Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow (1996)

The worldwide phenomenon that changed gaming in ’96 with everlasting legacy on RPG, media, & pop-culture, R/B/G/Y are the ultimate vision of natural adventure w. a once-in-a-century blueprint, 151 iconic creatures, beautiful A/V, legacy, and diverse experience. 10/10.

Plot Synopsis: Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. They are the first installments of the Pokémon video game series.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

➤: New Game

R/B/Y, G/S/C, R/S/E, D/P/P, B/W, S/M, SW/SH, GO; A $100B+ Conglomerate From A Childhood Dream & Near-Bankruptcy NTDO That Changed The World’s Media Landscape & History Of Video Games Begins Here In ’96

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Fire Red. Leaf Green. LGP/E. Gold. Silver. Crystal. HG/SS. Ruby. Sapphire. Emerald. ORAS. Diamond. Pearl. Platinum. Black. White. Black/White 2. X. Y. Sun. Moon. Ultra Sun/Moon. Sword. Shield. Mystery Dungeon. Snap. New Snap. Stadium 1/2. GO. Pokémon has become the biggest media franchise of all-time – a conglomerate of $100,000,000,000.00+ worth of video games, animé, movies, spinoffs, and merchandise just as rooted in pop culture as it is in our childhood nostalgia and the consumer market’s wallets over decades. Nearly-impossible to fathom given today’s landscape and the omnipotence of Pocket Monsters in news headlines worldwide is the fact the franchise was once just a crazy dream concept-developed by a entomological youth who took apart SNESes in his basement and pitched the idea to a struggling Nintendo board of investors who just didn’t seem to ‘get it’ in the late 1980’s. We bet they do now – and the entire foundations of the series’ success and game-changing legacy on video games can be found in the first games that started it all back in 1996: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. The worldwide pop culture revolution that started it all back in 1996: Pokémon R/B/G/Y is a panegyric to childhood/adventure and one of the greatest, most complete, innovative, failed-to-copy, and sacred video games ever made: RPG, puzzle, fighting, pet, mission, spy, action, mythology, strategy, hunting, collection, science, etc. games in one that took a lifetime to dream and ~10+ years to build, turning $20 cartridges into a $100B+ kingdom with the crown of biggest media empire of all-time. The ultimate fictional concept ever made reimagining nature to let you command & wield its powers, Generation 1 epitomizes the magic of video games to transcend life within its own contexts for maximum fantasy experience and one of the greatest video games of all-time – a groundbreaking $100M+ once-in-a-century IP and blueprint/overworld mechanization of pure brilliance decades ahead-of-its-time with 151 legendary pocket monster designs of realism, elementalism, mythology, allegory, humor and soul bridging the gap between our worlds and to-date amongst the most beloved ever created, breathtaking region/culture modeled after real-life Japan, pure adventure in a panegyric to childhood, highly-diverse customizability whose depth breathes universal gaming allure, nostalgic charm in 8-bit A/V bursting with personality, the best characters and story/villain in the series, and provocative challenge behind every gym, catch, battle, route, and objective on the mission to catch ’em all.

A Game Born From Biology & Childhood

An Entomological Youth In Tokyo, Japan Sees Local Urbanization, Declining Insect Populations, & Kids Migrating Indoors – A Dream To Share Joy & Experience Of Nature

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

To fully appreciate the genius of Pokémon, we have to highlight its backstory and [impossible] journey to creation – and that means going back to its patriarch’s, Satoshi Tajiri’s, childhood. Growing up in a then-ruralized part of Tokyo, young Tajiri earned the neighborhood-nickname of ‘Dr. Bug’ by his favorite pastime: insect collecting. Fascinated with the life cycles, evolution, zoology, and mysteries of nature [we can especially relate to having B.Sc degrees in Biology at Ivy League universities, choosing the major for those same interests], he would be out in the forest near his house from noon – night exploring, according to sources. Tajiri amassed quite a collection, but had no one to share it with – the other kids transitioning to playing indoors, preferring pets, and the bug population declining by a progressively urbanizing environment around him. These three key observations laid the foundation for Pocket Monsters: wanting to share the magic and experience he enjoyed so much in his childhood with generations of children across time and the world, reframed in the ultimate way possible beyond bugs to creatures of all kinds and elements you could keep as pets and share with others. The concept was born, but just a seed without the mechanization to grow into realization until his teenage years – when he, along with the youth culture, became obsessed with [early-age] video games. The Legend Of Zelda, Mario Bros., Kid Icarus, Final Fantasy, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Pac-Man, and Castlevania were amongst the titles that rocked the early-to-mid ’80s – and Tajiri loved them to the point of taking apart a Famicom in his basement just to learn how it worked and becoming writer/editor of his own fanzine on video games detailing strategies and easter eggs: Game Freak. Circulation grew across small dojinshi shops in Tokyo, with contributors like his best friend Ken Sugimori coming in and together noticing a declining quality of video games they were reviewing.

