Well, well, well. I will be honest, Pokemon has been one of my weaknesses in gaming since the television series first started showing on SMTV live when I was roughly 10 years old. After picking up Pokemon Blue (and totally destroying everybody else on it, I might add) I was a completely devoted fan, even going so far as to have the special edition Pikachu N64 to play Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Stadium on. I was a little obsessed - even now I find random Pokemon toys when I clean out my room, tucked into old boxes and left to gather dust.
I might sound like I'm exaggerating, but I'm really not. I still have the N64 laying in a closet, I still have my copy of Pokemon Blue, Yellow, and Silver, Stadium, Snap, Diamond and even the Trading Card Game for the Game Boy Color. I remember going to Pokemon events and obtaining Mew (legitimately, not with one of those bloody Action Replay cartridges). I collected all 151 Pokemon in the original game and had a full team of maxed out Pokemon. I knew every trick, every tip, every exploit and every bug. I collected the cards and went to friendly tournaments. And, in the earliest display of geeky shame I can think of, I knew all of the lyrics to the Pokerap.
Man, even the first bar of that song makes me cringe.
Anyway, keeping in mind that it is a franchise I still have quite the Achilles Heel for, I'm sure you can imagine the mix of feelings when I saw the possibly leaked footage of a potential live action movie that might be in production (and really, I cannot stress the indicators of uncertainty enough here). Elaborate joke, total hoax, or legitimate footage? If the latter, is it going to be head-burstingly awesome or a total, embarrassing flop?
Let's pause the questions for a second and look at the "trailer".
A few things are evident right from the start. Firstly, like everything being released these days, it's supposed to be gritty. Secondly, it seems to cram as many Pokemon in as possible, presumably as fan service. And thirdly, it's going to be far from a family-friendly flick.
Having watched the trailer more times than is necessarily healthy (partly through trying to get the facts and partly out of sheer disbelief) I've managed to compile a full list of the Pokemon making an appearance, in order: Meowth, Voltorb, Haunter, Gyarados, Pikachu (of course), Psyduck, Snorlax, Mewtwo, Arbok, Weezing, Squirtle, Jigglypuff, Onix, and Charizard. It's very possible I've missed a couple since it's hardly crystal clear footage, but there we go.
The characters look to be the standard line-up from the TV show, namely Ash, Brock, Misty and Team Rocket complete with their characteristics, distinguishing features, and trademark Pokemon. It's interesting seeing guns and vehicles involved (since there are no firearms in any of the Pokemon games and the only transportation seen consists of boats and trains) since that does suggest it's going to be set in the "real world" as opposed to Johto or Kanto (although the fact the trailer only showcases Pokemon from the first 150 suggests it may be set in Kanto).
If it is a hoax, and the seriously sub-par CGI, total lack of dialogue or narrative, and seemingly T-rated action suggests this is more than possible, then it's one that's still going to hook my interests for quite some time. And if it's real, even though I'd wager it's going to be embarrassing and terrible, I'm still going to be first in line to see it.
Peace, love, and Charmander better make an appearance or I shall cry