Pokémon has been a huge part of millions of people’s lives for the past twenty or so years. It’s spanned generations, continents, and imaginations. The foundation of this franchise is, of course, the video games. These days, Pokémon isn’t just restricted to one genre. In fact, the most recent notable entry in the franchise is arguably Pokémon GO, which is nothing like the classic games. Still, that original formula of top-down exploration and short-form battles persists, and for good reason.
Here, we will talk about the pixelated worlds and tactical battles that have captivated us for many years and provide a list of some of our favorite games.
Pokémon FireRed – The Cheat Code Marvel
One game stands out like a precious gem in the Pokémon game canon: Pokémon FireRed. In addition to appealing to nostalgia, this remake of Pokemon Red added an amazing feature that makes it unique it from other entries: a treasure trove of cheat codes.
Fans will always remember Pokémon FireRed for allowing players to change the game’s rules, including encounter rates and access to legendary Pokémon. They were a refreshing change of pace that had not been found in a Pokémon game before. It turned the game into a fun place for players of all skill levels by allowing them to go around barriers such as walls and get their hands on rare candies and elusive Pokémon with relative ease.
Imagine being fully prepared, without grinding for items, as you take on a Mewtwo. Or effortlessly teleporting to difficult-to-reach locations. The Pokemon FireRed cheats provided additional entertainment for accustomed players while also giving new, anxious ones a way of making things easier for themselves.
Pokémon Gold and Silver – A Pioneering Sequel
With the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver, the Pokémon universe underwent a permanent transformation. Many game mechanics were revamped in these breakthrough sequels to Red and Blue.
The day-night cycle, a feature that reflected real-life time and changed Pokémon availability and events, was one of the game’s most interesting elements. Breeding made its debut as well, allowing players to care for and hatch Pokémon eggs. They added new layers of depth to the game’s exploration and strategy.
In addition to these developments, the expansive Johto region was also introduced, effortlessly connected to the cherished Kanto region from the earlier games. This blending of geographical areas provided a massive adventure that positively impacted gameplay.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire – Elemental Excellence
The innovative spirit that Nintendo brings to the Pokémon franchise peaked with Ruby and Sapphire. The games are well-known for the priority on the use of different elements.
The key to their popularity was the introduction of twin bouts, a dynamic change in gameplay that pushed trainers to think about not just one move forward but two. The addition of abilities increased the game’s depth by giving Pokémon special abilities they use without expelling any energy.
These games were set in the Hoenn region, where land and sea mix, offering an artistically stunning and biologically diverse backdrop.
Pokémon Black and White – A Storytelling Triumph
Black and White are often considered to be shining examples of excellent narrative. These games improved the franchise with a gripping plot unlike any that came before.
What distinguished Black & White from other games was the depth of its character development. These games dared to examine the uncertainties in interactions between humans and Pokémon. Players were forced to think about their place in society by a secret evil organization known as Team Plasma, which questioned the ethics of Pokémon combat.
Both the presentation and the story captivated the players. Black and White also revitalized the Pokémon universe by using immersive 3D graphics and animated sprites. These games demonstrated the series’ ability to adapt not only in terms of gameplay but also in terms of storytelling and presentation.
Pokémon Sun and Moon – Alolan Adventure
Pokémon Sun & Moon boldly broke from precedent to herald a new era for the series. These video games provide a novel take on the classic Pokémon journey, taking place in the exotic Alola area.
Alola, which was modeled after Hawaii, had a lush and lively environment in contrast to the usual Pokémon locations. The traditional Gym battles were substituted in favor of the difficult Island Trials, where trainers faced off against strong Totem Pokémon. This change in gameplay introduced a new challenge and kind of adventure never before seen in the series.
The addition of Alolan forms for already existing Pokémon made the old feel new again. For instance, Raichu acquired psychic skills, while Vulpix assumed an icy form. These changes gave the series new life and proved that Pokémon could continue to alter and adapt even after 20 years.
The Pokémon franchise has been around for decades, yet that has not stopped it from being a smashing success in the gaming world. That’s because every entry in the series, though it may be built on the same foundations, finds some way to innovate. From new settings to new gameplay mechanics, every game felt fresh and exciting. But not all Pokémon games deserve the same amount of praise.
If you’re a purist, you’re probably going to prefer the classic formula of FireRed. However, if you’re looking for more mechanics to sink your teeth into, you should definitely give Black and White a shot. Of course, there are way more games that deserve attention, and once you’re done with these, you should definitely check those out, too.