Generations Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Generations RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Gen 1 Pokemon are a Little Lame, and That's Okay Fri, 02 Mar 2018 19:55:37 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

If you've made it past the headline, you're either in agreement with me already, or you're raging mad. But either way, you're still here, and that's a good thing! This is the perennial debate among Pokemon fans: which generation is best, which is worst. I'm here to reach out to fans of all generations to definitively say that the original Pokemon generation is not the best generation. Now, before you begin tearing me apart, I want to also state that gen 1 of Pokemon is still my favorite generation, despite its shortcomings. (I even dressed up as Pikachu for Halloween when I was little). So, allow me to throw my hat into the ring as I show you why gen 1 is no better than the other Pokemon generations.

Every Generation Has Its Trubbish

The most common argument you see in forums and discussion boards is that a certain generation is bad because of its less than stellar Pokemon. But the truth is that not every Pokemon design can be a home run. Gen 1 has Charizard, Mewtwo and Pikachu, three of the most iconic Pokemon of all time. And gen 1 also has Grimer and Muk, a lump of toxic waste angry lump of toxic waste. That sounds a lot like Trubbish, the Trash Bag Pokemon to me. What about Klefki, the Pokemon from gen 6 that is just a pair sentient keys? Well gen 1 has a sentient magnet, named Magnemite. Not much different.

The reality is that we need these "filler" Pokemon to make the great ones really stand out. Going on an adventure to catch all the Pokemon is so much more fun when you have to catch 151 Pokemon, instead of just the roughly 40 that really stand out as "cool." Finally catching a Tauros after countless attempts, and a never ending stream of Exeggcutes, in the Safari Zone make catching that Tauros extra satisfying.

The larger number of Pokemon positively contributes to the lore of the world too. Nobody expected a Pokemon god like Arceus, but his addition to the Pokemon universe adds whole new levels of depth. If every Pokemon was super strong, the sense of accomplishment from catching a legendary Pokemon would be greatly diminished.

We Were Children

Pokemon Yellow came out in 1998 and was my first Pokemon game. I was five years old. I was not old enough, or perceptive enough, to realize that Pidgey was just a pigeon (tough to make that connection right?) Yet Pidgey will forever be the first Pokemon I ever caught and remains among my favorites. The new Pokemon of today are just like the Pokemon we loved in generation 1. The only difference is that, as adults, we can more easily see through the marketing that captures the imaginations of children.

Gen 1: Not the Best in the Franchise.

Pokemon Red/Blue and Yellow will always be my comfort food. I know those games the best, but I also know they are not the best in the franchise. For example, the move Focus Energy and item Dire Hit are supposed to increase critical hit chance. Due to a bug, they actually decrease critical hit chance. That's a pretty major bug to miss, and a good argument against gen 1 being the best generation. But, Pokemon was still the best game of its kind for kids at the time. I mean, let's be honest. Digimon wasn't a huge hit, and even as a child, I was annoyed by the fact that every creature's name ended with the suffix -mon. 

If the first generation of Pokemon was perfect, the franchise wouldn't warrant any changes going forward, but even Nintendo recognized the faults of gen 1. Just because it was the best game at the time doesn't mean Nintendo and The Pokemon Company didn't want to improve and make a better game than what they made before. Gen 2 increased the polish of gen 1 games, and then when gen 3 came out, and I played Pokemon Ruby for the first time, I was blown away by how good it was. Pokemon had abilities and natures, and they had their own sprites in storage boxes, there were Pokemon contests, and secret bases, and 2v2 battles that took up countless hours of my childhood. Gen 3 isn't without its faults though. The infamous berry glitch prevented players from growing berries in their games without a patch.

Pokemon games have continued to improve on the base formula, and every new game is arguably the best to come out at the time. This doesn't mean the first games aren't good, they just don't hold up as well as we would like them too. It's why they got a remaster with Fire Red and Leaf Green.

So Which Generation is the Best?

I'm sorry that I'm not sorry, but the best generation is the one that means the most to you. Every generation has its faults. Every generation will be the best at something. What matters most is that we can recognize the faults of our favorite generations without attacking other generations. My love for generation 1 shouldn't take away from somebody else's love for generation 5.  At the end of the day, we are all Pokemon fans, and that alone should be enough to bring us together and rock out to the Pokemon theme song.

What's your favorite Pokemon generation and why? Let us know in the comments below, and do keep things civil. For more Pokemon content like this be sure to stick around GameSkinny!

What's In A Name? The Names Of The Boxes That Play Our Games Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:58:43 -0500 Jason Russell

The beauty of video game consoles is that their popularity has a way of making what would normally be odd sounding names part of daily conversation. 

These days we no longer stop to contemplate the oddity of a device calling itself the Wii U or the fact that the third incarnation of a machine called the Xbox goes by the designation of One.

See we human beings stop pondering the origin of the things we say after hearing them repeated enough times and the first time we discover the name of a new product, that’s perhaps when we are most in tune with how odd, silly or otherwise nonsensical it really may be.

