20 Years On, Still Gotta Catch Em All!

On 29th February, 2016

This weekend was a huge one for Pokemon fans.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon announced

On Friday, a new Pokemon Direct confirmed two new mainline games for the Nintendo 3DS: Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. There are no screens or trailers for the new games yet, but it was confirmed they’ll be the first Pokemon titles available in Chinese.

Watch the 6-minute Direct video below:

Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary

Then on Saturday, Pokemon had its 20th anniversary. Yes – it’s been 20 years since Pokemon Red and Green were released for the Nintendo GameBoy in Japan on 26 February, 1996.

pokemon-red-green-japan

What a beast of a series Pokemon is. The core games have never really dipped in popularity, despite sticking to pretty much the same formula all this time.

pokemon-ash-misty-brock

The anime is still going too – although it can’t be as good as the classic days of Ash, Misty and Brock.

Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo

We’re also still getting surprising new spin-offs. Last month, new 3DS game Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo was released in Japan.

In the game, the player helps a gruff-voiced, middle-aged Pikachu solve crimes. Watch the trailer below.

Hopefully the game will get an English translation and turn out to be as good as the great Pokemon spin-offs from the past, like Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Art Academy.

And let’s not forget all the great Pokemon appearances in the Super Smash Bros games. Where else can Jigglypuff fight against Snake from Metal Gear Solid?

23 mainline games, 721 Pokemon

But it’s the core games – and the Pokemon themselves – that have made the series so popular. Sun and Moon will take the main series to 23 entries, across seven generations. And there are 721 different Pokemon to collect (not including any new ones introduced by Sun and Moon).

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Generation I – Red, Blue, Yellow (plus Green in Japan) (GameBoy, 1996)
  • Generation II – Gold, Silver, Crystal (GameBoy, 1999)
  • Generation III – Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald (GameBoy Advance, 2002) and FireRed, LeafGreen (GameBoy Advance, 2004)
  • Generation IV – Diamond, Pearl, Platinum (DS, 2006) and HeartGold, SoulSilver (DS, 2009)
  • Generation V – Black, White (DS, 2010) and Black 2, White 2 (DS, 2012)
  • Generation VI – X, Y (3DS, 2013) and Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire (3DS, 2014)
  • Generation VII – Sun, Moon (3DS, 2016)

Pokken Tournament coming to Wii U too

But Sun and Moon aren’t the only confirmed new Pokemon games to look forward to.

Namco’s Tekken-Pokemon crossover 3D fighting game, Pokken Tournament, is coming out for Wii U on 18 March 2016. Looks pretty fun too!

Happy 20th birthday, Pokemon!

Few game series stay popular for 20 years – but with its great core games, brilliant and bizarre characters, and fun spin-offs, Pokemon deserves it.

Share your Pokemon stories and memories in the comments, and join us in saying “happy birthday, Pokemon!”

 

Neil Wheatley

Copywriter, NUFC fan, dad to Wolfie and lifelong gamer. Sheffield and Manchester, UK.