The Question I always ask is, is Pokémon for Everyone? It has been around since 1995 and appears to still be going strong. In the 20+ years Pokémon has been around, they debuted a popular card game, released TV series after TV series, movie after movie, and game after game. Pokémon plushies, figurines and an endless list of other merchandise can be found everywhere, from niche anime shops to run-of-the-mill toy stores. The brand has an indomitable, world-wide reach, appealing to multiple generations.
Each new generation continues to follow these little Pocket Monsters and their trainers from region to region. Older generations who remember the original 150 (or is it 152?) Pokémon can now watch and enjoy gaming with their own children. So is Pokémon for children? teens? adults? The answer I give is, Pokémon for Everyone.
Just recently I caught my wife watching the original Pokémon series with her 9 year-old sister. Both were sitting on the couch and reciting the Team Rocket chant and I realized that it’s time for me to finally finish Pokemon Omega Ruby.
I’ve played the Pokemon games since Pokémon Red and Blue (the originals) and have worked my way to beating every champion in every hand-held Pokemon game since. While I do not partake in breeding or trying to catch elusive “shiny” Pokémon, I play for story. I enjoy watching whatever baddie team the game has (Team Magma, Team Rocket, Team Aqua, Team Flare, etc) to offer and enjoy spoiling their devious plans to catch some rare Pokemon only to collect it for myself. I work my way up to the game’s champion and ultimately find myself as a Pokemon Master in that region (Kalos, Kanto, Johto, etc) and for me that’s where the game ends, unless I need to collect yet one more legendary Pokémon.
The games have no real replay value for me after I get all the legendary Pokemon in the game and make sure I’m the region Champion. Each game has pretty much the same premise:
- Get a starter Pokemon
- Build up your team
- Beat each gym leader
- Foil Team XXX plan
- Become Pokemon champ
While it’s linear and very repetitive, it’s still very addicting. With every new release of a Pokémon game, I end up buying and casually playing until I beat it. The same will be no different with this year’s release of Pokémon Sun and Moon. The hardest decision I have to make is…. which one to buy?
Choosing which version of the game to buy is an ultimate struggle and requires some serious research that takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Step 1: What exclusive Pokémon are in each game?
- Step 2: Which legendary do I like better?
- Step 3: How many of my friends are getting a copy? Which versions are they getting? (Trading opportunities)
The other great thing added to these games on the Nintendo DS, is the inclusion of the PokéBank, released during the run of X and Y. The PokéBank is an online storage system that will hold your Pokémon, allowing you to transfer them from your current game to your next one. The PokéBank is not free however, and requires a payment of $5 a year.
The PokéBank helped me blow through the Omega Ruby game rather quickly, as I was able to transfer high-level Pokémon from X and Y that I had already leveled up and used, to Omega Ruby. After each gym, I would go through this process to allow me to get whatever level Pokémon I could command without issue, and blast my way towards and through the next gym. While this may seem like a cheap way (or cheating?) to get through the game, it allowed my to enjoy the storyline more as I did not have to take massive amounts of time to catch and level-grind Pokémon I likely already had and leveled up in previous games.
This plan worked all the way up to the Elite Four at the end of the game. I had some very high-level Pokémon (85+) and was still unable to take down the champion the first time. I came really close, but ultimately got my ass beat. So even though you can blow through most of the game with the Pokémon you have collected previously and currently, the Elite Four and Champion really do live up to their potentials.
Overall, the Pokémon series has transcended 2 generations, isn’t slowing down, and is enjoyable to parents and children alike. Everyone has their favorite region, game, character, Pokémon, etc., but no matter what, the brand is enjoyed by everyone. If you haven’t picked up a Pokémon game or watched an episode, I suggest starting with the original series (Kanto Region) to watch, but suggest the newest games to play (X and Y or Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire). While the old games (Red and Blue) were my favorite, the graphics and animation does not hold up today.
Enjoy and start your journey on becoming the very best like no one ever was.
I encourage anyone/everyone to comment on their favorite Pokémon game or series. What made it your favorite? What would you like to see in Pokémon Sun and Moon? Whats your favorite Pokémon of all time?