The Pokemon franchise has been a massive part of my life and I'm pretty sure most of te lives as well. Unlike most fans, my first introduction to the Pokemon franchise wasn't through the games, but rather the anime. However, as time went on and I became più active on the internet, I discovered the origins and existence of the games the franchise is centered around, and I wished that I could play them. On February of 2014, I discovered a site called "GameOldies.com" where te can play retro games online for free. The first game and first Pokemon game I played was Pokemon Sapphire and that giorno changed my life, forever. I watched other people play them, but this is the first time I got to play one myself, I didn't care which version it was. From then on, most of the games I play are just Pokemon games, but that's mostly because of how busy my schedule is. I've had many experiences with these games and over the years, I've formed my favorites. To prepare for Pokemon Sword and Shield, I'm going to count down my superiore, in alto 10 preferito Pokemon games.
Before we being, a little disclaimer: These are my favorites. If te disagree with me, I fully respect your opinion as long as te respect mine. This lista is also partly based on my personal experience with them. And finally, because these are always released in pairs, I will mostly include the version I enjoyed playing the most and the one I prefer.
I know most of te think that it's a weird choice to put a Gen 1 game on the list, but hear me out. Objectively, this game is not the best. It's really outdated, and with its remakes of "Let's go Pikachu/Eevee", there's no reason to put it here, but hear me out.
The main reason why I put this game on the lista is mostly for sentimental reasons. I Amore the idea of this game following the anime, what with the protagonist starting out with a Pikachu instead of the three starters. Not only that, but this Pikachu can't evolve, unless te transfer it to a different game.You may think that it's a dumb idea, but it più than makes up for it with the fact that te can also get all three Kanto starters as well. Starter Pokemon are very special in my eyes They're incredibly rare and can't be found in the wild (Unless te use a cheat code o do an Island Scan in the Alola games) and can only be received if traded o dato to you. Here, all three starters are dato to you, which I think is an awesome way to emulate the show. And because te can evolve all three of them, it makes the team all the più epic. I actually went as far as recreate Red's team; even catching a Snorlax and using it on my team.
Even though Pikachu can't evolve, te have other Pokemon on te team that can counter its weaknesses. Plus, they make up for it da having this Pikachu walk outside of its Pokeball and follow te around. te can even check and see what expression it is making, which to me gives it più character. What's also neat is when it's sent out into battle, instead of its regular cry, it instead shouts its name, just like in the anime. For a Gameboy game, that's really nice. Although, it's not as special because ever since Gen 6 came out, Pikachu is the only Pokemon in the games that says its name when sent out.
I originally played this game back in late August/early September of 2016 and it took me a week to finish it. At the time, I received a new laptop and I wanted to test out and see how it can run an emulator. After replaying Pokemon Black, the secondo game I played on it was Yellow. I was well aware of the problems that Red and Blue had, so I skipped those went with this version. I wanted to experience what the original Gen 1 Kanto experience felt like. For what it's worth, I had a lot of fun.
I really like how, for a Gameboy game, they actually bothered to give it color. Granted, it may not look as good as the Gen 2 games, but it's still pretty admirable. I also really like how they redesigned some of the sprite art for the Pokemon.
Another really nice detail is every time te visit a city, it is almost completely colored after the color they're named after. Cinnabar island is red because Cinnabar is a shade of red, and Cerulean City is blue because Cerulean is a shade of blue, etc.
Overall, while not the best game in the franchise, and it is most certainly dated, Yellow will always be a special game to me and to other people.
I remember back in my 6th grade when Pokemon X and Y were first announced. To me, this was huge! This is the first time I ever got to witness an official Pokemon game be announced. And just any game, but a new generation, on a new console, with 3D graphics. It was going to be released worldwide, which made me even più excited because it meant I could purchase it and finally play them. However, after they were released, me and my parents visited several electronic stores and none of them had it. I was sad, but it was for the better because my team idea for Pokemon Y would have been a mess. I eventually got Pokemon Y alongside UltraSun and OmegaRuby back in January of 2018. After I was done playing with UltraSun, I started playing Pokemon Y. What did I think of the game, after waiting to try it out for 5 years? It was...okay...
Pokemon X and Y are da no means bad games. On a technical level, Pokemon X and Y were a blast to play through. However, the terrible story and the reduced difficulty affected my enjoyment of the game.
Let's get the positives out of the way first. I really like Kalos as a region. It's really neat that it's based on France, which allowed it to be a very beautiful and interesting region to explore. It's also really neat how there are benches scattered all over the region, on which te can sit down and enjoy the view. There also these signs with a photograph camera on them. da clicking them, te get greeted da a man with a camera who will offer to take te a picture with the scenery. I really lie this because like I said, Kalos is a gorgeous region and this makes it easier to get invested into exploring it. Each city and location is filled so much personality, especially Luminose city. I Amore how it's based on Paris, even to the point of having an Eiffel Tower-like building in the middle of the city that also serves as the 5th Gym te have to face.
The OST is fantastic. I'm particularly fond of the end credits theme, Lysander's theme, Professor Sycamore's theme, Mewtwo's remixed theme, The Legendary battle theme, Anistar and Snowbelle city themes.
Graphically, the game is alright. Pokemon isn't known for having the best graphics most of the time; especially compared to other games on the same console. But for the first main-series games on the 3DS, they did a really good job. Kalos looks gorgeous and all the humans are very expressive. My only complaint is the battle animations for the Pokemon. Because Gamefreak had to animate over 600 Pokemon, they were very limited on what they could do, so most of the Pokemon are dato stilted battle animations, which is a problem because even though every Pokemon is different from one-another, they end up having the same energy and feel to them every time and end up looking boring.
I really like how you're dato an alternate form of transportation in the form of roller-skating.
I Amore the new Type they introduced. Originally, Fairy used to be my least preferito because it was super effective against three of my preferito types: Dragon, Fighting and Dark. But, I do understand why they did it. Pokemon type match-ups were very unfair before the introduction of Fairy-Types. Draghi were super OP because only Ice-Types and other Draghi hurt them, plus, Poison-Types were very underused because they were only strong against Grass-types, who are also weak against Fire, Flying, Bug and Ice, which were much più useful and versatile types. da introducing the Fairy-type, it gave old Pokemon some buff that they needed, and it balanced out the game. Draghi weren't OP anymore, and Poison and Steel-types became much più wildly used due to their advantage against Fairies.
I Amore how character customization has finally been introduced into the series. The transition into the 3D world has allowed the creators to introduce this mechanic, which should have been a part of it for a long time, considering the fact that it's an RPG. Plus, because it's based on France which is a place all about fashion, so it made sense.
Not to mention, because the series transitioned into 3D, it allowed the player to choose how they looked. not just choose which gender they want to play as, but also what skin and hair color they have, which is a really nice way to be più inclusive. After all, this was was released worldwide.
Mega Evolution has got to be my preferito feature ever introduced in any Pokemon game. Not only do they look badass, but I Amore the concept that the bond between a trainer and its Pokemon is so strong that with the hep of some special items, the fully-evolved Pokemon an evolve even further and reach new heights of awesomeness. It also gave Pokemon that were previously useless some much needed buff. Much as I Amore Charizard, before its two Megas were introduced, it was a terrible Pokemon to use in a battle. Nowadays, it's a Pokemon that's used very commonly in competitive play.
I also really like Sky Battles, where two Flying-Types o Pokemon with the ability "Levitate" can fight in the sky.
Super Training and Pokemon Amie were brilliant additions to the series. Super Training allowed te to train your whatever Pokemon te da increasing their stats, without needing to level them up. And Pokemon Amie helps with raising Pokemon and forming a bond with them. It basically allows te to dote on your partners in ways that they obviously enjoy, and the work that goes into caring for them shines through. te could argue that "Oh, the trainer is only making them happy to have them fight better," but then te read the battle text for that doted on Pokemon. The Pokemon is enjoying the time it's spending with you, and the trainer clearly cares back. ("Go on, [name]! I know te can do it!") Heck, even when that Pokemon is doing poorly, the game states that it's "about to cry," mostrare both that the trainer is aware of their partner's emotions, and that it does have at least some degree of thinking for itself.
However the game is not without flaws. Horde battles are nice, through I hate how I can't capture any Pokemon unless I knock out 4 of them. Made worse that there's a chance that those 5 Pokemon te can encounter at once could include a Shiny, so if you're Shiny-hunting o just happen to stumble into one and want to capture it, te have to knock out the 4 others, because te can only throw a Pokeball if there's only one target. Oh, and on superiore, in alto of all that there's a chance of being two o più Shinies in the horde, so te can only have one. Cut me a break...
This honestly could have been fixed if they let us aim and choose which Pokemon we wanted to capture, o simply create a brand new Pokeball that allows te to capture a Pokemon if you're battling two o more.
Team Flare has got to be one of the worst evil teams in the franchise's history. Not only are they piss-easy to defeat, but they don't even pose that much of a threat until the very end. They feel più like a neusense. Not helped da the fact that Lysandre, their leader, is very under-developed. He has goals and ideal similar to Thanos, in that wiping out half the population is the best for humanity, he doesn't get enough screen-time to properly flesh-out his character. And that holds true to every other character in the story.
While each character has a defined personality trait, they never develop o go further beyond their original personalities, and end up becoming boring and forgettable characters, especially the Gym Leaders. Because the battles are so easy, the Gym Leaders are defeated in literal seconds, which doesn't allow us to get to know them better and end up being forgotten. The only exception is the Fighting-Type Gym leader, Korrina, who actually interacts with te on several occasions on your adventure and even gives te a free Lucario that can Mega Evolve.
te also have not one, not two but four different rivals who are meant to test your strength. Problem is that they're very under-developed characters who are all friendly towards you, so despite the fact that they have differing personalities, they don't clash with one another to make them that interesting to watch. Not only that, bu they are so easy that there's no sense of accomplishment when te beat them.
AZ had the potential to be interesting, but because there was no third version that could've fleshed out the lore, and only mostrare 3 o 4 times throughout the entire game and only appearing for a couple of minutes, he became wasted potential.
Plus, the game was really easy. The A.I. is dumb, most of the characters don't even have 6 Pokemon on their team, the Exp. Share is broken, you're dato free Mega Pokemon in the form of the Kanto starters and Lucario, te can capture several rare and powerful Pokemon like Hydreigon with ease, and the Legendaries are easier to capture. There's no sense of challenge o accomplishment. Heck, both my starters evolved before I even got my third Gym badge. I get that they were trying to appeal to a younger demographic, but the adventure ends up being boring as a result.
The game is also filled to the brim with Kanto pandering. You're dato one of the three Kanto starters, there's a forest successivo to where te live that's identical to Viridian forest, and te have to wake up a Snorlax that blocks your path. Not helped da the fact that this generation introduced very few new Pokemon, which forced a lot of people to use older ones.
