Pokémon (video game series)
Pokémon is a Japanese video game franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri for Nintendo in the 1990s. It is known as Pocket Monsters in Japan. It is now made up of animated television programs (anime), Japanese comic books (manga), trading cards, and toys but, most importantly, the video games. There are currently 649 monsters. Pikachu is the most well-known. When the idea was invented, there were only 150, which was upgraded to 151 (including Mew) when the Blue version in Japan was released. In the United States and Europe, the number of Pokémon was 151 from the beginning. There are now over 600 altogether.
The Pokémon games involve making decisions about what to do and when to do it. They allow the player to catch the monsters, train them to make them better and attack other monsters so that they get better abilities and possibly evolve into different Pokémon. It is also possible to trade Pokémon with a friend. The Pokémon in the battles never bleed or die; they only faint. All Pokémon love human beings, except for Shadow Pokémon - the doors to their hearts have been artificially closed. The game's slogan in the U.S. was "Gotta catch 'em all!", although now it is not used officially any more. The Japanese slogan is "Let's get Pokémon" Over one hundred million (100,000,000) of the games have been sold so far, not counting the ones released for the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube. This makes it the second best-selling video game series of all time (after Nintendo's Mario series).
List of main Pokémon games[change | edit source]
Handheld games[change | edit source]
- Generation I (Game Boy)
- Generation II (Game Boy Color)
- Generation III
- (Game Boy Advance)
- (Nintendo DS)
- Generation IV (Nintendo DS)
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (JPN 2006)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time (US 2008)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness (US 2008)
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia'' (US 2008)
- Pokémon Platinum (US 2009)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky (US 2009)
- Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (JPN 2010)
- Generation V (Nintendo DS)
- Generation VI (Nintendo 3DS)
Console games[change | edit source]
- Generation I (Nintendo 64)
- Generation II (Nintendo 64)
- Generation III (Nintendo GameCube)
- Generation IV (Wii)
History[change | edit source]
The first games, released in 1998, were Pokémon Red and Blue, which unexpectedly became big hits and are still among the best-selling video games of all time. They followed the adventures of the player, a Pokémon trainer who catches, raises, and battles with Pokémon, collects badges from the 8 Gym Leaders, explores all over Kanto (the region), and trades Pokémon with other people who have the game by using the Game Boy's Game Link Cable. Later, a sequel to Red and Blue was released: Pokémon Yellow. In this game, the player's character design is similar to Ash Ketchum (from the anime.) Also, instead of the Pokémon given to the player at the start of Red and Blue (the player can choose Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle) in Yellow the only possible choice is Pikachu, which represents the Pokémon Ash started with in the anime.
When Nintendo realized how popular Red, Blue, and Yellow had become, they decided to support the production and release of more games. After Yellow came Pokémon Gold and Silver, released in 2000, which had a total of 251 catchable Pokémon, as opposed to only 151 previously. A sequel to the two games was released, Pokémon Crystal, which had several new features that were not on Gold and Silver: Pokémon had animated sprites when they came into battle, there was a subplot within the games relating to the different letter shapes of the Pokémon Unown, and there was a new building called the Battle Tower, where players could battle very strong Pokémon to win items and set records. Once the player has beaten the Elite Four, they can go to Kanto, the region in Red, Blue, and Yellow.
In 2003, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were released. They were the first Pokémon games on the Game Boy Advance, and this upset many players because they could not trade Pokémon with Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, or Crystal. However, there were 135 new Pokémon, bringing the total to 386. There were many new features, like a PokéNav (a new item used for many ingame tasks), many more kinds of Poké Balls, a far bigger region (Hoenn) than in previous games (Kanto and Johto), and a Battle Tower different from the one in Crystal. Players could also create Secret Bases, small hideouts hidden in trees and rock walls.
Later in 2004, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen were released. They did not take place in a new region, and they did not have any new Pokémon. They were simply remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue, adding a new "extra region" called the Sevii Islands, and a few new features. However, they made it possible for players of Ruby and Sapphire to get earlier Pokémon in their games. If a person had Ruby, Sapphire, Colosseum, FireRed, and LeafGreen (which many fans of the games did), they could have all 386 Pokémon, which made many players happy.
In 2005, Pokémon Emerald was released. It is a sequel to Ruby and Sapphire. It was the first "main" Pokémon game since Crystal where Pokémon had battle animations instead of static images. There was also a new place called the Battle Frontier where players could go after they beat the Elite Four. It was similar to the Battle Tower in Crystal, Ruby, and Sapphire, except it was eight different facilities, all with different rules. Players earned Battle Points which could be used to buy items for Secret Bases, items for Pokémon, and other things.
In 2007, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were released. They take place in a new region called Sinnoh. They had 107 new Pokémon, which brought the total to 493. Another noticeable difference from the previous games was that Diamond and Pearl did not capitalize all the letters in names of Pokémon, people, towns, items, and other things that were important to the games. For example, Lugia would appear as "LUGIA" in previous games, but in Diamond and Pearl it would just say "Lugia." This cleared up a lot of players' confusion, because many thought that a sentence like "LUGIA is found in the WHIRL ISLANDS" looked unusual. A sequel to Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon Platinum was released in the United States in March 2009. In May 2009 it was released in the UK.
In 2010, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were released. They did not take place in a new region, or have any new Pokémon. They were simply remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver. Like Pokémon Yellow, the player's Pokémon can follow them. The games come with a pedometer like device, called the Poké Walker, that can let players walk with their Pokémon, and gain Watts, which can be used to fight Pokémon, or dowse for items.
Later in 2010, Pokémon Black and White were released. They take place in a new region called Unova. They had 156 new Pokémon, bringing the total to 649. They introduced seasons, where areas appear differently depending on the season, and some areas can only be reached during certain seasons.
In 2013, Pokémon X and Y were released. They are the first ever 3D games in the main Pokémon series. They take place in a new region called Kalos. There are many new features, including the Mega Evolution, where some Pokémon like Mewtwo, Blaziken, and Lucario are be able to evolve into stronger forms during a battle if they are holding a Mega Stone. There is also a new type called Fairy, which is strong against Dragon-type Pokémon.
Other websites[change | edit source]
- The Official Site (United States) (Note: Requires Adobe Flash.)
- The Official Site (Japan) (in Japanese)