20 Years of Pokemon: Which Generation is Your Favorite?
20 Years of Pokemon
Last year, the Pokémon franchise completed 20 years of existence. Throughout those 20 years the franchise has evolved with its audience, going from a very simple graphics to 3D animation. Even though the franchise has been constantly changing throughout those 20 years, one variable that has remained the same is how you play the game.
From generation 1 to the current generation, the player has the option of choosing between a fire starter, a water starter or a grass starter. On those games, the opponent's player will select their starter based on your choice, in which is a classic case of Rock-Paper-Scissors.The only game that does not follow that pattern is Pokémon Yellow in which the player's starter is Pikachu because it follows the journey of the first season of the anime. With that only exception to the franchise, the player usually chooses their starter based on type or favorite final evolution.
Regardless of which starter you choose in each generation, throughout those 20 years of Pokémon there must be one generation that you enjoy more than others. Throughout this blog I will list my favorite generations of Pokémon, and the main reasons why I have them as my favorites.
Every franchise has to endure some type of reboot and it is no different with the Pokémon franchise. The previous generation of Pokémon was a complete let down for me as a fan, because it had a lot of potential that got ruined on the first episode of the series. By fixing the mistakes that occurred in the Black and White series, the XYZ generation is by far one of the best generations of the franchise. There are three aspects about the XYZ series that makes this season stand out, which are the addition of mega evolution to existing Pokémon, much improved graphics within the game as well as the anime, and a much improved writing.
Mega evolution is a crucial component of the XYZ series throughout both the game and the anime. Mega evolution allows the player to increase their Pokémon's power throughout a battle, and once battle is over the player's Pokémon returns to its normal evolution state. Two things I like about the mega evolution concept is that it is a nostalgia from generation one of Pokémon, because it introduced different evolution forms from the original 151. Also, the mega evolution was crucial to the character development of the main protagonist of the show, because it allowed the protagonist to grow closer to its pokemon and go further in their journey on the Pokémon league. Even though, Mega evolution was one of my favorite aspects , it was not the only component that made XYZ one of my favorite generations.
When the Pokémon franchise was first introduced the graphics were very simple because of the technology that was being utilized 20 years ago. However, through those 20 years the graphics have improved drastically. Pokémon XY was the first game to be played in 3D graphics, which shows how far the franchise has evolved. The amazing graphics from the XY series also were displayed on the anime, which made the show a lot more enjoyable to watch. Along with the graphics of the show, another aspect that made the show enjoyable was the writing.
For the first time throughout the whole franchise history, the main protagonist reaches the final of the Pokémon tournament even though the main protagonist still loses in the tournament the viewer can see there were some changes to the script of the anime. Even though, the main protagonist may still be 10 years old, there is a certain type of maturity to Ash that has not been witnessed before. Also, the relationship of Ash and its Pokemon in this season is much stronger especially with Greninja. The last time we saw this type of bond was during Diamond and Pearl. Generation 7 was one of my favorites, but lets travel to Johto and understand why it is one of my favorites.
It's a Whole New World
In the end of the year of 2000, Pokémon had reached its peak of popularity with the new merchandise as well as new products. American fans witnessed a whole new world of Pokémon in the end of 2000. Fans were introduced to newer Pokémon to catch as well as a whole new land to explore. Just like its predecessor, the Johto series contained two games (Gold and Silver) in which the player could only catch certain Pokémon and would have to trade with friends to collect all Pokémon. Gold and Silver were introduced on the Game Boy Color which provided more detail to the animation as well as color to the game moving away from the green coloring from the previous generation. Another aspect that made the game enjoyable was the introduction of the day and night concept, in which allowed the player to catch different Pokémon throughout different parts of the day. One last thing about Gold and Silver that has not been seeing in recent games is the player can return to the first region where the game takes place unlike other games. I will explore those three key points in the following paragraphs.
Gold and Silver introduced the players to colors, if I remember correctly it was an additional 16 pixel for coloring moving away from the bland colors from the original games. Believe it or not introducing that simple aspect to the game gave another depth for the graphics of the game even though it is a very minor aspect to the game. Along the same lines of adding colors to the game , another aspect that made the game so enjoyable was the introduction of the day and night setting which was a game changer for certain players.
Introducing Day and Night concept to the game for me was a game changer, because you could catch some interesting Pokémon early in the morning as well as early evening. By utilizing this whole new concept it could give the player a slight advantage on their opponents because the gamer would get expose to stronger Pokémon instead of just relying on weaker members for your team. The Day and Night was something I really enjoyed because I caught some great Pokémon at night in comparison if I played the game in the morning. Also the Day and Night setting helped me travel through both the original region of the game and the Johto region.
After the game was completed the player could actually return to the region of the previous generation and actually defeat the gym leader of the Kanto region. However, there are some few modifications when you return to the Kanto region. Being able to fight against the original gym leaders is quite enjoyable and also provides that sense of nostalgia to the player because it reminds us why we play the Pokémon games in the first place. Also, in the Gold and Silver games the player has the ultimate showdown with the protagonist of the first games, which is something quite enjoyable. Speaking of first games, there is one generation that I could not forget which is the original generation.
Gotta Catch Them All
On February 27, 1996 the Pokémon franchise was born with the introduction of Pokémon Red and Green. The green version was only introduced in Japan, for gamers in the United States it is the blue version of the game. The success of those games were so huge that soon enough Pokémon was getting an anime version, in which follows a 10 year old Ash Ketchum in his quest to become a Pokémon master. Just like I mentioned before the anime follows a different formula then the games, in which your starter is an electric instead of the Rock-Paper-Scissor approach.
Even though the earlier games are not 3D and the animations are not as sharp, it is still one of my favorite generations of the franchise, because there are some unforgettable characters as well as Pokémon. I remember that the first Pokémon game that I played was the yellow version which follow the anime's footsteps and looking back it was very hard game since I did not have an advantage on the first gym. Other fond memories of the first generation was playing the game for hours no stop just in order to beat the game, nowadays I cannot spend that much time on a single game.
Besides the games itself, the first seasons of the anime are very enjoyable to watch because the viewer is growing with the protagonist and understanding the importance of bonding with your friends. That is one of the main reasons why the first generation is by far one of my favorites, because allows us to find joy in this world. There you have it, my favorite generations of Pokémon throughout the 20 years. What is your favorite and why? Thanks for reading.