Welcome to Pokémon!!

Pokémon is one of my favorite franchises of all time, and they have an awful lot of games! Naturally, it all needed its own, dedicated page on my site. Look below to find posts about some of my favorites :)

Pokémon FireRed Version

Pokémon FireRed was my first Pokémon game :) It holds a special place in my heart to this day.

the box art for pokemon firered. it features a charizard on a swirling red background

Pokémon FireRed Version was released alongside Pokémon LeafGreen Version for the Game Boy Advance in 2004 as remakes of the original 1996 Pokémon Red and Blue Versions. It follows the player's journey through the Kanto region, where they collect Gym Badges and face Team Rocket in their attempt to become the Champion.

I think these games do a good job of remastering Red and Blue. Kanto is a simple region with a simple story, and FireRed and LeafGreen really improved upon the graphics and in-game mechanics that were lacking before. For example, it includes the Dark and Steel types introduced in Generation II, and the abilities, special split, and audiovisual style of Generation III. Plus, it carries over the pokémon, stats, and moves that were not available in Generation I, which bring a whole new perspective to the original game.

Given that I first played this game when I was probably four years old, I don't really remember what I thought of it or what pokémon I used at the time. I'm like 80% sure my first starter was Squirtle, and I remember finding my first ever shiny pokémon, an Ekans! I can tell you that, currently, some of my favorite Gen I pokémon are Sandslash, Raichu, Arcanine, Exeggutor, and Ditto.

I still like to come back to this game every so often, and I honestly think it's a must-play for any Pokémon fan. It's just really something special :)

Pokémon SoulSilver Version

I, like most people, love the Gen IV Gold and Silver remakes. Let's talk about why they're so popular!

the box art for pokemon soulsilve. it features lugia with an artistic background of white swirling whirlpools around island caves and tall japanese temples

Pokémon SoulSilver Version was released alongside Pokémon HeartGold Version for the Nintendo DS in 2009 as remakes of the 1999 Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions. Just like in the original, players travel the Johto region, and later the Kanto region, taking place a few years after the end of Red and Blue. Players collect Gym Badges from both regions while stopping Team Rocket's plans to return.

As far as I can tell, an awful lot of people agree that the Generation IV remakes of Gold and Silver are the best remakes that Pokémon has ever released. The graphics from Gen IV are beloved by many, they remained faithful to the originals, and the Pokéwalker features were reallly, really cool and fun. I took that thing with me everywhere. Me and whatever pokémon I was obsessed with at the time, on the town. Somehow, I still have the Pokéwalker, but managed to lose the game cartridge about a decade ago. At least there's emulators.

Even though these are the remakes, I still think it's important to bring up the major changes made in Generation II. Particularly, they introduced the Dark and Steel types, which did a great deal to help balance the existing type chart. Psychic-types were pretty much unstoppable in Generation I thanks to an issue with coding (Ghost was supposed to be super-effective against Psychic, but for some reason it wasn't) and the miserable stats and movesets of Bug-types. With the new types, however, there were moves that could do solid damage to Psychic-types and pokémon that could resist Psychic damage and even be completely immune to it.

Anyway, SoulSilver is one of the few Pokémon games that I could replay endlessly. There's really never a dull moment with it, and Lugia has been my favorite legendary since I first ran through. I remember the first time I saw the tidal bell sequence with the dancers and the waterfall. They can make the new games as "realistic" as they want, but nothing will ever beat the way they used the DS graphics to make everything look so COOL.

In case you wanted to know, some of my favorite Gen II pokémon are Typhlosion (my beloved), Noctowl, Furret, Ampharos, Quagsire, Espeon, and Lugia!

This was my absolute favorite Pokémon game for a long, long time. If you ever get the chance, please play it, okay?

Pokémon Omega Ruby

After the longest time trying to do so, I finally beat a Hoenn game. This one is going to need a bit of exposition.

the box art for pokemon omega ruby. it features primal groudon on a bright red background with a yellow explosion

The original Generation III games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, were released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. They were set in the Hoenn region, and introduced many new features not available previously. The most notable of these are the introduction of double battles, abilities, natures, and differentiating the special attack and special defense stats (as opposed to the old "special" stat). The graphics of the Game Boy Advance allowed for new effects not possible on the Game Boy or Game Boy Color, with richer color and more detailed sprites. The graphics in this Generation are actually my personal favorite. The new scientific discovery (and plot point, and battle concept) is the effect of weather. This game also introduced the idea of rival evil teams, Team Magma and Team Aqua, who are working against the player and each other. In these games, the player and the opposite team are sort of working together to stop that game's antagonist, being Maxie in Ruby and Archie in Sapphire. These leaders are trying to summon the legendary pokémon (Groudon or Kyogre, respectively), in order to reshape the world to their liking (either expanding the land or expanding the ocean). Compared to the previous evil team, Team Rocket from both Red/Blue/Yellow and Gold/Silver/Crystal, the situation with Team Magma and Team Aqua is much more dire. Other new features include Pokémon Contests, two different bikes that can traverse different types of obstacles, and secret bases.

