I Have Caught More Pokémon than Ash Ketchum!
There are quite a few images in this post so let me get one thing clear for you all. Just know that the images below do not belong to me. That’s why the images are small. I am only using them to show you all some of the cover art for the games. These images I found on The Pokémon Wikia. You can visit their site and learn more details and find way more images over there. You can also see the full images by clicking on them which will take you to the site as well. Now, on with the article.
As I mentioned in my article about the Pokémon anime, Ash is a terrible trainer. He barely has Pokémon. I mean, there are over 700 species of Pokémon now and he has caught less than 100 of them! Seriously, that’s less than the number that were present in the first region. Get it together Ash! This is about the games this time around and not the anime this time around though! There are two sets of games in the Pokémon franchise: the main series games and the spin off games. For this article, we will stick to the main series games since there are so many games in this franchise. The games are divided up into “generations”. For the most part, it is pretty easy to till tell where one generation starts and the next one starts. The change occurs when the main series with the newly added Pokémon are released. To date there are six generations. These generations don’t necessarily go in sequential order, but we’ll cover that later in the article. I will tell you now that at times I do use the English term “Pokémon” interchangeably with the Japanese name of “Pocket Monsters”.
Generation I was first released in Japan on 27 February 1996. These games were Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green. There were some flaws in these games and quite a few horrific sprite designs. Thankfully, Game Freak saw the error of their way in this and they fixed quite a few of these errors and redesigned sprites for the international releases. On 30 September 1998 the United States received their localizations Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version. In the States we never received a localization of Pocket Monsters Green. Rather, we received the new updated version that Japan didn’t even get until the next year on 15 October 1999 when Pocket Monsters Blue was released making it the last Generation I game to be released. It was these games that the anime series was based on when it first came out on the telly. This is what started the Pokécraze. However, those that started watching the anime before playing the games were left disappointed that the games were not really like the anime. Some of the Pokémon didn’t look so much like their anime counterparts and Pikachu wasn’t even available as a starter and if you were incredibly lucky, you could only catch one in the Viridian Forest at the earliest. So, to fix this problem and strengthen the franchise, Game Freak released Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition or simply Pokémon Yellow. This game was released 12 September 1998 in Japan and in the United States on 1 October 1999. Since Pocket Monsters Blue was only a rerelease of an already released game, Pokémon Yellow was the final unique main series game of Generation I to come out. Yellow’s graphics and story were updated to make it closer to the anime. Some people were not overly happy about this since you had some really odd constraints placed on you when playing this version. However, you did end up getting all three of the original starter Pokémon in this version. So, there is a plus as it was the first main series game where you could actually get all the starter Pokémon in a single game without trading. The Kanto Region had 151 Pokémon to catch and was the only of the regions to be named after a real place. That place was Kanto, Japan. The games were fun, no denying that. They were completely different from anything that was out at the time for kids to play on the Gameboy. The goal of these games were to beat all eight gym leaders, defeat the Elite Four, become the Champion, and finally to complete the Pokédex by capturing all 151 Pokémon. All this was done while thwarting the plans of the sinister crime gang, Team Rocket. Through the games you don’t really know what Team Rocket is doing that makes them so bad, but you are told that they are a crime syndicate so, they must be bad! I still have my doubts about that. I questioned everything as a child. This is one thing that always sort of bothered me. For all I knew, I was playing the bad guy and Team Rocket were the ones trying to stop me. The twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting on my first play through since I didn’t have a strategy guide and I didn’t read anything about the plot was that the final Gem Leader in Viridian City is none other than Team Rocket’s Leader, Giovanni.
Pocket Monsters Silver, Pocket Monsters Gold, and Pocket Monsters Crystal were the games that made up Generation II in terms of main series games with Silver and Gold coming out in Japan on 21 November 1999. Japan got their version of Crystal on14 December 2000. That means they only had to wait about a month between the end of Generation I and the start of Generation II. In America, we received our localizations on 15 October 2000 with Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version. In 2001 Pokémon Crystal Version came out on 29 July. These games are set in a new region called Johto. Of course, Kanto does make an appearance. There were also a bunch of new Pokémon that were introduced, ninety-nine to be exact. Crystal version let the player choose what gender to play as and was the first to do so. It also was the first of the main series games to feature sprites that had any form of movement when they appeared. We were also introduced to Dark and Steel types as the new type of Pokémon. We also get to have the beauty that is full colour Pokémon games. Well, the colour could have been better, but nonetheless, it was in colour. This generation of games has a similar storyline of the first generation. You go through Johto and collect badges, challenge the Elite Four, become the champion, and complete the Pokédex. However, since these games also include the Kanto Region you also go to collect those badges too. Kanto and Johto share an Elite Four at the Indigo Plateau which is a connecting point for both regions. All of this is done while dealing with Team Rocket. Unlike in the first generation games, Giovanni is not the Viridian City Gym Leader. Your Rival from the first games has taken over. Giovanni has vanished and Team Rocket is left without a leader, but still functions. The funny thing is that, you don’t find out until the remakes, but your Rival in these games is none other than Giovanni himself. *gasp* I was really excited about that part because I thought Team Rocket was a pretty interesting group in this game. Oddly enough, the only really evil thing that they are trying to do is cut off Slowpoke tales since they are considered a delicacy and sell for a high price. They did send out radio waves that did cause the Magikarp in the Lake of Rage to evolve into Gyarados and later in the game they take over the Goldenrod City Radio Tower in an attempt to get ahold of Giovanni. Other than that, they were not wholly bad. I mean, all they want is rare Pokémon. Doesn’t everyone though. We are all secretly part of Team Rocket.
