Now we’re talking. One of the first generation games that started it all. We can only be talking about Pokemon Red, Blue or Green.
A quick bit of history
The Pokemon franchise was one of those rare occurrences that started life as a simple video game, appealing mainly to children with its use of cutely designed animals. From there, it took life as a much bigger platform, from video games, manga comics, anime and even films. Pokemon took the world by storm and we’re okay with that.
I chose Pokemon Red as, although blue is my more preferred colour, Red was the pokemon game I had seen first. I had both Red and Yellow on my Gameboy Colour, which was a yellow Gameboy Colour. Sadly, not the Pikachu special Gameboy Colour, but yellow none the less.
The Pokemon series took into Trading Card Games which is how I begun. As a youngen who had never heard of a Pikachu before, I was handed some “swaps” by a friend who then asked me to battle his cards. So naturally I grabbed my Pokeballs cards and begun to play. On my first bout with nothing but swaps, I managed to win (Via technicalities, such as us playing outside and some of his cards blowing away. I did say it was because he gave me a card that summoned the wrath of the wind). I remember the craze well as it took over my school like a nasty cold. Even when it was dying down, somehow it surged back!
So then I start Pokemon Red and I see these the creatures that were on my cards are really there in a game! Wow, let’s go and catch them all!
Eventually I did, by about the age of 15 (Thanks truck, Mew wasn’t there and not even strength could move you!) and it was a glorious day filled with cheers, party’s and a damn certificate saying “You have wasted a lot of time in this time sink”… and I am okay with that!
Gaming, to me, is best described via the Pokemon franchise. Pokemon is no different to watching films that keep getting sequels, as both Pokemon and films with loads of sequels are time sinks. You are entertained by these vast wastes of time. The difference? You technically can be entertained longer via a game. Pokemon has the goal: “Gotta catch ’em all”. Each and every iteration looks to improve upon the last, in terms of the engine behind it as well as more and more Pokemon to catch.
If you didn’t play Pokemon and you were a “geek” like me, there were serious eyebrow raising from other geeks around my age! People wanted to be social with you, via a link cable. Share your Pokemon with other players! They level up easier that way, some even turn into bigger and better creatures (evolve) after a trade. Pokemon wasn’t just a franchise of video games, it was a social norm to some kids.
Many avid gamers were able to pick this game up quite quickly as it plays like a standard Role Playing Game. You have a world where you interact with people, a SNES, some TVs, some computers, some people, etcetera. However, this is where this game was separated from many others of it’s time:
Random encounters with the character you play as not doing the fighting.
That might sound like an odd thing for a game, where you’re this character in a Role Playing Game and you do not do the fighting yourself. No, this is why you are on a quest to catch all of the Pokemon, of course. You want to make yourself the best team of Pokemon to take on anything! Pokemon can be described as the “Rock Paper Scissors” of RPGs. The three starting Pokemon all have natural strengths and weaknesses to one another. For example:
Bulbasaur, the Seed Pokemon – Is a “grass type”. You wouldn’t put grass near some fire now, would you?
Charmander, the Lizard Pokemon – Is a “fire type”. You wouldn’t put fire near water now, would you?
Squirtle, the Tiny Turtle Pokemon – Is a “water type”. You wouldn’t put water near grass now, would you? … It’ll just grow!
So as you can see, the three starters were made to combat one another. Whichever one you picked, your “rival” in the game,
GARY OAK Blue, would pick the one with the “type advantage” over your starter. That seems like it’s a hard fought battle uphill, but as you play through the game, you can carry around up to 6 Pokemon, meaning you can just bring in the Pokemon you need to in order to defeat GARY OAK Blue once and for all.
Pokemon is evil..?
Here’s a some bonus content/Easter eggs for you. There are now countless stories of how evil the Pokemon franchise is because let’s face it: “the geeks are enjoying themselves, it must be evil” was a pretty common theme a few years ago. Geek culture has improved to where it is socially acceptable to be a geek and proud of it. Now, how is this series evil?
Rather than just typing all of the different reasons for it being evil, I’ll simply link you to the Bulbapedia page on “Pokemon Controversies“. If you’re interested, it is a great read and just shows you how difference in culture can cause such a big reaction!
Alternatively, if you’re up for being all “creeped out”, why not read some Pokemon Creepypastas? Disclaimer: Creepypastas are stories. Enjoy!
The most important thing about Pokemon Red/Blue
Related articles – Fun related reads! Go read them now!
- Pokemon geeks forever (techi.com)
- Pokemon X and Y (irockwithmunkeys.com)
- Pokemon: 5 nostalgic memories from Pokemon Red and Blue (o.canada.com)
- Has The Famous Glitch, Missingno, Returned In Pokémon X & Y? (kotaku.com.au)