The enhanced version, Pokémon Emerald Version, was released in 2004 and slightly changes the story. In this game, the evil teams are actively working against each other and the player, and they end up summoning both of the legendary pokémon at once, causing a volatile weather constantly switching between harsh droughts and heavy rainfall. In order to top the disaster from destroying the region, the player summons the third legendary pokémon, Rayquaza, which quells the rage of the Groudon and Kyogre. After beating the game, the player also has access to the new Battle Frontier, featuring new and harder challenges.

These games came out just before I started playing (my first game was FireRed, released soon after). As a teen, I tried very, very hard to play these. I spent years trying to play through Ruby, and later Emerald, but I just couldn't manage to finish either of them. Then, Generation VI came around, and remakes for Ruby and Sapphire were due.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire were released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS. Fun fact: these are the first remakes to not use the no-space name scheme (FireRed, SoulSilver, etc.), or to end with the word "Version." They were made to be mostly faithful remakes of the original Ruby and Sapphire, but with the abundant new features introduced in the three generations since then. They presented the idea that the remakes can be alternate timelines from the originals, which allowed them to make many changes. They included X and Y's Mega Evolution, 3D graphics, and all of the adjustments made to the battle mechanics, such as the physical/special split. They also changed some character designs, particularly with Archie and Maxie, and they also changed the appearance of the Gyms while maintaining the style of puzzle presented in them. The legendary pokémon also assume their "primal" form, which changes their appearance, abilities, and stats. The games also have a "Delta Episode," which includes the primal form of Rayquaza in the post-game.

Once again, I had no access to these games. I didn't get a 3DS when they came out, so I didn't have a single new Pokémon game between Black (2010) and Sun (2016). My sister had Alpha Sapphire for her 2DS, which I borrowed in 2020. Once again, I couldn't manage to play through it. I tried Emerald again, and my save file got fucked up and I had to start over after getting to the sixth gym. I was getting tired. Finally, I tried Omega Ruby. Something about it was better. I think it was the inclusion of my friend Shiftry, which is one of my favorite pokémon and not available in Sapphire or Alpha Sapphire. Finally, I managed to beat the game in only 3 days, after the originals came out almost 20 years prior. In case you were wondering, I used my perfectly crafted team of Mega Blaziken, Shiftry, Gardevoir, Aggron, Flygon, and Walrein. I didn't play the Delta Episode because I'm straight up allergic to post-game and I can't be bothered to grind for levels after 60.

By the way, most of my favorite pokémon are from this generation! Some of them are Flygon, Claydol, Shiftry, Camerupt, and Spinda :)

So, that's my tale, and that's the gist of the Generation III games. Hope you enjoyed my insane ramblings <3

Pokémon Platinum Version

The Generation IV games were the first ones I ever owned that I didn't share with my sister or borrow from my cousin, which was cool for me! I had Pearl first, but Platinum is better in every way, so that's what we're going to talk about.

the box art for pokemon platinum. it features giratina on a glittery, red-white-and-black starburst background

Pokémon Platinum Version was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008 as the enhanced version of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions, which were released two years prior. In these games, players travel through the Sinnoh region to become Champion and stop Team Galactic from destroying the world to create a new one. While most things about the story and graphics remained the same, it included a third main legendary, additional event-based content and post-game activities, animated sprites, and revised level scaling, Gym path, available pokémon, designs for many areas, and the pokémon used by the Gyms and Elite Four.

The fourth generation of Pokémon games is really important for a few reasons. First, these were the games where they split physical and special moves to be based on the move itself rather than its type. For example, in previous generations, all Water-type moves were special. Now, a move like Surf would be special, while Waterfall would be physical. They were also the first games to use 3D models in the overworld. Sure, the games are notoriously slow, especially with the HP bars adjusting at a set, point-based rate, but I've never really minded it, especially now that I tend to emulate them. The Champion, Cynthia, is also still renowned to this day for being one of the toughest boss battles out of any Pokémon game, if not the very toughest, and her theme still slaps something ridiculous. There were also so many fun features for playing with friends, like making poffins and playing mini-games in the Wi-Fi Plaza. The Distortion World and Giratina sequences were also really cool, and they still hold up well today.

There were many complaints about the Sinnoh Dex for Diamond and Pearl (especially the lack of Fire-types), which was remedied by changes made for Platinum. The pokémon introduced in Generation IV were notable as well. Aside from fan favorites like Garchomp, Leafeon and Glaceon, Lucario, and the new starters, they also gave evolutions to pokémon from previous generations, and there were a lot of them! Pokémon like Gligar and Tangela had been left behind with mediocre stats, but their new evolutions Gliscor and Tangrowth brought them new life. I also think the sheer number of legendary and mythical pokémon in these games was something else, and the events to catch them were fun, too. In case you were wondering, some of my favorite Gen IV pokémon are Hippowdon, Drapion, Abomasnow, Pachirisu, and Floatzel.

I may be a bit biased from nostalgia, but Platinum is still really good, and probably always will be.

Pokémon Black Version

The Generation 5 games are those ones that pretty much everyone loves, and for good reason!

the box art for pokemon black. it features reshiram on a black background

Pokémon Black Version was released with Pokémon White Version for the Nintendo DS in 2010, and they were kind of insane. For starters, these were the first games to take place in a region based on somewhere other than Japan. Instead, the Unova region is based on the United States, and uses New York City as its map. They were also the first games since Gen I to have an entirely new roster, with zero returning pokémon appearing until after obtaining the National Dex. This roster was beefy, and Generation V still holds the title of the most pokémon introduced to this day at 156. All battle sprites were fully animated, not just when sent out like in some previous games but for the whole battle in a loop. These games also pioneered the battle camera angles used in every game since. On top of that, they expanded further upon the 3D overworld introduced in Generation IV, and created many stunning visuals with the bridges, mountains, and cut scenes. These games also introduced seasons, which turned each month, and while they were never used again they did create some beautiful areas.