While the main story may be terrible, the post-game story with Looker and Emma make up for it. I genuinely felt sorry for the character of Emma and I found her to be one of the best female characters in the franchise's history. Her relationship with Looker felt genuine and even brought a tear to my eye. I also like how they didn't make the former Team Flare scientist Xerosic to be completely evil and even had a change of cuore in the end da giving Emma the suit he designed for her, with which she can become a Luminose City's own superhero.
Like I said, on a technical level, these games were a lot of fun. But the main story left a lot to be desired. I think the lack of a third version is what hurt Kalos so much. This game definitely lives up to its themes. It's beautiful on the outside, but shallow on the inside.
8. Pokemon FireRed.
Despite the fact that "Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee" are the latest remakes of Kanto, FireRed and LeafGreen will always be the definitive and best way to experience Kanto and the story of Generation 1.
Like with many others, I played this game several times, especially on GameOldies.com. There were many times when my progress was erased and had to start all over again. I finally managed to have a proper playthrough of this game back in Summer of 2016. I learned that there are Emulator apps that I could download on my phone and tablet, so I did just that. I downloaded the app and the game and finally managed to to play to the end. It was a blast to playthrough.
One of the best aspects of FireRed is how much it respects its original fonte material, while at the same time modernizes it with the features that were present at the time.
te can play as Red, but if te so choose te can also play as a female character named Leaf. This game went so far to mimic the original that when a trainer spots te and challenges te to battle, te don't turn and face them, just like in the original games. And if te had a Pokemon that evolved into a newer Pokemon, like say Golbat who evolves into the Gen 2 Pokemon Crobat, the game will mysteriously stop the evolution process and won't let it evolve until te get the National Dex.
Another great aspect of FireRed is the post-game. While te don't get to travel into a different region, te do get to explore the immersive Sevii Islands. Prior to defeating the Elite Four, te can visit 3 of the different Sevii Islands. But after te beat the Elite Four and become champion, te get to explore the other four islands, which are filled to the brim with not just Kanto Pokemon, but also Johto and Hoenn. There's also a short little plot-line with Team Rocket, which serves as a way to build up for their eventual return in Johto. There's also so many new coll areas and interesting things. I will never forget the quest where te have to save a little girl who got kidnapped da a Hypno. It was a really creepy experience, because it's stated in the Pokedex that Hypno likes to hypnotize and take away children form their parents. o when I searched through one of the islands that contained Moltres, who was moved there and dato a better place for it to rest, than simply letting it stay in a random room in Victory Road. It's basically a mini, secondo region to explore.
With an area that feels almost like its own region, it has many interesting areas with their own unique Pokemon to find and capture. For example, there's a giant patch of erba in the shape of a chip's circuitry that only has bug Pokemon in it. This is meant to be an obscure joke about video games with bugs in them (Not in a literal sense, of course.).
The Battle Tower also makes a return on Seven Island and while I'm not the biggest of facilities like this, it's a nice place to visit and battle other trainers. Unlike the one in Crystal, here you're dato Battle Points, which te can trade for special items that can help te out if te want to train your Pokemon competitively.
Another great feature is the Vs Seeker, which I wish was staple in every other game in the franchise. The Vs Seeker allows te to re-battle almost every trainer in the game, which not only adds to the replay value of it, but is also a neat way to gain più Exp. Points.
What's also is that FireRed and LeafGreen came out before underage gambling was seen as a bad thing and the Game Corners either needed to be censored o removed entirely. Here, you're allowed to gamble da playing mini-games such as the slot-machine one. This allows te got gain coins, and if te earn enough, te can exchange them for items, TM's and Pokemon like Dratini and Porygon.
In terms of graphics, FireRed is a massive improvement over the original. It uses the graphics from Ruby and Sapphire as the template to how the game should look, while at the same time updating it and giving it it's own unique feel. Like I detto with Yellow, the towns and cities are named after different colors, which is ironic because the original games lacked any color, save for Yellow version. In FireRed, Kanto looks so colorful and lively.
The soundtrack is awesome as always. They're basically remixes of old themes, only updated with high quality GBA sounds. Listening to it, it feels like a fusion between the original OST, combined with the instruments of Ruby and Sapphire.
I didn't talk about it in Yellow, but I'll talk about it here. One of the best things about the Kanto games were the plot-twists. For example, the first city te visit is Viridian City, but because the Gym Leader remains absent until te get 7 badges. It's left as a mystery of who this Gym Leader might be, only for it to be revealed that Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket was the Gym leader all along. Even after all these year, this is still a very well done twist, probably one of the best ones they did.
Another great twist is when it's revealed that the Pokemon League Champion is your rival, Blue. Throughout the entire game, he trash-talked you, made fun of you, got badges faster than you, and now he's reached the top. He's the final step into becoming champion; defeating the rival who's been pestering te throughout your adventure.
What's also neat is that several elements that were introduced in Ruby and Sapphire such as: Natures, Weather, Double Battles, etc, all make a return here. I also forgot to mention that with the introduction of two new types, moves such as "Bite" were retyped into being Dark, as well as Magnemite and Magneton were retyped into being part Steel-types.
My only real problem is the fact that Kanto is a very boring region to explore. It was the first region, I know. But it's still a rather unremarkable with nothing to make it stand out amongts all the other, più interesting regions.
A lot of people criticized these remakes, but if te ask me, this is the definitive Kanto experience.
