Monday, March 16, 2015

Living in a Pokémon World


I really should post more often so I don't fall off the face of the Earth, so I thought I'd do some posts about what I do when I'm not writing. Yes, sometimes *cough* I do things that aren't writing. My brain gets tired, or I get stuck, or sometimes I just need to get away from the words for a while.

For Christmas, our two young adult sons (who do this great video game/anime/manga/nerdstuff podcast) put their heads together and gave me and my husband his-and-hers Nintendo 2DS's (like the 3DS except it's in 2D instead of 3D and it's a flat device instead of clamshell, but it plays 3DS games) loaded with some Pokémon games and MarioKart. My husband likes the MarioKart game because of the cool race cars, but I'm a Pokémon fan from way back, so I dove right into Pokémon Y.

One of the cool things about the DS is it has a camera that can take in-game pictures, so I can share some of my adventure here. This is me (or my Pok
émon me) early in the game, in front of the Battle Chateau, which is a great place for level-grinding and winning lots of Poké money. (We call them Pokébucks.)
Back in 1998, when Pokémon first hit North America, my boys were ages 2 and 9 - in other words, the ideal target audience. We watched the show religiously (which is what launched me into anime fandom, which is what got me writing fanfic, which is what got me writing again after a long dry spell with my original fiction, so in a sense all those books over on the sidebar owe their existence to Pokémon), bought the cards when we could find them - back then, Pokémon cards were like gold, and about as expensive - and when my older son got his first job that summer, taking care of the neighbors' dog while they were RVing across the country, he spent his earnings on a GameBoy Pocket, a GameBoy Color, and the first Pokémon games released over here, Red, Blue, and Yellow (featuring a Pikachu that follows you around). We bought the toys and went to Burger King for their Pokémon promotional toys and saw the movies and bought the collectors' magazines. Over time we added about every Pokémon game ever made, a complete set of VHS tapes of the first season, Pokémon manga and novelizations, and about eleventy billion Pokémon cards. I played and beat Pokémon Red a few times, but after that the games started getting more complicated. I didn't play again for a long time, but of course I had to try out my shiny new Christmas gift.

Me at Geosenge town, before makeover:
They have night and day, and different weather, and you can grow Berries with different properties (some more useful than others) and leave a Pokémon or two at the daycare and when you come back for them sometimes they've produced an egg (I think there's a shortage of chaperoning at the Pokémon daycare!). And you can buy different outfits and even get a whole new hairstyle!

Me at Geosenge town, after makeover:
So anyway, after way too many hours spent playing when I probably should have been doing other things, I made it to the Pokémon League and beat the game:
Since there are way too many cool Pokémon and I tend to get emotionally attached to every one I catch but you can only have six on your team at a time, what I do after this point is take more teams back to the Pokémon League to challenge the champions and beat the game again. My goal is to get every Pokémon I have into the Pokémon League Hall of Fame. Because, you know, you gotta have a purpose in life.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Pok
émon games notwithstanding, edits on The Rancher's Daughter are proceeding apace, and I'm still on schedule for a release in May (possibly sooner, but I don't want to make any promises at this point).

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