Pokémon Black & Blue: Original campaigns are hard
Remember that bit in Pokémon where Pikachu was constantly whipped by Ash and walked around covered in bruises, never to fulfill his fleeting dream of freedom? What do you mean that never happened? But PETA released a flash game where this happens…surely…surely this wasn’t some ploy to cash in on the attention for Pokémon Black & White 2 released the same time? Oh. Well it’s tacky, snide and very graphic so for those who don’t want to see cows being killed in a bloody remake, this review is for you!
In the game’s opening PETA justifies the game by stating that the rise in Pokémon’s popularity has taught children the long-term lesson of dominance rather than compassion. Apparently Pokémon were forced to fight each other and are subjected to abuses whilst children started bullying each other. What better way to contradict your point by defacing a childs beloved character, subject them to abuses that are not in the series/games and fill it with graphic imagery of real animals getting slaughtered?
After the prologue the game immediately puts you into a battle with Pikachu who has just escaped his abuseful trainer whom Ash must’ve sold him to in order to feed his insatiable drug addiction. His master Cheren uses the attacks ‘discipline’ and ‘choke collar’ but Pikachu, armed with the powers of hope and his useless ability ‘group hug’ doesn’t fall for it so easily. Completing these battles will unlock more abused Pokémon who join Pikachu on his quest to inform an ignorant public.
Each time you gain a Pokémon their stats are displayed as above. Everything looks in order…aside from the unique protest abilities highlighted in pink. This is where the Pokémon tries to reason with their irrational and mentally challenged enemies in hopes they’ll see that Pokémon have feelings too! But this is where PETA’s message becomes a little skewed…which is coincidentally my favourite part. These protest options do no damage. In fact they have no effect whatsoever. The only way to defeat enemies is the use real attacks. So…protest means nothing, we should just set fire to our enemies, PETA? Actually that sounds about right.
This game offers very little challenge as the Pokémon are so overpowered that a couple of their normal attacks will defeat the enemy so long as you don’t waste too much time trying to get ‘group hug’ or ‘petition’ to work. This game has a linear style that means you can’t control the Pokémon’s movement or choices outside of battles.
Another feature PETA have added (which is perhaps the most disturbing) are the treasure boxes you are given along the way as an achievement. I don’t mind spoiling that they are filled with real imagery of animals being slaughtered in distributable leaflet form. Along the way one of these chests will contain a video that Pikachu decides the whole world should see, and with new purpose other than wandering aimlessly around bloody scenery, the team set off to the television station to show the world.
After completing the game (in the interest of closure) it’s apparent that everything the makers know about Pokémon were based on a 5 minute Google search.
Ok, ok…there was the first Pokémon movie with science freak Mewtwo and genetically cloned Pokémon made in a lab, but if you actually watched that movie you’d know the Pokémon fight back and leave to start over. If anything non-theoretic science in Pokémon is already depicted as negative by the fact that only the enemies did it.
PETA’s first step before making claims that this has long-term effects on the way children treat animals, is to actually look at the fanbase. The web is filled with affectionate fanarts and fanfictions about the series from those who admire the bonds between a Pokémon and its trainer that PETA would’ve seen if only they spent 6 minutes on their Google search.
In summary it is a gross perversion of the Pokémon series and a transparent attempt at gaining publicity from a newly released game. Looking at Tumblr during the time of its release it appears a lot of young and unsuspecting fans fell prey to this ‘parody’ of a children’s game and saw lots of graphic animal murder. Way to educate the youngsters, PETA.