I first played this game in spring of 2014 on GameOldies. I wasn't able to play the Gen 2 remakes, so this was the successivo best thing. I'm not saying it as a bad thing. However,because te can't save on that site, the page the game was open on got closed so my adventure from that point on was completely gone. Then, I tried replaying it in 2016 after I finished with Yellow, but my save file got corrupted. Finally, I managed to play a proper playthrough of Crystal, back in 2017 and managed to finish it to the very end. It was a fun experience.
The secondo Generation of Pokemon, while not my preferito Generation, was a very charming experience. Johto has such as magical feel to it, I can't describe it. I Amore how a good chunk of the region has a heavy emphasis on Japanese culture, tradition and the ways of old. azalea town has a character da the name of Kurt, who specializes in creating gimmicky Pokebals out of special fruits that te collect on your journey, named Apricots. Each albicocca has a different color, and the effect of the ball that Kurt makes is dependent on what color it is. Red Apricots produce the Speedball, which is good for capturing Pokemon who have high speed stats, the Pinks ones produce the Loveball which is effective against a wild Pokemon that has the opposite gender to the one te have out batting, etc. I bring this up because this is how Pokeballs were originally created, which helps us understand the world of Pokemon better.
Johto has a very interesting lore behind it, especially in regards to Ho-Oh and Lugia and how the former is responsible for creating The Legendary Beasts. There's also the place called "The Ruins of Alph", which is a mysterious place where te an only capture Unowns and it theorized that it has a connection to Arceus.
Crystal is considered da many to be their preferito game, as well as the definitive Johto experience. I disagree, but I see where they're coming from. Crystal combines the best elements of oro and Silver, while at the same time giving some graphical aggiornamenti to Pokemon sprites, and to locations. For example, in oro and Silver, Spinarak is purple and is changed to green in Crystal. o how Champion Lance's room is different and looks più dragon-like.
They also gave extra focus on the games mascot legendary, Suicune. The game introduces a new character da the name of Eucene, who's a massive enthusiast of Suicune and interacts with the player several times to explore the lore behind the Beasts, and even get to battle him in Cianwood city. te will encounter Suicune several times on your adventure, until eventually you're able to battle and capture in one of the towers in Ecruteak city, the place where it was reborn.
Crystal and gen 2 for that matter, introduced a lot of new features that have become staples of the Pokemon franchise. Pokemon are now dato gender, which helps with the also newly introduced breeding mechanic. This allows te to drop off two Pokemon with compatible Egg Groups at the Daycare to mate and produce an egg, which will hatch into a new Pokemon, usually a level 1 version of the female mate.
There's also the giorno and night cycles, where te can capture different Pokemon depending on what time you're playing. Shiny Pokemon, which are incredibly rare and hard to find Pokemon that have an alternate coloration to a regular Pokemon. These were done to take advantage of the Gameboy Color's feature to play games in color.
Pokemon are also able to use Held Items. To put it simply, there are several items that te can make your Pokemon hold onto, which will affect their performance during battle. Holding onto berries, for example, will heal the HP o a status condition of the one who holding it.
Another important change is how the stats of the Pokemon are distribuded. In Gen 1, there were only 5 stats: HP; Attack; Defense; Special and Speed. The Special stat was separated into two: Special Attack and Special Defense.
The story is much simpler this time. Three years have passed since in Kanto, and many things have changed since then. Team Rocket is back and they returned to their old ways of stealing and selling Pokemon, only this time, it's done for a different reason. After Giovanni disbanded Team Rocket, they returned to reunite with their leader and cause even più havoc. The plot with them forcing Magikarp to evolve in the Lake of Rage, then selling them at high prices made for one of the most iconic moments in the franchise, as te were had to opportunity to battle and capture the Red Gyarados. Essentially, it's a free Shiny Pokemon, and since red is my preferito color, I see it as a great reward.
I think the best part of this story is te rival, Silver. When te first met him, he's starring through a window into Professor Elm's lab and when te approach him he pushes te away. Not only that, but he also steals one of the Johto starters. He's pretty much an emotionally troubled kid who can only respond through violent outbursts. He sees weak Pokemon as trash and not worth training, as he only cares about power. However, what makes Silver such a good character is his progression through the story. As the game progresses, he becomes not only less violent, but comes to understanding that raising your Pokemon with Amore and care is the ultimate way for them to gain power. He becomes less violent and più friendly towards the player, as he grew both as a person and a trainer. This is even shown on is team, as he has a Crobat, which couldn't have evolved if it didn't Amore its trainer. He even decides to give back the stolen Pokemon back to the professor, but he refuses to take it back because he sees how much the Pokemon grew to Amore Silver, how he became a better person because of his journey and that they're much happier together.
What's also interesting about him is the fact that it's revealed in the remakes that he's Giovanni's son. The reason why he was so violent and only cared about power is because he saw his father as weak for losing to a mere couple of trainers, causing him to disband his criminal empire. Giovanni pretty much abandoned him, which made Silver look at him as a dead-beat father, deciding that he will gain power on his own to surpass him to be like him, and to prove that relying on others will only make one weaker.
Generation 2 also introduced two new types: Dark and Steel. Much like the Fairy-Type, this was done to balance out the gameplay, because Psychic-types were overpowered back in Gen 1.
This generation introduced some really awesome Pokemon, some of which were pre-evolutions and evolutions to already existing Pokemon. It's also nice how a good chunk of these new evolutions have the newly introduced types, such as: Scizor, Steelix and Umbreon.
This game also very important, as it's the first one that allowed players to play either as a boy o a girl. This was huge, because the precedente 5 games before this only allowed te to play as a boy, so it's great that they're trying to be inclusive to the other almost 4 billion inhabitants of this planet.
