2003 Gaming Award Winners, Part 14

Developer: Ambrella
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 12/01/2003


Sadly, this still remains the most “controversial” choice in IP history. Why oh why did Pokemon Channel win in a year with Zelda: Wind Waker. The short answer is that none of the Kliq really cared for Wind Waker. The long answer is about to come.

The problem with most gamers today is that they are unable to rid themselves of tunnel vision. You know what most reviewers will give a game series if you read their work enough. Of course, I’m good at swerving you all by giving Pokemon games 5’s and 6’s on occasion. ;-)

Pokemon Channel is simply one of the most original games made. The audience was never meant to be early twenty gamers who generally like guns a’blazing. No, this game was geared for young children and tennage/adult girls. And like most games geared for that demographic, modern reviewers lack the ability to step outside their comfort zone and enjoy those type of games for what they are. It’s a sad sign of what the industry allows for journalism these days.

Ask Madeline, one of the Kliq’s old staff members what her favorite game on the Cube was. She’ll say without hesitation, “Pokemon Channel.” This is a 20-something woman with a masters degree in food science. Someone who is NOT a cosplayer or anime freak either. Ask our own first lady of Inside Pulse, Gloomchen, the same exact question, and she too will squeal with delight as she spends half an hour telling you how Pokemon Channel is the best game she’s played in years. Ask kids whats amongst their favorite Pokemon games and you’ll get the same answer. In a recent poll done by the Pokemon Company a few months back, Pokemon Channel was in the TOP FIVE most popular Pokemon games ever.

So what did this game have to offer? Simplicity at its finest. You got to watch a Pichu brothers cartoon that was adorable and catchy. You got to collect Pokemon merchandise and play Pokemon mini games and most of all you got to interact with Pikachu who would do anything from allow strange Pocket Monsters into your home without permission to zapping you if it looses at Tic-Tak-Toe. Clearly Pikachu is a poor loser.

Pokemon Channel offered everything that non steriotypical gaming fanboy wanted in a game. It sold well, even though reviewers couldn’t understand it. But then, they weren’t the demographic. It looked great, sounded well, and was able to be enjoyed by all ages.

This is why it won. Because for its worth, it was the best game of the year on the system. How often is Wind Waker brought up three years later? Nope. Zelda kids are talking about the newest game. They’re a fickle bunch. Mario fans? Same thing. But Pokemon Channel is still played, and enjoyed by cube honours with the same level of giddy silliness that the first recieved from the game. In terms of originality, and pleasing your target demographic, you couldn’t find a better game on the cube.