Let's talk about those Gen V pokémon, because there sure are a lot of them. Some people like to complain about the objectmon, like Klinklang and Vanilluxe, but they're just haters. It's like I always say: there's no such thing as a bad pokémon design. Personally, some of my favorite Gen V pokémon are Excadrill, Emolga, Darmanitan, Krookodile, Carracosta, and Scolipede. I remember some of my original playthrough team as a kid including Serperior, Darmanitan, Carracosta, and Excadrill, but I don't know the rest.

When I first played Pokémon Black as a kid I wasn't really old enough to fully grasp some of what was going on, like the fact that N was being manipulated by Ghetsis so that he could rule over all pokémon and take over the world. I couldn't figure out why someone so nice was the bad guy. Now that I've replayed the game, I really like the story, and feel for N. Also, that legendary sequence still hits like a goddamn truck lol

Pokémon Black Version 2

The sequels to Black and White were the first Pokémon games that I missed, and I'm glad I went back and played them all these years later.

the box art for pokemon black 2. it features black kyurem on a black background with blue lightning arcs

Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 were released in 2012 as direct sequels to Black and White. These are the first and currently only numbered sequels in the main series. The story picks up two years after the events of the original, mirroring the real two-year gap between the games. Unlike the enhanced versions of previous generations, Version 2 introduces new protagonists, new cities and gyms, and a new team of villains with a familiar name. The player is assisted by the old protagonists' rivals, Cheren and Bianca, who are working as a Gym Leader and research assistant, respectively. Events in the region since two years prior have caused routes to change and shortcuts to be made, such as the collapse of victory road requiring the excavation of a new victory road and, in turn, the establishment of Humilau City and the Marine Tube connecting it to mainland Unova. Early in the game, however, it is revealed that a Neo Team Plasma has continued the chaos that the old Team Plasma started. This time, they've rejected the lies of the "traitors" entirely and plan instead to outright take over the region by freezing it.

I knew what happened in this game for a while, but it didn't really hit me until I actually played it myself. Everything that happens in the Plasma Brigate and the Great Chasm is just so good. I also really liked the Pokémon World Tournament, and I can see the challenge and appeal of PokéStar Studios. Some areas have Hidden Grottoes which have rare pokémon or items, There is a strange mechanic with achievement medals that I didn't really care about, but otherwise I really liked the new activities and features. It was also fun to have pokémon from other generations appear in the main game. For my run-through, I used Samurott, Lucario, Ampharos, Crobat, Krookodile, and Volcarona, because I wanted to mix it up a little.

There's a lot of love for the Gen V games. Definitely give both a shot if you haven't already; They're probably two of the best main series Pokémon games you can play.

Pokémon X

I remember when Pokémon X and Y came out. It was the coolest thing EVER at the time, even though I didn't have either one.

the box art for pokemon x. it features xerneas on a white background with a large x filled in with a lush forest illustration

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y were released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. They take place in the Kalos region, which is based on France. They were the first Generation VI games, and the first to use 3D sprites for people and pokémon. Previous games had 3D models such as buildings and trees since Gen IV, but the sprites had always been 2D pixels. These games completely changed the appearance of Pokémon, and they've been fully 3D ever since. Still, with the introduction of the 3D features on the newest Nintendo device, a 3D Pokémon game was inevitable. The true impact of X and Y is much broader than that.

First and foremost, they introduced the Fairy type, providing a new offensive strategy against Dragon and Dark types. X and Y are also praised for their introduction of Mega Evolution. This new mechanic allows pokémon that are fully evolved to reach a temporary further stage, where their stats skyrocket and their abilities and appearance change. Only a select few pokémon are able to Mega Evolve, and can only do so once per battle when holding their species' Mega Stone, which resonates with the trainer's Key Stone (often in bracelet form). This was the first special mechanic that directly affected the pokémon themselves, which paved the way for Z-Moves, Dyna/Gigantamax, and Terrastalization. Mega Evolution was utilized in the Gen VI remakes as well, but is no longer very prominent outside of spinoffs and competitive play.

Another major feature of X and Y was the training and care features available on the lower screen. Players could play mini games with their pokémon, train their stats, and pet and feed them. This introduced the concept of affection, which is the evolution requirement to acquire Sylveon and also allows pokémon to occasionally avoid attacks, survive on low HP, spontaneously recover from status effects, and display behavior and opinions in battle. There was also the ability to customize the appearance of the player character, selecting different skin tones at the beginning, getting hair cuts and colors, and purchasing clothes. Fittingly, the Champion of the Kalos region is a model. The player also has four friends/rivals, unlike previous games with only one or two friends/rivals.