However, let's talk about the feature that I'm sure is the biggest reason why people Amore this game so much, and it's the fact that after te beat Lance and become Champion, te can travel to the Kanto region, battle the 8 Gym leaders there, explore how Kanto changed, capture all the Pokemon there, and then, after collecting all 16 badges, te can travel to the peak of Mount Silver and battle Red, the protagonist of Gen 1. Essentially, you're battling your past self.
This game is also unique, because in Japan, there was an event where te can connect your phone to this game via a link cable, and receive the GS Ball. After te received it, te could go to Ilex Forest, place the ball in the shrine, which will release the Celebi that was in the ball, and te could battle and capture it. Sadly, this was Giappone exclusive.
This is also the first game where they implemented the idea of a battle facility known as "The Battle Tower", where te can battle different trainers for prizes at the end.
The game is not flawless through. The level-scaling is absolutely messed-up. Most the Pokemon te have are low-leveled, so when te face a Gym Leader o alike, their Pokemon are ten o so levels higher than you, since te only battled small-fries who give very low Exp. points. da the time I got every single badge, my Pokemon were between levels 50 and 60, whereas Red's team are in their 70's and 80's. I've seen a lot of people defending this, because it allows te to think più strategically instead of brute-forcing your way through opponents; and the grinding is there to help te form a bond with your Pokemon as te battle on and on. I get where they're coming from, but it's still frustrating. I can't play a single Johto game without resorting to using cheat codes to get infinite Rare Candies.
The Pokemon placement is also dumb. Most of the Pokemon te get in Johto are returning Pokemon from Kanto. In fact, there are più Johto Pokemon in Kanto, than there are in their supposed native region.
Pokemon like Houndoom and Tyranitar aren't available until te get all 16 Gym badges, which is just stupid in every single way te can imagine.
Kanto also feels rather baron. With the exception of a subplot regarding a rouge Team Rocket member who didn't know his team disbanded completely, there's not much to do in this region.
I think what gravitates a lot of people to Johto is not just the nostalgia, but also because there's this sense of intimacy and humbleness to it. Not to mention, there seems to be an underlying message about the passage of time. Johto is a region that showcases how the old ways of the past can co-exist with the new and modern world. Which has a lot of meaning towards it because this game was released back in 2000, which was the start of a brand new millennium. This is further showcased with how much Kanto and the returning characters changed, and your final battle with Red, you're old self. It has a theme about the passage of time and how things change. When te battle and defeat Red, you're basically telling the old you, that it's okay to grow up and things change.
Crystal is the very definition of a retro game. A game that te know is old, but definitely not outdated. It has this mysterious charm to it that draws both me and other fan in, that no other game in the franchise has rivaled since.
6. Pokemon Platinum.
I first played this game back in Summer of 2014, then I replayed it in Winter of 2015/2016 and then I replayed it again in Summer of 2018. I mostly did it because there was always this one team member I didn't like so I replayed it to get a better one.
I'm just going to out-right say it, Diamond and Pearl suck. Not only did they not age well, but even back when they were released they were riddled with problems. Thankfully, Platinum fixed many of those problems and added in some new, cool features to make this the best Sinnoh experience. This game has many problems that were left over from Diamond and Pearl, but the amount of stuff that's great balance things out.
Thankfully, most of these problems were fixed here in Platinum. The pacing in Diamond and Pearl was just a complete mess, so they fixed it da having te face off against Fantina as your third Gym Leader, whom you're supposed to fight after te received 4 badges. Platinum also runs much faster, which helps to take away the tedium. However, there are still some of that slowness left, such as when te save a game, o when the HP meter goes down. I'm serious, it takes a very long time for a Pokemon to faint. It's especially tedious when te landed a super effective hit on a very powerful Pokemon, o when te battle a Pokemon like Blissey, who has an absurd amount of HP and it's a chore to sit through.
Platinum also improves upon the story, but not da much. The pacing is a lot better, and the characters of Cyrus and Cynthia have also been greatly improved.
While Team Galactic has got to be the worst main series game villains so far, their leader Cyrus is one of my preferito villains. Essentially, Platinum Cyrus is a nihilist. He believes that emotion is the soul-cause of all the problems in this world. He began his quest to imbracatura the powers of Dialga and Palkia who control time and spazio respectively, to erase the old universe and create a new one, where there would be no emotion and he could be God. Plus, after te defeat him and Team Galactic, te can go to Sunnyshore city to earn your final Gym badge, and there's a house in the city where Cyrus' grandpa lives and he explains that during his youth, Cyrus was a massive shut-in with his only companions being machines.
Despite his cold demeanor, he still has some humanity in him, because he compliments your skills after te beat him and even gives te a Master Ball after te defeated him at his HQ. After your final battle with him in the Distortion World (We'll get to that one later), he never gives up on his convictions and will continue to cerca for the knowledge that's beyond time, spazio and anti-matter in order to create his perfect world.
Cynthia is also better handled here. One of the best things about Gen 4 is the introduction of Cynthia, the first female Champion in the series and is generally considered da many to be the best written champion and one of the best female characters in the franchise. She's very powerful and hard to defeat, but at the same time she's very kind to both people and Pokemon, and has a hobby outside of battling, being her interest in archeology and the mythologies of the Pokemon world. Her team even reflects this. She has a Lucario who's based on Anubis, a Milotic who's based on a mermaid, a Spiritomb who's based on Jibakurei. Much like Steven Stone from Hoenn, she's dato the role of a mentor who assists te on your journey, especially when things got tough. Her battle is also incredibly hard. Her team has the best balance out of any Pokemon champion and are very powerful, especially her Garchomp.
