Pokemon is officially growing up. The past six months have been celebrating The Pokemon Company’s 20th anniversary, eagerly awaiting PokemonGo – the new mobile game that uses your GPS and camera to catch Pokemon around the world – and last, getting updated on a whole new generation of Pokemon with the new releases Pokemon Sun & Moon (S&M). It’s been an eventful year for the Pokemon Company. They even sprung for a commercial during the super bowl! Unfortunately it was in the last quarter and I missed it.
I don’t really remember when pokemon first came out, but I do remember when I was first introduced to Pokemon. My cousins collected everything from Pogs to Pampered Chef. One summer, when I came to visit, my cousins introduced me to Pokemon. I never actually played the game until I was much older and the only cards I ever collected were the ones my cousins didn’t want. I never expected Pokemon to still be around 20 years later, much less did I expect to be a fan. However, not long after I was introduced to the card game, Nintendo released a Pokemon Gameboy game. I think that’s what’s held my interest the longest. The first generation (Red, Blue, and Yellow) hold a special place of nostalgia in a lot of pokefan hearts. For the kick off of their 20th anniversary celebration, Nintendo released a special edition Nintendo DS and the original Red, Blue and Yellow games were released in the Nintedno eShop to mark the occasion.
Confession: I’ve never actually caught them all. I guess you knew that was coming though. I didn’t start collecting my own pokemon till much later, but I am so glad I started somewhere because for the last six months I’ve been filling holes in my pokedex with some extremely rare, legendary Pokemon! Over the last several years the Pokemon Company has been maturing and the last two generations have shown a great deal of change from the classic Pokemon games. If you currently own a copy of Pokemon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire then I seriously hope this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about the monthly legendary specials. This month it’s Manaphy, a pretty shucky-dang-darn-rare pokemon. Aside from this event, it can only be caught by transferring an egg from an old Wii game and hatching it.
In addition to the excitement of a legendary every month, we’ve also been treated to beta invites to PokemonGo. The US beta started at the end of May and has had 2 invite rounds go out since. PokemonGo is easily one of my most anticipated games this year. The game is being developed by Niantic Inc., a company that also develops Ingress, a portal based AR game currently available on iOS and Android devices that extremely addicting. Seriously go play. Viva la resistance!
Earlier this year Nintendo teased us with the starters for Pokemon S&M. Did I mention that Pokemon was maturing? Somehow I’m not sure the name was an accident. If you have played some of the more recent games yet then you know what I mean. These games are rife with puns and dirty jokes. Okay maybe not rife, but there are encounters in the games that are pretty hilarious. Last week, at E3, we were given a play demo and I am so excited for what to expect from these new games. In the past we got to customize our hero, next we got to customize a tree house, it almost looks like we could expect both of those things and more. I haven’t decided which version of the game I want yet, or even which starter, but I am definitely banging all the Pokemans.