Pokémon X and Y has gotten a lot of shit in the years since its release. For starters, it didn't introduce many pokémon, with only 72 new plus 30 mega evolutions of returning species. Additionally, many people think that the story and characters fall flat, especially in comparison to the Black and White games, which fans consider to be the peak of main series Pokémon games. Team Flare's goal is reasonably fucked up for a Pokémon game of this era (they want to destroy humanity to restore what they believe to be a more beautiful world), but people found them to be easy to manage and not particularly interesting. Their leader, Lysandre, spends most of the time being falsely friendly toward the player and other good characters, which should have made his reveal as the leader more jarring, but everyone saw that one coming. He has bright orange hair. People also thought that affection makes the new games too easy, but you don't have to use it if you don't want to. Some people like to complain about the Fairy type, but I think that's silly, too. One of the major falls of this game, I think, was that it was the first (and currently only) main series game to not have an enhanced version, sequel, or expansion. Everyone was expecting Pokémon Z, a game to revolve around Zygarde, but instead they just shoved all of its lore into Sun and Moon.

Even if you think these are the absolute worst games, they still have their contributions and charms. Regardless of your opinions, every Pokémon game introduces something new, or paves the way for something better in the future. As for me, I played Pokémon X way late in the game in 2020. I went into it knowing what other people had said, but I honestly enjoyed it a lot! Some of my favorite pokémon from this generation are Aurorus, Sylveon, and Talonflame. Do I think X is the best Pokémon game ever? Of course not, but it's still enjoyable. So, if you get the chance to play it, go ahead and give it a shot :)

Pokémon Sun

Pokémon Sun was one of the first 3DS games that was mine and not someone else's. Of course, the 3DS itself wasn't mine to begin with but let's not get into that just this second lol

the box art for pokemon sun. it features solgaleo on a bright orange background with a shining sun in the top right corner

Pokémon Sun was released along with Pokémon Moon for the 3DS in 2016. It was the second generation of Pokémon games to use full 3D in the overworld, and it carried over many new features from the previous generation, including the ability to customize the player character's outfit, hair, and skin tone, reuse TMs, and interact directly with your pokémon. It also adjusted the style of 3D models, switching out the chibi style of X and Y for something more proportional. Sun and Moon also introduced many new features, such as regional variants, Z-moves, removing hidden moves, a camera mini-game, and washing your pokémon to cure their ailments. They were also the first Pokémon games to be available in Chinese, for you trivia fans out there. One of the most important new aspects of these games were the Island Trials. The Island Challenge took the place of the usual Gym structure of every game prior, and it introduced a new concept of giving players challenges to complete aside from battling. Rather than facing Gym Trainers in an building leading up to a Gym Leader, the Island Trials had trainers complete tests, such as finding ingredients in a forest or spotting the difference between two images. If failed, they would face wild Pokémon, and at the end, they must defeat a powerful Totem Pokémon. In the games since, both in Sword and Shield and in Scarlet and Violet, they have continued this new concept of replacing the standard Gym structure with Gym Trials preceding the fight against the Gym Leaders, and I think it has really progressed what the games are like today.

The pokémon introduced in this Generation are pretty wild. There aren't many new ones to account for the number of Alolan forms, but combined they made up a decent roster! I personally really like Alolan Sandslash (which isn't available in Sun! SAD!), Vikavolt, Bewear, and Decidueye. However, fun fact, I actually didn't use a single new pokémon during my run. I realized that you didn't need HMs anymore, and I was kind of in a frenzy about my team (I went into the game blind so I was disappointed with Popplio's evolutions, and then I wanted to see my friend Raichu to ease my suffering and he had a regional form. OH the agony), so I ditched everyone, fought for my life to catch a male and female Eevee, ran around until I had 6 more, and then evolved them all. My team was Espeon, Vaporeon, Leafeon, Flareon, Jolteon, and Sylveon, and when I got Solgaleo I decided, "Hey, this is just another big Psychic cat!" so he replaced Espeon for the last bit of the game (sorry Espeon you're my favorite eeveelution but Nebby is stronger than you).

Sun is one of those games with like a compelling story and shit. I think Lillie and Gladion were the first Pokémon characters I ever really felt for, and the ending with Lusamine telling Lillie how beautiful she'd become punched me right in the stomach. Ough. I'm so sorry about your fucked up mom. Anyway. I also really liked Professor Kukui :) also the idea of Ultra Wormholes is really scary wouldn't it be crazy if they made a Pokémon game where you could go in those and like travel through time and space and shit haha that would be so wild.

Pokémon Ultra Moon

ohhhhh my- *screams* my save data is gone why why why. WELL let the record show that i was at the part where you fight ultra necrozma but i had to stop to go grind for levels bc i couldn't beat it with my fifty-somethings. and then i guess i put my game down and citra forgot i ever played the game... in case anyone was wondering my team consisted of Decidueye, Vikavolt, Tyranitar, Bewear, Alolan Sandslash, and . i cannot for the life of me remember what was the sixth one. if there even was a sixth one. it MAY have been a Tentacruel. or i might have been waiting to use lunala or naganadel? who fucking knows. i won't be opening this game again for a while i'm so mad.

update: i've started playing it on my actual 3ds so hopefully i can actually finish it now, although it will be slower going without emulator's fast forward option.

