My guilty gaming pleasures

Going by the title, you probably think I’m going to be talking about the time I whacked off to dead or alive beach volleyball, or the time I held an N64 rumble pack against my balls, but no, its not that.  Nobody wants to read about me stroking my throbbing erection to what basically amounts to soft-core anime porn or about how I misuse my gaming peripherals .  What I actually mean by the title is, games that I really enjoy but don’t like to admit that I actually play.  Also, when I say “pleasures” I should actually say “pleasure”, as I can only think of one example.  See, I don’t usually mind talking about my gaming habits as I generally only play “super-cool mother fucker” games.  You know, ones with guns in them, and cars, and beach volleyballs.

Bounce for me baby

Bounce for me baby

Before I go any further, let me give you some perspective.  At 31 years of age, I am, in the eyes of society, a fully grown man.  I do grown up shit, like trim my ear hair and pay my council tax.  I go to work all day, drink lots of coffee and sit there hoping that no one realises I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.  Its all fairly normal stuff and I like to think of myself as a regular guy, with nothing to hide…..EXCEPT THIS.  I don’t like to stereotype, but THIS can’t be normal for a grown up guy to be playing.  I am not sure THIS is even normal for any guy to play.  THIS is surely more befitting the 10 year old girl demographic.  THIS is, well, THIS:


Fuck you, its a good game

Yes, my guilty gaming pleasure is playing Pokemon.  This is where I start to get all defensive, see I never sought the game out in the first place, it found me.  My mate gave it to me on a 3.5 floppy disk (which I’m pretty sure is piracy, but I didn’t think in those terms back then) and said “Try this, its pretty cool”.  I’d never even heard of Pokemon before, so didn’t have a clue what it was going to entail and yet when I fired it up, I immediately got sucked into the charming game world and hooked by its simple, yet addictive, mechanics.

The game is basically a delightful little JRPG where, rather than battle yourself, you catch wild animals, enslave them and then force them into battle for you. Actually, that doesn’t sound all that charming or delightful, but I think the game explains early on how Pokemon’s like nothing more than to be dominated and do peoples bidding…maybe.  Anyway, its not important, the main thing is that you travel around this adorable game world, catching/enslaving new pokemon, then training (leveling) them up so they both protect you from wild Pokemon and enable you to fight against rival trainers.  You travel from town to town, taking on the gym leaders (Top Pokemon trainers) in a bid to finally become the ultimate slaver in all the world.  On your rise to the top there are several interesting sub plots that you’ll uncover as you converse with games abundant NPC’s.  Your Pikachu’S and JigglyPuff’s will learn new moves and even evolve as you train them up.  Its the classic addictive circle of fighting, leveling, and fighting some more, with turn based combat that is simple to learn but does allow room to master.  Its got a kind of rock, paper, scissors class system for the different Pokemon and their moves.  A water Pokemon won’t do much damage to a plant Pokemon, but a Fire based Pokemon will be devastating.

Rock, paper, flame wheel

Rock, paper, flame wheel

Everything about the game just works.  The world, characters, turn-based combat, story and even the music, all come together to create a thing of JRPG perfection.  If anything, its this winning combination that makes it a victim of its own success.  Over the years there have been a plethora of Pokemon games and no series has ever been as guilty of cut and paste development than this one.  Each incarnation of the game is almost exactly the same as the last one and its this flaw that has actually helped free me from its grip.  It was probably well over due though, as at this point I had found myself commuting to work with a fucking pokewalker in my pocket.

Next level "sad fuck" manovoure

Next level “sad fuck” maneuver

So there you have it, that is my guilty gaming pleasure.  Image my surprise when I discovered one of my male work colleagues was also into Pokemon – then imagine my disdain when the wanker started to discuss it, out loud, at my fucking desk.  The first rule of Pokemon is DON’T TALK ABOUT POKEMON!  Still, it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one, and rest assured, if he ever confides in me about wanking to dead or alive beach volleyball, I’ll be straight over to his desk to discuss it out loud with him.