5 Pokemon Spinoffs That Don't Suck

Pokemon Colosseum/XD Gale of Darkness

“I want a Pokemon game with a dark story.” So did Genius Sonority at one point, and that’s how we got Pokemon Colosseum and its very good sequel Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness.

Well okay, that might only be partly true and mostly conjecture, but I stand on this hill. 

Regardless, you can see an inkling of that desire in both games anyway. Colosseum builds on Pokemon Stadium’s DNA, only instead of just giving you big, flashy 3D battles and very little else, you get a full Pokemon game. 

The evil teams in both hearken back to the original Team Rocket’s brutal treatment of Pokemon, and it’s your job to both stop them and bring their abused ‘mon back to the light. Yes, that’s where Shadow Pokemon came from.

Genius Sonority dialed the zaniness up to 500, too, with some of the most memorably bizarre characters the series has seen. It was a breath of fresh air before Pokemon seemingly became stuck in its own success and couldn’t experiment anymore.

They weren’t perfect, though. There were a lot of limitations in both stories, with plenty of room for more narrative — and basically more of everything else. Battle Mode was billed as the big draw for Colosseum and was happy to destroy you if you hadn’t trained your transfer Pokemon like a pro. But both were still a promising venture into story-based Pokemon that sadly hasn’t resurfaced. 

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Published Jul. 29th 2020
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