7 indisputable reasons why Pokemon Generation 4 was the best
Let me preface this by saying I regrettably haven't had the chance to play Generation 4 much. While I'm a huge fan of the current generation, Pokemon wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for the strides and advancements made during the 4th Generation.
Pokemon has come a long way since Generation 1, as evidenced by the recent re-release of Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Red, and Pokemon Yellow. Playing these over these classics makes me glad we live in a world where Pokemon exists beyond the 2nd Generation. It may tickle our nostalgia strings now, but the improvements made since then are undeniable.
Physical and special move split
Before the 4th Generation of Pokemon, attacks were considered physical or special based on their type, not the move itself. For Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, every attack was evaluated and assigned as physical or special individually based on the nature of the move.
For example, Hyper Beam, a normal type move, was a physical attack and used the Attack stat prior to Gen 4. Since then, however, Hyper Beam was classified as a special move and now uses the Sp. Attack stat. This improvement made way for a staggering variety of new moves and Pokemon -- such as Psycho Cut and Gallade -- that we otherwise wouldn't have today.
Expanded Evolutionary Relatives
Alongside the brand new evolutionary chains, Generation 4 also expanded upon a hefty amount of existing chains. Adding new evolutions to existing Pokemon is a brilliant way to revitalize old favorites. After years of playing and battling with Magmar, Electabuzz, and Tangela, Gen 4 gave us a chance to rediscover these Pokemon in a brand new setting.
A solid mix of new Pokemon and expanded evolutionary chains is a great way GameFreak breathes magic into their creatures when starting a new generation.
In Generation 3, Pokemon were given abilities that carry effects in and out of battle. In Generation 4, most Pokemon were given a 2nd potential ability alternative to their original. Not only does this add variety in Pokemon species, but it also adds an air of unpredictability when battling human opponents.
The best Poke Balls to date
If you've ever caught a Pokemon with a Quick Ball or a Dusk Ball, then you have Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl to thank. Generation 4 introduced the two most beloved Poke Balls in the entire franchise.
The Quick Ball has an incredible catch rate when used early in the battle, making it the go-to single-turn catcher. What's the catch? It's probably the ugliest Poke Ball on the market.
The Dusk Ball, on the other hand, has a much sleeker design for the fashion sensitive trainers. On top of that, it has a spectacular catch rate when used at night or in a cave. This is a fantastic replacement for the Ultra Ball in many situations, and a great Legendary catcher.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Pokemon Generation 4 was the first to take advantage of Wi-Fi to trade and battle over large distances. The Link Cable was well-loved, but it never saw as much use as it should have. In Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, player activity exploded like never before. Finally, players could battle and trade with each other without needing a special accessory or friends in close proximity.
They transformed the secret bases from Generation 3 into a giant online Underground maze that you could revel in with your buddies -- back before the Wii and DS networks were shut down. The Underground was received so well, hardcore Pokemon fans have been begging for its return ever since Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Improved Battle Frontier
Pokemon Platinum plucked the Battle Frontier from Pokemon Emerald and remastered it for Generation 4. Unfortunately, since then the Battle Frontier has been absent from Pokemon, with GameFreak even going so far as to cruelly tease fans with it in the most recent releases, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.
Running Inside Buildings
Arguably the most integral improvement from Gen 4 is the ability to run inside buildings. One cannot overstate the importance of running indoors. Finally, we can run up to the counter in the Poke Center, sprint up to the gym leaders, and bound up to the Pokemon League Champion. There is no place in the Pokemon world we can't run!
What was your favorite Pokemon generation? How did it improve upon its predecessors? Sound off in the comments below.