Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version were released in North American today, and I was there bright and early to pick up my copy of the game. I chose White Version this time mostly because of how badass the version-exclusive legendary "Zekrom" looks, but also because I’d heard that the version-exclusive "White Forest" might be more useful later in the game. All that aside though, I really just wanted to start my adventure!
I admit, I was a little tired going in to get the game. I had obsessed all night trying to settle on a nickname for my starter and a subsequent theme for all the rest. I considered using the names of only Final Fantasy characters, only Mega Man, or Zelda, or Avatar The Last Airbender, and then eventually I moved onto only the names of fruits, then spices, then flowers… needless to say I grew restless settling on a theme. I eventually fell asleep, but my restlessness woke me up early in the morning and the decision racked my brain the entire time I was getting ready to leave the house. Even as I swiftly made my way to EB Games I couldn’t stop thinking about it – I barely remember my trip to the store I was so distracted. I finally reached the steps and cleared my head before opening the door – I needed to stop thinking about it.
At the counter I picked up my copy of White Version as well as a copy of Black Version for my co-worker and friend Kiele. Through some clever bargaining, I’d convinced her to try out the new Pokémon game with me and I offered to pick one up on her behalf come launch day. Kiele has little experience with gaming overall, and none with the Pokémon franchise, but I’m hoping that this game will be fun enough to hook her and bring her the same enjoyment that the series has brought me for so many years. In addition to convincing Kiele to play with me, months of gushing have also persuaded my friend Christine to play too! She’s just as much of a gamer as I am – maybe even more so – but while she has played a Pokémon game in the past (Sapphire, I believe) her experience was only mildly entertaining and she’s since avoided the games (much to the dismay of me and her partner – also a total Pokémaniac). Christine and I plan to recount our experiences and thoughts on our respective blogs, so we’ll see how that goes. :P
After paying for the games and some having a bit of small-talk with the guy behind the counter, I stuck ’em in my bag and raced out of there. On my way home I made a pit-stop at Tim Hortons to pick up some breakfast and coffee, and while I was there I saw a group of two young men playing the new games together. It’s an interesting feeling seeing strangers playing your favourite game. It’s kind of like hearing someone talk about a TV series that you follow, but better somehow… I managed to pull myself away, remembering that I had my own game to play and the sooner I got home the better, and made my order at the counter. Coffee and donuts in-hand I quickly scurried home and took delight in how quiet the streets were – nothing to slow me down from starting my adventure!
Finally home, I peeled off my winter skin in a hurry and headed for the couch. I tried to focus on the matter at hand – playing the game – but I was starving and figured I should probably fuel up before starting anything. I decided to skim the instruction booklet while I inhaled by breakfast, but only got as far as the "Victini" insert before I finished so the instruction booklet would have to wait for another day. Anxious to start my adventure I grabbed my DSi and went to swap in the new game, but as I pulled HeartGold from my DSi a quiet feeling of closure washed over me – this day officially marked the end of my 100+ hour journey in the Johto region and I decided to take a moment to reflect upon my team and adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in that game and while that story was coming to a close, I was happy that I would be starting a new one with friends to enjoy it with me.
I inserted Pokémon White and turned on the system. The game loaded and the opening cutscenes played. I was finally playing the game after months and months of anxiously waiting and I was loving it. After the opening credits concluded the cameras started swirling around a giant model of Zekrom, the Electric and Dragon type legendary I would eventually be able to encounter. Zekrom’s eyes glowed a bright red as the camera zoomed in and the words “Press Start” appeared on the screen. I paused one last time to smoke-up with my boyfriend and pressed Start (why would't I wanna play Pokémon high?). The journey begins!