She also has a very striking design and is even quite attractive looking.
What's also neat is that she made several appearances in almost every game after this, becoming one of the most recurring and recognizable characters in the series.
Cynthia isn't the only character introduced in Sinnoh who made several appearances in future games, though. That other character is Looker, a member of the international police who made his first debut in this game. He appears many times during the game's story, sometimes disguised as somebody else. He also gives te items such as the Vs. Seeker (Which I'm glad is back.). What makes him unique is that he has this aura of mystery around him. Plus, he appears in future games, and each time he appears, te learn something new about him that only adds to his mystery. Looker isn't his real name; merely a code-name. Design-wise, he has two inspirations: The David Tennant Doctor from "Doctor Who" and Zenigata from "Lupin the Third". It's actually quite fitting, as he's a police officer with a very mysterious background who appears wherever and whenever to help the player however he can. He's one of my preferito characters from the entire series, as a result.
There's also the character of Charon, who's Team Galactic's superiore, in alto scientist, who speaks a lot of expository dialog and fills-in some of the plot-holes.
One of the best features of Platinum and Gen 4 in general, is the Physical/Special split. For those of te who don't know, allow me to explain. Before Gen 4, moves were classified as Physical o Special depending on what type they were. For instance, all Fire, Water and Electric moves were classified as Special, whereas every Ghost, Poison and Normal sposta was classified as Physical. This was a problem. Let's use Hitmonchan for example. He can learn every elemental punching move, but because they were all Special, they worked off of Hitmonchan's Special Attack stat, which is very low. As a result, he couldn't take advantage of these moves which could've dato him type coverage. With the split, however, these moves are now classified as Physical and Hitmonchan can use them properly. This balanced out the game in a massive way and became a staple.
Another great feature is the introduction of Wi-fi battling. For the first time, players could battle and trade their Pokemon with other trainers from around the world, via the internet. Both of these were massive improvements that changed how these games worked.
Graphically, the game looks great. The sprites in both the over-world and battles are più detailed, battle animations have spiffier particle effects and sleeker animations, and environments have details that earlier games couldn't achieve. Sinnoh is where they first utilized 3D graphics, and for the most part it did a pretty good job with them and it planted the seed for improvement in the future.
A neat detail about this game is that snow is a lot più present in Sinnoh than in Diamond and Pearl. This makes sense because Sinnoh is based on the island of Hokkaido from Japan, which is also close to Russia, making it the coldest ares of the country, and Sinnoh's reflective of this.
Speaking of animations, one small but still neat detail is that the sprites for several Pokemon have been altered and now have animations when entering battle with different poses than the ones from Diamond and Pearl. Not only that, but this is also the first game in the series to give Pokemon back-sprite animations. Meaning that the Pokemon te send out will also do an animazione when entering battle. Back then, only the opponents could do it.
Important trainers are also dato new animations when the battle begins.
Platinum is also the first game in the series to introduce the new forms of Giratina, Shaymin and Rotom. This is a really cool feature, but it also helps to expand the lore regarding these Pokemon.
Also, the only place in Sinnoh where te can catch Rotom is an abandoned mansion from Eterna Forest. This place has got to be one of the scariest places in the entire series. There's creepy music, paintings that follow your movements, and a ghost butler and girl who sposta don't have any walking animation.
I Amore the inclusion of the Distortion World. Not only is it an awesome way to expand the lore, but it was a damn fun place to play through, as you're solving a puzzle as a way to get to Giratina. Everything is upside-down, right-side-up, there's ambient music, nothing's what te think it is, making the whole experience feel very weird, but exciting.
The cutscene where Giratina first shows up from the darkness, pitch-black with red eyes, only to jumpscare you, is one of the coolest moments in any Pokemon game. I also really like how as you're solving the puzzle, te can see Giratina flying in the background, adding to the creep-factor.
There are two battles here: one with Cyrus, and one with Giratina where te can capture it. Both of these fights were awesome.
The Battle Frontier also makes a return, only this time it's 5 facilities instead of 7. I couldn't get through this one either, but there are two characters in this place I would like to mention. First one is Tower Tycoon Palmer, who's the father of your in-game rival Barry, which I think is really neat. Another one is Caitlin, who's not a Frontier Brain, but rather an observer who awards te BP based on your performance. I bring her up because she would later make a return in the Unova games as a member of the Elite Four. I always Amore it when a character who appeared in one game, made a return in a future game, only this time they serve a different role and have become stronger. Makes the Pokemon World feel più connected.
My preferito aspect of this game is how it explains the origin of the Pokemon world. Generation 4's main theme is the mythology and origin of the Pokemon world. While Professor Rowan isn't an interesting character, I find his field-of-study of Pokemon evolution fascinating, because it ties into the game's themes about exploring the origins of this world. He theorizes that humans were once Pokemon, but have adapted and evolved in such a way that they became human. This could explain as to why there are so many humanoid-shape Pokemon. This obviously parallels Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Further proven da the fact the the Pokemon Shellos and Gastrodon have two different forms, depending on where te catch it in Sinnoh. The region is separated in two because of Mount. Coronet, so the environment is different from both sides, which caused these Pokemon to adapt different looks.
