On the 27th February 1996 Japan was introduced to Pocket Monsters Red and Green. Later released abroad as Pokémon Red and Blue, the series has stood the test of time, becoming well known by gamers and non-gamers alike.
The franchise has been featured in a game on every Nintendo handheld console, from the Nintendo Gameboy to the Nintendo 3DS, each improving mechanically and graphically. Originally the games featured 151 Pokémon. Twenty years down the line, and several titles later, we have a whopping 721 to catch.
Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow – 20 Years On
To celebrate 20 years of Pokémon, Nintendo announced something fans have been requesting for a while. Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow (the original three games) are being released as Virtual Console titles on the Nintendo 3DS* eStore. With each game costing £8.99, players will be able to relive the original 1996 experience.
Ask anyone who was at school in the late 90s and the standout element of the Pokémon series was the trading aspect. Players were able to connect their Nintendo Gameboys together using a Link Cable, enabling them to trade and battle their Pokémon.
As time passed and the series developed, so did the trading feature: link cables became obsolete, and the same functionality was achieved over Wi-Fi. The same is true for the Virtual Console remakes, making the link cable functionality function wirelessly.
Along with the release of the Virtual Console ports, Nintendo is also introducing console bundles that echoes similar promotions when the series was launched. However, whereas this was a coloured Nintendo Gameboys with a copy of the game bundled the time of the Pokémon launch, this is now a red, blue, or yellow Nintendo 2DS’ with that colour’s respective game pre-installed.
The future of Pokémon
While it is exciting to be able to play the original titles, and look back on a brilliant series, it is worth looking at where Pokémon may go next. On the 25th February, images were leaked of two new Pokémon titles and shortly after this it was confirmed that Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are the next entries in the series. They will both release alongside each other on the Nintendo 3DS*, with more information coming soon.
Are you looking forward to re-exploring the Kanto region in Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow? What do you think will be the newest features on Pokémon Sun and Moon? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
* Titles can be played on Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DSXL, New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL.