Here's a game franchise that I'm sure you've never heard of. Oh, whoops. I think I bumped the SARCASTIC LOCK button on my keyboard.
"Wahoo! The Pocket Monsters are back!"
Just about everyone should be uttering that phrase right about now. The question is whether you have your sarcasm turned on or off. Because Pokémon is so well known, it seems that people either love it or hate it.
Truth be told, I was always a Pokémon lover. I watched the cartoon. I bought a GameBoy Color so I could play Pokémon Blue. I was ranked near the top of Pokémon Trading Card players in my area for a while. I posed with hot women in front of a giant Pikachu trading card. The list goes on.
Over the years, I've fallen away from playing the Pokémon games. I have played a little bit of Pokémon on each of the handheld systems: GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, and Nintendo DS. I had fun with them, but I wasn't as interested in the whole experience as I had once been.
Recently, though, I pulled out an old GameBoy Pocket with Pokémon Yellow. My daughter is learning to read, and I thought that if she got into playing a game like this, she would want to learn to read all the words so she could play on her own.
It's been a good experience thus far. In fact, the reading has come very quickly. It's now parts of the actual gameplay that are holding her back a bit. She gets lost in the caves and gets stranded in areas where she can't easily get back to a Pokémon Center to heal her team. That's when she asks for help. She rarely asks what a word means, anymore. I even started teaching her how to play the Pokémon Trading Card game with some of my old cards. It's actually quite good for teaching some simple math skills and game rules.
The GameBoy Pocket isn't exactly a modern marvel, anymore. What happens when she's done with that game? Well, I'm thinking that Pokémon Platinum happens! If you're looking for an English version of the game to import, Play-Asia has a great price on preorders of Pokémon Platinum right now. From what I know, it's due out on March 22nd, which is just over a week away. If you're a PokéManiac like me, you'll want to check it out whether it's for you or your kids.
Maybe you'll hear more from me about using Pokémon as a learning tool (or should I say Pokémon as a teaching tool) for my kids. It's been really enjoyable reliving some of my old fun games and memories while teaching new skills to my daughter.