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Power Member - Level 9
Ah, Pokemon... What can I say? It's one of the most beloved franchises in video in video game history. Kids love it. Adults love it. Boys, girls, everybody. In anticipation for Pokemon X and Y, I've been replaying alot of Pokemon games, old and new. However, even though I enjoy (to some extent) every single generation, there are ones that I enjoy much more than others. Since there are only 5 generations, this list will be organized from my least favorite to my most favorite Pokemon generation. Each will be judged based on its own region, its Pokemon, the quality of its core games and it's spin- offs, what it introduced, the crime organization, and other miscellaneous aspects. Take in mind that this is my personal opinion, and in no way truth.
The origins of Pokemon, and an ultimate source of nostalgia, and the gen that started in all. But let me give it to you straight... The core games, Pokemon Red and Blue, are some of the most outdated and flawed games I have played. With severe lack of strategy, balancing issues, and an untold amount of glitches, these two games are beyond flawed and have aged horribly. Alot of people grew up with these games, so I know why they love them so dearly, and I respect that. They have every right to love these games. But, when people say that they are the highest quality Pokemon games, I gotta put my foot down. I thank Red and Blue for introducing the legendary combat system and formula of the entire series, and for the insane amount of innovation they introduced to its industry. I'm sure Red and Blue were amazing for their time, but they just don't believe they cut it by today's standards. Let's take a look a the gameplay mechanics. Hardly any strategy and barely any freedom with your Pokemon. Aside from the expensive vitamins, there was no way you could influence your Pokemon's stats. Another thing I found weird was that both the Pokemon's special offence and defense are in the same stat... Seriously? Since you can't do anything about the Pokemon's stats, there is nothing that keeps your Pokemon's strength unique. Also, I have to address the balancing issues. I'm looking at you, Psychic types. Since their moves are only resisted by their own types, and their only weakness is bug, they have a HUGE unfair advantage. Pokemon Yellow was a bit better because of its charm no other Pokemon game could replicate, but that does not excuse it either. The music in this gen was great, and some of the glitches were hilarious, like Missingno. The spin- offs of gen 1 are Hey You, Pikachu, Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon The Trading Card Game, Pokemon Puzzle League, Pokemon Pinball, and Pokemon Snap. I have played most of these and I thought they were addicting and pretty fun, but the spin- offs, standalone, can't make gen 1 great. The region introduced in gen 1 is Kanto. It's a good sized region, but pretty unmemorable for me. The places that stood out tho me was Lavender Town and The Pokemon Mansion. Other than that... It was ok. The crime organization was the infamous Team Rocket. I gotta say, I LOVED Team Rocket in the TV show. They were just hilarious to watch. But that's not the case in the gen 1 games. They're just... Ordinary. I don't even recall them doing anything extremely evil, and I believe that they're the weakest crime organization to date. Let's talk about the Pokemon. Gen 1's roaster was pretty big, with 151 Pokemon introduced. There were alot of choices, but in all honesty, there were only a small handful that I actually really liked, such as Charizard, Lapris, Cleffable, Ninetails, Evee and it evolutions, and Mew. Most of the others, I just don't really care for. Gen 1 leaves alot to be desired, but come on, it's the first generation. What did you truly expect? Though flawed, Red, Blue, and Yellow are incredibly nostalgic, to say in the least, and I'm glad I got the chance to play them again before X and Y comes out.
Probably the gen with the highest quality games, gen 5 delivers in more ways than one. The core games, Pokemon Black and White are damn impressive. Flawlessly blending 2D and 3D, Pokemon are fully animated and everything is a joy to look at, unlike early gen installments. These two games also nearly perfected the traditional battle system and the Gyms are extremely well designed. Black and White introduced rotation battles and triple battle, which both are insanely fun and keep you on your toes. My favorite thing, though, is that you can finally reuse TMs! FINALLY!! The thing that people argue about the most is the story. Me, I'm indifferent to the story. While it wasn't phenomenal or anything, it didn't dumb down the experience. Black and White 2? While it did manage to entertain me as much as the original Black and White did, they barely added anything, which I think is kind of disappointing. As of right now, gen 5 has 4 spin- off games such as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, Pokemon Conquest, Pokemon Rumble Blast, and Pokepark 2: Wonders Beyond. Out of all these I've sadly played only one, which was Mystery Dungeon. All I can say about that one is though it was fun while it lasted, the earlier Mystery Dungeon installments were much better. Gen 5 introduced the region Genova. Even though it had well designed environments and had alot of memorable locations such as Castallia City, The Skyoar Bridge, and N's castle, this region was kind of middle ground for me. Why? Because it suffers from one thing: It's too linear. Throughout the Black and White games, I kind of felt driven along the path, like I was going from point A to point B all the time, rather than going on an expansive adventure. The crime organization in the Black and White games are Team Plasma. They're alright, but apart from N, most of them just feel like standard grunts, and the encounters you have with them get old. FAST. At first, I liked their portrayal of individuals against Pokemon abuse, but once it was revealed that they were only in on it for world domination, it kind of ruined it for me. Team Rocket is not much better, but still... Anyway, to the Pokemon! Gen 5 introduced the largest Pokemon roaster thus far, which is impressive. Even though each Pokemon design was creative (especially the legendaries), I have to say that this gen of Pokemon lacked originality. I might be alone here, but it's what I think. Half the Pokemon's names are the actual animal, just organized differently, like the cat Pokemon Purrlion... Purrlion? ... Really? And it's not just the stupid cat, many other Pokemon suffer from this too. All in all, though it had some flaws, I enjoyed gen 5 and I truly believe Pokemon is heading in the right direction.
