For today’s mothball, I am pleased to honor the very first Pokemon games as part of the 20th Anniversary Celebration for Pokemon. Pokemon Red and Blue first came out on Feb. 27,1996 in Japan, so what better time to talk about them and their arrival to the 3DS eShop!
Pokemon Red and Blue (1996)
Nintendo released Pokemon Red and Green in 1996, releasing Blue later in the year as a special edition. Red and Blue made their way to the United States in 1998 after a successful showing in Japan. Within a few years the entire world was swept up in the Pokemon craze.
Pokemon, short for ‘Pocket Monsters’, are creatures with different characteristics and abilities. These creatures can be captured and used for everyday life or to be battled against each other. Explaining Pokemon at it’s simplest level is quite odd, and if you don’t know what Pokemon is, then I am sorry for your misfortune.
Red and Blue (Green and Yellow too) are the first installments of what is now one of the largest franchises in gaming. The games follow the story of the protagonist, Red, who can be named whatever your heart desires, and his quest to become the Pokemon Master and fill up the Pokedex, the encyclopedia of all the Pokemon on the planet.
The games also include the rival, Blue, who can also be named, giving the player the opportunity to give him a name worthy of his level of mediocrity. For some reason, naming my rival AAAAAAA will always be the funniest thing to me. AAAAAA wants to battle. Hilarious.
In the world of Pokemon, trainers as they are called, catch and train Pokemon in order to have them battle other trainers. Each Pokemon can learn up to four moves and possesses varying stats and attributes. The combat sequences of Pokemon games revolve around a turn-based battle system where each trainer takes turns using a move to attack or adjust stats. Every Pokemon has a type which makes it susceptible to certain attacks. For instance, water type moves are effective against fire Pokemon, while fire attacks are effective against grass Pokemon.
In order to become the best (like no one ever was) in the Pokemon world, one must train and challenge the gym leaders, collecting badges in the process in order to fight the Elite Four and the Champion, the strongest trainer. Only then can one call themselves a Pokemon Master. Certain people can speed run the game within a few hours, millions of people can work together to finish the game in a few days on Twitch, while Ash is still trying to become a master after almost twenty years.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why so many people enjoy Pokemon. Whether it’s the creative selection of different creatures or the quest for betterment or even the fictional worlds where Pokemon and man live in unity. Or maybe it’s the moment of pure joy when you see a shiny Pokemon appear on the screen. For me personally, I really enjoy the collecting and completionist journey, having currently logged all 720 Pokemon in my Pokedex. Pokemon Red and Blue only featured 151, as many purists believe that those creations remain among the best created. My favorite Pokemon come from Generation III and VI with Breloom and Greninja. But who doesn’t love a good Charizard?
At this rate, Pokemon will always be around, or at least I hope it will be. I think most kids born in the 1990’s will feel intense nostalgia whenever it comes to their first Pokemon game, most likely Pokemon Red and Blue. Nintendo understands and plays into that, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of one the best franchises not just in gaming, but in entertainment.
Pokemon Red and Blue is now available on the Nintendo eShop for $9.99. You can also pick them as part of a New 3DS Bundle in which both games come pre-installed. Or fire up your old Game Boy and copy of Red or Blue, and even though the internal battery may have ran dry, you might still be able to play.
With the announcement of Pokemon Sun and Moon, Nintendo also revealed that Pokemon from your Red and Blue 3DS games can be transferred to your Pokemon Bank, making them available for Pokemon Sun & Moon, but they will not be available in X/Y/Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby.
Celebrate Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary with me!
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