Pokémon Sword

I think out of all the main series Pokémon games, these ones have the worst reputation of all, but I think people are just too dramatic.

the box art for pokemon sword. it features zacian on a white background with a short cyan gradient at the bottom

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield were released for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. They were the first Generation VIII games, and the first main series games for the Switch. They take place in the Galar region, which is based on the British Isles, and introduced many new things not previously available or possible.

Sword and Shield are very different from past games. This is where they debuted the idea of open world Pokémon, which paved the way for games released since. The Wild Area is a wide, open space with many different types of terrains and pokémon. There was also the introduction of Dynamaxing, in which pokémon use the power of certain hot spots of energy to become incredibly large and powerful for a few turns, requiring the Galar region to have expansive stadiums reminiscent of soccer arenas. Some pokémon also have a Gigantamax form, which is a special change they undergo in appearance and power, like Mega Evolution, upon Dynamaxing. In addition to the arena, every Gym begins with a non-battling test (although some of the tests involve battles or are just battles), and you must complete it before becoming eligible to face the Gym Leader. These games also had two version-exclusive Gym Leaders, which has never been done before. Other features include camping, curry, PokéJobs, custom trading cards, and more.

These games were also the first to replace the enhanced version/sequel with expansion DLC. the Expansion Pass rolled out gradually for $30 (much cheaper than buying a whole new game), and introduced two new areas with more Pokémon and content: the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra. Personally, I haven't gotten through either, because I'm straight up allergic to post-game content, but they are both open like the Wild Area, and you can let your pokémon out to walk with you there.

Of course, there are many critiques to be made about Sword and Shield. Many people were underwhelmed by the legendary designs (specifically Zacian and Zamazenta). I've heard many people say the towns and routes feel empty and boring, which I can understand. People complained about the bad guys again, since they're not really doing anything. Most notably, these were the first games to not include all previous pokémon, which fans called "Dexit." Still, it's not reasonable at this point to include every single pokémon ever released (at this time, there were 898 of them! that's a lot of data!). Honestly, I'm pretty neutral on Sword and Shield. I don't think they're incredible, but they're not bad, either, and I have replayed them and put many hours into the DLC despite my usual aversion.

In other news, my favorites :) I really really like Toxtricity, particularly G-Max Toxtricity; Drednaw, Boltund, Applin, and Morpeko. Also, Hop, Marnie, Leon, Raihan, and Piers are my funny friends :)

Pokémon Scarlet

I beat Pokémon Scarlet, and I can definitively say that it's my favorite main series Pokémon game of all time.

the box art for pokemon scarlet. it features koraidon on a background made to look like a worn, red book with gold lettering

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet were released in 2022 for the Nintendo Switch. They are Generation IX games, and the first truly open world Pokémon games. To a certain extent, players can go anywhere at any point in the game. That's not all that makes the games unique, though. These games boast having three "paths" that the player can take (although they are done in tandem, as you must complete all three to access the ending). These are Victory Road, which is the usual task of defeating Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and the Champion, with encouragement from Nemona; the Path of Legends, in which the player helps Arven defeat Titan Pokémon in order to collect the Herba Mystica from their dens; and Starfall Street, where the player assists a mysterious stranger named Cassiopea to take down the band of bullies, Team Star, at the bases stationed around the region.

The overarching story is that the Pokémon Professor (Sada in Scarlet, Turo in Violet) has contacted the player, asking that they take care of the pokémon they have formed a bond with (Koraidon or Miraidon). Also, they were researching pokémon from the past/future, which are similar to current pokémon and may or may not be on the verge of escaping out of the forbidden Area Zero. There's more stuff later but honestly I cannot in good conscience spoil anything about this game for anyone who hasn't played. That's how good it is. I'm not even going to tell you what happens.

I cannot express how fucking special this game is. The stories are intertwined in such a beautiful way, the player's companions are so fleshed out and wonderful, and the region is so, so gorgeous. They continued the concept of ride pokémon allowing you to traverse different terrain easier, like in previous games, but it's all done with only one pokémon. They introduced the idea of convergent evolution, where a species of pokémon looks a lot like a different species, but is completely unrelated. Examples include Wiglett, a Water-type that looks similar to Diglett, and Toedscool, a Grass-/Ground-type that looks like Tentacool. There were also more evolutions for previously unfinished lines, such as for Girafarig, Dunsparce, and Bisharp, and more regional variants as well. With the ability to let pokémon out to run alongside the player and do auto battles (going after nearby pokémon and winning based on type and level), they have also introduced a step-counter system as a new evolution requirement, which works for Pawmot, Brambleghast, and Rabsca. Most notably, the battle gimmick of this game is the Terrastal Phenomenon, where every pokémon has a hidden type that is activated by the power of Tera Orbs, which were designed by the Professor and allow pokémon to harness and strengthen the effect of their hidden type. Doing so produces a sparkling appearance and a crown-like ornament on their head, which looks a certain way based on the type they have become. Also, you can set up an awesome picnic and play toys and pet and wash your pokémon and make yummy sandwiches to share.

I could go on. I could go forever and ever and ever. There's so much to say. I love this game. Please play this game. My favorite new pokémon are Skeledirge, Pawmot, Clodsire, Dachsbun, Grafaiai, and Koraidon. The team I used to beat the game was Skeledirge, Pawmot, Grafaiai, Garganacl, Floatzel with Ice Tera, and Florges with Grass Tera. My favorite characters are all of them but especially Nemona, Arven, and Penny. And Rika. And Grusha. And Hassel and Brassius do not separate. And all of the Team Star bosses do not separate. I like all the characters I can't even lie. I have got to finish this game like I beat the main story but it's not enough I need to finish the dex I need to do everything I need to go everywhere I need them to release more content for me to chew on PLEASE.

