As the 6th Generation of Pokémon Games finally releases this weekend, I felt the need to share some thoughts about the Pokémon franchise as it shaped my interests in gaming and of course, Anime. (Image Source)
Back in the day, I didn’t know much about Pokémon when the games first came out in the late 90s. Eventually, my sister and I got a copy of Pokémon Red and Blue for the Game Boy respectively around when I was in fourth grade, probably during the summer of 1999. Back then, there was only 150 known Pokémon compared to over 600 we have now. The story was simple with the main character going on an adventure, collecting all 8 badges, catching new Pokémon, beating Team Rocket and of course defeating the Elite Four. This eventually got me into gaming a bit more because not only I played other Pokémon games like Pokémon Snap and Pokemon Stadium, but also got a copy of Super Smash Bros, which is a fighting game that features characters from other Nintendo franchises.
When the second generation games came out a few years later, I felt that Game Freak improved a lot from the originals until the fourth generation as it had 16 Gym Leaders to beat, introduced genders, breeding among other mechanics. In comparison, the third generation felt like a let down as it removed a good amount of those features. Not only that, you couldn’t transfer any Pokémon from the first two games, which was a bigger letdown. At the same time, it introduced natures, double battles, abilities, effort values and overhauled individual values. It’s not until Generation 4 came out that I started taking competitive battling more seriously and spent a lot more time playing Pokémon since online play is finally implemented.
To me, Generations IV and V was a vast improvement since you can now battle and trade from other people all over the world while being easier to train/breed the right Pokémon. When I was in high school, I used to spend a lot of time breeding and training Pokémon for online battling and it was fun. Although I didn’t do much battling during the fifth generation since I was focused on Anime blogging and college work, except for the one time when I battled Yumeka, the author of Anime Yume, I spent most of my time at the Battle Subway and eventually the Pokémon World Tournament for my offline battling needs. Also during that time, I named some Pokémon after Anime characters as seen in my previous posts.
As Pokémon X and Y finally releases, looking back at my experiences with Pokémon, the main games have gone a long way from being 2D to finally being fully 3D and being released on the same day in all countries. While Pokémon Anime can be considered as a gateway drug to Anime, it eventually sparks interest in other Anime back when I began my undergraduate degree. Without the games, this wouldn’t be possible.
With that, what are your thoughts about the Pokémon franchise? Feel free to share your favorite Pokémon.