Don’t get me wrong – I’ve tried to like Pokémon, I really have. When the craze first hit our Western shores in the late nineties, it caused a huge commotion and was an instant hit. You couldn’t avoid Pokémon, be it the games, the trading cards, the cartoon series, or the merchandise. You could hear young children in town spouting a list of near-incomprehensible words; names of the seemingly endless list of pocket monsters featured in the series.
I, of course, couldn’t escape it, being a gamer and at school. I watched the television show and was introduced to the game on a friend’s Gameboy Colour. The characters and ideas were creative and interesting, but nothing about the concept excited me – remember, when I watched the show I was a schoolboy, and this was the biggest school-yard craze of the time. However, I just couldn’t get into the cartoon series without the knowledge of the game many of my friends had, and I didn’t take to the game – possibly due to my disdain for turn-based combat (not to say I hate all turn-based games, I love the Persona series, but find the mechanic slows down action scenes and acts as a barrier to exciting gameplay).