If you’ve played any of nintendo’s role-playing handheld Pokemon games, then you’ve become familiar with the layout following your “New game” selection.
Through some method or another, the player begins by finding him or herself at the age where a youth is to be given a companion, with which he or she shall embark upon a fantastic and glorious journey with. Proceeding through the game, the player will encounter one of several antagonist factions, whose plot shall be revealed and left to the player to thwart. After doing so, the player will experience the greatest aspiration of any trainer: to defeat the Pokemon Elite Four, no small task indeed. Following the conquering of both the antagonists, the player is left to do as he or she wishes–continue exploring the region, defeat one of a few more recently added additional challenges, restart the game, or fall for the marketing “only one save permitted per cartridge” ploy.
These post-story activities and opportunities are often the hook for long time Pokemon fans; the after-game often makes the game for us familiar with the tired story. Generation III, the first glimpse of Hoenn, was a bit of a milestone for the Pokemon video game legacy. With the introduction of contests, an entire new half of the game was opened up to players. Focusing on the ?visual effect? of attacks brought a new spin on the possibilities of Pokemon, even if it was better portrayed in the anime with more in-depth mechanics. Nevertheless, the introduction of the side quest was a major step forward. With the Battle Frontier introduction as well, Generation III was arguably the greatest. Also considering it was the first Game Boy Advance Pokemon handheld, there’s no doubting Nintendo did something right. It was also this generation that began an internet sensation that will not soon be forgotten.
Following the conclusion of Generation III, Nintendo and Game Freak released a new saga to prove they hadn’t forgotten as well: the remakes. Beginning post-Generation III, Pokemon Firered and Leafgreen were the starting point of a still blossoming nostalgia-driven release schedule. The reintroduction of the Kanto region, touched up with the additions of breeding, events, and the seven Islands, was a welcome recollection of many die-hard fans’ younger days of discovering the world of Pokemon as Red, constantly harassed by the notorious Blue. Now, with the relatively recent rerelease of Gold and Silver, now Heartgold and Soulsilver, the mechanics have changed yet again. Prior, though, is the Canon T3i eration IV dawning, and the transition from the Game Boy to the Nintendo DS era.
Sinnoh was more than a small jump from Hoenn, geographically and technologically at least. With the continued use of contests, the Battle Frontier, and additional, at the point fundamental, mechanics, Sinnoh added more gameplay hours than any other Pokemon game before it. The Poketch, too, was a welcome addition to the series and one I was sad to see so short lived. As mentioned before, though, the redesigned Heartgold and Soulsilver would intervene between generation advancements. With the inclusion of Pokemon following their trainer outside the Pokeball, though, the interruption may be excused.
Generation V, the most recent, has had a number of changes from its predecessors. The retraction of both contests and the Battle Frontier, though substituted by the Pokemon Musical and Battle Subway, were a bit of a disappointment, the addition of, well, everything else was just compensation. From the towns beyond the Elite Four to the version differences to the new Pokemon, Generation V lived up to the Pokemon legacy and exceeded the expectations and hopes of many. The challenges to be found in Unova are great and many, ones I’ll have to refrain from revealing for now, as the game is still in its dawning year. Rest assured, though, Nintendo still has a few tricks up their sleeves, and will undoubtedly be pulling rabbits out of hats for plenty years to come. The question now, though, is when will Nintendo’s, and Pokemon’s, rein end.
On a lighter, and more present, note: which has been your favorite generation for the after-game? Of Generation III’s introduction of contests and the Battle Frontier, generation II’s inclusion of Kanto, generation V’s overhaul, and Generation IV’s revision and cleanup of generation III’s tricks, which has struck a chord with you?