On the way back from PAX East I beat the mostly mediocre but still playable Galactrix on my Nintendo DS* and suddenly needed a new game. I had a choice:

1. 1 $60 Final Fantasy XIII game for Xbox360
2. 2 $30 Pokemon carts for the DS, one for me and one for KR.

Thus Pokemon made its way into my house again because playing with Katie >> Final Fantasy. With great surprise I sat down with this game and was hooked on it like I was being fed some new kind of synthetic happy drug. I swear, this game pushes all my little happy brain buttons. I can pick it up and play it for hours. It has followed me around the house. I have played it for 40 hours now — that drops the cost/rate of return on my game below a $1 an hour — and I’m still ready to go.

– Want to play an RPG? It’s an RPG!
– Bored of the RPG? Play board games! Mini games! Fish!
– Tired of games and fishing? Breed pokemon! Trade pokemon! Breed them more! OMG MORE POKEMON!  Now go grind those guys up to their evolved forms…

One I got hooked on it I had to get others hooked on it. Now others are hooked on it and the wifi on the game is pretty decent for being a little DS so pokemon whizz through the aether to become bigger and better loved pokemon.

I have collected thus far 54 unique varieties. I hang my head. Honestly, the reviews don’t lie.

Really, we’re not even going to talk about the pokewalker add-on in my pocket because it’s just embarrassing. If you’re looking for a fun new DS game, I have to recommend this one. It’s like Mario Cart. You never get bored.

Beware, though: I have part one of the two-part hint book and that, alone, is 300 pages long. The full hint books cost more than the game! Gamefaqs has a pretty good pokemon section for those who want to go the cheap route.

* A Nintendo DS is the best selling gadget in the world. It is a closed system, requires custom tools to build games, and games must go through a lengthy process before they show up on store shelves. I am just sayin’.