After several delays (Mostly Smash Bros. related), I officially started Pokemon Blue this evening. If there's one thing I've taken away from my first outing is that this game has wonderful music. I didn't get very far. In fact, I just made it to Viridian City for the first time, but as I write this, I've left the game running, and the music playing in the background. It really is quite nice!
Let's get this out of the way. Professor Oak is weird as heck. Let me reiterate, this whole game world is weird as heck. Not weird like the Mushroom Kingdom, weird like things seem a bit...off. We start with Professor Oak forgetting his nephew's name. He lives next-door, and he's a living Pokemon encyclopedia, but he's forgotten you and his nephew's names? I know it's a clever way to get the player to name their characters, but come on, now. I named my character Blue and my rival Red. What can I say? I like using default names. Speaking of weird, how exactly was Red my rival since I was a baby? What does a baby rivalry entail? I have a baby, and he's not one for vendettas, or competition at all really. He likes climbing things. Like I said, this place is weird.
I also wasn't quite prepared for how completely okay everyone is with Pokemon beating the crap out of one another. As soon as I started, I'm told very little about the world, other than the fact that it's inhabited by Pokemon, and people either keep them as pets, or make them fight one another. Or, in the Professor's case, study them. So, I walked around a bit, and when I couldn't find anything to do, I tried to leave town. Then, the Prof stopped me, gave me his best "It's dangerous to go alone" speech, took me to his lab, and gave me and Red some Pokemon. (I chose Squirtle, because Squirtle is awesome). Before I left though, Red decided he wanted to have our brand new Pokemon fight, you know, just to check them out, and my first Pokemon battle began.
Now, I was expecting to get to know this critter a little before I had him fight for my amusement, but we just jumped right in. Much to my bewilderment, this creature had no problem at all accepting me as its master and subsequently pummeling the ever-loving crap out of my rival's Bulbasaur. Seriously, according to the game, my Squirtle beat this Bulbasaur to unconsciousness. Because this Red kid was bored or something, his new "pet" was now beaten so badly it passed out. I kind of felt bad for the thing.
Anyway, Pokeball in hand, I ventured out of town and headed north. I encountered some bird things, and a really creepy looking rat, all of which were no match for my Squirtle's awesomeness. After a few minutes, I made it to Viridian City, and the first sign I came across was telling me about a Pokemon Center where I could heal my Pokemon. So, wounded Pokemon are so common that they have entire centers in every town dedicated to healing them? And they are free? Who is paying for this? What kind of crazy Poke-healthcare system does this world have?
It was at that point I decided to take a break. That's going to be it for today. Seriously, the whole cockfighting angle this game has is really deranged, but I have to say, it's relentlessly charming so far. I'm not entirely sure how they managed to make pitting animals against one another for my amusement seem like good, clean fun, but they did it. And man, this music is really sublime.
As an aside, I'd like to point out that my Retron 5 is handling this game like a pro. It has all the Super Game Boy enhancements, so there is a degree of color added. It was really cool when I left the town and the color palate changed from blue to green. I also like how the towns and over world seem to be seamlessly connected. There was no transition between the field and Viridian City, and that felt very nice.