Most people have heard of Pokemon — the little Japanese animated creatures, with the cute little yellow creature, Pikachu, being the most popular of them all. Most people associate Pokemon with the anime cartoon on TV, but also from the collectible trading cards, magazines, toys, books, and games. Pokemon was actually created by the massive game company, Nintendo, and is a million dollar media franchise. Its name is actually a shortened version of the original name, Pocket Monsters.
History of Pokemon
Pokemon was created in 1996 by Japanese game developer Satoshi Tajiri. The original game was developed by Game Freak and was released as an interlinkable pair of Game Boy role playing video games. Over the years, the popularity of Pokemon, has made it the second most lucrative and successful game-based franchise behind Mario, also created by Nintendo.
In May 2010, the franchises sales reached 200 million copies in total, with the brand boasting 718 different fictional species over the various series. The concept of creating an entire fictional universe where the characters live came about due to a childhood hobby of the creator. He loved to collect insects as a boy, and therefore decided to create a variety of species in the Pokemon Universe which had to be collected.
How Does Pokemon Work?
The collectors of the species are known as Trainers, and each Pokemon has its own specific power, features and characteristics. The main aim of the game is to collect all the species in order to complete the Pokedex, and additionally place teams of specific Pokemon up against other Trainers’ teams, in order to become the Pokemon Master. Whether playing the video game, trading cards, or checking out the anime and mange series, the focus is on Collecting, Training and Battling.
In the Pokemon Universe, any Trainer who comes across a Wild Pokemon has the ability to capture it using a Poke Ball, which is a mass producible spherical tool from which the Pokemon cannot escape. It is then under the ownership of that Trainer and must adhere to all commands. Pokemon that are owned by other Trainers cannot be captured, even in battles (with the exception of certain games). Ultimately the winning Pokemon will Level Up when winning a battle and this will increase its Speed, Agility, Power or other battle aptitudes, making it more valuable to the Trainer.
On occasion, the Pokemon will learn new moves in battle and will undergo a process called Evolution, and morph into a similar, but stronger version of its species.
When looking at the original single player game, the Trainer must progress through a somewhat linear game and defeat various non-player Trainers along the way, as well as defeating the main, most powerful Trainers, known as Gym Leaders. Defeating the Gym Leaders will earn the Trainer a Gym Badge and once all 8 of these have been collected, the player is able to challenge the 4 top trainers of the Pokemon League, known as the Elite 4. This gauntlet will consist of 4 Pokemon battles in a row, and if successful, the player is then eligible for the Regional Championship battle, against the current Pokemon Master who previously defeated the Elite 4.
The initial Pokemon generation games are the role playing games (RPG’s) that the creator invented for Game Boy, introducing the original 151 species in Pokedex Order. Since then, sequels have been released every few years which contain new game concepts and characters, and these are then termed a new generation. The first generation began with the release of the Pokemon Red and Green, and then the Blue was introduced as an enhanced Ao version. To prepare for International release, the game was reprogrammed to be simply Pokemon Red and Blue. Later on, to take advantage of the Game Boy colors, Yellow: The Special Pikachu Edition was released.
The second generation began with the release of Pokemon Gold and Silver in 1999 and introduced 100 new species. Pokemon Crystal was the enhanced version that was released during this generation. The Pokemon Mini was also released during 2001, being a handheld game console.
The third generation was released in 2002, producing Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire and its enhanced version (Pokemon Emerald) for Game Boy Advance. They also remade the original Pokemon Red and Blue for Game Boy Advance, called Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green. A further 135 species were introduced.
The fourth generation started in 2006 with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl which was the Nintendo DS and introduced another 107 species to the Pokedex. With the touch screen technology, many new game concepts were added and the enhanced version Pokemon Platinum was released in 2008. In addition, remakes of the Gold and Silver versions were released in 2009, called Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, which was made for the Nintendo DS console.
The fifth Generation was released in September 2010 with Pokemon Black and White and utilizes the 3D rendering technologies. 156 new species were introduced, making the total number of species in the franchise 649. Various new game mechanics, like wireless interactivity features, were also introduced.
The newly released 6th generation, Pokemon X and Y, are the first rendered completely in 3D and released worldwide on the 12th October 2013.
As Pokemon has grown in popularity, so the anime TV series have led to feature length movies being made. To date, there are ten Pokemon movies that have been released, and these have been in conjuction with Pokemon CD’s, containing soundtrack of each film.
Trading Card Game
The trading card game was released in 1999 and took the world by storm. Each card featured a different species and listed its battle stats, features and characteristics. Much like the video game, the cards were placed against each other and could be won from another player if their card “knocked out” their opponent’s card. There are now digital versions of the trading card game.
Play Pokemon Games Today
With such a huge variety of game versions and a plethora of species that you can collect and battle, playing Pokemon truly is a must for any game lover. Don’t delay — you can play Pokemon right now on our website. Learn how to become the best Trainer you can be and Master your Pokemon Universe!