Pokemon Origins: The History of Pokemon

With the imminent release of the Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire remakes for Nintendo 3DS, it seems fitting to go back in time to discover the origins of the beloved franchise. Pokemon began as an idealistic dream of Satoshi Tajiri. As a child, Satoshi was fond of catching and collecting insects and tadpoles in Tokyo, and as an adult Satoshi wanted children to be able feel the excitement of his childhood hobby as well. This very idea turned into one of the most top selling franchises in the world, as well as a beloved series of most gamers.

Pokemon wasn’t always so successful though, when the idea was first pitched to Nintendo by Satoshi, it was turned down. It wasn’t until Shigeru Miyamoto pitched the idea that Nintendo began to fund it. Despite Nintendo’s funding, however, the game nearly bankrupt Game Freak, Satoshi’s newly founded company. During the six years of Pokemon’s development, five employees quit and Tajiri worked many hours unpaid, and because of his diligence, Pokemon became a reality.

The first Pokemon games released had modest sales in Japan, but soon boomed due to a rumor of a secret Pokemon obtainable in the games. Soon after, another version was released and the game was localized in America where sales increased phenomenally.

Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow

A Pokemon battle in Red Version

Pokemon Red and Blue, were released on September 28th, 1998 in North America. The games were quick to move sales and were profitable to both Nintendo and Game Freak.

The games were simple, borrowing many traditional RPG mechanics and shifting it to a monster collecting formula. This simple formula created one of the most addictive and popular games in the world.

Pokemon Gold/Silver

Battles in Gold and Silver

Pokemon Gold and Silver were released on October 15th, 2000. The formula from the first game didn’t change much. The game played out very similarly to Red and Blue, but the game was designed to be every bit better than the first two in the series. The game was longer, the area was larger and the game added 100′s of new Pokemon to the already large roster of monsters.

Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire

A battle in Ruby

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire were released three years later for the GameBoy Advance portable in 2003. Again, the game formula hadn’t changed though the graphics improved from the first games. The game is still praised to this day, especially for it’s soundtrack of which is loved especially for the trumpets, found in almost every song in the game.

Pokemon Diamond/Pearl

A battle in Diamond and Pearl

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were released in 2007 for the Nintendo DS. The game was a financial and system success. The game used unique features such as bottom screen functions like checking the time, accessing the bag and using the calculator. The game was the first in the series to use pseudo-3d models for buildings and landmarks, something the series would improve later on.

Pokemon Black/White

A battle in Pokemon Black

Pokemon Black and White were released in 2011 for the Nintendo DS. The games didn’t improve on anything generally, but added more Pokemon and better 3D graphics for buildings and certain objects. Pokemon Black was received well but is generally regarded as a rather bland entry in the series.

Pokemon Black/White 2

Overlooking an area in Black 2

Pokemon Black and White 2 were released in 2012 for the Nintendo DS. The game is very similar to Black and White, even taking place in the same region as the predecessor. The game improved on the mechanics of the first game but remained very much the same as the previous games.

Pokemon X/Y

The 3D graphics in Pokemon X and Y

Pokemon X and Y are the most recent Pokemon games released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. The game remained in much of the same formula but improved much on the graphics side. The game is rendered in full 3D including in battles. The game also allows the player to customize the character, a feature never before seen in the Pokemon series.

Note: Only main entries in the series are listed, excluding third entries per generation. 

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  • Blog Author

    Colin Schwager

    Colin Schwager is a professional gamer and Journalist from Pennsylvania. He loves geek culture and the behind the scenes at game companies. Read Full
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