A Down VG-Market; Need Of A Soft-Reset

Origins As A Kyoto Card Company, Nintendo Diversified Into Video Games To Mixed Success – A Deficient BOI & Declining Game Boy Sales Looking For The Next Big Thing

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The inexorable boredom of video games in its later down-period motivated Tajiri and Sugimori to create their own. Tajiri deconstructed Family BASIC programming to learn its ins-and-outs, purchased game development software, and started learning the medium. One of his early game concepts even won a SEGA fan-contest, and another finished game was published by Namco. The duo evolved Game Freak into a video game development company in 1989, and began official work on Pokémon in 1990. Tajiri’s concept was progressively ironed out – down to even the important of fainting to curtail violence and death to make it a family-friendly game, customizability, foundation of interactivity through trading as a requirement to collect every creature, main character being himself as a child [the animé and manga’s protagonist is named Satoshi; Ash in The U.S.A. just because simpler names have wider appeal to Americans], and Sugimori drawing up early prototypes for some of the original 151. Their pitch-day to Nintendo brought confusion on the face of executives who failed to ‘get’ the concept, even suggesting weird edits like giving Pikachu boobs – but Tajjiri and Sugimori stuck to their guns and Nintendo needed a new thing while trusting Tajiri’s reputation enough to [~reluctantly] greenlight it. Nintendo’s trajectory to get here is important too: originally a card company in 1889 founded by Fusajiro Yamamuchi in Kyoto manufacturing hanafuda, financial struggles and cultural shifts over the next 70+ years diverted research/development into other revenue streams. First making classic and electronic toys in the ’60’s and early ’70’s, they eventually struck gold in video games with the arcade and color TV while opening a U.S. susidiary to capitalize on the cultural phenomenon there.

A $100B+ Idea & Concept-Pitch

A Game Taking A Childhood To Dream, ~10 [Non-Salaried] Years To Develop, & Near-Bankruptcy Nintendo Later: The Experience Of Pocket Monsters Begins On Feb. 27, 1996

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Their 1980 Mr. Game & Watch was perhaps the first classically-definable video game as we know them today, and Donkey Kong a year later introduced the franchise’s mascot while being one of the greatest and most beloved games of all-time, even generations later. Piracy and the rise of ROM’s caused a market crash of the industry, with Nintendo trying to brace the storm with official seals of quality and differentiation making the first portable system in the Game Boy. Letting them keep the lights on amongst the sea of sharks and competitors like SEGA and NEC, Nintendo failed with their latest invention of stereoscopic graphics in VR technology on The Virtual Boy and were one or two failures away from complete bankruptcy. Though they didn’t grasp the concept fully, they believed this was the next big thing and trusted Tajiri enough to develop/fund it – the greatest investment in video game history, although one that got off to a rocky start at first. The inherent complexity and bold/larger-than-life ambitions of Tajiri made the game take 6+ years to develop – unprecedented in the video game industry, but the realization of a lifetime dream since childhood to make the ultimate adventure he would not compromise on even under the mentorship of the industry-veteran he idolized: Shigeru Miyamoto. Reports showed Tajiri working 24-hour shifts then resting for 12 hours in cycles, and refusing even a salary when Nintendo’s funds started to run low. Five developers quit, and a team of less than 10 people is responsible for creating Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow – only finally seeing the light of release day on February 27, 1996 by a savior angel-investment from Creatures, Inc. in return for 1/3 ownership of the IP. The game received bare coverage in the news due to preconceptions of Game Boy being a dead system and Nintendo washed-up, prompting marketing overcompensation by Nintendo it didn’t even end up needing when the game went viral by grassroots word-of-mouth in children worldwide [as we’ll further-detail the rise of later].

