Pokeman Nintendo DS Released!

Lisa Mathis, Reporter

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On Saturday night, March 5, Pokemon fanatics throughout the United States attended local participating Gamestop stores, anxiously awaiting the release of the new Nintendo DS versions of the famous role-playing games Pokemon: Black Version and Pokemon: White Version, each continuing the tradition of adventurous gameplay, but with new, modernized elements.

Pokemon, meaning “pocket monsters,” is a popular Japanese media franchise that has captured hearts and raised competitive spirits of people around the world since 1996. Now into the 5th generation of the series, Black and White versions introduce 156 new monsters, bringing the total in the game up to the tremendous amount of 649.

Players, referred to in the franchise as Pokemon Trainers, must reach goals in the game by catching as many of these monsters as possible, creating a powerful six-monster team through training in battles with other Pokemon or Pokemon Trainers, and beating the game, becoming the Pokemon Master. This is obtained by beating Gym Leaders’ teams, gaining badges as rewards, and then defeating the Elite Four, the most challenging opponents in the game.

Many “real-life” Trainers began entering Gamestop around 10p.m., some dressed with representative hats, wristbands, and other articles of clothing. Nearly everyone brought their own Nintendo DS so that they could acquire a rare Pokemon in the special event, offered by employees hosting the celebration. During this time, people with previously released Pokemon games also vigorously battled in the friendliest manner possible.

“I am definitely anticipating the release of the game. What I’m looking forward to is the 150 brand new Pokemon [the creators] put into it,” expressed fan Jacob Klander. “My goal is to beat my friends and become the best as fast as I can,” he added enthusiastically.

Those purchasing the new game received tickets for a drawing; five winners participated in a Pokemon-based quiz. Whoever was the most knowledgeable about the previous games, events, monsters, and so on, answering the most questions, would win a Collector’s Edition Official Strategy Guide, handy for any passionate Pokemon gamer.

“From what I remember, I have loved Pokemon ever since I was in elementary,” reminisces Forrest Woodward. “I watched the shows, collected the cards, and played the games for it. Even today, hearing about the release of the latest Pokemon game excited me,” he continued.

Moments before midnight, abundant zealous customers incited a countdown, anxious for the game’s delivery. “5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”

Finally, the game was released! People filled the store, and the line exceeded the doorway. One by one, each customer accepted their pre-ordered copy, shouting with exhilaration, ready for beginning their brand new journey.

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