Let Him Show You Them

Sez Punchdrunkmonkeyman.com:

I haven’t been able to finish any of these Pokémon games since I picked up something to play them on. It’s kind of shameful, and I don’t really know if the problem is an inability to save state or the general lack of critters I like. I’m 75$ certain it’s the latter.

(I think he meant 75%, not $75 – although I’m sure both of us have chucked far more than that amount after these little beasts.)

On one occasion, PDMM came to visit me and K, and we spent a few hours one afternoon sitting three-across on the couch, playing Pokémon on our DSes.  I remember that it was a lot of fun, and I made a mental note that I should play more often.

Then I did, and remembered:  I liked Pokémon, not Little Boy Walks Around Dismally In The Woods After Dark.

You see, my problem with these games (since Pokémon Crystal) is that all of the games are now on a stupid real-time clock1  That means that if you are playing at 8 AM, it’s morning in the game, and at 8 PM, it’s night. Different creatures appear depending on the time of day, which gives a clear incentive for playing at different times.  This is a neat idea.

Also, to indicate that it is nighttime, the game’s palette becomes very desaturated and dark, giving a dim and gloomy overtone to the entire game world.  For my purposes, this is considerably less neat.

Guess what?  I have a job during the day, so I’m mostly playing games at night, and if I wanted dim and gloomy, I have any number of modern shooting games to play. 2  Furthermore, I’m not so into the Pokémon games that I’m interested in playing over lunch, or first thing in the morning before work, or every weekend.  It is a diversion, not a religion.

(I have also experimented with adjusting the clock.  For a while, I was actually playing Pokémon on Tokyo time.  For some reason, this became disorienting, especially when I wanted to play any other game that interfaced with the system clock, such as Animal Crossing.  It was also irritating, because I was very conscious of circumventing some part of the game in order to enjoy it.  I have played – and attempted to play – enough PC games to get my fill of that particular sensation.)

I’ll admit, the real-time clock concept seemed pretty cool at first.  But whether it’s in Pokémon, Animal Crossing, or really any game, synchronizing the game clock to the real world clock is actually harmful to any sense of immersion, and by extension, fun.  It’s just one more annoying gimmick that will keep me from playing.3

I’m sure that these features are part of a scheme to keep kids from playing games for too long at a sitting, and they’re just working too well on me.  Still, I’m stuck inside while the real sun is out.  Don’t you dare keep me locked out of virtual daytime, too.

  1. Before Pokémon Crystal, my problem was simply that I didn’t have a GameBoy. []
  2. I even have DOOM 3, which is pitch black and scary.  That’s like dim and gloomy taken to the extreme.  Also, it is stupid.  That’s like irritating taken to the extreme.  I guess that means that DOOM 3 is basically just Extreme Pokémon. []
  3. Here is where I narrowly avoid ranting at length about Nintendo’s various and egregious stupidities of the past few years.  Perhaps in another post. []

3 Responses to “HIS POKEMANS”

  • Canthros wrote:



    I always liked the real-time clock, but I didn’t get around to playing these games for real until well after the fact. Not that I haven’t found it annoying, now and then.

  • I have a section on my resume for certifications. It says:
    “A+, Linux+, Network+, Cascade Badge” Nobody has asked about the last one yet.

  • Canthros wrote:

    I have a section on my resume for certifications. It says:
    “A+, Linux+, Network+, Cascade Badge” Nobody has asked about the last one yet.

    That belongs in a quote file somewhere.

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