Whether you’re a Pokémon fan or not, it’s impossible to deny that Pokémon is one of the most popular and successful video games franchises on the face of the Earth. Each generation of games keeps the fans on their heels and always succeeds at making us dish out our hard earned cash to have one more adventure with these imaginary creatures we’ve come to love over the years. But how have we not become bored yet?
For example, let’s bring up another extremely popular franchise, Call of Duty. What does Call of Duty have anything to do with Pokémon, you ask? Anyone that keeps up with video games on the internet will know that Call of Duty gets the most flack for not having any innovation throughout its yearly releases. Although most people still love the game and play it to their heart’s content, it also has one of the biggest hater bases out there. One of the main reasons for that hate is that the game hasn’t changed much and lacks any innovation.
But nonetheless, could we say the same thing about Pokémon? I mean, every main series game in the franchise has always been 1. pick a starter Pokémon, 2. beat the bad guys, 3. get all eight gym badges, and 4. beat the elite four(convenient). Every game has followed this formula, and the games stick to it like glue. Although the games follow a rather repetitious pattern, that still stands to the point of it not always exactly being a bad thing.
It doesn’t mean that all Pokémon games are EXACTLY the same. In truth, all Pokémon games are very different in their own unique ways. Other than the fact that each new generation adds new and cool Pokémon to the bunch, each generation also comes with its own tweaks and mechanisms.
For examples, Generation Two brought in two new types of Pokémon! It finally balanced out the over powered psychic type and extended the story even further by letting you explore the areas of the first game set a few years in the future. Gen. Three had a focus more on story with a whole new villain team with a bigger cause behind it. Gen. Four brought the new special and physical switch for moves, making the metagame even more deep and fun and so on.
Not only does each Pokémon game make itself unique in some way, they all have soul to them as well. I’m sure every gamer out there at least once in their life has played a game that just felt lifeless. It gives off a feeling that no one felt passionate about what they were doing and the only reason the game exists is to make a quick buck. A lot of movie based and licensed games would be a good example of this.
But Pokémon is different. When you play Pokémon, you can feel the passion and spirit put into the game. Every pixel and note of music has a childlike feel to it as you travel and explore through a mysterious world with your best friends at your side. Although the formula may be very similar throughout the series, that sense of amazement and adventure never fails to captivate us as players.
I myself have been a Pokémon lover ever since I was a child. The games have always had a special place in my heart, and I guarantee that I always will. And now that I’ve grown a little, I’ve been able to go deeper and discover the wonderful world of the metagame. It’s been over ten years since I’ve started playing these games, and I’ve never been as engrossed as I am now.
Pokémon will always be one of those games that will never die along with its other Nintendo brethren. For years to come we will continue to enjoy this franchise for as long as it lasts. Although repetition is key to the franchise’s success, it’s an experience that will never grow old with us fans. Also with the new leaks of Zygarde and the announcements of Pokémon Go, it looks like us fans are in for a real treat in 2016!