Video Game: Pokémon Channel
is a spinoff of the rather popular Pokémon
video game series. It's the Spiritual Successor
of Hey You, Pikachu!
, and with its own Spiritual Successor
in PokéPark Wii
, it would appear the 'cute Pikachu' games - Pokémon spinoffs geared for younger players in which the main draw is Pikachu running around acting all cute - is officially a subseries.
It is a simulation/virtual pet game that is about watching TV with a wild Pikachu and unlocking new channels every real day you watch. You can also go outside the house and have the Pikachu talk with other wild Pokémon to get collectible cards.
And that is pretty much it.
It was and still is wildly criticized for lacking gameplay and just being a blatant cash-in on Pokémon
's popularity. In Europe, it was the only way to get a Jirachi, since you got one each time you beat the game. On the other hand, it is painfully
cute, and approached on its own merits can be a mindlessly enjoyable endeavor. It also debuted the Pichu Bros. short "The Pichu Brothers in Party Panic", and if you ever wondered where the game Meowth's Party from the Spaceworld tech demo that unveiled the Gamecube went, it's here.
The game as a whole exhibits examples of:
- A Boy and His X: Or girl, the gender isn't specified.
- Achievement System: The Poképad has this.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Colbalt Coast.
- All There in the Manual: The manual gives out the location of where the Pokémon Mini emulator is.
- Animal Talk: Less than last time. The Pokémon Speak is now subtitled.
- Armor Is Useless: Averted with an item called "Pikacream" (sometimes found in crates). When interacted with, Pikachu will rub the cream all over his cheeks. Pikachu will then ask the player "if he applied the cream well". However, there appear to be no changes to Pikachu's cheek textures.
- An Odd Place to Sleep: Pikachu will fall asleep in front of the Snorlax doll if interacted with.
- Attract Mode: One appears on the title screen if you wait.
- Audience Participation: Two In-Universe examples:
- In Viridian Forest, there is a bell in a tree. The game then asks if the player wants to sign up for "The Concert of the Forest", then Pikachu and some Togepi or Cleffa will be holding bells, and they'll play the Pokémon Channel commercial music with them.
- Before the Jigglypuff and Kecleon concert, a Charmander in the audience lights a campfire with its tail.
- Balloonacy: Cleffa balloons can sometimes be found in crates, and then float up into the sky. This makes it the only item that can't be interacted with.
- Banana Peel: Pikachu can slip on one in the backyard.
- Bottle Episode: Many of the models and animations are reused from either Hey You, Pikachu!, the Pokemon Stadium games up to this point, or Pokémon Colosseum. That and a majority of the OST is from Hey You, Pikachu! as well.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pikachu will sometime leap into the camera.
- The Flavor Text for the bookcase says it's chock full of game strategy guides.
- Catch and Return: A beach ball can be found in a hole in Springleaf field (except on the fifth day). With it, the player and Pikachu can play catch with it.
- Companion Cube:
Pikachu is saying "hello" to the Lapras doll.
- Console Cameo: Exaggerated. Not only is a Pokémon Mini present, but it also acts as an emulator.
- Constellations: The game has a camp the player can stargaze from, with multiple Pokemon constellations viewable. These constellations also showed up in the credits of Pokémon: Jirachi: Wishmaker.
- Continuity Nod:
- If Togepi's nice card is collected, the next day it'll come by the player's house and bring the "Kasumi Channel", which is the "Pichu Brothers: In Party Panic" Japanese dub with Misty as the narrator. Togepi is most known for being one of Misty's Pokémon in the animé.
- Viridian Forest is one of the locations you can visit.
- Most of the Pokémon Quizzes are straight up from the Poké Dex entries.
- Cobalt Coast makes a return as a place you can visit. You can even see Cobalt Island in the distance.
- Couch Gag: A little cutscene depicting Pikachu in the player's bedroom plays every time the player loads the save file. The couch gag? They're always different animations, from Pikachu doing a ballet to finding him sleeping in the storage closet.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Mt. Snowfall is the only location that doesn't have rain. Instead, it snows.
- Emulator: An emulator for the failed Pokémon Mini can be found under the bed. In fact, this very feature was used to build actual emulators for Pokémon Mini.
