Greetings PUCL! Beorn here with another exciting article of The Splash. In my eternal quest to stir the pot, this week I definitively demonstrate, with completely non-biased and scientific data, the Pokemon Generations from worst to best. (duh, duh, daa).
Ok, well not any of those things, but I will pose a VERY biased and opinionated view in the ranking of Pokemon games, starting with 6, being the worse and ending with 1st being the best.
#6: Generation 5
To be honest I haven’t actually played Gen. 5, so naturally I won’t like it as much as other generations. When generation 5 came out I was pretty annoyed with the game from the start. I had really enjoyed Gen. 4, and felt like I only had a year of my HeartGold version actually being “current” before getting shuffled to the side, this was disappointing, as I loved the ability to benefit from releases ect. Being a frugal person (especially during my destitute college years) I decided I would not be buying this new Pokemon game.
There were other problems I had with the game, I felt alienated because I had heard they basically made a completely new rooster of Pokemon, and didn’t allow you to catch old favorite until after beating the game (I never actually figured out if this was true). I also did not find the legendary or starter Pokemon particularly compelling, and so was not drawn into the game at all. For all these reason Gen. 5 is ranked as my least favorite Pokemon generation.
#5 Generation 3
Generation 3 came around at a time in my life when many people had stopped playing Pokemon. It was less on my radar, and to make things worse needed a new hand held system to be played. Since I had to work really hard to buy my GameBoy Color as well as Pokemon Red, Yellow, and Silver, I decided yet again that it wasn’t worth shelling out the dough to keep up with the franchise (a big of a theme here). While FireRed is the game that actually convinced me to buy a DS lite, and get back into Pokemon in 2009, I still think this Gen. overall captured very little of my time or imagination.
The art style for many of the Pokemon also changed very drastically, which used to bug me a lot, though I now like many 3rd Gen. Pokemon. After playing thru ORAS, I stand by my stance that this was overall a pretty weak Gen.
#4 Generation 2
Sorry Johto fans, but 2nd Gen. has never been a favorite of mine. Despite the awesome experience of getting 16 badges, returning to Kanto, and the much needed power balance to Psychic type, 2nd Gen. never enthralled me the way 1st Gen. did. To my 12 year old mind the legendary dogs seemed impossible to catch, which frustrated me to no end. I also found the beginning of the game to be frustratingly slow, with annoying barriers like Sprout Tower placed early on. Finally, I also didn’t like many of the Pokemon that could be caught early on, HootHoot and Sentret just did not thrill me, making the beginning of the game that much worse. True none of these are major issues, but compounded together has meant I have never tried to replay these games.
#3 Generation 1
This was a tough call. I can’t see these pictures without getting a warm fuzzy feeling. The images briefly take me back to the sense of wonder and enjoyment the first time I caught a Pokemon, or evolved one, the sense of purpose when I got my first badge. However, it also takes me back to needing a continual supply of batteries, begging my parents to take me to the grocery store so I could buy more. It also takes me back to the poor lighting, the frustration and irritation of the Safari Zone, and the bewildering power of Psychic types. 1st Gen. will always hold a special spot in my Pokemon memory; however, I sincerely doubt I will be returning to play these games anytime soon, no running, horrible lighting, and terrible power balances make this game very tough to play after experiencing later generations.
#2 Generation 4
Generation 4 was an amazing experience, it was sort of my rebirth into Pokemon, after putting a ton of time into FireRed I promptly bought my brother’s Platinum version. This game was amazing, the art style was fun, the battles much more compelling then I remembered, I thought the starters were cool, and the plot line with Giratina was riveting, and mind blowing as someone that had only experienced Gen 1 + 2 story arcs.
The announcement of HeartGold and SoulSilver got my entire college circle pumped, with my girlfriend and I regularly checking for updates, listening to Pokemon music, and generally riding the hype train. When I finally got my hands on the game I was not disappointed. Nearly everything I disliked about 2nd Generation was either fixed due to better patience, or early access to running shoes. I also found it revolutionary to be able to trade via wireless with DS Lites instead of using the link cables. Finally, it also helped that my entire circle of friends and girlfriend played this generation quite intensely really enhancing the enjoyment of the game.
#1 Generation 6
Gen. 6, the current, and my favorite generation. Gen. 6 has done a lot right, the much easier and accessible internet connectivity thanks to the 3Ds system is a huge perk. Suddenly playing Pokemon and putting thought into battle strategies has a point again (many of my friends would flake or cease training before we even got to battle). Trading and filling up a Pokedex was now a very achievable goal. The starters were awesome, skates made movement through the game even easier. The enhanced graphics made the game prettier to watch and battles more compelling. I also love the soundtrack. Mega Evolutions mixed up the mechanics of the game, giving something to look forward to beyond the norms of train, evolve, rinse, repeat. Finally, the introduction of ORAS lent continued depth to the generation, keeping it from getting stale.
While I am not thrilled with the story or characters of the game, I honestly can’t say I am any more thrilled by the characters or story of the other games. X and Y dropped the ball in places where the story could have been made better, but I don’t think its any worse then other generations, which all pretty much mimic each other, blending into a series of routes, battles, dungeons, and stopping villain teams in my mind. I do distinctly remember there was some very odd pacing between I think the 3rd and 4th badge of X and Y, and I felt like the end game needed improvement. Overall, this current generation, the 6th Gen. has a lot going for it, which has kept it fun and intriguing.
Well that’s it for this week, please feel free to tell me why I am wrong and your favorite Gen is the best one :).