For me, it started in 1999 when a Game Boy showed up in the Lost & Found of my dad?s work. I spent the afternoon playing the game that had been left in the cartridge slot; it was a blue plastic square with some sort of angry-looking turtle on it and the words ?Pokémon Blue? were emblazoned in yellow across the cartridge. Curious, I flipped the switch of the handheld console, unaware of how that simple gesture would change my life ? forever. Read more!
Alright, it may sound a bit dramatic now, but Pokémon is a series that has had a profound impact on the culture of Generation Y. It was a gateway to turn-based RPG?s for young gamers-to-be who all had one goal in common ? to be a Pokémon master. The series provided endless strategies and opportunities by offering one-hundred-and-fifty-one unique creatures to capture, train, and befriend. Everyone had a favorite Pokémon, be it the biggest and baddest creature that one could find or the pink, histrionic balloon.
Thirteen years later, we are still playing Pokémon (well at least I am) and my fellow gamers often chortle at this revelation, but if nothing else, the series has truly evolved with its audience ? with each installment, we get new creatures, new types, new stats and powers. The series is unique in that it is the only RPG that can be simple enough for a nine-year-old playing their first turn-based RPG or difficult enough for a 20 year-long gaming veteran who insists on shiny-hunting and EV training their team until he or she has amassed an elite squad of companions to battle with.
The newest spin-off of the Pokémon franchise is perhaps the most intriguing and complex installment in the series to date; Pokémon Conquest is a cross-over between the Pokémon universe and the world of Nobunaga?s Ambition. This title is to Pokémon what ?Tactics? was to the Final Fantasy series, the title is not for the attention-deficit prepubescent child, but rather for fans of strategy. You must recruit new soldiers, who in turn each have their own statistics and abilities, and compatibility ratings with each available breed of Pokémon within the game.
If you haven?t yet grabbed your copy of Pokémon Conquest, I would suggest that you head to your local game store and check it out ? I find the installment to be definite proof of the growth and expansion of the Pokémon series into new and expanding genres of gaming. If you also happen to be one of the Pokémon naysayers, believing the series to be childish and unoriginal, I ask you to pick up one of the newer installments in the basic series and you can let me know how quickly you get hooked on nature-searching, EV training, and shiny hunting!