The Hoenn Region was introduced along with 135 new Pokémon with therelease of Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version to start Generation II. The Japanese versions were released for the Gameboy Advance on 21 November 2002 and the American versions the next year on 17 March 2003. Unlike the previous versions, you could have up to 4 players. It was awesome! Your character also actually speaks other than giving a yes or no answer. While there were no new types introduced, we did get double battles. These were, admittedly, rather annoying when first introduced. There was even a gym battle that was a double battle and to date, Hoenn is the only region that features this. That being said, it was a great new addition to the game franchise that was now in a rut of the same plot: beat the gym leaders, challenge the Elite Four, become the Champion, and complete the Pokédex. There was something new about this particular pair of games. Since Team Rocket was disbanded, we got two new crime syndicates that were in opposition to each other. Basically, they wanted to see the other one fail and didn’t really care who got in their way. Truthfully, Team Aqua and Team Magma were just groups of rouge vigilantes. The version of the game you got determined which one you had to fight against. Ruby got you Team Magma that wanted the world to be more land than sea and Sapphire got you Team Aqua that wanted more sea than land. If you wanted to be able to complete the game with just a single game, Pocket Monsters Emerald was the game you wanted. It also allowed you to fight both Team Aqua and Team Magma. This game was released in Japan on 16 March 2004 and 1 May 2005 in America. Why such a long wait between the Ruby and Sapphire and Emerald? Well, that was because Generation III was the first to see remakes of previous games. 2004 Also saw the release of Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen on 29 January in Japan and on 9 September Stateside. We also got to see the female character that was supposed to appear in the first generation, but got cut since she had been poorly received when they were talking about having her in the games in the first place. You can still find her original art from the 90’s all over the place. Remember how in the anime there was a place called the Orange Islands that was in the Kanto Region, but wasn’t in the games? Well, in these remakes we got the Sevii Islands which were added as a place similar to those areas. The graphics got a major revamp, but the storyline is still pretty much the same. However, it was great and worth the play through. We also got to see Team Rocket and Giovanni again. Yay! LeafGreen was also the only form of a “Green” version that we got in America. However, if you didn’t know about that Japanese only version you were left really confused as to why we didn’t have a “Blue” remake and ended up with some odd Christmas Pokémon games in September. Overall, Generation III was full of great things. Game Freak really did a great job with this generation. Also, SKITTY!!! Oh my gosh it’s so cute!
With the release of the Nintendo DS we were treated to a delightful new generation of Pokémon! Pocket Monsters Diamond and Pocket Monsters Pearl were released for this new handheld console with a bunch of new features. Starting on 28 September 2006 in Japan and on 22 April 2007 we got to enjoy the new real-time clock that changed depending on the time where you lived. There were 107 new species of Pokémon to catch while completing the Pokédex. You also had to do the usual gym leader beating, challenging the Elite Four, and becoming the Champion that you had to do with all the other games. These games also return to having only one team of villains that you have to deal with. This time they are Team Galactic and they want to recreate the Galaxy using the three legendries from their Sinnoh Region. In Diamond they will try to use Dialga, the Temporal Pokémon. Pearl Version they will try to get the Spatial Pokémon, Palkia. Finally in Pokémon Platinum Version, the game released on 13 September 2008 in Japan and 22 March 2009, they will primarily try to use Giratina, the Renegade Pokémon. Platinum Version allowed you to capture all three of the legendary Pokémon in the game without trading to other versions of the games. So, if once again, if you want all those fun creatures with just one game, get this one. While Platinum Version seems like it should belong with the Gold and Silver versions of the games, it is with this generation. However, this Generation also saw a rerelease of previous generation games. Generation IV brought us Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version.
