One of my first loves in gaming was a little blue creature with a bulb on its back. This year that little creature and 700 plus friends are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their franchise; Pokemon. That’s right, Pokemon is almost old enough to drink in most countries and has a ton of games under its belt. I want to take time in this special article to look back at some of the games that made this franchise amazing, history of the franchise and some things that we’d love to see more of! This is part two of our special, and hot on the heels of Sun and Moon’s announcement, we are going to take a look into some of the most risky games of the series.
Pokemon Snap: The N64 had some extremely inventive games on its console. One of the fan favorites is Pokemon Snap, a picture taking game where you ride through different environments in a yellow vehicle on-rails and have to capture perfect shots of the native Pokemon. The game had a score system based on the centering and clarity of each picture you took and unlocks different biomes that you went through when you earned enough points to be given an item that would allow your path to the next area to be opened. There were also printing stations placed in the video rental store, Blockbuster, that you could take your cartridge to and, for a small fee, print out pictures you had taken in game. Nowadays, Pokemon Snap is a cult classic that fans are still pushing a sequal for.
Hey You, Pikachu!: The second spin-off release on the N64 was the voice interactive game, Hey You, Pikachu!, an interactive pet program. In it you used a microphone that attached to your N64 that allowed you to give Pikachu commands with the combination of using the controller to move around and point. The game was an amazing experience for the moments that worked, but at times it had voice recognition issues and Pikachu would end up confused or destroying an important item. The game is still a fun gem in most collections and can actually be bought complete with box, microphone, and manual for around $40 USD.
Pokemon Channel: The Gamecube saw a lot of great games during its time but Pokemon Channel was among the weirdest games to come out. Pokemon Channel is a series of mini-games in which you live everyday life with Pikachu and interact with a series of games through the television. There where several different TV channels you could watch, like the art channel where you painted with Smeargle, Smoochum’s Exercise Channel, or Shop N’ Squirtle. You could also order items with points you earned from Psyduck’s Channel to decorate your room. You got more channels as you went along including unlocking parts of a Pokemon OVA special, Pichu Bros.
Pokken Tournament: One of the newest additions to the line of creative spin-offs is Pokken Tournament, a fighting game for the Wii U. It is a 3D fighting game that was originaly released in arcades around Japan and features well known Pokemon. The game features 16 different Pokemon fighters to duel it out with. The game is set to release on the 18th of March with a worldwide launch. Expect to hear more from the game around launch!
Great Detective Pikachu: The Great Detective Pikachu was announced as a special game being released for Pokemon’s 20th anniversary. It is a Nintendo eShop-only title for 3DS based on being a partner to Detective Pikachu and solving mysteries with him. The story revolves around Tim Goodman, a young trainer who is looking for his missing dad and runs into Pikachu. The game gives Pikachu a human voice only heard by Tim, which is that of a gruff detective and is a little quirky. The game costs the equivalent of $10 USD until February 29th and is currently out in Japan as a full length game with multiple cases.
These games are full of quirks and amazing to play in your spare time. They all hold a special part on my gaming shelf and are always great to pick up for any curious newcomers to the franchise. There are a few other games that I would recommend like Puzzle League and Mystery Dungeon if you wanted something other than the core games or main console exclusives. Also, be sure to check out your local area this month for special events and sales going on in celebration of the 20th anniversary!
What is your favorite Pokemon game? Are you excited for Sun and Moon? Who is your favorite Pocket Monster? Let us know via Twitter or the comments below!