Friday, July 30, 2010

Pokemon Black, Fatale and Peter Chimaera

People do strange things.  Take, for example, the collected works of Peter Chimaera, available for free or in print.  In case you haven't heard of him, or don't recognise the name, he's the author of Doom: Resurrection of Evil, which notably includes such phrases as : ""I will shoot at him" said the cyberdemon and he fired the rocket missiles. John plasmaed at him and tried to blew him up."  This is a person making mock of fanfictions, and thereby rewriting the entire genre.

On a similar, but more disturbing note, comes this story of Pokemon Black, and its serious repercussions.  I recommend you read the article itself, but essentially it gives the player an irremovable Pokemon called Ghost that only has one move - Curse.  Contrary to what Curse does in later versions, in Pokemon Black, the screen fades to black, a lower version of the 'your Pokemon has fainted' sound plays, and when the screen comes back, the Pokemon is... gone.  If it belonged to a trainer, that trainer now has one fewer Pokeball.  If you've ever played Pokemon, you know the entire game is based around loving and respecting your Pokemon, and taking care of them if they faint, because a Pokemon trusts its trainer implicitly, especially if the trainer raises them from when they were an egg.  I get upset when wild Pokemon I'm fighting faint, because I don't like to think that I'm leaving them there, unconscious and unprotected.  The idea of killing a Pokemon is anathema.

And, to wrap things up, I recently played Fatale.  It's a game by Tale of Tales, makers of The Graveyard and The Path.  If you're into the whole 'games as art' debate, then you probably already know about them.  If not, don't let that put you off - The Path is a genuinely chilling experience, and Fatale is beautiful, confusing, frustrating and cathartic, all at once.  I love their games because they are experiences, not games.  If you want to win, don't play them.  If you want to know what kind of games they make, there's a free demo of The Path, and a demo of The Graveyard on Steam.  There's no demo of Fatale, and I can see why.  The experience is carefully crafted, and providing just one segment of it would detract from the whole.  I love them, because they give me stories I'm horrified to be a part of.  The Path made me cry.  Fatale made me feel...  I'm not sure what, but it was powerful. I don't want to give too much away, because it is very short, but so very worthwhile.  These are the games you play and recommend, and never touch again, because the emotional content of your first playthrough is so pure that it seems a shame to dilute it.  They may sound like noting on paper, but they're everything in execution.  I guess that's true of many things.

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