Behind this very Sean Spicer-esque title, there’s an undeniable #truefact: I absolutely love and respect Pokémon. Yes, I’m almost 30, grown-up, perfectly blending in the society, I even go to fancy places sometimes, thankyouverymuchforyourconcerns.
This article is the first one of a multi-part series on Pokémon.
I vividly remember when I first got my hands on Pokemon Blue: Summer 2000, on holidays with my parents in la Costa del Sol (South of Spain). Back then, the Pokemania wasn’t as big as it was in other parts of the world, but it was still noticeable.
My parents had promised to get me a new handheld console and some games. One sunny afternoon, we went to “El Corte Ingles” in Malaga and boom: I got my Translucid Purple Gameboy Color with Pokemon… Azul. At that time, the games weren’t localised in EFIGS in the same cartridge. So, here’s little 12y old me, not speaking Spanish at all, trying to figure out this Pokemon-thingy. Guess what? I’m glad that it was in Spanish, because now, I can brag and say that “Rapidez” (SP) is the equivalent of “Meteores” (FR). Pretty useful in society, if you ask me. On a more serious note, I’ve just played the game with a ES-FR dictionary next to me – just like I was doing with some games in English back then. Pokemon almost ruined my holidays, as I wanted to play and not go to Aquapark, the Beach, Tivoli and other things that 12y old kids love to do. But my parents were clear: “get the hell out of here and enjoy your vacaciones, cabron“. (*insert annoyed moroccan faces here*)
Fast forward to the back to school period, my friends also got their Pokemon games (and new shoes, obvs). I can say that Satoshi Tajiri-san’s idea behind the game was perfectly in motion: it was all about discussing, exchanging tips/Pokemon and enjoying together.
Over the years, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on each generation of games (not necessarily all versions – but now that I work, I bought almost everything back, still missing 2). I played and grinded, all, of, them. I grew up with this license. The video made by the Youtuber Kaptain Kristian sums up perfectly my thoughts on this license, and how important it is to me:
Pokemon 20th Anniversary was a blast. The license was already mainstream, but the impact of PokemonGO goes beyond that. Only a handful of products, no matter the industry, had this big of an impact on consumers. The media coverage was astonishing and will hardly be ever achieved again (Read more about this here, by ICO Partners). The feel good stories born from this game are also worth mentioning: several persons with anxiety, personal struggles, being shy etc. managed to make friends, go out, enjoy: be part of something (massive) and feel useful.
Series of videos where people shared their Pokemon story.
Oh, and did I speak about the amazing trailer put together for the super bowl? I remember arriving at the office in the morning, seeing Twitter exploding. Jaw dropped:
The D1 shipment of Pokemon Moon/Sun was 10 million, people were a bit sceptical. I’m kind of sad that I didn’t bet on that, because I was sure it will sell-through.
Not only the license is important to me as a gamer/fan, but also as someone working in the broad entertainment industry. The way the IP has been handled since 20 years is stellar and should be studied in business schools.
Every time I go to Tokyo, I have three mandatory stops: Asakusa; Akihabara and… the Pokemon Mega Center in Ikebukuro (I used to go to the Pokemon Center in Hamamatsucho, but I’ve been upgraded now)
If I had to choose my top 3?
- Pokemon Blue/Red: It all started here.
- Pokemon Silver/Gold (Incl. the remakes): Absolutely massive game, in terms of content. Plus: Peter is a badass trainer. Plus 2: Satoru Iwata-san’s involvement with the game dev is something of the legends.
- Pokemon Sun/Moon: I was a bit surprised by the communication campaign, as a lot of things were revealed prior to the game release. Buuuuut… I ended up adoring the game. All the changes (HMs, Trials etc) were well made and brought fresh air to the game.
The generation I played the least? Pearl/Diamond/Platine. I’m playing it at the moment to catch-up and see why some persons consider it as the best one.
My favourite soundtrack? Blue/Red, I still listen to it quite often.
My favourite Pokemon? Squirtle. He is best boi. Best. Starter.Ever.
To conclude, here’s my collection (yes, #nerd #geek #whateverhashtagyouwant):