Being the generation I grew up with, gen 2 introduced a ton of features and a vast region to explore. The core games of this gen are Pokemon Gold and Silver. Despite introducing the smallest roaster of Pokemon in history, they introduced many key innovations to the series most to them being kept on every generation since. With two more types of Pokemon, which are steel and dark ( My favorite), it got rid of the horrible balancing issues that gen 1 brought on the Pokemon series. This gen improved the stat system incredibly, and brought other things to the table such as shiny Pokemon, breeding, new Pokeballs, baby Pokemon, time based events, TOO MANY TO COUNT!! Completely nullifying all of gen 1's problems, there was nothing really bad about this gen. Gen 2 also introduced the first sister game, Crystal. This game adds plenty of things that made Gold and Silver so great such as a female playable character, animated Pokemon sprites, and exclusive Pokemon from both Gold and Silver were brought together. These three core Pokemon games, by themselves, are what make gen 2 so great, probably being the highest quality Gameboy games to date. Gen 2 introduced the Jotoh region. Like gen 1, it's a pretty bland region, but there's something in gen 2 that made the nullified the blandness. Both the Kanto region AND the Jotoh region are combined in this gen. That means double the exploration, double the battles, double the gym leaders, and double the quality. SO MUCH STUFF TO DO. NOT JOKING. The crime organization is Team Rocket, once again. What can I say this time? They were ordinary in gen 1, and they're still ordinary in gen 2. Using the exact same Pokemon with the exact same boring plans, Team Rocket hasn't changed one bit. The spin- offs in gen 2 include Pokemon Puzzle Challenge and Pokemon Stadium 2. Though only two, both of these games were quite fun, especially Stadium 2. Now for the Pokemon... Like I said before, gen 2 introduced the smallest amount of Pokemon to date. Although a lot of them may have been evolutions, it was a great addition to the series and the starters are some of my favorite. Even though it introduced the smallest roaster of Pokemon, gen 2 improved Pokemon greatly in terms of the battle system, formula and it cleaned up the problems gen 1 left behind. With all this in mind, I believe that this generation is the most important of the whole franchise.
This was definitely a worth- while generation. With loads of new innovations and and down- right enjoyable games, gen 4 delivers in numerous ways. The core games, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were the first handheld games to utilize 3D environments and battles. These 3D aspects are definitely appealing to the eye, and this same graphics engine is still being used in gen 5, and most likely gen 6. Also, gen 4 introduced other great addition that I thought helped the Pokemon franchise a lot: The Physical/ Special split. This improvement was much needed. Before gen 4, the specific form of attacking, whether it be Special or Physical, was all determined by what type of move it was. For example: fire moves used to be strictly Special. Even though that would make sense for something like flamethrower or fireblast, but for firepunch? Yes, that used to be a Special move. YOU'RE PUNCHING SOMETHING. That's Physical. But... That's all over with, and we have gen 4 to thank for it. All types of moves can be both Physical and Special, and that's pretty damn important. Now you can choose attacking strategy you want. You want a specially offensive Machamp? Go for it. You want a Physical Septile? Go right ahead. You want a little bit of both? Whatever pleases you. The Special/ Physical split literally made battle option limitless. Even Pokemon that sucked before benefited from this awesome addition. Lets talk about the sister game of Diamond and Pearl, Pokemon Platinum... BUY THIS GAME! It added so many improvements, that it far surpasses Diamond and Pearl. With, more fluid attack animations, a battle frontier, more legendary Pokemon, new characters, and updated storyline, and even revamped gym designs... Wow. If that wasn't enough, gen 4 introduced two remakes that represent Gold and Silver called Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Upping the visuals and quality, Gold and Silver were remastered in the highly advanced generation 4. Spin- offs in this gen include Pokemon Battle Revolution, Pokepark Wii, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Darkness, Explorers of Time, and Explorers of Sky, and Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Sign and Rnager: Shadows of Almia. While I did love the Mystery Dungeon games and Shadows of Almia, the rest of them were ok, nothing too spectacular. The region introduced in gen 4 was Sinoh. With beautiful environments, great dungeon crawling, tons of memorable locations, variety in atmosphere, and lots to do, this region still amazes me today. It's perfectly sized, and and lets you freely explore to your heart's content. The most unique place ever to be seen in a Pokemon game, the Distortion World, is also in Sinoh. The crime organization is Team Galactic. At first, they may seem like a bunch of lousy jerk weeds, but their ultimate goal is unlike any other. What is it? Money? World Domination? Just trying to be assholes? Nope. Their goal is use the Creation Trio to destroy the entire universe and recreate it without spirit... Deep... If the region and the crime organization weren't enough, you got some pretty well designed Pokemon, too. Great starters, some cool evolutions, and epic legendaries. Believe it or not, this gen was going to be number 1, what with the amazing core games, but it managed to get overshadowed by the best gen. Still, I will never forget it.
