When Pokemon first came out in 1996, no one knew just how big it would get, or how long it would last for. But here we are, 20 years later, and Pokemon is celebrating its anniversary throughout the entire year.
In February, the first generation of games (Red, Blue, and Yellow) will be released on the 3DS eShop for players to download and re-live. For those without a 3DS, there will be bundles of the New 3DS with skins based off the artwork of the first gen games, and the games pre-installed and ready to play. The game re-releases were previously covered in a recent Nintendo Direct, but the bundles are a new choice for fans; Nintendo 2DS bundles are also available in Japan and Europe, although a US release has not been confirmed.
For those who are more into the current generation of games, this will be a busy year, as each month will boast a new Pokemon distribution event for the mythical and unobtainable Pokemon from the previous generations of games. Mew will become available from GameStop starting February 1st, followed by Celebi in March on the Nintendo Network. In April, Jirachi will take Celebi’s place in the Nintendo Network distributions, then Darkrai hits GameStop in May. June and July will see Manaphy and Shaymin, both via Nintendo Network, then Arceus in August at GameStop. September starts the 5th gen of legendaries with Victini in September, Keldeo in October, GEnesect in November, and Meloetta in December. That’s a Pokemon a month for all its fans and players, available on each of the 6th gen games (X, Y, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire).
But the game news doesn’t end there, with the upcoming release of Pokken Tournament. Coming out on March 18th, the game is a Tekken-styled fighting game using Pokemon characters, and has just announced the addition of Braixen, Garchomp, and Mewtwo to its rosters. Note that this is the standard Mewtwo, separate from the Shadow Mewtwo that serves as a hidden boss, and will be available through an Amiibo Card at the game’s release.
Perhaps the most exciting, however, is the slowly-approaching release of Pokemon Go, a mobile app that will allow players to find, battle, and capture Pokemon in real life through augmented reality. The release date is still unknown, aside from some time this year, but there have been hints about Pokemon Gyms and Teams being a part of the game, and anticipation has been ever-growing. Pokemon Go will be available for iOS and Android devices.
Those who play the Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) may have fond memories of collecting and trading the cards with their friends. Well, the card game has continued on, with several expansions over the past decades, but the classic cards are getting a re-release in the “Generations” expansion.
And of course, Pokemon wouldn’t be as big as it is without the anime. The first three movies are getting a remastered digital release on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. For those who prefer a physical copy, they’ll be released on Blu-ray on February 9th.
2016 is looking to be a big year for Pokemon, and a fantastic way to celebrate its 20th anniversary. There will be new games to play, cards to collect, and toys to buy, because you still gotta catch ‘em all (and be the best that you can be).
Source: 20 Years of Pokemon