Pokémon 20th – Gotta Catch ‘Em All
Hello everyone! Iselynne here, back from a little (maybe too long?) hiatus. And with me I bring an idea for a new regular column that I hope you Pokémon fans will find interesting.
As most of you already know, Pokémon is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. That is two decades of Pokémon! Since the original release of Pokémon Red and Green in 1996 in Japan, the brand quickly evolved into a worldwide phenomenon encompassing video games, anime, trading cards, toys, professional tournaments, and much more. Gotta Catch Em’ All is a slogan that many of us grew up with, and some have been faithfully completing their Pokédex with each new game release.
With both Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda celebrating big anniversaries this year (Zelda is turning 30!) I started feeling a bit old. I remember being insanely jealous of my friends who owned a Gameboy and got to play the games. How can that be almost 17 years ago (Red and Blue was released in the EU in 1999)? While I haven’t found any good answer to how time can pass that quickly, I did start looking into how Pokémon games have developed over the years. We are now on the sixth generation of games in the main series, and the number of total collectible Pokémon has increased from the original 150 to a whopping 719! In terms of Gameplay there have been so many changes and improvements that I can’t even fully wrap my head around it. I started thinking about how new players must feel like when getting into the main series now. Not only are there 719 of the adorable creatures to find, but they are spread across different games on various handhelds. Could a person getting into the Pokémon games now really complete the National Pokédex if they never played the old games? How long would that take, and how difficult would it be? With my curiosity peaked, I have decided to find out and see for myself. For science!
My Pokémon History
Before we jump into the fray together, I want to tell you a bit about my brief history with the Pokémon games so that you have an idea of how much of a newbie I am. As previously mentioned I didn’t own a Gameboy and completely missed out on the first generations of games. While I liked Pokémon as a concept (I watched some the anime) and could easily name my favorite monster, I never got to experience collecting, trading, and battling with my friends. As I turned 20 I bought my first own handheld (take that, mom!): A Nintendo DS Lite. At this point I tried to get a hold of a copy of FireRed since the DS Lite could play GameBoy Advance games, but that proved to be very hard, if not impossible in little cold Norway (note that this was before international online trading and E-bay became common practice here). As a result, my first venture into the world of Pokémon collecting began with Pearl in 2007. 8 years late to the party is still fashionably late, right?
Even back then the task of completing the National Pokédex seemed impossible. Getting FireRed had been very difficult, and trying to find Emerald would surely end with the same result. Not to mention that Gold and Silver were only available on GameBoy Color and thus impossible for me to play. So I quickly threw the idea away and focused on having fun with Pearl without even completing the Regional Pokédex. In 2010 I had the same casual approach to SoulSilver, and it was after this generation that I fell off of the bandwagon. I never picked up any of the Fifth or Sixth generation of games until now. Sure, the games are fun. However, the ultimate goal of completing the Pokédex still seemed more and more impossible with each new release (at least for those of us that hadn’t been following from the start). So I asked myself: ‘What is the point if you know you can’t really complete it?’. It does sound like I gave up without really trying, but at that point it seemed like the ever-evolving world of Pokémon was just too vast to keep up with. And so I start this journey as someone who is completely clueless about the new features of the latest generations of games. I have no idea what I am getting myself into.
I didn’t want to get into this big task without doing a little bit of research first. It didn’t take long before I found an article where the director and the producer of the series explain that you only need the 3DS games to be able to catch ’em all. While the article was published before the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (also known as ORAS), I’m putting my faith in that this is true. It is good news as it means that I hopefully won’t need to rely on older systems and games.
I have decided to start with a play through of Omega Ruby and aim for a completion of the Hoenn regional Dex and then go from there. At some point I will have to buy X or Y to get the exclusives from them. I don’t intend to play Alpha Sapphire in addition to OR, so the few exclusives in that game I will have to get through good old-fashioned trading. Nintendo also recently released E-shop versions of Red, Blue, and Yellow that are compatible with the Pokébank, so I might get one of those as well if the original 150 proves easier to find in those games.
I should probably also mention that while I am aiming for a completed National Pokédex, the 14 mythical Pokémon are not included. These can only be obtained during special Nintendo events so there is no way for me to catch them in any game. Since this is a big year for Pokémon, Nintendo will be giving away most of the Mythical throughout the year. I do intend to get all 11 of them, but that still leaves 3 unobtainable mythicals: Phione, Diancie, and Hoopa. In addition, Gamefreak have announced Pokémon #720, a mythical named Volcarion. This Pokémon will be featured in the next film that will be released this summer. Hopefully Volcarion will be available through an event at that time even here in the EU.
Properly recording this journey will also be a bit difficult. I don’t have streaming equipment for my 3DS (that is an expensive piece of tech). In addition, the Pokémon games are just about the only games on the 3DS that do not support the screenshot feature. I will do my best to chronicle my story, but Nintendo isn’t making it easy.
So now all that remains to be seen is whether I’ll be successful in this undertaking, or if I will break and give up along the way. How far have you gone to complete your Pokédex?
Pokémon captured: 0/705 (Mythical 0/14)
Check Out this Pokemon Go Article With Extra Details.