20 years ago todayPokémon Red and Green hit Japanese store shelves, sparking an international phenomenon that continues to surge in popularity today. We now know what lies ahead for the series, with the official announcement of Sun and Moon made during yesterday's Nintendo Direct:
So, it only seems appropriate that on this momentous anniversary we delve into the Poké-past. To celebrate two decades of trading, training and blacking out, take a trip back in time through every generation to see just how far the core series of games has come.
Generation I - Red and Blue
Initial Release: February 27, 1996
Platform: Game Boy
This is where it all began. I still remember my unrestrained excitement as I tore off my copy's shrink wrap, popping in that innagural cartridge and never looking back.
Generation II - Silver and Gold
Initial Release: November 21, 1999
Platform: Game Boy Color
The second evolution added XP bars, a new roster of monsters to catch and, most importantly, a color palette!
Generation III - Ruby and Sapphire
Initial Release: November 21, 2002
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Though the gameplay remained mostly unchanged, the addition of double battles added a new dimension to encounters. Ruby and Sapphire also stick out in my mind for introducing reflective water puddles: a simple graphical trick that nevertheless blew my teenage mind.
Generation IV - Diamond and Pearl
Initial Release: September 28, 2006
Platform: Nintendo DS
107 new Pokémon were born in 2006, refreshing the familiar formular. The DS's bottom screen also helped things feel new, hosting features like a clock, a calculator, a map, a counter, and a drawing pad.
Generation V - Black and White
Initial Release: September 18, 2010
Platform: Nintendo DS
A seasonal cycle, rotation battles and fully animated Pokémon sprites joined the party in the fifth generation. Though Nintendo's hardware hadn't evolved, Game Freak found new ways to liven up the graphics with 3D city models that lended a greater sense of place than games past.
Generation VI - X and Y
Initial Release: October 12, 2013
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Two words: Mega Evolutions. The 3DS's increased graphical fidelty allowed for some truly stunning animations that made the Megas even the most impressive addition in years.
Generation VII - Sun and Moon
Very little is known about these upcming games, other than the fact they'll hit the 3DS later this year. How will Game Freak push things forward in 2016? One thing's for sure, I'll be there on day 1 to find out, just like I was 2 decades ago.