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Gotta Catch All 649 Pokemon!

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Entertainment Editor

You may have noticed that many people in the Facebook community have changed their profile pictures to those of Pokémon. That’s because this month is Pokémon month on Facebook, which would explain why your friends have profile pictures of Eevees, Luxrays, and Charmanders. With the release of Pokémon Black and White only months away, many fans are excited for the new game and the additional 156 new Pokémon making up Generation V of the Pokémon universe.

Pokémon was first created as interlinking role-playing games for the GameBoy by Nintendo in 1996. Since then, it has grown into an anime- a term for Japanese animation- several movies, various video games, and a trading card game.

“The trading card game was what really got Pokémon started,” said Paulwat Sirisuth ’10.

There are several “main games” in the Pokémon universe and are categorized by Generations. Generation I games were released on the GameBoy and consisted of Red and Green and Blue for Japanese releases and Red and Blue and Yellow for North American releases. Generation II games were release on the GameBoy Color and consisted of Gold and Silver and Crystal, all of which were released in both Japan and North America. Generation III games were released on the GameBoy Advance and consisted of Ruby and Sapphire; LeafGreen and FireRed– were rereleases of Red and Green and Emerald. Generation IV games were released on the Nintendo DS and consisted of Diamond and Pearl, Platinum, and HeartGold and SoulSilver were remakes of Gold and Silver. Generation V games will be released on the Nintendo DS and consist of Black and White.

There are several points of game play that are consistent throughout the games. Players- known as trainers- can use different types of fishing rods to catch water Pokémon, though better rods are required to catch better Pokémon. Pokéballs are still required to catch Pokémon and all games have Pokécenters, places where players can heal their Pokémon. It is interesting to note that Pokémon Black and White removes the bike, which was a favourite among Pokémon fans, as it allowed for faster transportation to travel from town to town. Newer games include different times of the day, which is integral when catching certain types of Pokémon. Some species of Pokémon only come out at night while others are only seen during the daytime. If a trainer wishes to catch all of the species of Pokémon, they must now search for Pokémon at different times of the day.

Gold and Silver introduced the breeding system, in which the trainer leaves two Pokémon of the same species of different genders at the Day Care facility to create a new Pokémon. For example, leaving a male and a female Clefairy at the Day Care facility will produce a Cleffa, which is only obtainable through this method. If a player only has one gender of a Pokémon and cannot find the other, a Ditto can be used as a substitute since Dittos morph to change into whatever Pokémon they see.

 Trading has always been an important part of Pokémon game play. The trading system allowed players to obtain Pokémon that they had been unable to achieve. The release of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum allowed players to use the Global Trading System Wi-Fi, which allows trainers to trade with other trainers around the world. Black and White introduced players to the GTS Finder, which allows players to search for a specific Pokémon. For example, if a player is willing to trade an Ekans for a Vaporeon, they can search for a player who has a Vaporeon and is willing to trade for an Ekans. Trading also allows players to obtain Pokémon that only evolve through trading. For instance, Kadabras only evolve into Alakazams when they are traded to another trainer.

 While many non-Pokémon fans know about the Poké Ball, there are many other types of Poké Balls in the games. Lure Balls make it easier to catch water Pokémon, Net Balls allow for easier capture of bug and water Pokémon, Dusk Balls make it easier to catch Pokémon in dark places like caves or at night and Heal Balls completely heal a Pokémon upon capture. While these Poké Balls can be created using Apricorns in Gold, Silver, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, they can be purchased at PokéMarts in Black and White.

With the addition of so many new game play features, it is obvious that Pokémon has evolved from the simple versions that were first available. The series is evolving to adapt to the original players who were in elementary and middle school when the game was released.

 “It’s getting more sophisticated because the fan base is changing,” Sirisuth said. “Pokémon has gotten more complicated and not really for kids under ten.”

Even though the franchise has changed drastically since its creation in 1996, fans who were there from the beginning are still satisfied with the games and are eager to see what will come next.

 “It’s gone for the best.” Sirisuth said.