My Pikachu has more watts than my microwave
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Pokemon Gold/Silver get's us out the house with its innovative Pokeball pedometer. It sounds like a gimmick but actually makes this Pokemon a fresh experience.
We are usually pretty strict in my house, we don't allow video games after dinner and dinner is at 5.30pm sharp. Evenings are filled with books and board games. However, today we were a bit more lenient with these rules - we decided to go for a walk, a Pokewalk.
My kids got the new Pokemon game today. One got Pokemon Heart Gold and one got Pokemon Soul Silver. Nintendo has split up the new adventure allowing each player a different adventure and different Pokemon along the way.
For those uninitiated the Pokemon series of games is set in a world where humans train Pokemons - strange animal like creature - for battle against other human trainers. The games usually allows two or more players to link and swap Pokemon that speeds up the process of catching and logging them all in your electronic Pokedex.
I am a fan of Pokemon, I even wrote a paper on it for my Degree all those years ago: 'The Cross-pollination of Pokemon in a Post-Modern World'. I have kept up to date despite being in my early thirties and even owned Pokemon Pearl.
The first new thing for Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver is the Pokewalker - a secondary device about the size of a Tamagotchi. It allows Pokemon to be transferred back a forth and to be taken out on walks in the real world. The more steps you take the more 'walks' and 'items' you unlock. It's like a pedometer with virtual prizes.
It's a great addition, in fact it's better than that it's perfect. It not only mimics the cartoon by letting the trainer carry around a Pokeball, it also gives players a reason to get out of the house for a few hours.
It's like a pedometer with virtual prizes.
We walked to the local park, stopping along the way to check our progress. It lead to several amusing conversations about how we could possible fool it to think we were walking. The kids thought up a string of convoluted contraptions to mimic our walking.
After ten minutes or so, we decided to explore the park further. To our surprise we heard a rustling in the bushes. "I'm going to explore, it might be a Pokemon" shouted my son. At which point a massive dog leapt out followed by a comedic little sausage dog. Following the dogs were two out of breath owners trying to catch up with them. "It's a Pokedog, they're trying to catch the Pokedog" laughed the kids.
Excitement over, we headed home. As we talked about the game. I realised this was the first game we experienced together. We enjoyed swapping tips and stories of how to get on in our different Pokemon worlds.
The game has a lot of features. Our favourites include changing the music on the radio and the time-based events that make you get up early in the morning to catch a particular Pokemon.
My kids are now eight and that seems the perfect age for the game.
My kids are now eight - in fact these games were birthday presents - and that seems the perfect age for the game. If you can pick up Diamond, Pearl or Platinum on the DS that might be a good place to start, but this is definitely worth the purchase too.
I really like the Pokewalker as it promotes time away from the DS. I know it sounds strange but putting down the console actually adds a new dimension to the game.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: