File:English Pokémon logo.svg|
The logo for the Pokémon series
|Genres||Role-playing video game|
|Developers||Game Freak, Creatures Inc.|
|Original release||February 27, 1996|
Pokémon is a series of role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and Creatures Inc. and published by Nintendo as part of the Pokémon media franchise. First released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy, the series has continued with at least two new games for each Game Boy generation. Games are commonly released in pairs—each with slight variations—and then an enhanced remake of the games is released a few years from the original release. While the main series consists of role-playing games, spinoffs encompass other genres such as action role-playing, puzzle, and digital pet games.
All of the licensed Pokémon properties overseen by The Pokémon Company are divided roughly by generation. These generations are roughly chronological divisions by release; every several years, when an official sequel in the main RPG series is released that features new Pokémon, characters, and gameplay concepts, that sequel is considered the start of a new generation of the franchise. The main games and their spin-offs, the anime, manga and trading card game are all updated with the new Pokémon properties each time a new generation begins. The franchise is currently beginning its fifth generation as Pokemon Black and White release in Japan on September 18, 2010.
The original Pokémon games were Japanese role-playing video games (RPGs) with an element of strategy, and were created by Satoshi Tajiri for the Game Boy. These role-playing games, and their sequels, remakes, and English language translations, are still considered the "main" Pokémon games, and the games with which most fans of the series are familiar.
The Pokémon series began with the release of Pocket Monsters Red and Green for the Game Boy in Japan. When these games proved extremely popular, an enhanced Blue version was released sometime after, and the Blue version was reprogrammed as Pokémon Red and Blue for international release. The games launched in the United States on September 30, 1998. The original Red and Green versions were never released outside Japan. Afterwards, a second enhanced remake, Pokémon Yellow, was released to use the color palette of the Game Boy Color and more of a stylistic resemblance to the popular Pokémon anime. This first generation of games introduced the original 151 species of Pokémon (in National Pokédex order, encompassing all Pokémon from Bulbasaur to Mew), as well as the basic game concepts of capturing, training, battling and trading Pokémon with both computer and human players. These versions of the games take place within the fictional Kanto region, though the name "Kanto" was not used until the second generation. Spin-off first-generation titles include Pokémon Pinball; an adaptation of the Pokémon Trading Card Game for Game Boy Color; an on-rails photography simulator for Nintendo 64 titled Pokémon Snap; a Nintendo 64 Pokémon-themed adaptation of Tetris Attack, Pokémon Puzzle League. A 3D Nintendo 64 incarnation of the handheld RPGs' battle system, Pokémon Stadium; and a co-starring role for several species in the Nintendo 64 fighting game Super Smash Bros.. At the Nintendo Space World in 2000, a game was revealed briefly with Meowth and Team Rocket singing a song. This was one of the earliest introductions of the Pokémon Togepi and Bellossom. This game was called Meowth's Party, but was never turned into a playable game. Instead, the song/video was played at the end of one Pokémon episode, and a CD was made for retail in Japan for a limited time.
The second generation of Pokémon video games began in 2000 with the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver for Game Boy Color. Like the previous generation, an enhanced remake titled Pokémon Crystal was later released. This generation introduced 100 new species of Pokémon (starting with Chikorita and ending with Celebi), for a total of 251 Pokémon to collect, train, and battle. New gameplay features include a day-and-night system (reflecting the time of the day in the real world) which influences events in the game; full use of the Game Boy Color's color palette; an improved interface and upgraded inventory system; better balance in the collection of Pokémon and their moves, statistics and equippable items (a new addition); Pokémon breeding; a new region named Johto and the ability to select the protagonist's gender. Unique to the second generation games is the fact that, after exploring Johto, the player can enter and explore the original Kanto region, which lies to the east of Johto. Spin-off second-generation games include the Game Boy Color adaptation of Pokémon Puzzle League a puzzle game created by Zopf industries made specifically for the game boy color, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge; a Nintendo 64 pet simulator, Hey You, Pikachu!; the Pokémon Stadium sequel, Pokémon Stadium 2, for Nintendo 64; several Pokémon mini-games for the e-Reader and a co-starring role for several Pokémon species in the Super Smash Bros. sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube. The Pokémon mini was a handheld game console released in December 2001 in Japan and 2002 in Europe and North America.
Pokémon entered its third generation with the 2003 release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for Game Boy Advance and continued with the Game Boy Advance remakes of Pokémon Red and Green, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, and an enhanced remake of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire titled Pokémon Emerald. The third generation introduced 135 new Pokémon (starting with Treecko and ending with Deoxys) for a total of 386 species. It also features a much more visually detailed environment compared to previous games, a new 2-on-2 Pokémon battling mechanic, a special ability system applying to each Pokémon in battle, the Pokémon Contest sub-game, and the new region of Hoenn. However, this generation also garnered some criticism for leaving out several gameplay features, including the day-and-night system introduced in the previous generation (it had to be removed due to internal battery save problems), and it was also the first installment that encouraged the player to collect merely a selected assortment of the total number of Pokémon rather than every existing species (202 out of 386 species are catchable in the Ruby and Sapphire versions).
Third-generation spin-off titles include Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire for Game Boy Advance; Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team for Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS; Pokémon Dash, Pokémon Trozei! and Pokémon Ranger for Nintendo DS; Pokémon Channel and Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire for Nintendo GameCube; and two RPGs for the Nintendo GameCube, consisting of the games Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
In 2006, Japan began the fourth generation of the franchise with the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for Nintendo DS. The games were subsequently released in North America on April 22, 2007 and in Australia on June 21, 2007. The game was then later released in the UK and Europe on July 27, 2007. The fourth generation introduces another 107 new species of Pokémon (starting with Turtwig and ending with Arceus), bringing the number of Pokémon species to 493. New gameplay concepts include a restructured move-classification system, online multiplayer trading and battling via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the return (and expansion) of the second generation's day-and-night system, the expansion of the third generation's Pokémon Contests into "Super Contests", and the new region of Sinnoh, which has an underground component for multiplayer gameplay in addition to the main overworld.
Other main series games in the fourth generation include Pokémon Platinum, a director's cut version of Diamond and Pearl in the same vein as Pokémon Yellow, Crystal, and Emerald. It was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan on September 13, 2008, in North America on March 22, 2009, and in Australia and Europe on May 14, 2009 and May 22, 2009 respectively. It was also announced that the Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver would be remade for the Nintendo DS as Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. First released in Japan on September 12, 2009, the games were later released to North America, Australia, and Europe during March 2010.
Currently, spin-off games in the fourth generation include the Pokémon Stadium follow-up Pokémon Battle Revolution for Wii (which has Wi-Fi connectivity as well), Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and Pokémon Ranger: Tracks of Light for Nintendo DS, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness and their sister game, Explorers of Sky all for the Nintendo DS, and a co-starring role for Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Lucario, and a Pokémon Trainer (who uses Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard for fighting) in the 2008 Wii fighter Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
On January 29, 2010, the Pokémon Company announced that a new game was in development for the Nintendo DS to be released later that year. A silhouette of a new Pokémon was shown by Junichi Masuda on the February 7, 2010, episode of Pokémon Sunday, stated to be in the upcoming film for the summer and to be identified in a future episode on February 21. This new character would also be featured in the March 2010 issue of CoroCoro Comic available on February 15, and is the start of the fifth generation of the Pokémon Franchise. Since then, the character has been named "Zoroark" (ゾロアーク Zoroāku ), and its pre-evolution was also revealed to be named "Zorua" (ゾロア Zoroa ). Both are to be featured in Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl The Movie: Phantom Ruler: Zoroark . On April 9, 2010, the Japanese website updated with the titles of the versions as Black and White, and announced a Fall 2010 release date. The May 9, 2010 episode of Pokémon Sunday displayed silhouettes of the three Pokémon that are available for the player to choose from at the beginning of the game. These three Pokémon were revealed to be the Grass Snake Pokémon "Tsutaja" (ツタージャ), the Fire Pig Pokémon "Pokabu" (ポカブ) and the Sea Otter Pokémon "Mijumaru" (ミジュマル). Other information revealed is that the game takes place in the Isshu Region (イッシュ地方 Isshu-chihō ) which is centered around the Hiun City (ヒウンシティ Hiun Shiti ) metropolis.
One of the consistent aspects of most Pokémon games—spanning from Pokémon Red and Blue on the Game Boy to the Nintendo DS game, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl—is the choice of one of three different Pokémon at the start of the player's adventures; these three are often labeled "starter Pokémon". Players can choose a Grass-type, a Fire-type, or a Water-type, Pokémon indigenous to that particular region. For example, in Pokémon Red and Blue, the player has the choice of starting with Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander. The exception to this rule is Pokémon Yellow, where players are given a Pikachu, an Electric-type mouse Pokémon, famous for being the mascot of the Pokémon media franchise; unique to Pokémon Yellow, the three starter Pokémon from Red and Blue can be obtained during the quest by a single player.
Another consistent aspect is that the player's rival will always choose the type that has a type advantage over the player's chosen Pokémon as his or her starter. For instance, if the player picks Fire-type Charmander, the rival will always pick Water-type Squirtle. This does not affect the first battle between the rivals, as they can only use Normal-type attacks at this point, meaning that they cannot exploit weaknesses. The exception to this is again Pokémon Yellow, in which the rival picks Eevee, a Normal-type with multiple evolutions.
List of main Pokémon games
- Generation I (Game Boy)
- Generation II (Game Boy Color)
- Generation III
- (Game Boy Advance)
- (Nintendo DS)
- Generation IV (Nintendo DS)
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (JP2006, NA2007)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness (JP2007, NA2008)
- Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (JP2008, NA2008)
- Pokémon Platinum (JP2008, NA2009)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (JP2009, NA2009)
- Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (JP2009, NA2010)
- Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (JP2010 NA2010)
- Generation I (Nintendo 64)
- Generation II (Nintendo 64)
- Generation III (Nintendo GameCube)
- Generation IV (Wii)
Appearances in other games
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Pikachu, Ivysaur, Squirtle, Charizard, Jigglypuff, Pichu, Mewtwo and Lucario are playable characters. Pikachu and Jigglypuff are introduced in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, and are also featured in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, alongside Pichu and Mewtwo. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mewtwo and Pichu are not featured, although Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard make their first playable appearances as part of the Pokémon Trainer character, while Lucario appears as a separate character. Rayquaza is also featured as a boss enemy. The series also features Poké Balls as items, which, when used by a player, make a random Pokémon appear, with various effects on the game. Further, several Pokémon games are available on PC and Macintosh, see Pokémon games for PC.
Four Pokémon—Mew, Celebi, Jirachi and Deoxys—are impossible to obtain without cheat devices, exploiting glitches, or Nintendo promotional events. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl added three new extremely rare Pokémon: Darkrai, Shaymin and Arceus. They are obtained by using the Mystery Gift function; in some cases, exploiting a glitch in the game itself; or directly from Nintendo at promotional events. These Pokémon can be obtained by using a GameShark or similar cheating device like Action Replay. Players are not required to own these Pokémon, among others, in order to have a complete Pokédex, as this would mean you would not be able to obtain the certificate for collecting all of the Pokémon in D/P.
- Mew can be found in the Red, Blue, and Yellow versions using the "Mew glitch." In addition, it is possible to get an Old Sea Chart in Pokémon Emerald at one of Nintendo's promotional events and use this to travel to Faraway Island (known as World's Edge Island in Japan), where Mew can be caught. On September 30, 2006, Mew was also given out at Toys "R" Us stores throughout the United States in recognition of the release of the new movie, Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. A similar event at Toys "R" Us stores across Britain took place in August 2007. Several of these promotional events also took place in major shopping malls in Australia and the United States. It has also been discovered that Mew is also obtainable in the WiiWare title, My Pokémon Ranch. If 999 Pokémon are sent to the Ranch, Hayley will bring a Mew to the Ranch and is able to be traded in return for an egg from the Wii to a Pokémon Diamond or Pokémon Pearl game.
- Celebi can be found through the use of the GS ball (only obtainable in the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal ), which can be placed in a shrine in Ilex Forest to summon it, by manipulating a glitch, or by using a cheating device. It is also available in the Japanese Pokémon Colosseum bonus disc, which was available with pre-orders. For the Gold, Silver and Crystal games, Celebi has been provided as a promotional Pokémon at special events, but it was not obtainable outside of Japan for the Game Boy Advance generation with the exception of a promotional 10th Pokémon Journey Across America.
- Jirachi can only be obtained legitimately with the Pokémon Colosseum bonus disc (which was available with pre-orders) in North America, which allows a player to trade this Pokémon to the Ruby and Sapphire games. PAL region gamers can get it by finishing Pokémon Channel, after which Jirachi can be downloaded to the GBA games; it holds a Ganlon berry. Between February 27 and March 13, 2010, Jirachi was obtainable at select Gamestop stores. Jirachi was also obtainable in North America, Europe, and Australia between June 26 and July 16, 2010 through Nintendo WFC for all generation 4 games. It, like the Gamestop Jirachi, is used to unlock the Pokéwalker Route "Night Sky's Edge".
- Deoxys can be caught on Birth Island to the south of Kanto in the FireRed, LeafGreen and Emerald versions, provided the player has an Aurora Ticket, which was a bonus for pre-ordering a ticket to see the 7th movie in Japan. In America, the ticket was given at Pokémon Rocks America 2004 and on Halloween 2004 at the former Pokémon Center. Europeans were able to find it by a promotion called "The Hunt for Deoxys." Nintendo of Europe gave out tickets to those who mailed their games in. Due to the universal encoding of a Game Boy Advance, American cartridges can receive Deoxys too. An event took place at Space Center Houston that gave out Deoxys on March 10 through 19 of 2006. Deoxys was also given away to owners of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl as a bonus for pre-ordering a ticket to see the tenth Pokémon movie. This Deoxys came in the exclusive Cherish Ball and had a unique moveset. Deoxys was also given away to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl owners on the weekends of June 20–22, and June 27–29, 2008 at local GameStops in America.
- Manaphy can be obtained in Diamond and Pearl with use of the games Pokémon Ranger and Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. After each game is completed, a special mission may be offered to maintain a Manaphy egg which the player can then transfer to Diamond or Pearl to hatch there. Additionally, on Saturday, September 29, 2007, Toys 'R' Us held another event to distribute Manaphy, in promotion of the film Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. This particular Manaphy had a special moveset and was caught in a Cherish Ball. It also held the item Red Scarf.
- Darkrai can be obtained in Diamond and Pearl with the use of the event item Membership Pass. This takes the player to Newmoon Island, where Darkrai can be found. Darkrai was also distributed at movie theatres in Japan to promote the movie Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai. Keeping in trend with previous promotions, the Pokémon Darkrai was distributed at Toys 'R' Us stores in the United States on May 31 and June 1, 2008, also in promotion of Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai. Darkrai was also obtained by completing a downloadable mission in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia but Nintendo has removed the mission. Darkrai was given away in the summer of 2008 at the now defunct Woolworths stores across the UK; it is in a Cherish ball, holds an Enigma berry, and knows the special moves of Spacial Rend and Roar of Time—Palkia's and Dialga's exclusive moves. Using cheats you can move from the island where is cresselia and go eastwards, where you will find the island which contains Darkrai.
- Shaymin was only obtainable in Japan on July 6 (premiere) and July 19 (official date). Anyone with a Nintendo DS and Diamond or Pearl were able to receive Shaymin in the film hall. In North America, Shaymin was available from February 8 to the 14 at Toys 'R' Us. In 2009, for the release of Pokémon Platinum, players in Britain where given the opportunity to download a Shaymin from a GAME retailer via Mysterygift. It knew the move Seed Flare at level 50, rather than at level 100 (the level the move is obtained at).
- Arceus is available for download for North America owners of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum from November 7 to November 15. In Japan, Diamond and Pearl owners who preordered a ticket to the 12th movie received the Pokémon. The item needed for in game capture hasn't been released to the public, and, as of now, is only available via hacking.
- The Liberty Ticket will be available to players from September 18th to October 18th 2010 after the release of Pokémon Black and White in Japan, allowing players to capture ビクティニ (Bikutini).
Codes and glitches
Many glitches can be triggered in the Pokémon games, especially in Red, Blue, and Yellow. These glitches allow players to duplicate Pokémon or items, catch unobtainable Pokémon, and accomplish otherwise impossible feats.
"MissingNo." is a glitch in Pokémon Red and Blue composed of junk data holding several unused positions in the game's internal 8-bit Pokémon species byte. It is most often accessed by a glitch that involves undergoing a tutorial in Viridian City (which temporarily places the player's name into the RAM space that is accessed to determine which Pokémon can be caught in an area), then immediately flying to Cinnabar Island, and surfing along the coast. Cinnabar Island's coast has no data on which Pokémon can be caught, and thus any data which is presently stored in the RAM (in this case, the player's name) is used. Certain letters of the player's name are used to decide what Pokémon is met, and "MissingNo." is one of the more common results.
Reception and legacy
The series has sold over 200 million units as of July, 2010, making it one of the best-selling of all time. Guinness World Records awarded the Pokémon series eight records in Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008, including "Most Successful RPG Series of All Time", "Game Series With the Most Spin-Off Movies" and "Most Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures Caused By A TV Show".
IGN ranked Pokémon as the 17th greatest game series of all time, claiming that "the basic gameplay premise boasts solid, addictive play mechanics, and several of the handheld RPGs deserve to be in every gamer's collection. Hey You, Pikachu!: not so much." GamesRadar listed Pokémon as the #1 Nintendo game not made by Nintendo, stating that having to catch them all made the games addicting.
- ↑ "Pokémon Green Info on GameFAQs" gamefaqs.com'.' Retrieved February 23, 2007.
- ↑ Super Smash Bros. Product Information .Template:ASIN. Retrieved April 19, 2006.
- ↑ Super Smash Bros. Melee Unlockable character guide Nintendo.com. Retrieved April 19, 2006.
- ↑ "New Pokémon to Make Diamond-and-Pearl-Studded Debut". Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- ↑ Vore, Bryan (April 2009). "Pokémon Platinum review". Game Informer (192): 90.
- ↑ Pokemon Platinum revealed, set for fall release in Japan - Joystiq. Retrieved on 2008-05-26.
- ↑ Gifford, Kevin (2008-09-03). Running the Gamut of Famitsu RPG Reviews. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-21.
- ↑ Pokémon Platinum Version. pokemon.com. Retrieved on 2008-12-17.
- ↑ Pokémon Platinum Version. Nintendo. Retrieved on 2009-03-22.
- ↑ Pokemon Platinum hits Australia this May. GoNintendo (2009-03-24). Retrieved on 2009-03-24.
- ↑ East, Tom (2009-12-02). News: Pokemon Platinum Release Date Confirmed. Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-03-22.
- ↑ Tanaka, John (2009-05-07). New Pokemon Games Confirmed. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-08-08.
- ↑ Nintendo unveils its video game lineup for early 2010. Nintendo Canada (2009-12-14). Retrieved on 2009-12-14.
- ↑ Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version release date announced!. Nintendo of Australia (2010-01-22). Retrieved on 2010-01-22.
- ↑ News: Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver UK release date revealed. Official Nintendo Magazine (2010-01-12). Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
- ↑ "Cubed3 Pokémon Battle Revolution Confirmed for Wii" Cubed3.com. Retrieved June 7, 2006.
- ↑ 『ポケットモンスター』シリーズ完全新作 2010年内発売に向けて開発中！ | ゲーム関連 | ニュース | ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト (January 29, 2010). Retrieved on January 29, 2010. (Japanese)
- ↑ Brian Ashcraft (Jan 28, 2010). "Entirely New" Pokemon Series Coming This Year - Japan - Kotaku. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2010-01-29.
- ↑ ポケモン☆サンデー | アニメ | ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト. Retrieved on 2010-02-07.
- ↑ コロコロ公式サイト｜2010年ポケットモンスター最新作発売決定!!. Retrieved on 2010-02-07.
- ↑ 新ポケモン「ゾロア」「ゾロアーク」の姿が判明！2010年ポケモン映画にも登場！ | ゲーム関連 | ニュース | ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト (2010-02-15). Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
- ↑ ◆ポケモン映画公式サイト「幻影の覇者 ゾロアーク」◆. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
- ↑ 『ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト』公式サイト｜ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト. Retrieved on 2010-04-09.
- ↑ Pokémon Sunday, May 9, 2010
- ↑ 最初のポケモン | 『ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト』公式サイト (Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
- ↑ 新たな舞台 | 『ポケットモンスターブラック・ホワイト』公式サイト (Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved on 2010-05-14.
- ↑ Pokémon Ruby review (page 1) Gamespy.com. Accessed May 30, 2006.
- ↑ Pokémon Yellow Critical Review Ign.com. Retrieved March 27, 2006.
- ↑ Mailbag: The Mystery of Mew!, pokemon.com. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
- ↑ Clodfelter, Tim (April 17, 2008). "Record Book Focused on the Gamers". Winston-Salem Journal. p. 1. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/journalnow/access/1464448681.html?dids=1464448681:1464448681&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Apr+17%2C+2008&author=Tim+Clodfelter%3B+Journal+reporter&pub=Winston-Salem+Journal&desc=RECORD+BOOK+FOCUSED+ON+THE+GAMERS. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
- ↑ The News & Features Team (December 4, 2006). The Top 25 Videogame Franchises. IGN. Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
- ↑ Henry Gilbert (Aug 30, 2010). The Top 7… Nintendo games not made by Nintendo, Pokemon Black / White DS Features. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
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