This game also introduces Arceus, the Pokemon equivalent of God Himself, and the one responsible creating the world, the Creation Trio as well as the Lake Trio. There's also a church in Hearthome city, where NPC's are seen praying, presumably to Arceus.
The Musica is also fantastic. If Hoenn's Musica is defined da trumpets, Sinnoh's defined da the piano. There's a Pianoforte playing in almost every song in the game. It's especially presents in Cynthia's encounter theme.
I also like how each Gym Leader is dato their own lifestyles and jobs outside of the Gym. Generation 5 would improve upon this, but still this game did a decent job fleshing out these guys.
However, my praise ends here, because the Sinnoh games are filled to the brim with problems.
While I appreciate the improvement Platinum made to the story and characters, the story is still really flawed and poorly paced. Platinum's story feels più like it did a damage control to the original plot, but because it's still build upon that awful foundation, it couldn't deviate too much from it and suffered as a result. What am I talking about? For example, Team Galactic has got to be the most incompetent batch of villains in the Pokemon series. Tonal whiplash doesn't even come close to describe them. te go from grunts who steal honey from citizens, to Admins who hold bike-shop owners hostage, their leader who's literally trying to recreate the entire universe. While I praised Cyrus as a well-written villain, the organization he's in charge of accomplishes the least amount of any villain team, and barely contribute to his master plan. But this is only one problem.
Sinnoh has got to be worst designed region of all time. I get the lore reason behind it, but unlike Hoenn, Sinnoh does a poor job. I don't like exploring this region because it is too big and convoluted. Many of the routes intertwine in weird ways, and almost every town and city look identical to one-another, with the exception of Snowpoint City. This also contributes to the pacing issues this game is riddled with, making the adventure feel really boring at times. I'm always reluctant to play a Sinnoh game because I hate having to walk-though this region.
Made worse da the fact that there are 8 different HMs in this game, and the region is filled to the brim with so many obstacles that te have no choice but to spread out these weak moves among your team just so te could progress through the game. I especially hate the fact that there are areas with fog in them, which not only makes it harder to see where you're going, but it also affects your battles. Both Pokemon have a chance of missing due to the fog, which slows things down even further.
Plus, while I like many Pokemon from Sinnoh, the abundance of Legendaries, Baby Pokemon and evolutions to older Pokemon limits the amount of options te can use for your team. Not helped da the fact that several older Pokemon like: Abra, Onix, Geodude, etc all make a return.
I Amore Platinum, but because it still suffers from some of the same problems as Diamond and Pearl did, it dampens my enjoyment of the game.
5. Pokemon Emerald.
Even with the release of ORAS, fan are still debating whether o not smeraldo is the definitive Hoenn game, and for a good reason. Like Yellow, Crystal and Platinum, smeraldo combined the story of Ruby and Sapphire into one, while also adding new elements to it that made this game special in the eyes of the people,myself included.
Much the precedente games on this list, I played this game on GameOldies, several times and I always failed and had to restart. In Summer of 2016, after finishing FireRed, I began to play smeraldo on my tablet and managed to finish it this time. A few months ago, I replayed Pokemon Emerald, simply because I didn't like my team from 2016.
This is più personal, because Hoenn is to my what Johto is to older, veteran fans. I was born in the anno 2000, and while I didn't play the games, I did have find memories of when Gen 3 was the most recente one. Thus, I formed a lot of great memories with it.
One of the best things about Ruby and Sapphire is the fact that there are not one but two evil teams te have to defeat this time: Team Magma who want to expand the landmass, and Team Aqua who want to expand the ocean. Both have very understandable reasons for doing so, and what's best is that depending on which version te play, te get to face-off against one of them. Here, te get to fight both. I actually really like this idea because it makes the story of Hoenn feel complete.
Speaking of, the story of smeraldo is very unique. It's established in the very first scene that you've just moved there and that te have a father. The latter one is especially important, because no Pokemon game before o since had the father present in the protagonists life. Made even better da the fact that your in-game father Norman is also a Gym Leader te eventually have to battle.
Your rival is not only the Professor's child, but is also the opposite gender of the trainer your picked as your avatar. To put it simply, the male and female avatars for Hoenn are named Brendan and May. If te chose to play as Brendan, your rival is May and vice versa, which is a very neat idea.
Another interesting thing about the story is that this is the first time te have two rivals instead of just one. Your other rival is a young boy da the name of Wally. He's a very inexperienced trainer who suffers from Asthma, due to the fact that his home town is located successivo to a volcano, which was not good for his lungs. But despite his predicament, he asks te to catch a Pokemon for him, and from then he trains and becomes a stronger trainer.
Generation 3 also introduced the idea of Double Battles, where both opponents send out two Pokemon at the same time to battle one another. This is a great way to improve upon the battle mechanic in Pokemon, and offers the possibility of some neat strategies. But, this is also a double-edged sword, because now that te have two of your Pokemon out, that means that if te use a sposta like Earthquake, your other Pokemon is hurt as well.
Pokemon also have now abilities, which are kind of like a 5th move. Essentially, each Pokemon has a unique ability that assists it in battle. For example, Pokemon like Solrock and Lunatone would be affected da Earthquake because they're both Rock-Types. However, because they both have the ability Levitate, it makes them float above the ground, rendering Ground-type attacks useless.
Another interesting mechanic is the introduction of Weather Conditions. New moves have been introduced that allows the user of those moves to manipulate the weather in area they're battling, but only for a couple of turns. For instance, Sunny giorno summons a hot, sunny weather that boosts the power of fuoco moves and decreases the power of water moves. o Sandstorm, which summons a sandstorm in which Pokemon who aren't Rock, Ground and Steel-types are hurt da the roughness of the sand, slowly chipping away at their HP each turn.
