PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure
Developer: Creatures, Inc.
Genre: Action (Open World/Sandbox)
Release Date: 11/1/2010
It’s been a long time since Creatures Inc. actually made a video game on their own. Sure they developed the Pokémon Trading Card Game, but think back. What was the last video game they made without the help of HAL, NSD or Game Freak? Oh that’s right. The Mother/Earthbound games, back when they were called Ape Inc. So you would think that with all the supposed legions of loud annoying Earthbound fans, that this game would have received SOME kind of attention from them.
Well, that’s because the “legions” of Earthbound fans supposedly clamoring to Nintendo and Creatures Inc. are actually in the high three to low five digits, depending on if you’re counting alias addresses they use to spam their petitions and requests for a re-release of the game (Which is deserved because all the Mother games are quite good, but the fanatical devotion this game supposedly has is largely overblowen). A horde of Mother fans is a video game urban legend in the same way that people thought Shen Long was a hidden character in Street Fighter 2. Unfortunately for Creatures Inc., even Pokémon fans (and reviewers…) didn’t give this game too much attention. Stateside, neither Nintendo nor The Pokémon Company even attempted to market this game and most reviewers ignored it. You would think since Pokémon is currently Nintendo’s biggest overall franchise in terms of income that they’d have pushed this, but this is the same company that decided not to localize THREE DIFFERENT POKEMON RPGs for the WiiWare. Sigh.
On paper, PokéPark seems to be a winner. It’s the first ever open world Pokémon game, complete with real time 3-D action battles, mini-games, some light RPG elements and it fulfills the single biggest request Pokémon gets for their video games – using the Pokémon voice actors instead of MIDI noises. So is there something inherently wrong with PokéPark that Nintendo didn’t push it, or was this yet another blunder by The Pokémon Company International, that has managed to make continuous foul-ups that range from switching the voice actors of the anime, botching the release of the collectible figure strategy game to a legendary degree, closing the Pokémon Center both in NYC and online, and not supporting the Pokémon 151 effort, keeping fans of Creatures Inc. and Pokémon in general in the dark about a game that basically met the requests of long time and LOUD fans?