As one might have guessed from the title, this editorial focuses of the very first generation of Pokemon in what is planned to be an ongoing series of editorials focusing on each separate Pokemon generation up until the most recently released, Generation VI in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Pokemon.” More specifically, the new titles that arise from said generation, whereas the remakes will be briefly touched upon while discussing the generation they are a remake of. For example, while this editorial’s primary focus is on Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow it will also mention Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed. Now that the chunk of italics is finished and the rules have been laid out, it is time to delve into the very first games in the “Pokemon” franchise.
The very first titles in the “Pokemon” franchise were released on February 27th, 1996 in Japan, just recently celebrating their 20th birthday with a Nintendo Direct. Created by Satoshi Tajiri, the two games were known as Pocket Monsters: Red and Green. Due to the apparent success of the titles, a slightly enhanced version, known as Pocket Monsters: Blue was released exclusively to subscribers of “CoroCoro Comic,” a popular Japanese magazine. Three years after the fact, Pocket Monsters: Blue was released in a retail edition in October of 1999, just a month prior to the release of Pokemon Gold and Silver which will be covered in next week’s editorial. Back on topic, there is a specific reason as to why this editorial makes a clear difference in title to Pokemon Red and Blue as opposed to Pocket Monsters: Red and Blue. This is because the former, what North American players know as being the first games released, are actually differentiated versions of Pocket Monsters: Blue that retain the version-exclusive Pokemon from the Japanese titles. Ultimately, this choice was more than likely for the better as Pocket Monsters: Blue allowed North American players to immediately partake in the enhanced visuals and game engine that most Japanese players did not have the privilege of experiencing first hand.
In the year of 2016, players are left with the downright cruel task of catching over 700 Pokemon in order to reign supreme as a true Pokemon champ, a challenge that truly tests even the toughest of resolve and gives players the handsome reward of bragging rights that could probably elicit sexual favors. Setting the clock back quite a bit though, Pokemon Red and Blue only contained 150 Pokemon, or 151 depending on how much someone else knows. Although, owning every single Pokemon within an individual game would be impossible without cheating in some form unless the player traded Pokemon with someone else as there were approximately 11 version-specific Pokemon for each game. Truly, these games laid out the foundation for how future Pokemon games were made with the famous choice of three starters, a fire type, water type, or a grass type, the eight gyms players must go through to achieve badges, and the Elite Four which contain the best Pokemon trainers in the region. Speaking of which, the region that the very first games take place in is known as the Kanto region which is based off of the actual Kantō region located in the west side of Japan. Just like any region, Kanto has its own quirks as almost every city within the game is named after a color or relates to color in some way. In game, Kanto is also located south of the Sinnoh region and east of the Johto region, leading to its eventual inclusion within Pokemon Gold and Silver.
To close up this editorial, the focus will now be shifted to Pokemon Yellow and the remakes Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed. The most jarring difference between Pokemon Yellow and its predecessors is its connection with Pokemon anime rather than the previous games. This connection leads to the inclusion of Team Rocket’s most well-known employees, Jessie and James, as well as the lack of choice in which starter the player recieves which is instead replaced with Pikachu. However, the player can still obtain all three starters through in-game events which pair well against the rival’s predetermined starter, an Eevee. A couple years later, in 2004, Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed were released as a way to remake the original games in order to give them the improvements that Pokemon Emerald benefited from just a couple months before. These main upgrades being the inclusion of Pokemon abilities, natures, new dual-type Pokemon that were originally one type, added areas, new tracks, along with dozens of other changes that could most likely take up an entire editorial all by themselves.
So, there it is, a glimpse into the past back into the Kanto region and all of its most memorable achievements. What is your opinion on the first generation of Pokemon? Did this editorial teach you anything new about the first generation or were wildly inaccurate statements thrown around like a basketball? Make sure to leave a comment below to let us know what you think.