These remakes contained quite a bit of new content and redone graphics. This is the version where we learn about Giovanni being your rival of the version’s father! Yay! You can also use the Poké Walker that was used in this generation of games to capture Pokémon and gain new items. It was an interesting addition to the games since it made you get up and move around. I think they were trying to get kids to not just sit and play games all day. It encouraged you to stay active. This was one of the best-selling games for the Nintendo DS system to date. It was also very well received. However, it was probably my least favourite of the generations. I did actually get a shiny Giratina in game though. That took forever to get. I really wanted a shiny legendary and it was the first one that I got! Of course, I also got the event one that was released a while back. I prefer the one I actually raised though. It’s special.
My absolute favourite generation of games is probably the most hated of generations. It corresponds with the least liked series of the anime. It’s sad really. I mean Generation V was really great. However, I can see why people don’t particularly care for it. Generation V brought us four games. That’s it. There weren’t any spin offs for it. It was just Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version followed by their direct sequels, Pocket Monsters White 2 and Pocket Monsters Black 2. The first games came out in Japan on 28 September 2010 and in America on 6 March 2011. The sequels came out the next year for the States on 7 October 2012 and earlier that same year for Japan on 23 June. These games had so many new things to them that it is hard to count them all. Generation V introduced us to 156 new species of Pokémon. All the graphics got a whole overhaul. Seriously, the graphics are awesome in these games! You have a lot of new 3D graphics that were not present in the previous games. You can tell cities from towns just based on the sheer size of them! Cities are huge now and you can actually get lost in them! I can’t tell you how many times I got lost in Castelia City. It’s kind of ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Of course, you have to do the same collecting of badges, defeating the Elite Four, and becoming the Champion. That is something that Game Freak won’t let go of in these games and that’s okay. It’s familiar, but completing the Pokédex can prove to be quite the challenge. However, the first battle has three different Gym Leaders! Depending on your starter Pokémon you face either Cilan, Chili, or Cress. That was a fun feature. Especially in these games! There is a whopping 13 Legendary Pokémon in these games! I’m not joking! This is only surpassed by the previous generation. The Unova Region, or the Isshu Region as it’s called in Japan, is fairly remote and can only be reached by plane or boat. Despite this, it seems to be more advanced than previous regions. However, there aren’t very many Pokémon that are from the previous regions. Fun new features that are included are seasons! There are some Pokémon that change appearance depending on the seasons and some land features that can only be accessed during certain seasons. Deerling changes depending on the seasons and it’s delightful. Team Plasma is the token vigilante group. They want to liberate Pokémon from their trainers who they feel have enslaved them and force them to battle. Their leaders are Colress, Ghetsis, and N. N is the “King” of Team Plasma. That means he’s the leader. The funny thing is that he acts more like your rival than your actual rival. The real villian is his adoptive father Ghetsis who takes advantage of his son’s naïvety to do his bidding. So really N is a puppet. This is evident by how childlike he is despite him apparently being in his 20’s. I mean he is shown to enjoy the Amusement Park and he always has a puzzle cub with him that takes the form of a Menger Sponge. He eventually changes his mind and in the second game he is more willing to help you. The thing that I loved the most about these four games is how complex the story is. Compared to the previous games this generation is fairly dark. I mean, Team Plasma is basically the more violent form of PETA for Pokémon. You also find out that N was basically raised by abused Pokémon that hated humans while his adoptive father was running Team Plasma. It makes you feel for the character and you really want him to be the good guy with you. I also enjoy the beauty and mathematical complexity of Ferris Wheels, but I don’t like to ride them. In short, Generation V saw the most complex story-line to enter the Pokémon games. While there were some flaws, there were so many good things about it that I find it hard to believe that it is the worst game of the series. It is one of the best because of how different it is.
We are now on Generation VI! This is the current generation and saw the first fully 3D Pokémon games! It introduced 8 new legendaries (there is actually one other, but it has yet to be officially released as of this article being written) and 72 new Pokémon in total. There are four games in this generation: two originals and two remakes. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y were the first main series games that were released at the same time worldwide. This was on 12 October 2013. This was awesome! The remakes for this generation Pocket Monsters Omega Ruby and Pocket Monsters Alpha Sapphire did the same thing and were released world wide on 21 November 2014.
