PETA’s never been one to miss a good opportunity for spectacle. So when Pokémon Black & White 2 hit the shelves yesterday, it was quickly followed by the online release of PETA’s Pokémon Black & Blue. Finally fed up with being forced to do battle for their masters’ pleasures, a battered team of Pokémon fight to free their brothers and sisters from enslavement. You take the role of Pikachu, sporting a cruel chain collar and missing a chunk from your ear.
PB&B’s message isn’t necessarily horrible. It’s hard to argue that it’s somehow right to force sentient pets to fight for our amusement. But Pokémon has always been primarily a kid’s game, even if plenty of teens and adults also enjoy its adorable characters and surprisingly compelling gameplay. Dressing up Pikachu and other pets in bizarrely grotesque and exaggerated battle wounds — wounds that don’t exist at all in the actual game — feels a bit over the top.
Interestingly, Pikachu and company have complete and full mastery of English in Pokémon Black & Blue. It enhances the message that PETA is sending… it’s wrong to force these creatures to fight! But, again, there’s little analogy to that in the actual Pokémon game world. Some Pokémon can talk, but by and large, they do so in cryptic, single-word phrases. The overall parody would have been better if PETA had stuck to the way the game actually works.
[Source: PETA’s Pokémon Black & Blue