Pokemon Through The Years (Revised Once Again!)
Pokemon continues to survive through all these years, fascinating the new generation while still intriguing the old. Once again there are new core games in the series, and once again we have reason to update our Pokemon page! As a reminder, this is where we look at all the games in the main series including there release dates, generations, and even a little history lesson or two.
Please check out our little Pokemon history page!
Gamefreak has worked for about 20 years on the Pokemon franchise. And because of that, Pokemon is now one of the most popular Nintendo titles in the world (alongside the likes of Nintendo’s Mario). But which were their best game entries, and which were not?
Pokemon began its debut in 1996 in Japan, and later in North America and various other countries. The first game made in their first line up was Green version and Red version, Green version is the only version never to release in any other countries except Japan. They later released Blue version in Japan as a special edition, when it hit the states it was decided that Red and Blue versions would be our first games. There is a large belief that Green versions were coming to America but the shipment was lost and Gamefreak intended to not have the same mistake happen twice. However, upon further search, it was told by the Nintendo corporation that a “glitch” in the Green version caused it’s release around the world unlikely, therefore they downgraded their special Blue version to the same level as Red and released both those games instead. What the “glitch” was is still not sure of. Perhaps when having to re-alter the games from Japanese into English (which was hard to do at the time) they couldn’t re-alter Green for some reason. Green version is now available in America by digital download or as an app for your Ipod and smart phone.
Red version and Blue version hit America around the fourth quarter of 1996. Being the first Pokemon games, as well as having a new battle system, the games became a huge success. The games would began a Multi-billion dollar future for the franchise, and moving on to win awards such as “best RPG on the Gameboy” and “best RPG of all time”. As of 2007, these specific titles have sold 9.85 million copies in the U.S.
Later in the year 1998, Gamefreak released Yellow version to the world, it was originally meant to help promote the first Pokemon movie. Like Japan’s special Blue versions, Yellow version enhanced in both story and design. Many in the Japanese community felt that the game was unnecessary due to the announcement of Gold and Silver versions in the same year. However, the game received positive reviews by fans when it released. Later, some special Pikachu editions came out in Gameboy color packaging. Nintendo teamed up with Volkswagen to create a yellow Volkswagen beetle with Pikachu variations to help promote the game, the promotion worked. Anyone now who owns the special Pikachu gameboy color editions are considered lucky.
In 1998, Japan announced the next generation games in the line up called Gold and Silver. It was released in Japan in 1999, and America in 2000, followed by every other region. The games helped promote “Pokemon the movie 2000” which was released roughly a year before the games. The games were highly appraised for being completely new and introducing 100 new Pokemon. The sales were as great as the first games, being generally on par with their Million dollar sale and adding to their Multi-billion dollar success. The new additions introduced in these games have continued on in the next installments for good reasons.
Exactly a year later, Gamefreak released Crystal version worldwide. The game was an updated version of Gold and Silver but basically had the same story with some interesting new gimmicks. The game received universal acclaim but an overall similar score to other versions. This was the very first game in the franchise to allow players to choose the sex of their character, it was also the very last game to release for the Gameboy color and made excellent money.
Ruby and Sapphire versions released in the U.S. in 2003, the gameplay and general idea were the same as older versions but the games have enhanced the experience in almost every way. Now players were able to link 4 player games due to the functions of the Gameboy advance, they also introduced a Pokemon double team combat system and enhanced the visualization and color of the graphics, and the 3rd generation of Pokemon. But with Yu-Gi-Oh’s popularity uprising at the time (which now a days seems like a joke), these versions did not do well with sales, but surprisingly are still the highest selling games for the Gameboy advance.
the remakes of Red, Blue, and Green versions were released in 2004. they were called Fire Red and Leaf Green versions and were developed by Gamefreak through the idea of “simplicity”. The games were overall liked by many fans who enjoyed it for staying true to the original, yet still maintaining new features. The game remakes helped bring in a lot more new fans into the genre and became commercial successors.
Emerald version was released in 2005, the game was an updated version of Ruby and Sapphire but felt more like a Directors cut. It gave more depth and feel to the main story and added more understandable plot twists that felt more like blurs in the previous two titles. The game also added an entirely new after game where players could continue to have fun catching other generation Pokemon and challenge stronger enemies in championships. The game, during its first release, received “great but not too great” reviews because the reviewers didn’t understand the necessity of the game. But fans hugely consider this one of the greatest games in the franchise and it still sells like mad in Japan. As of today, Nintendo says that the total sales of this version triumph over real Emerald the size of Neptune! The game also sold more than 7,000 units in Japan last year.
Versions Diamond and Pearl were released in 2007. They were the first DS versions made and introduced the WiFi compatibility. Many praised these versions for bringing something new to the DS and the Pokemon games too, but many found it to be a bit difficult to get use to the enhanced 3D graphics and Audio. the Versions sold 1 million more copies than Ruby and Sapphire and 3 million more than a few others, but some fans consider this the sad generation in the Pokemon gaming world for it having no progression after beating the elite four. The 4th generation was introduced into this game, and many of the new Pokemon were well appraised but it is still considered the weakest generation of Pokemon.
Platinum was released in 2009. Platinum was overall like Emerald version, feeling more like a Directors cut than anything. However, the scores and ratings keep on par with Diamond and Pearl with reviewers once again not understanding its importance. It introduced new forms to various Pokemon, and is considered the savior of the 4th generation, helping to bring back fans. It holds records for being the fastest selling DS game in Japanese markets and is voted the 9th best DS game ever made.
Heartgold and Soulsilver versions are remakes of Gold and Silver. Being released in 2010 a year after the release of Platinum, the games were made by Gamefreak to be a true tribute to fans and also attract even more new fans. The games introduced a new leveling method called the “Pokewalker”, a device that can hold Pokemon and level them up depending on how many steps you take. The games were even more highly appraised then the last three DS entrees, being the second highest rated games in Nintendo history by critics. They’re also one of the highest selling handheld games of all time.
Black and White versions were released in early 2011 in North America. The games not only introduced new Pokemon, but a completely new world and outlook. The game was a juggernaut in Japan, having 10 out of 10 scores and extremely high sales. In America, the games had one of the highest pre-order sales in history and the reviews were very positive. Since early 2012, the games have been considered the best DS games to date. The games are now selling even better now since the announcements of their sequels.
And now we have Black 2 and White 2 that came out fall of 2012. The first sequel entries turned out successful for the better. While most were obviously worried that this would be just another directors cut-like games similar to the likes of Emerald or Platinum, these games actually, and we strongly strict this, turned out to be legit sequels! One person we’ve met said these sequels were the greatest games ever made since the Red, Blue, and Yellow ages. That’s pretty cool! But these games now seem bland when compared to the most game changing announcements in the History of pokemon…
Now we have the surprising announcement of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, the very first main franchise release on the 3DS in 2013. The battles and overall look of the game is now completely in 3D and no longer an aerial viewed game. A new type known as the Fairy type was also introduced, and a new evolution method known as “Mega” evolution was also introduced for certain Pokemon. The game covers feature that of Yveltal the flying/dark type and Xerneas the pure Fairy type and first Fairy legendary. Not only was this new generation of games a definite game changer for Pokemon forever, but these games may also be the best games ever made in the entire franchise! Never has a game like these been more exciting for us in the Pokemon franchise, not since Emerald at least. It feels like a new start for the entire Pokemon universe, especially due to the improvements and graphics.