The Secret Genius of the Pokewalker

 
Though I initially dismissed the Pokewalker as a gimmick, this thing was a stroke of genius by Nintendo. It encourages activity, but not so much as to be obnoxious about it. It's not the message that comes up every hour or so on the Wii and tells you to stop being a lazy fatass and go outside. It's tricky in that it actually encourages you not to play the game by giving you rewards in the game. Paradoxical. I like my pokemon, I really do, but levelling up monsters, especially higher level ones, is a huge grind. If, instead of grinding against the Elite Four for the tenth time, I can go for a run and have my Blastoise gain XP from that, that's something I might actually do. In addition to that, the fact that you can only gain one level per walk means you have to constantly sync it with your DS, meaning it's less likely you'll forget or stop playing their machine. It's an insidious little guy.
 
As a standalone accessory, this thing would never have done well (and that's coming from someone who owned an original Pokemon Pikachu). As a pack in though, it's great. It's a fantastic little way to expand your game and perhaps encourage some activity as well. I just hope this isn't a sign of more peripheral pack-in coming, as Nintendo has certainly been doing it a lot recently, but none of the Wii pack-ins have been as good as the Pokewalker- and you usually have to pay extra on the Wii :|

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