Anyway :) thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed!

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

After decades of main series Pokémon games and spinoffs, the Pokémon Company finally started a new, separate series of Pokémon games, called Pokémon Legends. They announced the very first installment, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and I think it's a complete game-changer.

the box art for pokemon legends arceus. it features the two player characters from behind who are standing and overlooking a vast, open world. mount coronet is off in the distance, reaching to the top of the box. there are multiple pokemon standing behind the players in the foreground, namely rhyhorn, rowlet, bidoof, cyndaquil, lucario, oshawott, and pikachu

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a new take on what a Pokémon game can be. Released in January of 2022, it was the first almost entirely open-world Pokémon game, but it is much different from what we are used to. This game and whatever games may come in the future are all about the history of the region they take place in, and I think it's incredible.

You wake up on a sandy beach and are approached by a man named Professor Laventon, who explains that he just watched you fall from a rift in the sky. You can't remember anything but your name, and learn that you have fallen into the Hisui region, an early Sinnoh which has only been recently discovered. The group heading settlement is the Galaxy Team, and they don't trust some stranger, so you must prove yourself useful by catching some pokémon. This task is much different than what we are used to. Pokémon roam free in this world, and you are able to sneak up behind them and actually aim and throw a pokéball when the time is right. You pass with flying colors and are given membership to the Galaxy Survey Corps under Captain Cyllene, and are tasked with exploring the region and researching Pokémon to create the very first pokédex. You also get to pick a starter pokémon from Laventon, either Rowlet, Cyndaquil, or Oshawott, who each got a unique regional variant final evolution (naturally, I chose Cyndaquil). However, strange things are afoot in Hisui, and it's your job to uncover the truth and save the day.

This game was super fun to play through. The Diamond Clan and the Pearl Clan put a new perspective on how early settlers in Sinnoh would have perceieved the world, and it was fun to see familiar faces, or, rather, the ancient ancestors of familiar faces. The new regional variants were great, and I especially liked the noble pokémon fights. I also loved the quests and side quests, which were a very fresh and different way to play Pokémon. It was interesting to actually be helping people instead of just collecting badges and fighting bad guys (although, there was a little bit of mischief going on, which I refuse to spoil). It was also really interesting to see people actually fearing pokémon, even little ones like Shinx, just because they didn't understand them.

There were so many things to enjoy in Legends: Arceus, and I can only hope that future games bring all that and so much more.

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!

I didn't buy this game when it came out, since I didn't have a Switch at the time, but I'm glad I got it because it was a lot of fun :)

the box art for pokemon let's go pikachu. it features a stylized drawing of pikachu in front of a cloudy sky with a pokeball next to the logo

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! was released alongside Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! for the Switch in 2018. It's a sort of blend of a remake and a spinoff, because while it faithfully remasters 1998's Pokémon Yellow, it also introduces some non-traditional features. Namely, players do not get into wild pokémon battles in order to grind for experience points. Instead, wild battles open a UI very similar to the mobile game Pokémon GO, and the goal is to catch them by throwing pokéballs and berries. Successful captures also give experience for the party and other items, with rewards increasing based on the skill of the throw, the number of a consecutive species caught, and so on. Additionally, players can send pokémon they won't be using to Professor Oak for even more rewards. Pokémon caught in Pokémon GO can also be transferred into the Pokémon: Let's Go games.

Aside from the GO mechanics, the rest of the game is a fairly faithful remake! Like in Yellow, players can interact with Pikachu (or Eevee), although thses games take it to an entirely new level. The modeling style is new and different from other Pokémon games released before it, and it features new protagonists (Chase and Elaine) and rival (Trace) while the original protagonists and rival appear as characters in the game. The games are very simplified, removing many mechanics such as abilities, held items, and hidden moves, and I think it makes them very beginner- and child-friendly :) I also feel the need to express that this game introduced me to my best friend Alolan Sandslash, and actually convinced me to play Ultra Moon instead of sticking with Sun.

Do I think these games are ground-breaking? No. But I do think they're very fun and very cute :) I definitely think if you can pick it up somewhere, preferably at a discount, that you should!

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

Of all the Pokémon game series, there's one that I have always deeply enjoyed but failed to ever complete.

Explorers of Darkness

the box art for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Exploreres of Darkness for the Nintendo DS. it features a few pokémon in a dark cave opening a treasure chest, while more pokémon in the back get ready to attack them

My first Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game was Explorers of Darkness, and I basically would just restart the game from the beginning, get stuck, and restart again. The game was released in 2008 alongside its twin, Explorers of Time, making them the second pair in the series after Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team. I think what I liked about the game was the pixels, the personality quiz at the beginning, and being assigned a pokémon species. I also liked the very beginning of the game where you did very easy quests with your new partner. I honestly thought my issue was that, at the young age of like 7, I couldn't understand the strategy of the game, and I struggled to get to the levels necessary to beat the tougher enemies. One day I'll revisit this game, at least for nostalgia.