- Everything Is Online: Its a bit of a stretch, but it still counts. The official website for this game is one of the mini-sites Nintendo made back in the GameCube era. Most of the GameCube sites now redirect to Nintendo's websites, but this is one of the many surviving sites, and boy does it show its age! Fittingly, its URL suffix is .tv which was sometimes used for offical websites for TV shows.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: Pokémon Dolls.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: A small rainbow appears when Pikachu waters the plants during the daytime.
- Extreme Omnivore:
Pikachu wants to eat the Charmander Doll.
The Charmander Doll wasn't very tasty!
- Feelies: The game comes with 3 E-Reader cards that allow the player to paint a picture of Pikachu, Kyogre, and a picture called "6-Pattern".
- Fictional Currency: "Pokés". They're basically money from the main games, except everything's cheaper.
- Fishing Minigame: ...and then the fish Pokémon ask you trivia questions about themselves.
- Flavor Text: These appear when you press "B" on an object. It works exactly the same as the Pokéhelper from Hey You, Pikachu!.
- Four-Leaf Clover: Pikachu can look for one in Springleaf Field.
- A four leaf clover can also be seen in a pot on the player's windows pane.
- From My Own Personal Garden: Pikachu and the player can plant berries in the garden. With proper watering, they will grow into berries and Pokémon will come to the garden to eat with Pikachu.
- Genre-Busting: The game falls somewhere between the adventure, simulation, and virtual pet genres, not quite hitting any of them.
- Gesundheit: Sometimes while watching TV, Pikachu will go "ka-chu!" and move his head in a sneezing motion. The game will then reply with "Pikachu sneezed". The first time Pikachu sneezes, the player earns a quote-unquote "achievement" in the Poképad named "Bless you"
- Gotta Catch Them All: The nice cards.
- Grail in the Garbage:
Pikachu is digging in the trash can.
Pikachu found nothing worthwile.
- Guide Dang It: You get the Pokémon cards by answering Pokémon trivia. The game can fall into this if you haven't kept up with the main games' flavor text.
- Impossibly Mundane Explanation: According to Pokémon News Flash, the reason why nobody falls asleep during the Jigglypuff and Kecleon concert is because Jigglypuff trained herself to sing to the point where nobody falls asleep.
- In-Game TV: While this trope is nothing new to the Pokémon series, it's the main focus of the game.
- In-Universe Game Clock: It's no Animal Crossing, but it still counts.
- Instant Home Delivery: Some of the early items and the roms for the Pokémon Mini emulator arrive as soon as you order them via Delibird.
- Joke Weapon: A trumpet or harmonica can sometimes be found in crates. They serve no purpose other than to have Pikachu play them.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: In the ruins of truth, Pikachu's Thunderbolt can make the plants in it light up.
- Loyal Animal Companion
- Luck-Based Mission: The game loves using this trope.
- All of the items showcased on Shopping With Squirtle are completely random. The only exceptions are the required bus passes and the binder.
- The booster packs for nice cards are random as well. Not only that, but they can contain doubles too.
- The Fishing Mini Game is completely random as well. First off, it's completely random whether or not Pikachu is going to sucessfully pull in the catch. And the Pokémon that are reeled in are random as well. And no, throwing the Pokémon food doesn't help you at all, if anything, it's just there to keep you entertained while you wait.
- The type of plants that grow in the garden is completely random as well. Plus, the type of plant predetermines which Pokémon will come to eat with Pikachu.
- There's an achievement called "bless you", which happens if Pikachu randomly sneezes while watching TV.
- Military Salute: Pikachu sometimes does this before leaving a room.
- Mythology Gag: Once you unlock the full Pichu Bros. short and watch it on a projector, the game's main story ends on the "End of Day" jingle from Hey You, Pikachu!.
- Never Say "Die": Averted. Pressing B on a plant in the garden that's turned brown, the description will say "This plant has died".
- Old Save Bonus: In the PAL version, beating the game lets the player transfer a Jirachi to Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire. It also acts as a patch for the infamous Berry Glitch.
- Point-and-Click Game: This replaces the voice controls from Hey You, Pikachu!.
- Product Placement: The Pokémon Mini. Also, the game could entice you to buy a Pokémon stuffed animal.
- Regional Bonus: Only Europeans could unlock Jirachi by beating the main story. He still visits Pikachu and the player in the other versions, but it's only a cameo. (Americans got Jirachi through Pokémon Colosseum, so it kind of evens out. At least outside Japan.)
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pikachu, of course!
