In honour of Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary today, I thought I’d write a little about my experiences with the series in a little off-the-cuff short post. My first Pokemon games were not the originals from 1996, but instead the third generation; Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (Sapphire being the obvious choice). These games wowed me so much, I became an instant devotee of the series, and have remained one to this day.
Pokemon as a series, at least from what I understand, has survived so long for its long reach and appeal; even those who don’t play the main series video games have other options in the card game and other spin off games. And for those who do play the games, you can play them in so many different ways; I’m a collector, and I love exploring every nook and cranny of the perfectly sized regions for more Pokemon to collect, but you can just as easily prefer battling, either competitively, or just for fun. What I’m trying to say is that Pokemon caters for so many different people and play styles, it would be difficult to believe if it hadn’t lasted this long.
My personal favourite moment in any Pokemon game is the one seen above; the cable car in Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. As a child, this short cut-scene where you saw your character slowly go up the mountain was mesmerizing to me, and I would spend ages going up and down the mountain. Like soaring in the sky in the remakes, it emphasized to me how big and real the world felt, but in a slightly less forced way than in ORAS. My favourite Pokemon generation, however, is the fourth. While Diamond and Pearl felt slightly slow and problem ridden, Platinum and HGSS are masterclasses in how to make a Pokemon game – Sinnoh as a region is amazingly both homely and strange, in a way that makes for a great setting for a Pokemon adventure. Meanwhile, the Pokemon following feature in the Johto regions makes those games – it’s amazing how much a little feature like that can bond you to your team, and it’s no wonder people want it to make a return. All the Pokemon games, however, have given me hours of fun and I could rave about each one for at least a whole blog post. So that’s what I’m going to do. In the run up to the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon later this year, I will be reviewing one Pokemon game a month (hoping I can keep to schedule). It might get a bit rushed towards the end (I don’t know when SUMO are releasing as of yet, but it should work out.
Happy Birthday Pokemon – Here’s to 20 more wonderful years!