However, I'm not super confident in my ability to actually beat a Mystery Dungeon game. This is because, a few years ago, I purchased Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, for the Nintendo Switch.

Rescue Team DX

the box art for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX for the Nintendo Switch. it features a split artwork. on the top half, many pokémon in a green field with a blue sky look down. on the bottom half, many pokémon in a red cave look up. in the center, between the two artworks, is the game logo

Released in 2020, Rescue Team DX is a faithful remake of the original Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team games, although this one is a single release rather than part of a pair. I admit, I didn't really try to play this game very much. It was cute, and fun, but I remembered how grindy the game can be and pretty much gave up from the start. I'll have to pick it up again some day, since it WAS $60, and I think it could be very fun.

Like I said, now that I'm older, I have a better understanding of a strategy-based game like PMD. As soon as I find the time and motivation, I'll give these ones a shot again.

Pokémon Picross

If you know me, you know that I love two things: Pokémon and picross. So, it was delightful to find out that these two have been combined!

the title screen for Pokémon Picross for the Game Boy Color. it features a Pikachu on an orange grid background, with the logo and the words 'push start'

Not to be confused with Pokémon Picross for the 3ds, the original Pokémon Picross for the Game Boy Color was originally announced in 1999, and then scrapped. However, the prototype for the game was leaked 2020, and fans soon fixed it up and made it playable. To be honest, I don't know why the game was scrapped, because I personally played every puzzle and found them delightful, but I may be biased.

If you aren't familiar with picross, it's a number puzzle involving a grid. The numbers on the rows and columns tell you how many consecutive squares in that row or column are filled in. The goal is to use logic to figure out what cells should be filled in, and at the end, a picture is revealed. In Pokémon Picross, all the images are Pokémon related. Additionally, the level select screen is treated as a sort of adventure. You control a young pokémon trainer who meets and catches Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Clefairy, and Jigglypuff. Each pokémon acts as a cursor for selecting the puzzle you want to complete, and they appear on the puzzle screen, reacting to your performance. On top of that, whichever pokémon partner you are using also changes the puzzle music, and they're all really fun.

Unfortunately, the only way to play this game is to emulate it, since it was never officially released, but if you know how, I highly recommend it. It's a super fun picross game :) If you wanna watch instead, you can see the vods from my streams of it here!

Pokémon Pinball

Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire was the very first game I streamed, and I love it so much. Not only did it help debut my channel, but it was also the first game I can remember ever 100%ing. I don't think I've ever actually Finished a video game, to the point there was nothing left for me to do, and Pokémon Pinball was truly the best candidate for that.

the Game Boy Advance box art for Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire. it features five pokémon holding onto a pokéball behind the title, which is drawn to look like it is moving very fast. there are five other pokémon around the logo with smaller pokéballs, and shining yellow lines connect them as if tracing the path of the pinball. the background is red and blue, split on a diagonal wave.

Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire was released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance, and I don't really know anything about it beyond that, because I didn't play it until 2021. It was awesome. I consider myself to be decent at it, and I had a lot of fun catching all of the pokémon.

If you are unfamiliar with the game, basically imagine your average pinball game, but make it two pokémon-themed boards where your goal is to summon and capture pokémon, while also racking up points as you would in traditional pinball. By activating different mechanisms, you can change the pokémon you have access to, open up hidden areas for bonus points or rare pokémon, and, eventually, lose. You do a lot of losing in Pokémon Pinball. You have to lose at least twice to beat the game; once to lock in your score and pokédex in the Ruby board, and then again to do the same in the Sapphire board. But you lose much, much more often than that. Unless you're one of those speedrunners I've heard so much about.

I love Pokémon Pinball. I wish there were cool vintage t-shirts for Pokémon Pinball. I might make my own. I've beaten it once and I would beat it again. I wouldn't even have to delete my save, since I got a new laptop since the last run. Maybe I'll do it on stream again. And maybe this time my internet won't go out thrice during my big finale and I won't have to add still screenshots of the end screens to the end of the VOD. That would be nice.

There really isn't much to say about the game itself, except that I like it. It gets frustrating, and sometimes downright infuriating, but it is decidedly AWESOME. I can't be trusted to rate video games on a real system, so naturally I rate this one a perfect 10/10 :)

Pokémon Ranger

Pokémon Ranger is one of my favorite Pokémon spinoff games. I've only ever played the second game, but I've heard it's the best of the three, so I'm not sure if I'll play the others.

the box art for Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia for the Nintendo DS. it features two young Pokémon rangers and their partner pokémon, Piplup, Pikachu, and Munchlax; the pokémon Lucario, Heatran, and Cresselia; and the silhoette of Darkrai. the background is an aerial view of Almia, the region the game takes place in

Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia was released in 2008 for the Nintendo DS. The Pokémon Ranger series was designed to utilize the touch screen on the DS, which explains why we haven't seen a new installment since the console was replaced by newer ones. In the game, you explore the region of Almia as a new pokémon ranger, which is essentially a person who befriends wild pokémon rather than capturing them, and uses their skills to help people and pokémon rather than fighting them to become the champion. To befriend them, you use your styler, which is kind of like a laser, to draw circles around the pokémon. The circles convey your friendliness, and convinces it to be your friend. Some pokémon need more convincing than others, and an aggitated one can attack your beam, damaging your styler and potentially breaking it. If your styler breaks, all of your pokémon friends, and even your special partner pokémon, will run away, no longer able to recognize you, and it will be game over.