- The Sandbag: There's a Wobbufett punching bag in the bedroom. Pikachu punches it when it's interacted with.
- Scenery as You Go: In Cobalt Coast there is an island in the background (which is most likely Cobalt Island from Hey You, Pikachu!). Although there is no way to get to it, Pikachu will sometimes try to swim to it but almost drowns.
- Stylistic Suck: When Pikachu punches the Wobbufett punching bag, it makes a sound similar to a low-quality sound card in a toy. The Flavor Text lampshades this by having the word "speaks" in quotation marks.
- Shout-Out: Plenty
- Pikachu will sometimes try to jump into the TV.
- If Azurill is on Meowth's on the Scene Interview, it'll say "My ears are long. Just don't try to tie them in a knot." This is a reference to a line in the song "Do your ears hang low?".
- Selective Localisation: The PAL version of the game uses metric measurements for the height and weight of the Pokémon's descriptions.
- Sizeshifter: The Wobbuffet spray (sometimes found in crates) will cause Pikachu to temporarily shrink in size, complete with Helium Speech.
- Surfer Dude: The Surfing Pikachu doll.
- Sweet Dreams Fuel: Oh my, yes.
- Tic Tac Toe: This can be seen and played at Colbalt Coast during the daytime, albiet using black and white stones.
- Videogame Settings
The game also features several channels for the player and Pikachu to enjoy together.
"The Pichu Bros. in Party Panic!" provides examples of:
- Bilingual Bonus: The Kasumi Channel is all Japanese, with no subtitles to help out anybody who doesn't speak Japanese. Depending on the version of the game, other dubs of the episode may be available.
- Console Cameo: Meowth can be seen holding a GameCube controller at the end of part 4.
- Continuity Nod: When comparing the Squirtle Squad's slowness at working, Meowth says "They're scarier than Pikachu!". Ash's Pikachu, of course.
- Expository Theme Tune: "Side By Side"
- Half-Identical Twins: Just as in "Pikachu & Pichu" and "Camp Pikachu", the older Pichu has a cowlick to distinguish the two.
- Important Haircut: One scene shows Smoochum fixing her hair.
- Multi-Part Episode: Subverted. It's split up in to five parts, although a full version can be unlocked later.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The Pichu Bros. try to disguise themselves as a Piloswine out of a brown sheet and a few traffic cones in one scene.
- Pet the Dog: Meowth is horrified when he makes Cubone sad, and his entire plan is to throw a legitimate party for all the Pokemon.
- That Cloud Looks Like: One part when the Pichu Bros. are on top of a building, they fall down from exhaustion. They then notice a cloud that look like them holding hands, and some clouds that look like fruit, making them hungry reminding them to find an invatation for the party.
- The Snack Is More Interesting: During one scene, when the characters are chasing an invitation, Teddiursa notices an ice cream truck and runs for that instead of the invitation.
Pokémon News Flash provides examples of:
Shopping With Squirtle provides examples of:
- An Interior Designer Is You: Most of the products sold here are things to spiff up the room, including dolls, different TV sets, wallpaper...
- Continuity Nod: The sunglasses Spencer Squirtle wears is the same pair worn by one of the Squirtle Squad members in the animé.
- Funny Character, Boring Actor: In-Universe. Spencer Squirtle hawking everything with such enthusiasm is actually pretty reserved off-camera.
Smoochum Shape Up provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Pikachu pretty much embarrasses himself by excersising with the Smoochum. It's worth quite a laugh for some.
- Same Face, Different Name: Averted, the exercises are real, but have different names. For example: The "Leg Kicking Exercise" is actually leg lifts. Most notably the "Stress Relief Exercise" is actually jumping jacks.
Quiz Wobbuffet provides examples of:
Smergle's Art Study provides examples of:
Slowpoke's Weather Report provides examples of:
The Fortune Channel provides examples of:
The Eggzamination Channel provides examples of:
- Captain Obvious: It's pretty easy to know what Pokémon is in the egg. Just look at the egg's pattern.
- Overly Long Gag: It can take a very long time for the egg to hatch, ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours. Better make sure your GameCube's fan is working...
Mareep Farm provides examples of:
Odd One Out provides examples of:
- Punny Name: The first Pokémon you see are Oddish. Get it? Oddish? Odd one out?
Chum Chum Ranking provides examples of:
- Guilt-Based Gaming: The show's final segment only exists to make the player feel guilty for not playing the game enough.