The Magic of the First Generation(s)


There’s something about the original Pokémon… Even beyond the Gameboy games or the anime; the original series as a whole I find had something going for it that was sorely missing in the latter entries encompassing the show and portable games, something beyond a simple sense of nostalgia and reminiscing. The original series gave players a clear and distinct directive of “Gotta Catch ‘em All”, an iconic tag-line that was quietly dropped but one generation after its inception. The directive to “Catch ‘em all” more than likely was dropped due to the sheer impossibility of obtaining the 400+ Pocket Monsters as the franchise continued to grow. This is but one of the reasons why the original series is held in such high esteem even to this day: it was a simpler, more approachable –and thus rewarding– affair.

PokemonNext, the issue of creativity, or lack thereof, in the latter entries; it seems to me that the creative flair of the developers has significantly waned over the past few years. Am example that instantly comes to mind is Vullaby, otherwise known as “The Diapered Pokémon”. Now, I can understand the developers maybe running out of ideas and having to compensate, but a “Diapered Pokémon”? I don’t think so. Call me cynical, call me Nostalgic, call me bitter or close-minded; but the moment I read that entry within the 3DS Pokédex application, I was instantly reassured of one glaring fact: Pokémon had officially jumped the shark. I had begun to have my suspicions when I learned of a certain “lamp Pokémon” by the name of Lampent. Now, I don’t think I have to point out the brilliant originality behind that name, nor do I feel the need to point out the originality behind the species descriptor. So instead, let me say this: I stopped following the Pokémon franchise in about 2003 because life got in the way, I then came back when Heart Gold and Soul Silver were announced for the Nintendo DS. I enjoyed the remakes immensely, mostly because they hearkened back to an era when Pokémon was original, when it was engaging, and when I could live with 291 Pokémon because the designs and inspirations were a bit more clever and actually cute-looking. I even attempted to give the series another go and purchased Pokémon Black; needless to say, I found it to be boring and lackluster, in the end trading it back to Gamestop for half my money back. There was a time when Pokémon was original and fun; now, this isn’t so much the case anymore. In my opinion, if Nintendo wants to get me and countless other former poké-maniacs, it needs to do two things: be a bit more creative with the Pokémon designs, and if possible, try to cut back on the number of new Pokémon each generation, or at least give us the sort of designs that will make them stick within our consciousness for years to come; as you did back in 1998 and 2000, do going forward into 2012 and beyond. Then you’ll have me back, then you’ll initiate a new birth to such a beloved series; the days of movie promotions and Burger King toys will no longer be a thing of the past, and Pokémon will have once again caught like the poke-rus across not only America and Japan, but the world over…

What do you think? Do you have the same opinion, or does it differ from mine? Discuss in the comments!

Related: Pokémon Black and White Versions | Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal Versions | Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions

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9 Responses to “The Magic of the First Generation(s)”

  1. jacobro says:

    Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow introduced 151 Pokemon, many people memorized all of these Pokemon in the 2 years before the 100 new Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal, which many people memorized before the 135 new Pokemon in Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald 2 years later. Now after 5 years, Diamond/Pearl/Platinum came out, with 107 Pokemon. Now, 4 years after that, Black and White came out with 156, only 5 more Pokemon then the original game had. Also, you said you stopped playing Pokemon for 7 years, probably right after R/S/E (I pretty much did the same thing), but can you blame after 7 years of not playing Pokemon for you not to be familiar with the Pokemon you knew for either 5 or 3 years as opposed to the ones you only knew for about a year? Until Black and White, Gen 1 had the most new Pokemon, and this is only by 5 now that B/W are out, and B/W don't have any Pokemon from the previous generations, so your argument makes no sense, unless the 5 Pokemon made a significant difference. Now I personally agree with most of your statements, but the original Pokemon were not significantly more creative then the ones now. Geodude is a rock, Grimer is a pile of pollution, Voltorb was a Pokeball, Snorlax was a fat guy, Pidgey, Zubat, Psyduck, Porygon, and Tangela all had terribly uncreative names, If you look for fault in something, you will find it, and that goes for everything. Sorry about being the devil's advocate, I'm just trying to prove a point.

  2. IZZEGOD says:

    i agree completely. i think that things got bad right at diamond and pearl for both the game and the anime (but especially the anime)

  3. Radioactivehylian says:

    In my opinion, the anime started to get bad around the third generation and it was really bad in the fourth gen. DPt wheren't that good games but HG/SS was again brilliant, just like LG, my first Pokémon game years after it came out. But I think that BW is a huge step up from DPt, but isn't as good as HGSS. I love the fact that you can only collect 150 pokémon again, just like in FRLG…

  4. Freddy says:

    Just got Pokemon, I am trying to give it another chance now that all of the features are up and running – content. I will be writing another article with my thoughts and opinions after I finish the game.

  5. synchtube says:

    Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and in depth information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  6. Epic Ninfia says:

    all the object pokemon are based on lore or have something to do with the region so they fit

    the games are creative go to hell genwunner

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