I’ve wanted to do a video game review for ages. We like video games in our house. Even Karen likes some games that aren’t marketed towards women. She likes the Legend of Zelda games and she’s pretty excited about starting Oblivion. Way cool, I say.
There are very few games I purchase without reading a review first. Trust me, it’s worth waiting a week after the game comes out to read a hands-on review of the game. But sometimes it’s okay to break this rule. For instance, you’re usually safe buying any of the Nintendo franchises because they’re all great games. That’s why they’ve become so popular. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy are two examples for the Wii alone. But we recently realized that Nintendo is no longer trustworthy.
I’ve been wary of Pokemon since the boys got interested in it this spring. The whole thing sounded like a big money pit to me. And I wasn’t disappointed. There are Pokemon cards, action figures, video games, books, tv shows, movies, and now we own them all. Released in 2007 are the video games Pokemon: Diamond, and Pokemon: Pearl for the DS and Pokemon Battle Revolution for the Wii. We should have known better.
The Nintendo Wii communicates to the handheld DS via WiFi. In Pokemon Battle Revolution you can battle your friends or family on the Wii with the little Pokemon dudes you’ve been collecting in your Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl games for the DS. But here’s the catch. That’s all this game does. Battle with little fighters you’ve already got. There’s no adventure, no story, nothing to unlock or collect. You just battle. But you can already do that with the DS games, so why do you need to spend another 50 bucks just so you can see the battle on your TV?
We actually bought the Wii game before we had any of the DS games, so we were more than a little disappointed we couldn’t play it out of the box. So, take 50 bucks for a Wii game and add 35 bucks each for two DS games and you’ve got a $120 investment in Pokemon. You wanna know why I let them play so many video games this summer? When you spend that much on video games you feel an obligation to use it or you’ve wasted all that money.
END NOTE: I complain mercilessly about how dull and uninteresting Pokemon is. But it has (for the moment) replaced Zelda as the video game that the kids play with Karen. As parents we often look for things to do with our kids that everyone will enjoy, and right now Karen has found that thing. It’s that thing they wake up talking about and go to bed dreaming about. They will always remember this as the summer they played Pokemon with Mom. And if that makes her the coolest mom in the whole second grade, good for her.