A look at the games and the anime
It should be obvious to anyone who had heard of the series before that Pokemon is one of the longer running series of both the gaming and anime/manga world. The games has followed the path of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” route for the past few years since it’s release. The anime has stayed the same, but in the opinions of many people, it started out great and somewhere it started to go downhill. So where did it all go? Call me childish, but this piece of work is a still a cherished part of my childhood and it has done little so far to break away from what made it so good in the first place (at least for the games)
Because this is an anime/manga site, I will focus on that part of Pokemon a little more than the games.
WARNING! EXTREME AMOUNTS OF RAMBLING AHEAD
The games themselves remain timeless as ever. I cannot describe the experience with each and new pokemon game. It’s the sense of catching a small creature, befriending it, and beating everyone else’s creature. That’s the goal in short and I’m pretty sure, EVERYONE, has played, heard, or in a way experienced Pokemon in their own ways. As I have said, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” has literally been Nintendo’s plan for a while. From its release in Japan in 1996 and it’s newest addition of Black and White version thats America recieved back in early 2011, the core game has remained relatively the same. The gameplay is catch a pokemon with a pokeball, train it, catch more, beat other trainers, it’s as simple as that. While I could go into detail about online and how a lot of people devote their time, lemme move on. The plot…has somewhat grown a little bit in the years. The original and their remakes was focused on stopping a criminal leader and his organized gangsters and their plans for the country and it’s pokemon (err, region’s pokemon). The second generations and its remakes focused on the comeback of said gangsters, only without their boss. The third generations and it’s following generations kicked it up a notch. Third gen. revolves around eco-terrorists and the fourth generation deals with human emotions and God. Before I continue to the fifth generation, the plot isn’t as serious or deep as they sound, that comes in the fifth generation. In the recent pokemon games, a question is asked to us if these cute and/or monstrous beings actually like fighting their own kind for the sake of human enjoyment. For a pokemon game, that’s PRETTY deep and as deep as it will go.
Allow me to talk about the anime for a bit. In my opinion, the first two generations of the pokemon anime were probably the best if we ever discuss if the anime was ever watchable. I spent my childhood years watching the first two generations and at that time, Dubs didn’t really sound that bad. Whether it was my young mind that dismissed the dub’s faults or the simple understanding that “I didn’t know this was Japanese” in the first place got me to thinking that this was a decent dub. I think it’s my nostalgic senses that make me want to defend the first two generations only. The following generations didn’t really seem as good as the first two did. And by GOD the music, it was cheesy but they were legit songs, with actually GOOD voices (at least in my opinion)
So what exactly happened to it? Did we as fans, outgrow the series as we played along the games and watched the anime? Is the anime still going to help children of this generation to pick up a DS and play?
What exactly has happened to the world’s youth to deny these kinds of games? Does the existance of the currently childish anime series just made the potential fans stray away from the real product of the game series? Has the world now rejected this style of games or have we just gotten more violent and more “demanding” for games of this generation? Has the compatability with these games and the modern youth died out? Were the older series simply better and following generations not able to stand up to them? That, or is it just the enviroment I currently reside with kids fangasming over the same sports and shootin games? (maybe the last one :D )
Nintendo has created a lot of good memories for gamers, THAT I’m sure of. One of my tutors who is a HUUGE nerd always reminisces about the old days. He said that every kid from the 90’s knew the first 151 original pokemon from memory and be able to recite the rap. So, I guess it really is nostalgia that makes me we want to defend this series so much. I mean, in my opinion, I enjoyed every main pokemon game they came out with. I mean sure SOME pokemon are a lot more “inspired” than others but I can think of a crap-ton more good moments I had with Pokemon than being disappointed about them.
To finish things off, my comments on each generation.