And Number 1...
... What can I say? No generation has managed to entertain, amaze, or even affect me as much as the 3rd gen has. The dominators of the Gameboy Advance library, otherwise known as Ruby and Sapphire, are simply a marvel. Gen 3 essentially gave the entire franchise a well- needed makeover, both in visuals and game mechanics. First of, gen 3 introduced double battles, where two of your Pokemon can take down the enemy as a full on tag team. This also lets the players utilize strategy like never before. Another great improvement was the addition of Natures. What's so great about them? Well, nothing really, THEY JUST FINALLY GIVE YOUR POKEMON SOME FREAKING PERSONALITY! Different natures affect every single stat differently, meaning every single Pokemon can have something statistically special about them. Every Pokemon can be different. Anything other innovations? ... Of course! There's abilities, which practically affect everything that occurs in a Pokemon battle. Intimidate? Down goes your enemy's attack. Sandstorm? BAM! Accuracy decreases. Flamethrower? Burn them to the ground. Abilities make it so each Pokemon's stats always end up differently. Pokemon used to be about simply choosing a attack, but that's long gone thanks to Ruby and Sapphire. The sister game of Ruby and Sapphire is Emerald, and damn, It is good. Like what Crystal did for Silver and Gold and what Platinum did of Diamond and Pearl, Emerald expanded upon what made Ruby and Sapphire so awesome. With smoother Pokemon animations, having Grouden and Kyogra catchable, having both villainous teams going against you, and having a whole new battle frontier... Such a great game. If these games weren't enough, there is Fire Red and Leaf Green. These remakes took the flawed first gen Red and Blue, and updated them with the additions that Ruby and Sapphire had already introduced. Heart Gold and Soul Silver did this too, except they remade Silver and Gold, which weren't really flawed in any way. the region introduced in gen 3 is Hoenn. To say in the least, Hoenn is phenomenal, with a great sense of variety and some truly memorable locations such as Mt. Chimmey, Sotoppolis City, and the Abandoned Ship, just to name a few. Hoenn was also the first region to introduce weather changes. For the crime organization, there were actually two introduced: Team Aqua and Team Magma. Instead of having one big opposing force, there are two evil leaders, both having different goals throughout the storyline. Team Aqua wishes to expand the sea, while Team Magma wishes to expand the land. The spins off in gen 3 are some of the best. There's Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, Pokemon Trozei, Pokemon Pinball Ruby and Sapphire, and my two favorite spin offs ever Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. BUY THESE GAMES! With an interesting concept of catching shadow Pokemon and purifying their hearts, an expansive region, and two great crime organizations, these two games are one of the reasons gen 3 is number 1. This gen also has, in my opinion, the best roaster to date. Introducing 135 Pokemon, this gen had the best starters and the best legendaries. My favorite Pokemon ever, Absol, was also introduced in gen 3. Some other awesome Pokemon include Blaziken, Milotic, Flygon, Rayquaza, and Deoxys. I love everything about this gen, from awesome Pokemon to every inch of Hoenn. So cheers to you, generation 3. You really are a wonderful addition to the Pokemon franchise. Hopefully Ruby and Sapphire get a remake, sometime in the future. They really deserve it.
Words can't describe how excited I am for Pokemon X and Y. I know Game Freak will try their absolute hardest to make this new Pokemon what it should be. I believe Pokemon IS heading in the right direction, and come X and Y's release, I will enjoy yest another Pokemon game.
What's your favorite Pokemon generations? Comment below! Thanks for reading! :)