In playing Pokémon White 2 I find myself rather jaded. I saw the concepts in Pokémon Blue way back when but now that I’m a bit older and even more misanthropic it stands out painfully:

The world of Pokémon feels like a brainwashed state. Everything revolves around Pokémon – everything. Sports, theatre, construction, etc.. So far I haven’t encountered a single NPC that doesn’t gush gooey sentiments towards everything about their culture. Perhaps it’s because I was raised in Britain but being critical of one’s own culture seems healthy to me.

Would it be so hard to create a world where Pokémon were fairly new and the player had to journey through the world facing negative attitudes to the whole thing? Striving for acceptance and positivity in a world bent low by economic struggles?

Perhaps that’s a bit too dark. Sickly-sweet saccharine awfulness it is, I guess.

Unrelated to the idiotic atmosphere that permeates the game there’s the fact that the menus and notifications in the game seem to have been designed by someone who felt that a player shouldn’t be able to go more than a few moments without hammering on a button. Tiresome dialogue, tiresome dialogue, ugh. Can’t I just set a fast text rate that’ll keep things flowing rather than doing this:

Overly positive text about pokemanz… ⇩

[Button press]

…continued text of no real value!! ⇩

[Button press]

Vaguely relevant text. ⇩

[Button press]

Control returned to player.

It’s exhausting. Think about what the interface contributes to the game experience and design based on that, pillocks. Ask yourself “Why does this need to be here?”

Chances are that it really doesn’t.

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