As we know, nobody pimps out their flagship franchises like Nintendo. Eventually, the world will notice that every Super Mario and Pokémon is the effing same, but until then these wily bastards will keep on raking in the cashtacular.
To that end, the stars of the show have been given cameo appearances and spin-offs-amundo. The less said about Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and other such branded wank, the better.
But sometimes, they take it a step too far. They combine their love for dead horse flogging with their lust for craptacular plastic peripherals (the Balance Board, tennis racquet attachments, the Wii Wheel…). And when this happens, unholy ballaches like Hey You, Pikachu! are born.
This little oddity hit the N64 in 1998. It was one of a mighty two different games to work with the console’s weird voice recognition dealie. Remember that thing? The one that looked like some kind of futuristic sex toy attachment for the robo-whores of the year 3090? Well, here it is, powering one of the most bizarre Pokémon experiences ever made.
It’s a kind of puzzler crossed with a life sim crossed with a dose of what-the-eff-is-going-on-here. In short, it’s every child’s dream back in the nineties: a big ol’ 3D Pikachu as a pet, responding to your voice and dicking about adorably as only this thing can. That was the plan, anyway.
Sure, it heard, but it gave NO SHITS. As usual.
By ‘responding to your voice,’ I actually mean damn well ignoring your voice, like the stubborn little asshole he is. Originally, the game was only available in Japan, so naturally only Japanese speakers need apply. It did make it to North America in the year 2000, but didn’t damn well work here either. As Bulbapedia reports, the device was ‘calibrated for a higher-pitched child’s voice,’ but even those whose balls hadn’t dropped had difficulty making themselves understood.
Without helium or a voice like Joe Pasquale, Hey You, Pikachu! was a festival of crap.
Even when you could get it to work (which you freaking couldn’t), the gameplay rates pretty highly on the balls-o-meter. It’s a series of minigames with the mascot of the ‘mon, based around a schedule of themed days. Discovery Days, Play Days and Daring Days. By interacting with the little dude enough, you earn its trust and it moves in with you.
But screw that. If I wanted to live with an obnoxious ass who completely ignores everything I say, I’d still be married.