In celebration of their twentieth anniversary, Pokemon Red,Blue, and Yellow versions were re-released as digital downloads on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. Debuting in the United States in 1996-1998, a new generation of fans are getting the opportunity to experience the original Pokemon games.
“With classic graphics and timeless gameplay,” Nintendo said in a statement to GameSpot. “These versions of the original Pokemon adventure are proving to be a popular way for fans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series.”
Originally known as Pocket Monsters, The franchise took Japan by storm. Pocket Monsters was created by Satoshi Tajiri and with the help of Gamefreak,the original pair of video games(Red and Green versions) were created.
“Every game is basically the same formula but it something about it just makes it fun for me,” said Chris Tineo, a Gamestop employee. “The goal of catching every single Pokemon gets more challenging with each new game.”
Tineo went on to say that he purchased the Pokemon 20th anniversary 3DS which came with Pokemon Blue and Red already installed. Pokemon Yellow was the first game he ever purchased from the franchise, so he was ecstatic to finally be able to play the original games he was unable to enjoy during its original release.
Debuting for Nintendo’s original Gameboy handheld system in 1995, the franchise centers around fictional creatures called “Pokemon” in which humans known as Pokemon Trainers(the player), catch and train monsters and battle other trainers to compete to become champion.
“I think Pokemon has been so successful because it stays true to RPG elements,” said Brienne Kenlock, a student at York College. “Pokemon experiments with new elements each generation to see what works and what doesn’t.”
Kenlock went on to say that the variety of creatures and battle tactics the player can use to improve your monsters help create an experience of a virtual adventurer.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary, Pokemon fans have been able to be featured on Pokemon’s official website. Using the hashtag #Pokemon20 fans are able to share their favorite Pokemon moments via social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. According to their official site, Pokemon would choose their favorite submissions send a special prize to a selected few.
“At the end of the day I’m just happy I found #Pokemon20 and my 3DS,” Corbyn Burik said in a tweet. “I couldn’t pass up the nostalgic feels.”
Nintendo World located on Rockefeller Plaza in New York, also took part in celebrating the anniversary.
“Whether you were a veteran from the beginning or a newcomer who’s playing the games
for the first time, everyone was invited to Pokemon Day here at the store” said Rachel Pardoe, a team member at Nintendo World. “We held a Pokemon Tournament at the end of February called Kanto Classic Online where players were only able to use the original 151 Pokemon.”
Not only did Nintendo bring back the old Gameboy games for their latest handheld system, but they also upgraded them. The rereleased games were brought up to today’s standards of portable gaming. The use of a Gameboy link cable to play against other players is no longer required. For the first time in the history of the original Pokemon games, players are now able to connect wirelessly via the internet battle against or trade with players worldwide.
Since the launch of the 20th anniversary Pokemon Nintendo 2DS device before the beginning of Spring, Nintendo plans on continuing the anniversary with the first ever Pokemon fighting game.
Developed by Bandai Namco, Nintendo’s Pokken Tournament is a fighting game that combines Bandi Namco’s Tekken series with characters from the Pokemon franchise.
Fans of the franchise will get the opportunity to play Pokken Tournament at Nintendo World on Rockefeller when the game premieres March 18th.
The Pokken Tournament and the Pokemon themed Nintendo 2DS devices are Nintendo’s prime showcases of them acknowledging one of their most lucrative and successful franchises. The classic Pokemon 3DS rerelease continues to shatter eShop sale records.
According to an interview on Nintendo World Report, there are more surprises coming for Pokemon fans.
As learned in an interview with The Pokémon Company International’s Director of Consumer Marketing J.C. Smith, the rerelease of Blue,Red, and Yellow versions and the release of Pokken Tournament would not be the main events of the anniversary.
“No there’s lots of stuff planned for the 2016 year but nothing I can talk about now” said Smith.
York College students are speculating what other surprises Nintendo could possibly produce to acknowledge this franchise.
“They can literally do anything with Pokemon,” said Leroy Marda,19, a art history major at York College. “I heard there coming out with a Pokemon game for mobile devices so that could possibly be the next surprise Smith is referring to.”
One of the latest surprises to be included in the 20th anniversary celebration is the announcement of new additions to the Pokemon franchise. Pokemon Sun and Moon are the newest additions to the core franchise, which has sold more than 275 million video games since its debut. The game would introduce a new storyline and feature brand new Pokemon for players to capture.
Some Pokemon fans would like to see fan favorite characters return to the new generation. To help with the sense of nostalgia, some fans would like to see themes found in the original titles to be brought to Pokemon Sun and Moon.
“I’ve been playing Pokemon since I was kid,” said Christopher Rodriguez,20, a studio art major at York College. “I really want them to bring back the legendary dogs for the new games and have an event based on Mew since he is one of the rarest legendary Pokemon.”
Nintendo is constantly amazed by Pokemon fans and inspired by their support.
“Their support has been a key reason for why we’re able to celebrate 20 years,” said Ashton Shurson, a media associate for Nintendo. “We’ve reached a point that our original fans are passing down their love for Pokemon to their children, now Pokemon fanatics span multiple generations.”