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20 Years of Pokemon: Which Game From the Franchise Is Your Favorite?

Updated on March 17, 2017

Pokémon Evolution

Blue to the Moon

Since the introduction of Pokémon in 1996, players have come across multiple Pokémon, travelled through different regions and completed multiple missions as the protagonist of the game. When Pokémon Blue was first introduced, the player was a ten year old in Pallet town starting their path to become a Pokémon master. If the Pokémon franchise did not introduce those earlier games back in 1996 the players would not have come across the other titles of the franchise. The Pokemon games that I want to discuss in depth in terms of being my favorite are Pokemon yellow in which the story is very parallel to the anime, the second generation of the franchise in which some of the mechanics of the game were improved as well as the introduction of the night and day setting and the black and white series in which introduced the 3D graphics to the game as well as other types of battling strategies to the player. In the following paragraphs I will break down each of those games in detail in order to determine my favorite game of the franchise.

Red, Blue, Green and Yellow

In late 1996, players from around the world were introduced to the likes of Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. In Pokémon Blue( Green in Japan) and Red the player was a ten year old in Pallet Town starting their journey to become a Pokémon master. The mechanics of the game were the same for both versions of the game the only difference is what Pokémon the player could catch. By having different Pokémon in each version the player had the ability of trading their Pokémon with other players, which is a huge selling point of the franchise. The huge success of Pokémon Red and Blue and the increasing popularity of the anime, players were introduced to Pokémon Yellow in 1998.

Pokemon Yellow was a special edition of Pokemon introduced for the game boy color in which the player was once again a ten year old in Pallet town. However, the main difference from Pokemon yellow to the previous games is the fact that the player had Pikachu as a starter. Unlike the previous versions in Pokemon Yellow the player was able to catch all three starters of the first generation which could become very handy in their journey. Besides being able to catch all three staters another aspect that I enjoyed a lot while playing Pokemon Yellow is the fact that you can fight against team rocket from the anime instead of just fighting random bad guys. I believe the main reason why I enjoyed Pokemon Yellow so much is because of its similarities with the anime which was growing with popularity. Even though Pokemon Yellow was the first game I played from the franchise I am not sure if I can consider to be my favorite game from the entire franchise.

Night and Day

In late 2000, North American players were introduced to the newest generation of Pokémon with the releases of Silver and Gold. Silver and Gold expanded the original number of Pokémon as well as introduced new legendary Pokémon. The early mechanics of the game remained the same with the player had the option of choosing between the fire starter, water starter and grass starter. One main component that differs Silver and Gold from the previous generation is the introduction of being able to catch a Pokémon at night or day.

You might be wondering, what do you mean catching a Pokémon at night or day? Well, prior to starting your journey you can set up the clock of your game with actual time. By going through those steps the player actually will be able to catch a certain Pokémon early in the morning or really late in the day. The concept of night and day was a very innovative idea because it allowed the player to balance their team with unique Pokémon. Speaking of unique Pokémon, the night and day feature allowed the player to evolve Eevee to either Espeon or Umbreon depending of the time of the day. Besides the night and day concept , the player was able to travel back to the Kanto region after collecting all the badges and defeating the Elite Four.

Once the game is completed in the Johto region the player can travel back to the region that was introduced in the previous games. The player will be able to collect the eight badges once more, but this new adventure takes place three years after the events from the original games. Being able to return to the Kanto region was one of my favorite concepts that I enjoy from the Silver and Gold games. Travelling back to the Kanto region or being able to catch Pokémon at night or day may not be enough to consider Pokémon Silver and Gold my favorite games. In the next paragraph I will go in detail about the Black and White series.

A New Beginning

Unova, Here We Go

In 2010, Game Freak published the newest installment of the Pokémon franchise simply titled Pokémon Black and White. Just like the previous generations, Pokémon Black and White follows the journey of a young boy or girl in the quest of becoming a Pokémon master in the Unova region. Even though, the Black and White series maintained the original mechanics of the game there were some huge improvements in comparison to the previous games.

Throughout the 20 years of the Pokémon franchise the players have seeing some drastic improvements from one generation to another. However, in the Black and White series players have encountered huge improvement in graphics as well as animation. The graphics introduced in the new games felt like they were in 3D even though the games were launched in the Nintendo DS. The animation was vastly improved in comparison to the Diamond and Pearl in which the Pokémon showed some unique traits. The animation and graphics were not the only new improvements of the game, players also saw an unique way to battle.

In the previous generation, we were introduced to double battle in which is fundamental for the overall strategy of the game. In the Black and White series the players were introduced to a new way to battle in the form of triple battle that can help the player acquire some great experience for their Pokémon in training. For a lot of players and fans Pokémon Black and White is a very forgettable anime series as well as a game it was the launching pad for the following generations of the Pokémon franchise in terms of graphics and animation. Thanks for reading.

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