The first two series were just…the “basic” series for me. The part in the Gold/Silver games where you could actually go through the first generation region after you beat the game just made the game even bigger. Other than that, not too many memories. I’ve played Red/Blue but I barely remember the times I had with it because I was like 2. Gold and Silver I clearly remember. It was literally a ROM on the PC and my team was Feraligatr, Espeon (or was it Umbreon?), Flaafy, the Red Gyarados, and that’s literally all I remember. I remembering being stuck on the 5th gym? The one where you have to use surf to get to an island to get some medicine. Only I remember doing that part like 10 times so I probably kept forgetting to save. The characters were “eh”. Character relationships are something that I just really enjoy seeing. Red/Blue and Firered/Leafgreen didn’t use the character of the opposite gender (while every other generation following does). Gold and Silver was the same thing, one character ,one rival. But Heartgold/Soulsilver fixed that and I found it a little bit better. Not gamechanging but a a friendly face is always nice to see. Legendary pokemon are always fun to hunt down and catch. But there were only 4 in this game. Mew couldn’t be found in the games unless a glitch was ued. The second generation introduced the dual legendaries that would be the basis for the following games, Lugia and Ho-oh the mascots of Gold and Silver were both catchable in both games (and crystal but that featured Suicune who can be captured in any game). The “first versions” of any of the generations usually don’t allow the capture of both mascots, only the “3rd” game of each generation (like Emerald, and Platinum) would allow that. Anyways, Celebi unlike Mew was availible in the game but only by the means of hacking or having a unique item that was given out in an event. The item can be used to be put into a shrine in a forest where Celebi will appear. The rival was our flippantly annoying Green and angst filled Silver. The female/male counterpart characters never see the light of day. Unitl the remake of Gen.2 of course as un used character is a reoccuring character.
The Third series is where I started Pokemon again. Back in the days of me playing the first two generations and the third, there was a huge gap. I played the first two gens. in my childhood or infancy if you will. This was like when I was 2-4. Generation 3 however was back when I was in middle school and heard that Generation 4 was coming out. So I bought Emerald and me and my brother literally played the shit out of it. This generation had a lot of legendaries too. I remember this game fondly and I LOVED the music in it. Hell theres always good music in each generation (minus first gen, good but Lavender Town creeps the shit outta me). Finding the three legendary “Regis” was a pretty interesting thing as well, as you needed two specific pokemon to solve a puzzle. Solving the puzzle will allow an entrance to appear in 3 different ruins in 3 different areas. I’m currently trying to buy it back from a friend of mine. In terms of rivals, we have the un-used character that serves as a our rival for the first half of the game while a sickly boy named Wally becomes our full time rival in the last half. The third gen also gave us 2 event pokemon and gave us the official release of Mew. Jirachi was availible solely through events while Deoxys was availible by downloading an item and going to an island called Birth Island. Mew was able to be caught in a mysterious island where you had to play hide and seek with it to actually have a chance at capturing it. One of the two pokemon that roamed the region was able to be captured in an island as well.
The fourth generation is the one I spent the most time on. I won’t say how long because I played SO much that I don’t even want to share that information with you. The fourth generation had a pretty good “main” quest but I just didn’t find that as memorable. Same goes for Platinum version. But the main thing I loved about this was the ABUNDANCY with legendaries. Hunting for all of them was a great challenge and this generation is where I currently hold all of my current teams. The music was pretty nice too and the overall post game was a little more enjoyable than Emerald. Probably because theres an actual place to train for the Battle Facilities instead of the Battle Frontier. Like the updated second gen and third gen, the un-used character is used as a side character and you have a full time rival who literally becomes the toughest rival in all of the games.
Fifth generation is the latest one and I think in terms of gameplay and content, it’s pretty damn good. The “story” or main quest is a HUGE improvement compared to the last generations. The towns, well actually one town/city actually resembles A DAMN CITY. Theres multiples roads, a plaza, alleyways, it blew my mind the first time I saw it, they need to update this gen again to make every city this damn big. In regular playthrough, you will not be able to explore the right hand side of the world map. Once you beat the game (near the levels of 45-50) you gain the right half of the game and the trainers there are TOUGH. It completely prepares you for training up for any other challenges you want. The legend count however was sad though. The trios this time around weren’t the best looking trio of legendaries and like the previous games, you couldn’t get the other version’s mascot. Not the greatest, but the overall game itself was terrific. I would play it again but I don’t want get my current team deleted.
I currently own a(n): Emerald, Pearl, Platinum, Heartgold, and White version and I want to replay all but one of them, but I wouldn’t mind a remake of the third generation.
So what do you think? Think Pokemon will continue until the prophetic day Nintendo closes down? Does Pokemon still mean anything to you? Had any good moments in the past or even now?
And if you read all of this, I THANK YOU SO MUCH for tolerating my rambling