I agree with Chi about the Miyamoto-esque experience provided by Pokémon. It turns away all conventions of the industry. There are no naked women, no hulking heroes, and no smart-mouthed mascots. You are encouraged to simply play. Have fun and enjoy yourself at your own pace. If you're not a good player, it doesn't matter. Pokémon isn't a game of skill so no one is left behind. This is a totally refreshing break from the monotony of the shoot and destroy content that has saturated the industry.

And let's not forget the social by-product of playing this little gem because, in hindsight, it's really phenomenal. There are 139 Pokémon unique to each gamepak. To get the other 11 Pokémon and beat the games, owners of the Red game pak must trade Pokémon with owners of the Blue game pak and vice versa. It forces the kind of interaction that opponents of video games have always said electronic games deter. It also taps into the player's competitive nature by encouraging them to build up their favorite Pokémon and competing it against a friend or classmate's. Players who come across rare Pokémon can keep them and show them for bragging rights or trade them to others helping them through the game. Pokémon proves that interaction between youngsters can be promoted through video games and not stagnated the way naysayers would have you believe. Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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