DON’T… POKE… ME…
Emu Zone has remarked more than once on the difficulty of finding more things to replicate as emulation enters its second decade, but the hardworking emu scene is not easily discouraged, and this month sees the debut of the virtual version of one of the gaming world’s odder curios. The Pokemon Mini, released by Nintendo as recently as 2002, was (and, to the best of your correspondent’s knowledge, remains) the world’s tiniest handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges.
Running a handful of mostly Pokemon-related carts the size of postage stamps, the console resembled Sony’s Japan-only PocketStation or the Dreamcast’s VMU memory card, but was more powerful then either (and unlike the VMU, didn’t exhaust its batteries in 25 minutes) and capable of hosting some pretty decent little games, in a resolution comparable to the original mono Game Boy. Impressively, it even packed a “rumble” function.
But anyway - the point, of course, is that there’s now no need to lug a bulky, heavy Pokemon mini around with you if you fancy some action on Pokemon Mini Party, Shock Tetris or the indescribable Zany Cards. All you need is a PC approximately 300 times the size of the handheld device itself and a copy of PokeMiniDream, the world’s first Pokemon Mini emulator.
The first release is already impressively complete, running most of the machine’s slim catalogue of titles complete with sound effects, but tragically the authors have failed to bring the “rumble” effect across to the PC, leaving Emu Zone unable to award the emulator a score greater than 29.4 out of 35.6 in its disappointment at not (yet) being able to watch the PC judder its way across the floor of Emu Zone’s office like a gigantic mobile phone or an inexplicably-vibrating fridge. Still, you’ve got to have something to look forward to, haven’t you?