The more familiar we become with it, the less it tends to stick out like a sore thumb.

It's a Colorful World

The big manufacturers spend millions of dollars paying marketing people to come up with these labels.  All sorts of silly tests are performed to determine which combination of letters and numbers are most likely to get stuck in your head.  Even logos and color associations aren’t overlooked.  The 6th console generation was a shining example of  this - Sony wanted the PlayStation 2 to be associated with blue, Microsoft opted for green with the Xbox and Nintendo cornered the market on purple with the GameCube.

Once in a while we see things get switched up in the middle of a generation.  Nintendo wanted the first Wii to be associated white: white packaging, logo, console shell, controllers. The whole thing was reminiscent of my backyard in January. 

Then, as the generation wore on, they weren’t quite so adamant about the whole “purity of white” motif and in fact began releasing their hardware in just about every other color in the spectrum.  Even to this day, the latest incarnation of the system (Wii Mini) sports a red and black scheme that carries over into its packaging.

Microsoft, too, began to dilute its green and black color combo with the original Xbox by splashing in silver with their Platinum Hits line of game releases.  By the time the 360 came into being, they had moved almost entirely over to white with green accenting while Sony has transitioned from blue to red to market the PlayStation 3. 

It’s possible you were vaguely aware of these things but probably hadn’t really stopped to consider that none of these changes happened by chance. Market research and focus groups were called into play to determined precisely which symbols and colors were best suited for brand recognition.

But we Must Choose a Suitable Name for the Child

What about those names, though?  It’s hard to believe something as wacky as “Game Boy” could go on to be an overwhelming success while a piece of equipment called “The Jaguar” could end up failing miserably.  Yet that is precisely what has happened, proving that marketplace can be a fickle mistress.

Amazingly, it seems as though there is no singular formula for guaranteed success either.  Nintendo, which would sell over 118-million Game Boys, couldn’t even crack a million units moved globally with Virtual Boy.  Sega achieved generation-leading sales with their Genesis (Mega-Drive elsewhere in the globe) only to fail miserably when they decided to shift their marketing model to the heavens. 

Saturn is the best known example of this shift but behind the scenes they were working on hardware called Mars and Neptune as well.  Perhaps they should be grateful the bottom fell out before they created a system called Pluto only to have the namesake become stripped of its planetary status.

Atari, after years of slapping personality-less numbers on their systems, decided to go the way of the feline with their Lynx, Jaguar, and (unreleased) Panther but they too had the proverbial plug pulled before ever gracing the public with the truly majestic examples of the family: the tiger or lion.  Better still, a hybrid of the two! Lets be honest here, the Atari Tigon namesake alone may be enough to warrant the company trying its hand at hardware manufacturing one more time.

Sony’s operating on the “if it aint broke, why fix it?” approach to hardware vernacular but one does have to wonder how long this approach can hold out.  Will our great-grandchildren be excited to come home to their PlayStation 29?  I suppose only time will tell.

Microsoft has also been content to just keep adding on to what was originally deemed the DirectX Box; a title that has become interesting because it outlived the popularity of the application programming interface on which it was based (DirectX 11.2 graces Windows 8 but you’d never know it). 

The 360 moniker was surely selected because 360 degrees represents one complete rotation.  Of course, were you to think too deeply on this concept you would realize that a complete circle takes you back to precisely where you started.  So much for the idea of progress. 

Things are even more muddled by calling the third iteration the Xbox One as it really doesn’t leave a whole lot of options to go to from here.  Perhaps next we’ll get the Xbox 1/2?  Simplified via marketing lingo as the XB.5?  Or maybe they'll feel more comfortable going the other direction with their numeration.  The Xbox Number Two - great ring to it, that is of course until fans and detractors alike begin to affectionately label it "The Deucer."

Let’s hope Microsoft doesn’t ever turn to their Windows products for the inspiration for future Xbox nomenclature. “Windows 8 will be followed by Windows 10 because we had to scrap 9 on account of all the negative feedback we received about 8.”  

Hmm, but couldn’t they still call it Windows 9 for sake of our sanity?

Even The Scammers Recognize

Perhaps the ultimate video game console name coup came from Infinium Labs back in the early 2000s.  In what is generally considered one of the video game industry’s biggest scams in history, they proposed a new piece of hardware that would forego the need for CDs, DVDs or any physical media whatsoever and instead use the internet to deliver PC games digitally (perhaps you’ve heard of Steam).  What made their invention so controversial, however, was that they raised over 73-million dollars on the concept and failed to ever produce, well anything

To date, this is one of the most notorious cases of gaming vaporware to ever scar our industry.  Investors were out literally millions of dollars but anyone with a rudimentary grasp of console naming wasn’t too surprised nothing ever manifested.  What did Infinium call their hypothetical cutting edge system?  The Phantom.  Brilliant.

Gaming by Generation Sun, 06 Oct 2013 11:48:45 -0400 Federico Senence

I belong to a generation of gamers that has seen explosions of change.  Once called Generation X.

