As I traipse around my modest two-bed flat, I am tripping over games. I mean, literally tripping. This morning I fell prey to a copy of Spindizzy Worlds and slid almost gracefully across the living room. This is my life: surrounded by plastic boxes, tripping over console wires and perpetually running out of shelf space. Welcome to my world.
My name (or gamertag) is Neety and my game is…well, just about anything really. I’m as happy filling zombies full of lead on Resident Evil as I am spread-eagled on the sofa with Pokemon Silver (what this says about my personality I dread to think). In addition to my growing console collection, I have my own blog that covers everything from games to music to hot topics. In my spare time, I’m either playing or cleaning up games or chilling with my turtles, who are neither teenage, mutant or ninja.
So I’ve been around a little bit, doing reviews and articles in odd places and now thanks to Donna and the wonders of Twitter I am here, a newbie; my hands hovering over the laptop as if I were Solid Snake trying to pull off the ultimate headshot. From me, you can expect to catch reviews of games from Animal Crossing to Zero Wing as well as my views on what’s right (or wrong) with the gaming world.
It was my birthday recently, so imagine my utter delight when in amongst my presents nestled a copy of Pokemon White.
Since Pokemon has been around since the Year Dot, I don’t feel the need to explain the gameplay basic – and oddly enough, White feels the same way too, starting you right off with your first Pokemon and leaving you to meander off on your path to victory. Come on, it purrs in your ear. I’ve been around, baby, but I’m back to take you on a riiiiide.
As you would expect from an older franchise, there are new features to the game. Following straight on from dual battling in Diamond and Pearl versions, there is now three-way battling. Another prominent innovation is the advent of your ‘lifelong friends’, a boy and girl pair who join you on your trip, popping in and touching base with you every so often. I was quite pleased about this – they’ll friendly battle you occasionally and drop by with gifts, saving you the tedium of running all the way back to the starting town that previous games made you do. There’s even a new enemy – gone are the flaky Rockets and maniacal Galactics to make way for a new threat – in this early stage of play, I can only describe them as PETA with fancy costumes.
Thankfully the game concept itself remains uncomplicated (your basic Adventure/Strategy RPG), making it accessible to Pokemon stalwarts and newbies alike, and it still has the charm of the older games thanks to the gorgeous display on the DS that the Game Boy Colour could sadly never hope to replicate. Controlling is pretty easy; the touchscreen turns into your battle control panel allowing for a cleaner layout during fights, and when you’re exploring it turns into your communications device, allowing you to connect with both NPCs and your friends. Here is my word of warning: if you don’t have DS Wi-fi enabled, do it before you get started. If you’re like me and plunge into the game without reading the manual first (cough cough), you will find that you get to a critical point and have to stop and fiddle about with your router until you can go any further in the game.
Despite this initial hiccup, this is a game I would thoroughly recommend: particularly to newer games who would find themselves less impressed by the aesthetic of the older games.
To cap off my thoughts for the day, I was thinking about how great it is to be a girl gamer. From getting invited to your boyfriend’s mates place and trouncing them all at COD, to walking into a game shop and surprising the staff by going gooey over Batman: Arkham Asylum. The world may pretend to be a big modern man, but there’s no hiding its surprise when a lightgun-toting girl pops up out of nowhere. That’s where I’m in my element. Viva games. Viva girls. Viva girl gamers!