In response to the recent release of Pokemon Black/White 2, PETA released its own anti-Pokemon game: Pokemon Black and Blue.
The trouble is, it’s incredibly fun to play.
The plot revolves around Pokemon gaining freedom from their abusive trainers and fighting to free others. But it gets so much better.
I don’t know which I prefer: the Kill Bill-style revenge plot or the excessive gore on every square inch of the game INCLUDING THE TREES. It’s like Pokemon all-grown-up with a delightfully morbid edge to it. And seriously, who doesn’t want an excuse to beat up Ash Ketchum?
PETA, for those of you new to it, stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This organization is wrought with fanatic views on the welfare of animals and sees every excuse to take offense to practically everything.
PETA released an anti-Mario game under the presumption that Mario’s tanuki-costume is made from the actual skin of a tanuki (never mind the fact that a tanuki is a mythological animal).
Now PETA has turned its attention to Pokemon, claiming that having imaginary animals fight one another is no better than dog fighting. How does PETA seek to curb the poison this has placed in the mind of children? By making a game about Pokemon fighting… their old trainers.
PETA seems to have missed its own point right from the start. If animals fighting animals is bad because animals get hurt, how would having an animal fight its trainer be any less painful?
To make matters more hilarious, the trainers use excessively violent attacks like “Tail Docking” and ”Meat Cleaver.”
And here’s where PETA missed its own point again. The move-set of each Pokemon almost exactly mirrors its official moves. Even the weird ones like Take-Down and Mega-Drain have been included and every creature was painstakingly identified by it cannonical gender and element.
That means someone in PETA had to have played these games and played them recently to know what the hell a Snivvy is.
Of course, PETA included some more fun moves like “Group Hug” to lower the enemy’s defense. What’s great is that Group Hug literally has Pikachu run up and hug the enemy. Then he can unleash a powerful thunder attack. Hah. Pikachu is such a jerk.
And here’s where it gets weirder: the characters in Pokemon Black and Blue reference important plot points from Pokemon Black/White: from Team Plasma’s stance on Pokemon fighting to the plot twist towards the end of the game. Pikachu is even depicted holding up a sign that says “I support Team Plasma.”
Someone in PETA MUST have played these games.
Pokemon Black and Blue seems to be a flash animation game, so the motion is fluid and it’s beautifully animated. All the little details come out so easily: like how Tepig reels back with anime-style over-reactive tears in her eyes when she gets hit, or unsettling bobbing of the trainers’ heads as they grin and attack.
In the end, I’ve played this game several times and it reminded me why I love playing the Pokemon games so much. And because of the mentioned plot twists, I’m curious enough that I’ve put Pokemon Black on my Christmas wish list.
So I give PETA a 10/10 for making a fabulous game, but a 1/10 for trying to convey its message. But hey – if the organization keeps making games this quality, I may have to change my view of them.
Seriously, take fifteen minutes out of your day to play this game. You won’t regret it and you’ll probably laugh the same way I did. (Note: do NOT watch the depressing move in the treasure chest or you will have nightmares forever.)