An unsurprising exercise in brand extension and hopeful franchise starter, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, the first, big-screen iteration of Pokémon, the made-in-Japan series of interconnected stories, videogames, trading cards, and animated films (TV and feature-length, including 21 of the latter, an unexpectedly mind-blowing number if there ever was one) centered on the titular, super-charged fantasy creatures who battle for supremacy with the guidance of their human trainers, partners, and friends, fails to fully or even partially embrace the inherent weirdness of its central premise in exchange for a slipshod, sloppy, slapdash neo-noir storyline involving a twenty-something searching for and reconnecting with his lost, presumably dead father (figuratively, if not literally). Repeatedly slowed down by logic lapses, coincidences, and contrivances that can be listed or described in a single review, Pokémon Detective Pikachu misses the mark by too much to be called anything except a middling misfire. (more…)
For the last 23 years Pokémon has been a blight on parent’s wallets all over the world. With over 800 pocket monsters introduced in over 122 games, separated into 7 generations, developer Game Freak has continually captivated gamers and created life long fans, some of which have passed their Pokémon collecting obsession onto a new generation of potential Pokémon trainers and gym leaders. In 2018, Pokémon, Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee! released on the Nintendo Switch. Basically a remake of the classic Pokémon: Red/Blue, Let’s Go! simplified the game play of it’s predecessors while incorporating elements of the wildly popular Pokémon GO mobile app, with commercial success. Will Pokémon Sword and Shield be a return to a more traditional style Pokémon game or will Game Freak continue making innovations to the monster collecting RPG franchise?
Since 1998, when the original Pokémon games were released in North America, fans wanted nothing more than a main console Pokémon game. Core Pokémon games are usually released on Nintendo’s handheld systems. Then came Pokémon Go. This game brought pokémon into the real world with your smartphone. Catching pokémon while walking on your phone was something all Pokémon fans wanted. The next change in the world of Pokémon, Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee.
For a Pokemon that many trainers just didn’t want to waste the time levelling in at least their first couple of games, Magikarp has become an unusually popular character out of the franchise’s many hundreds of quirky creatures. Of course, there were always those dedicated few who were willing to splash for as long as it took for them to finally get their own Gyarados, but there is so much more to the little fish and its fanbase. Its lengthy uselessness and ultimate power has become a metaphor for Pokemon fans about how hard work and determination will always pay off, and then every splashing ‘karp is still special nonetheless. (more…)
For the past twenty years, the Pokémon franchise has been one of the most consistently popular series in all of gaming. Though it easily could’ve been what killed the series, the familiarity of narrative and structure from generation to generation has become a key part of the games and fans have come to expect certain things from ecah new game. The evil team bent on dominating the world of Pokémon in one way or another, the series of Gym Leaders and other accomplished trainers you must defeat to earn your status as a Pokémon Master and the rival that challenges you every step of the way all make the Pokémon games the beloved series they are. (more…)
One of the most eagerly anticipated Pokémon games in a generation, Pokémon Sun and Moon looks set to become an all new experience of the series. Complete with a new way of earning your status as a Pokémon Master and throwbacks to not just the beloved early narrative games but also such niche nostalgic treats as Pokémon Snap, it has fans from all ages, backgrounds and demographics talking about what to expect. Giving us plenty to chew over in the last few weeks before the game comes out in November, Nintendo has released another trailer that reveals not just the new Pokémon we might meet but some old faces too. (more…)
With the explosion of augmented reality game Pokémon Go earlier this year, the latest installments in the ongoing Pokémon narrative series, Sun and Moon, have become some of the franchise’s most eagerly awaited games. And that is saying something, because those games have not gone out of fashion in twenty years. Though it is expected to fit roughly the same plot that most of the other games have, there is a lot that makes it stand out from its predecessors. Showing off a little of what they have up their sleeves, Nintendo released a short free demo on the eStore earlier today. (more…)
In a move that has excited all the Pokémon fans who have following the franchise since it was first released, The Official Pokémon Channel on YouTube has released a new series of shorts in the style of the much loved Pokémon Origins. Released regularly between now and the end of year, the episodes of Pokémon Generations will be in three- to five-minute installments and will focus on the key events from the Pokémon game series. While it doesn’t quite replace the anime, which is still primarily targeted at ten-year-olds despite all the adults that remain loyal to it, it’s a step in the right direction for all the ageing nerds who still dream of being Pokémon Trainers. (more…)
If there one flaw in the Pokémon frachise that almost every life-long Pokénerd can agree on, it’s the lack of growth in the anime. First broadcast in 1997, the anime now has 940 episodes and 21 movies under its belt. For all the new people and Pokémon you meet along the way, it is getting a bit repetitive. Each season sees Ash Ketchum and his beloved Pikachu (and maybe one or two old friends, but maybe not) embark upon a new adventure in an unfamiliar region of the Pokémon world. He’ll get at least one, but probably all three, of the starters and build up a new team of five native Pokémon (plus Pikachu) with which to earn eight gym badges and take on that region’s Pokémon League Tournament. (more…)
One of the first things Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town ever achieved was earning the trust of his brand new Pikachu. Following a turblent first impression, he struggled with the mercurial mouse almost half way along Route One. It was so unwilling to give in to the whim of this sloppy ten-year-old that Ash spent the first day dragging it along by a cord. Ash won Pikachu’s trust when they were attacked by a vicious flock of Spearow and Ash threw himself in the way of their fierce beaks and claws to keep his Pokémon safe, proving that he loved it. (more…)