Zeke Counts Down The Pokemon Generations
With the news of the latest generation of Pokemon games being set to release this year, Pokemon X & Y, this would be a great time to look back at the last 5 generations and rank them from my least favorite to most favorite. This is clearly a very opinionated and controversial topic, so I encourage a discussion of why you agree with me in your favorites, or why you are totally wrong in disagreeing when I snub your favorite!
A few caveats before I begin: I’m going to consider all 3 games of a generation as one unit: if there were issues in the first two games that was “solved” in a subsequent “third game” release, I’ll look past them (though I’ll try to still reference it). I’ll also look at remakes as part of their original generation, so FireRed and LeafGreen will be part of Gen 1, while HeartGold and SoulSilver will be lumped in with Gen 2, as opposed to 3 and 4, respectively.
With that out of the way, let’s begin!
Ah, the generation that started it all. This generation is the simplest, as it was the first, but it also has a charm in it’s simplicity. I know a lot of people look back at some of it’s battle mechanics as broken or unfair, but to me, with how casually me and my friends battled, it felt right to us. Most of my favorite Pokemon come from this generation, and I still have my Red and Blue cartridges at easy access for a bout of nostalgia. Yellow was an awesome variation too, with the ability to start off with Pikachu, and gain every starter (something no other generation has repeated, for whatever reason), but sadly I never owned it myself, but I often played it with friends. Generation 1 will go down in history as the games that started the craze, and the nostalgia will help maintain it’s greatness.
FireRed and LeafGreen were an answer to the inability for Generation 1 and 2 games to be traded to the GBA games. They are polished, improved versions of the original games, and they are just as fun as the firsts. I loved the extra areas they added onto the game, with the 1, 2, and 3 islands giving access to pokemon never available in Generations 1, as well as giving some fresh content to a game that was eight years old. As great as the games art, the classic nostalgia of the original Red and Blue make the a little bit better, but that doesn’t take away from how excellent these two remakes are.
Released two years after the originals, Gold and Silver were sequels to the original Red and Blue. Unlike subsequent games in the series, Generation 2 were direct followups to the prior games, with connected story lines, and the yet-to-be-duplicated ability to travel to the prior region in addition to it’s home region. With 100 new Pokemon, a handful of new Legendaries, and a gripping story line, Pokemon Gold and Silver took everything Red and Blue did and improved upon it. The characters just seemed a bit “cooler” too. Crystal added the additional Color functionality of the new Gameboy Color, as well as added the first ever Female playable character. The increased interaction with the Unown gave a new angle to explore, and made the games even more of a “Gotta Catch Um All!” situation.
HeartGold and SoulSilver were hot on the players minds ever since FireRed and LeafGreen. I previously said that the nostalgia level of Red and Blue made them seem more fun, or at least “better” than their remakes, but HeartGold and SoulSilver are without a doubt my favorite games of the entire series. They took all the greatness of the originals, and added some awesome new features. The story line was just as compelling, the characters were improved, and the Pokemon, Gyms, and Elite Four were all given added toughness and repeat challenges, which just made you want to play more and more. Generation 2 includes my favorite games of the series, but even without that, is by far my favorite generation!