As for the story, you go to Ranger School as a sort of tutorial, and then you get assigned to your ranger outpost. There, you accept rookie quests and raise your ranger rank. However, evil is afoot in Almia, and you end up becoming the top ranger on the case. It's a really fun game, and an interesting new side to what the Pokémon world is like. Also, it's the gen 4 installment of the trilogy, so it has lots of my most favorite pokémon :)

This is another one of the games that I streamed, so if you're into watching other people play video games, you can see me play this one here! However, I highly recommend playing the game for yourself, if you have the means to do so.


PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure is quite possibly my all-time favorite Pokémon spinoff game. I sunk hours into it as a kid, because it combines minigames with an interesting story and areas that are fun to explore, as well as some my favorite pokémon.

the box art for Poképark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure. it features many pokémon on a white background, with an aerial view of the world at the very bottom. the game logo is also at the bottom, and features a rainbow

PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure was released in North America in 2010. In the game, you control Pikachu, who accidentally fell through a mysterious hole into a world inhabited only by pokémon. There, you must befriend other pokémon by playing their skill games, and then you can have them help you with attractions (the games you play against many pokémon) that Pikachu isn't as good at. This world is also made up of "Zones," which have different terrains and pokémon. You must travel to all of the Zones, collecting the shattered pieces of the Sky Prism, and save the PokéPark.

I can't stress enough how fun this game was to play as a kid. My Wii has since gotten lost, but I have great memories from this game. The skill games you could play were chase, hide-and-seek, battle, quiz, and obstacle hop, which are exactly what they sound like. The attractions (which you must complete to progress the story) include Bulbasaur's Daring Dash, Venusaur's Vine Swing, Pelipper's Circle Circuit, Gyarados's Aqua Dash, Empoleon's Snow Slide, Bastiodon's Block Barrage, Rhyperior's Bumper Burn, Blaziken's Boulder Bash, Tangrowth's Swing-Along, Dusknoir's Speed Slam, Rotom's Spooky Shoot-'em-Up, Absol's Hurdle Bounce, Salamence's Air Ace, and Rayquaza's Balloon Panic, which are also all exactly what they sound like. Apparently, the sequel game includes multiplayer, which I know my sister and I would have adored.

I would love to play this game again, or the sequel. If you are able, I highly recommend that you play it. It's fun for all ages, truly, and I really miss it.


This post is a love letter to the Pokémon series :) Pokémon shaped my childhood, so I'm obviously partial to all the games that I've played. There are other posts here for individual games and spinoffs, but this post is for the franchise as a whole.

the Pokémon logo. the letters are yellow with a blue border and a 3d effect

I've been playing Pokémon for longer than I can remember. My very first game was Fire Red for the Game Boy Advance, which my parents bought for my sister and I to share when I was very young. From then on, they bought us every main series game that was released, with one version going to me and the other to my sister. When an enhanced version was released, we both got it. This continued until Black 2 and White 2 were released. I don't know why, but my sister didn't ask for the game, and I was young and uninformed enough that I didn't know there was a sequel. After that, they started releasing games for the 3ds, which my parents hadn't gotten for us. I think my sister bought herself a 2ds, and later Pokémon X and Alpha Sapphire, but I hadn't even known. Then, at some point in high school, I acquired a 3ds, and asked for Pokémon Sun. Then, I got my Switch Lite sort of late in the game, but still got Sword, and then Let's Go Pikachu. Later, I learned how to bend my computer to my will and have been able to play every game I've missed (although I haven't finished most of them).

I think it's time to share my favorite pokémon lines :)! I love all pokémon, but these are a few of the ones that I just adore:

the official art for Sandslash, a yellow and brown pokémon based on a pangolin. it walks on two legs and has large claws for digging, with brown quills on its back

• my favorite pokémon overall is Sandslash
• my favorite starter is Cyndaquil
• my favorite legendary is Lugia
• my favorite regional variant is Clodsire
• my favorite pseudo-legendary is Tyranitar
• my favorite shiny is Flygon
• my favorite mega/gmax is Toxtricity
• some other faves are alolan sandslash, nuzleaf, spinda, claydol, breloom, hippowdon, raichu, arcanine, noctowl, grafaiai, skeledirge, and the eeveelutions :)

At one time, I could name all 905 pokémon in dex order. There are more now, and I haven't practiced in a while, but I used to be able to do it. I don't have any way to prove this on the internet. You're just going to have to trust me. I would never lie about Pokémon.

Pokémon has people, too, ya know. Here's a list of some characters I like (if they're together in one bullet that's because they are not meant to be separated):

• Arven, Nemona, and Penny
• Rika
• basically all of the characters in scarlet/violet like collectively
• Archie and Maxie
• Red and Blue (Oak)
• Hop
• Professor Kukui

Here's some other miscellaneous information:

• my favorite type is GROUND
• my favorite sprite style is FireRed/LeafGreen
• Trapinch should have been Bug/Ground and its evolutions should have been Bug/Dragon
• Gen IX is good. like really good

I hope you enjoyed this semi-organized compilation of my thoughts on Pokémon :)