X and Y also gave us the the Wonder Trade feature. I did this for the first time the other day and I got a Gastly from Brazil. Wonder Trade requires an internet connection because it allows you to trade with anyone playing anywhere in the world at random. It’s oddly interesting and I found that I really didn’t care what the Pokémon was, I was more more interested in where it would come from. We also got to customize our trainers to some extent! I was so excited because my trainer actually looks like me for the first time ever! We also got Mega Evolution which was pretty awesome, but there are some that are just sort of meh in terms of interest to me. There is also this awesome feature that was one of the reasons for it being released worldwide on the same day and that feature is that certain Pokémon that look different depending on where in the world your game cartridge was purchased. That Pokémon is Vivillon and it also encouraged the use of the Wonder Trade feature. There are, to date, twenty different wing patter variations for Vivillon. There is also some fun other variations in some Pokémon species, apart from shiny forms. For example, the Pumpkaboo line comes in several different sizes like actual pumpkins and Flabébé line with it’s five different flower colours. This sort of happened back with the awful Unown back in Generation II, but Generation VI really takes this to a whole different level. We got a new Pokémon type and it was Fairy. I’m not gonna lie, I was totally excited about this little creature right here. That little fairy type is the new evolution of Eevee and is called Sylveon. It is so sickly sweet that the “ribbonlike feelers” are used to calm other Pokémon and to hold onto its trainers wrists as it walks next to them. Yep, that’s right this Pokemon pretty much holds the hand of its trainer while walking with them. That’s so cute that it makes me want to get a plushie of the thing so that I can hug it while playing with my Sylveon on the Pokémon-Amie. Pokémon-Amie allows you to actually use the 3DS’s touchscreen to pet, feed, and play games with your Pokémon. This feature, along with the new Super Training feature, allow you to increase various stats of your Pokémon. These features were also carried over to Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon Omega Ruby and allow you to enjoy these fun new features alongside with these well loved stories of Generation III. Wait! These remakes are not really the same as their originals. Rather, while it does keep a lot of the old story, this seems to be set in a whole different dimension with a new form of evolution. These games do have Mega Evolution, but they also have Primal Reversion which allows Groudon and Kyogre to take on their ancient forms as a form of “de-evolution”. Huzah! You can also catch most of the Legendary Pokémon in the games themselves without doing a whole bunch of awkward trading between past generations as you just really need the two games. This is thanks to the “hidden” legendary Hoopa. I am so freakishly excited about Hoopa because I love that it is based on djinns from old Arabic mythologies. If you know anything about me, I do love learning about various religions and mythologies from all over the world. I won’t spoil anymore of that because Hoopa still has yet to officially be released in the games and can only be acquired at this moment by hacking the roms, but it will apparently be available through an event later. Hoopa is set to play a major part in the upcoming movie The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa. So excited! In fact, this gif that is from the Loki and the Loon tumbr fits my feeling about this movie and the Pokémon in general. Despite all of this, I still love the generation before this. Generation VI did have a bunch of new features that were exciting to see for a Pokémon. Now, as I promised, the timeline of the main series games is kind of odd. I will do my best to make it easy to understand.
Obviously, the games that come first in the timeline are Red, Green, Blue, and sort of Yellow (the only reason I’m including it here is because technically it is a a Generation I main series game). The remakes of FireRed and LeafGreen take place at the same time. Next come the direct sequels of Gold, Silver, and Crystal being set about 3 years afterwards. Once again, the remakes of HeartGold and SoulSilver happen at the same time. There is evidence that Black and White come next followed by their direct sequels of Black 2 and White 2 because of the Team Rocket Grunt that has retired and returned to his home in Unova since the events of Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver. Black and White is probably set about three or four years after Gold and Silver while Black 2 and White 2 are set two years after that. X and Y takes place around the time that Black and White ends and is still happening during Black 2 and White 2. So, what do we do with Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Well, Ruby and Sapphire seem to take place at the same time that Red, Green, and Blue do. Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum take place at roughly the same time that Gold and Silver do. Hey! That means that they did end up putting the Platinum version with the other games named after a metal! That leaves the newest games of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Surprise! They don’t belong on this timeline at all. You see, Game Freak pulled a twist on us and it is actually confirmed in the games that there are multiple Pokémon dimensions. All the squirrely things that go on with the plethora of legndaries that appear in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are apparently the work of Hoopa that has the ability to pull things in and out of a variety of dimensions and place them wherever and in whatever time it so chooses. You know, like a djinn tends to do. That being said, they are remakes of Ruby and Sapphire and would take place at the same time they do, just in a different dimension where Mega Evolution is a big deal…maybe X and Y should be included there too? Probably not though since the odd things happening in that dimension are thanks to Hoopa and it probably introduced them in that dimension at an earlier point in time whereas in the normal timeline it happens around the time of X and Y. Oh, and in case you were wondering what Hoop looks like, it looks like this.
At least it looks all cute like that until it is unbound, but I won’t spoil that for you. You go discover that for yourselves. It will be worth the wait when it is released though. I’m pretty sure that Hoopa is now my favourite Pokémon and it hasn’t even made it into the games legitimately yet.