Editorial: Pokemasters

Every time a new Pokemon game is released, I always tell myself I will not buy it.  It is always the same type of game with a few new Pokemon and a couple new features added in.  This is especially apparent when the “new” games are just rehashes of previous games, such as the recently released HeartGold and SoulSilver.  However, when the new games come out I always fall into what I call the “Pokemon Trap” and buy one of them.  This is not really a bad thing, as I always have fun with the game for about a month before “beating” it, even though you can not really beat a Pokemon game, and moving on to something else.  I always wonder to myself why each of these games are so successful.  Why do so many kids get hardcore into this series?  Is it that they find the game so much fun or are their brains hardwired into loving the series because of the huge amounts of advertising and the TV series?

So my questions to you, my dear readers, are these: What do you think of the Pokemon games?  Are you a fan of the series, or do you think Nintendo should take it easy on the releases?  Do you fall into the “Pokemon Trap” like I do every time?  Tell me in the comments below!


  1. This is the first PKMN game I have not bought–and solely because I no longer own a DS. If I owned one, you could bet I would have bought Soul Silver, and that I would be playing it right now to the exclusion of FFXIII.

    I think that the PKMN games are just plain fun without a huge investment of thought necessary for enjoyment. One can sit back and train up their PKMN through random battles easily–the plots are never serious or depressing, the world of PKMN is generally inviting and pleasant, and then the PKMN themselves are incredibly cute.

    I think that PKMN probably appeals to what got many people into RPGs to begin with–escapism and fun, combined. RPGs are increasingly involved, their plots are increasingly serious and heavy, their systems increasingly complex, their resolutions increasingly unhappy or bittersweet–but in the world of PKMN these ‘mature’ considerations are junked entirely, and it is all to the good.

    Some of us still play games to escape from the seriously shit nature of reality. For us, PKMN games will always have an appeal which Lost Odyssey, Heavy Rain, God of War, and the like can never aspire to.

  2. …I have nothing to say after that. Lusi nailed it. I’m enjoying my copy of Soul Silver exactly as much as I expected to.

  3. I only play it every few games so that I can actually notice some differences. I’ll probably get the 3rd version of the fifth generation.

    it is annoying how they keep releasing what is essentially the same game over and over again. even mario managed to do something new with the galaxy series. of course, then they made super mario brothers wii…

  4. @Breaka: Yeah, that’s my strategy. I played the original Red/Blue back in the day and played through Diamond/Platinum a few years back, so I think I’ve gotten my poke fix in for a few generations. My theory has always been they’ll keep releasing them as long as people keep buying them, and I’m fine with that, I just won’t pick every iteration up.

    I do think Lusi hit the nail on the head with the appeal, though. They’re just good, light hearted, simple, RPG fun with enough depth to keep you coming back for more no matter how many hours you’ve sunk into them. I think that’s one of the reasons they change so little from release to release. If they added a bunch of features with each new iteration of the game, it would alienate a significant chunk of the audience and would make the barrier of entry that much greater for new PKMN players.

  5. I’ve played most of the main Pokemon games since Red and Blue and really enjoyed them. There is so much to do, and yeah I do think that they really don’t change much from game to game. I guess one of their reasons for that is that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. They do add tweaks and little improvements here and there, which keeps me interested. So far my favourite addition of the most recent generation has been the wi-fi multiplayer. I got absolutely addicted to that back when Diamond came out, and actually completed the National dex with help from people online.

    They are really nice and simple, anyone from kids to adults can play and enjoy them. If you’ve tried breeding for perfect IV pokemon and then EV training them, you’ll know how much depth there truly is in these games. But the cool thing about it is, you really don’t have to go into that if you don’t want to.