Jan
08

Do We Really Need More Pokemon?

Posted by Ben Cordell 10 Comments

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced Pokemon X and Pokemon Y during a Nintendo Direct live stream today, with a worldwide release date set for October 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. Even with the leap to 3D, I have to wonder as to whether we really need more Pokemon.

In his Nintendo Direct stream, Iwata looked back at the history of the Pokemon game franchise. Pokemon Red and Green were released in 1996 in Japan before a worldwide release in 1998 with the addition of Pokemon Blue. As the Nintendo President stated, “Offering two different versions was a new concept at the time, encouraged players to connect their Gameboy systems to connect with link cable to collect them all”

The idea of having to have access to two different versions of the game in order to fulfil the franchises catchphrase of “gotta catch ‘em all” never appealed to me. Instead I waited for the release of Pokemon Yellow which included most of the original 151 species of Pokemon (some Pokemon were still only obtainable through trading), but at that age, the majority of kids only really cared about the three starters, Pikachu and Mewtwo/Mew.

Many gamers have argued that Pokemon Red and Blue were the pre-cursor to the now norm of DLC and “cut-content,” as it was impossible to truly complete the game without access to both games. In that respect, Pokemon Yellow could be seen as the Game of the Year Edition, featuring the majority of the content with some special bonuses (you started with Pikachu in Yellow as opposed to the traditional Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle).

Now 151 unique Pokemon seems like a hell of a lot, but Nintendo weren’t quite finished yet. Pokemon Gold and Silver were released in 1999 in Japan, bringing colour to the series as well as 100 new species of Pokemon – including Legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh, Lugia, Raikou, Entei and Suicune. Apparently all these Pokemon were hiding in the new Johto region or were new stages of evolution, which already had me completely baffled.

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire were released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002 and once again, introduced 135 new species of Pokemon – bringing the total to 386. Just where the hell are all these new Pokemon hiding?! The new gameplay features such as Double Battles and Tag Battles using GBA link cable were certainly an interesting and welcome new addition to the series.

Looking to the Nintendo DS era, Pokemon games released on the handheld include (with the exception of enhanced re-releases) Diamond, Pearl, Black and White. These four games introduced a further 263 Pokemon to the universe, bringing the total amount of Pokemon to 649. In less than a decade, there have been an additional 498 Pokemon added to the world of capturing small animals to make them fight each other. The mind boggles as to how that happens.

With a new generation of handheld comes a new Pokemon game, and Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are scheduled for a worldwide release date of October 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. We don’t know how many new Pokemon are set to join the ranks in the new games, but you can safely bet that it’ll likely be over 100. In the trailer above, we’re already introduced to the three new starters – Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie.

Pokemon is arguably Nintendo’s most successful franchise and as long as they have a team who are able to regularly come up with a plethora of wacky new monsters, it’s likely that they’ll keep churning out the games. Each game has introduced a new feature to the gameplay, however it’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything truly spectacular.

With the recent release of the Wii U, many are hoping that Nintendo will hit the red button and release the long-awaited Pokemon MMO. You never know, maybe we’ll see a Pokemon Stadium style game arrive on the console with Skylanders style gameplay. However, the real question is will we ever truly be able to catch ‘em all?

What do you think Nintendo need to do to breathe new life into the Pokemon franchise? Do we even really need more Pokemon at all? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter.

Categories: Features
10 comments
tanto
tanto

Written like a true moron "With the recent release of the Wii U, many are hoping that Nintendo will hit the red button and release the long-awaited Pokemon MMO." Nobody asks for this, game freak has said the minority on the internet arent enough. It wouldnt even work

Boner_Throne
Boner_Throne

Mew was under the Truck in the first one, maybe all the other pokemon were there too, in Fallout style Vaults?

Cryss Leonhart
Cryss Leonhart

We don't need any more damn pokemon, despite the ridiculous amount of boats my characters step on. There are always undiscovered regions popping up, I hate to image the people drawing up the world map. The real reason they need NO more pokemon, is that the design has really faltered since generation 2-3. Black and White were fantastic games, but there were almost no pokemon that I wanted. In Layman's terms, I dont wanna catch em all http://www.pokemon.pagewebsitedesigners.co.uk/Pokemon/Replacments/Generation_5/568%20Trubbish.gif

Lee Weedall
Lee Weedall

"Instead I waited for the release of Pokemon Yellow which included all the original 151 species of Pokemon without the hassle of trading." Wrong. Beedrill, Arbok, Persian, Weezing, Jynx, Electabuzz, and Magmar were all missing from the game. (Essentially, the Team Rocket Pokemon, and a couple of the previously version-specific ones.) Further. your Pikachu wouldn't evolve at all, you could get Raichu by importing one. You actually had to trade with BOTH Red and Blue to complete the Pokedex. Not to mention the almost impossibility of getting Mew through legitimate channels.

Ben Cordell
Ben Cordell

Quite a few gamers would like to see a proper Pokemon MMO - so much so that there have been plenty of mods and fan-created projects to emulate a version of what it could be like. The PokeMMO seems to have done the best job so far and has gotten great feedback. You can check it out here: http://pokemmo.eu/

Ben Cordell
Ben Cordell

Could be! Although a Twitter follower did suggest that it was because of "Genetic mutation, Eugenics, Forced breeding programs, Experimentation and Advanced zoology techniques."

Ben Cordell
Ben Cordell

I definitely agree with your point that there's no real desire to own any of the new Pokemon. I remember when I saw the Johto additions and was completely put-off by them. I essentially saw most of them as rip-offs of the original 151. Does anyone actually have a Pokemon or two that they really, really like, post original roster?

Ben Cordell
Ben Cordell

Hi Lee, Thanks for pointing that out. I updated the article to reflect that a few were still only obtainable through trading. Clearly 10-year-old me thought it was some sort of supreme version!

Cryss Leonhart
Cryss Leonhart

Truthfully, I'm in love with the team that saw me through Platinum and Heartgold. Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Umbreon, Vaporeon and the Shiny Ninetails that I captured myself! Shiny Ninetails is Lilac xD :D That team > every other pokemon out there! Black and White wouldn't let me trade my eevee team across until I finished the game.... Never gave up on a pokemon game quicker!

Lee Weedall
Lee Weedall

I have to agree that most of my favourites have come from Gen 1 and 2, but there are some pretty good ones in each version. (I'm speaking in terms of design, rather than competitive usefulness.) Gardevoir and Milotic from Gen 3, Luxray, Roserade, Garchomp, and Lucario from Gen 4, and Braviary, Durant, and Krookodile from Gen 5.

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