This mechanic is important, as it ties into the environment of the region te live in, as well as this game's themes. The Hoenn region is gorgeous and has got to be in my superiore, in alto 3 best regions. It has everything: deserts, forests, volcanoes, snowy areas, islands, an abandoned ship te can explore, underwater routes and caverns, etc. Plus, it's layed out in a way that each area logically flows into the next, and da the time te have to backtrack, te have all the necessary HM's that are needed to get there via più convenient routes o new locations te haven't been through before. Like when te needed to backtrack from Fallabor town to Mauwile, al te need to do is Surf your way through Route 118 instead of having to walk through Route 113 the way te came.
Hoenn is comprised of half land and half water. The main themes of Pokemon smeraldo is that nature has a balance and disrupting this balance can lead to disaster. Each evil team member wanted expand one of the two, not knowing that this will result in the destruction of the very lives they tried to improve. The three legendaries, Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza are representative of Hoenn's themes. Groudon represents land and is based on Behemoth, Kyogre represents sea and is based on Leviathan, and Rayquaza represents the sky and is based on the Ziz.
This is also the first time the mascot legendaries were actually integral to the game's plot, setting the seeds in which future Pokemon games will operate.
The game also looks beautiful. Compared to the precedente two Gens, Pokemon smeraldo is a massive improvement in terms of color and how things look. There's actual shading this time and colori don't look like they've been barfed out.
Another fun activity is finding, collecting and planting berries. Berries are everywhere in Hoenn and when te pick them, te have the option to plant some più into the empty soil, water it, then come back after some time and te can pick even più berries. These can help te out a lot during battles, and if te so choose, can turn them into PokeBlocks. te can give PokeBlocks to your Pokemon, which will improve their performance during Contests, which are also a fun way to pass the time when you're not catching every Pokemon.
The game also has the option of giving te two bikes: The Mach Bike and the Acro Bike. The Mach Bike is really fast but controls really badly, and the Acros Bike is easier to control but also much slower and te can do tricks with them da jumping on its back wheel. Hoenn is a vast region, so they gave te two ways to explore it with your bike. The only problem being is that there are areas that require the usage of the Acro Bike, and te can only have one at a time.
The soundtrack is once again fantastic. Hoenn has one of my preferito soundtracks in the Pokemon franchise and it mostly has to do with the fact that each and every piece of Musica has trumpets in them. This gave Hoenn a unique identity among all the other regions and it made it feel più grand.
However, what sets Pokemon smeraldo apart from the rest is the presence of the Battle Frontier. Throughout your adventure, te encounter a man da the name of Scott, who owns and runs a place called the Battle Frontier. Unlike the Battle Tower, this place consists of multiple battle facilities with their own unique battle systems and mechanics. One has your Pokemon not listen to te and have to rely on themselves, another requires te to use rental Pokemon, etc. Not only can te obtain Battle Points, but each facility has a Frontier Brain that te an battle after winning a certain amount of battles. Defeating them once gives te a silver symbol, and beating them a secondo time gives te a oro symbol.
I see the Battle Frontier as a reward for beating the Pokemon and becoming Champion. Here, your skills are being tested da opponents who make Gym leaders look weak da comparison and actually feel like a challenge. Sadly, I was never able to beat a single facility even once, because it's a very tedious process and I don't have time to battle and complete all of them. I also didn't have the best luck with any of them. It's kind of a shame the the main selling point of this game is something I wasn't able to complete. But the post-game offers enough activities to do and make it a fulfilling adventure.
Let's talk about the bad stuff now. While I praised the idea of your rival being the opposite gender te didn't pick, he/she is a very boring character. They never pose any real challenge and their personality is very shallow and one-dimensional. Wally, while having an interesting character arc, only appears three times but his appearances aren't that impactful in order to make him all that interesting.
This is più of a issue with Emerald, but the Champion battle is complete nonsense. In Ruby and Sapphire, as well as in ORAS, Steven Stone is the champion, whereas in Emerald, they gave the role to Wallace, the Sootopolis city Gym Leader who uses Water-types. This is a problem. Hoenn got a lot of flack from people because of the abundance of water it has, and having a final Gym Leader who uses Water-Types and a champion who also uses Water-types creates a lot of imbalance. The balance between land and sea was even represented da two of the best trainers: the final Gym leader who uses Water Types who represents sea, and a champion who uses Rock, Ground and Steel-types who represents the land.
Not helped da the fact that your final battle with Wallace can be very anger-inducing, because several of his Pokemon are not only very strong, but have annoying strategies to them.
Though, I will admit, having Steven Stone be the final boss at the very end and serving the same role as Red did is a very nice idea.
A lot of people criticized Gen 3 because it removed several mechanics introduced in Gen 2: the giorno and night mechanic is gone, te couldn't trade with precedente generations, it paled in terms of graphics in comparison to other games on the Gameboy Advance, Ruby and Sapphire didn't have animated Pokemon sprites when they enter the battle, and there was no secondo region to travel to. However, it più than made up for it da having a unique story that set the template on how the franchise will operate in the future, but is still different enough to make it stand out among the rest, and had other really neat mechanics that have become a staple in the series.
This lista went on long enough. I'll follow up articolo with a continuation, most likely tomorrow. There's so much to talk about each of these games that putting them in one articolo would be way too long.
Until then, be patient and smell ya layer!
EDIT: Here's part 2: link