I really need a new game to play. I have this problem where I am either incredibly excited about a new game’s release and must play it immediately, or I don’t give a crap about it at all and will likely never play it. For whatever reason, right now, pretty much every release is falling into the latter category. This means two things: 1) I don’t play that many games and 2) what I do play are old games.
This week I’ve needed a gaming fix. Nothing new (or unfinished on the shelf) sounded any fun, so I went to an old standby, thanks to my new love of this comic, and started a new save of Pokémon Pearl. Problem solved, right? Pokémon will grant me hours and hours of mindless, but familiar, gaming fun.
Not so much. I have problems with Pokémon.
See, I’m a little bit on the obsessive-compulsive side. This mostly manifests in me straightening magazines on the coffee table and–sigh–feeling a deep need to do absolutely everything in any videogame I play. With Pokémon, this does not simply amount to beating the game and “catching ‘em all.” I wish that were all. No, for me, every decision, every caught critter, results in anxiety. A sampling:
Oh, I caught a Pokémon! Do I need to nickname it? Does it have to be funny? If I nickname this one, I’ll have to give them all nicknames to be consistent! What if I hate the name later? Is it male or female? Oh God, does that matter for this one? Where’s the strategy guide? (Just kidding–I have the strategy guide open in my lap at all times while playing Pokémon. I feel naked without it.) Should I level it and use it? I need to get every fucking Pokémon to level 99! Jesus, what are these berry things? I used one on my Bidoof on accident! Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck, do I need to delete my save and start over? Jesus, a Magikarp! I FUCKING HATE MAGIKARP! I DON’T WANT TO LEVEL YOU! BUT I HAVE TO! OH JESUS FUCK SHOOT ME IN THE FACE!!!
No, I’m serious, I do this. I’m pretty sure I need counseling.
But despite all this, periodically I pull out–heh–whatever the latest version is and get all into it. I love the franchise dearly. It just turns me into a neurotic mess.
Please tell me I’m not a lone nut.