We grew up with the early beginnings of trying to cross mountains and avoid dysentery on a PC while trying to avoid alien attacks on an Atari or playing in an utopia with the Intellivision.  From there we progressed to plumber on giant ape action with the Nintendo, a speed junky hedgehog on a Sega and landed with a Playstation by Sony.  Microsoft jumped into the foray with the Xbox and that is only scratching the surface of games and consoles that have come in between all of those.

My generation now has children that are growing up with high-end gaming with world-class graphics.  They don't really know the ordeals that we had with 8-bit graphics and the excitement we show when GTA V shows the most realistic graphics we've ever seen.  Some of our kids might try to argue this point of realism with Minecraft, but even that makes Pong look archaic.

Where Has the Time Gone?

With all of that said, we are in a generation that is starting to see 20 year anniversary editions come out to remind us of the days of glory past.  Included in this list is the recently released NHL 14 that includes the NHL 94 Anniversary edition game mode.  It is through this option that I have now welcomed my 7-year-old gamer into my history of gaming.

I hadn't played a hockey game on a console in some time, maybe eight or more years.  Being a huge hockey fan I downloaded the demo and was once again hooked.  NHL 14 was a must-purchase.  With that buy the years of training and playing came back to me like riding a bike.  I would play hours of NHL 94 on the Sega in a barracks room in Okinawa, Japan, with a Lieutenant (my boss) - trying to out deke one another and claim bragging rights.  Seeing the NHL 94 game mode in this new release was icing on the cake as the game itself is already wonderful.  Logging an instant bulk of hours on this game made it easy for my son to see this and want to join in.  NHL 14 is a bit advanced for him so it only made sense to classically train him and get him started on NHL 94 mode, which uses limited controls.

Full Circle

He's now hooked!  I couldn't help but smile and feel proud as a gamer dad.  I also had to laugh because he would cheer with happiness when he scored and get frustrated and determined when scored against.  Just like I used to.

What a Difference 20 Years Makes

Some twenty years later it is amazing to think back at those days of 8-bit gaming and compare it to what our kids today get to start with.  Even gaming on a smart phone is gaming with better quality than what the original Gameboy offered (although nothing beats Tetris!).  Watching my kids play Minecraft on a PC shows a hand/eye coordination that took me several years to practice as opposed to their year or two.  My 7-year-old can navigate a smart phone and text and game as if it were part of his dad, not so much.

Gaming is easily one of the best ways to break down the generational gap.  It is one aspect of "social media" that has transcended decades of changes. Gamers love to talk about games, play games, compete and share in the triumphs and pitfalls with other gamers.  Age, sex, race, religion are terms that gamers usually don't care about. Instead, they want to hear about what console or platform do you game on, what is your favorite game or genre of gaming, and whether or not your online.

Gaming is in my blood.  It's in my genetics.  And I have successfully passed it along to my kids.  That makes me happy and is a better "respawn" than any game could ever offer!

Sonic Generations: Silver Surfer Level Punishment, a Family Game! Mon, 06 May 2013 23:05:12 -0400 TheIllustriousNot

For a long time now Sonic has been gracing the world with his 90’s cool kid acting and spiny amped up legs; but Sega decided a while ago that Sonic Generations should launch. November 1st 2011, this bombshell came out. Now, as much as I may think it’s a horrid, insipid slap to the face for Sonic fans, I think I can etch out a reason it might be played together at family time.

Amazon calls it ‘family friendly fun,’ Here’s why:

It’s Rated E for EVERYONE

Seriously. The game even has Sonic’s younger self and Sonic the elder playing together in perfect dissonance. There’s the same cutesy things going on, and Sonic never really ‘kills’ anyone. There’s pretty maps, and a return of all the old characters that disappeared from the Sonic games of the last few years.

There’s nothing quite like a pink urchin of a hedgehog making fun of one's children…

It Teaches Family Bonding

The game follows both young and old Sonic through their old haunts; one map from each of the old games is revamped and stuck into Generations to play through. Sonic and younger Sonic (Oddly father son like…) must adventure together through both 2-D/3-D maps; which brings me to my next point:

It’s Great for Disciplining Children

The 2-D/3-D transition is wild, yo’. One moment old style classic punch-you-in-the nether gameplay is going on; and the next, Sonic is wildly trying to figure out what vectors are whilst sliding along strangely friction less ground in three dimensional motion.

Your children will love you forever if you force them to try to beat the game with any semblance of a high score – after all, who minds failing 259 times just to beat the boss? It teaches commitment and determination! Oh, and even, hand-eye coordination. 


All in all, it’s not that bad. Sure there’s the developer circlejerk of “LET’S RERELEASE CONTENT AND CALL IT NEW” and “3D IS ALWAYS BETTER” Which, I mean, come on. That’s like from the 90’s guys. Get it together.

If you want to sit down and have a good laugh at your kids, and you've already taught your kids it’s okay to laugh at one another; so be it. Enjoy yourself. Many a missile, spike trap, and fall from a high wire is guaranteed to spice up family life.