game there’s that enormous Pokemon cemetery where people mourn their dead pets/fighters/chattel, and it’s haunted by the spirits of those brutally killed.
Details. Not important though.
Oh and the MrMime ‘Pokemon’ are surely just dwarves dressed up and forced to fight animals; and the Jynx ‘Pokemon’ are women dressed in blackface.
None. For once that’s not a bad thing though since the world seems to be 95% preteens.
After 32 hours of gameplay, and at the very last battle of the main story, my phone packed it in. It died during an update which I can only assume was uploaded by the anti-piracy patrols of the British Navy. No problem, the game was saved on my SD card.
Except it wasn’t. It was gone.
The next day I experienced what I can only describe as psychological withdrawal. I swayed between anger, despair, and emotionless nothing. What do you do if you’re not trying to level up your Diglett (called Dicklett. Comedic genius!) before vying for the Boulderbadge?
After a while I started to think about my lost Pokemon. I’d had over 60 by this point.
My electric Pikachu, Elecdick. Veinybat the Venonat. Guyhorn the Rhyhorn. My Horsea, Horsecock. Magicock, Fapras, Dudicko, Fleshbat, Nidickan, Meat-Spear my Spearow. Gone. All gone.
They weren’t friends – I’m not year 5 kid with a Tamagotchi, not anymore at least – but they were great fighters. They didn’t deserve this. I didn’t deserve this. 32 hours of my life wasted, and I didn’t even have a level 43 Gloom to show for it. Not even my trainer badges!
The addictiveness of this game is proportional to how obsessive-compulsive you are. I like collecting things, seeking them out to complete a collection, and then holding on to them forever in my ever increasing pile of stuff that I call a house. So the “Gotta catch them all” tag-line spoke to me in ways that a doctor could diagnose.
If you have issues and want a game to obsess over: 5 stars. If you want to retain your life… move along now.
Pokemon really is a great game. A truly fun, addictive, fucked-up game of action and adventure. There’s a reason a Gameboy game spawned a whole franchise and a number of knock-offs. Not many games can claim that.
I give it: 5 enslaved animals out of 5.
Want to play this? You can pick it up on eBay for a few well spent dollars. Just make sure you buy Pokemon Red. Why Red and not Blue? Because Red’s the one I played, and despite being exactly the same as Blue other than some of the Pokemon available, it’s therefore the best.