The Kanto Region

A Wildly-Diverse Region Based On Real-World Japan Full Of Character, Majestic Cultural Touches, & A Breathtaking Canvas Of Natural Awe In A Color-Themed Motif

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Thus, Pocket Monsters was born – and the impossible growth-cycle of a game no one expected to become a success, let alone the world’s biggest media franchise of all-time at $100B+ evaluation in 2021, catalyzed. The aggrandization and pop culture revolution of Pokémon can be traced back to its blueprint and concept – the ultimate fictional adventure; a panegyric to childhood and nature, letting you wield its powers in the palm of your hand with monster friends boasting breathtaking elemental abilities you explore the world with. The brilliance of Pokémon as a concept is that it transcends the laws of physics, nature, and reality; it unlocks the maximum experience of nature and animals we’ve been cruelly-deprived of in real-life by malicious antagonists like disease, hunger, violence, and mortality to let us wield fire-breathing dragons, water-cannoning tortoises, flowering plant-dinosaurs, ridable birds of legend, thunderbolt-summonable electric mouses, etc. as pets and best friends. This beautiful natural symbiosis breathes the greatest fantasy world in the history of fiction in CLC’s vote – one painted and built with near-perfection and maximum escapist immersion [impossibly] in the first-ever games of the series: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. The background of which such a magical concept could live has to be just as spectacular and epic as its creatures – and R/B/G/Y delivers that with The Kanto Region. Kanto is perhaps the best region in Pokémon to-date – not only by its culture and bases, but masterfully world-built and concept-designed in every one of its color-themed cities and routes.

The Visuals & World-Building

A Beautiful, Charming, Craftsman Slice Of Old-Fashioned 8-Bit Nostalgia That Feels True To The Game’s Childhood Dream Sleeve With Impressive Scale, Texture Mapping, Sprites, Chibi Avatars, & Move Animations

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

From the charmingly quaint seaside village we start our journey in, we’re taken on a curated exhibition of nature and fictional tropes from grassy fields to volcanic islands to flowery valleys to rocky cliffs to cerulean streams to snowy mountains to dark forests to rip-roaring tide-surfs to power plants to cityscapes to sci-fi labs to fighting dojos to psychic mediums to ninja trickhouses to haunted graveyards to zoos to gardens to secretive criminal organization hideouts to bustling metropolises to pantheonic marble palaces. Kanto is truly one of the most diverse worldbuilds in video game history – and I also appreciate its realism, scale, 8-bit nostalgia, and cultural paean. I love how the region, like its creatures, are based in realism to the natural world and no overly-cheesy or dystopian/fantasy; there are no swirly gumdrop forests or candy cane lands here – it’s an overworld that serves as a breathtaking eulogization of the beauty of real-life nature: one that plays by its rules, we can transition to and get lost in easily being the same biomes we know with just the animals switched out, and we can truly enjoy by its removals of real-world dangers. Kanto also serves as a panegyric to Japan, taking the real-world Japanese region of Kanto as inspiration in design and nature – while fitting in touches evocative of its culture that also further-establish the ultimate idealization-world like its commerce kiosk pokemarts reminiscent of konbini that don’t capitalize and scourge prices beyond which even a child can afford, small-town non-big-business ruralized charm in many of its areas, and small mini-hospitals/vets with free universal healthcare just like SHIS’ for its citizens as easy as 1-2-3 getting your pokemon healed.

The Soundtrack

One Of The Best In Video Game History, A Mix Of Synthesizer & White Noise That Breathes Adventure & Imagination From The Title Screen & Diversely Fuels G-1 Aesthetics

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The cities’ names are color-themed, ones that perfectly epitomize their aesthetic and elemental motif just by name like Pewter City for rock types, Cerulean City for water types, Cinnabar Island for fire types, Celadon City for grass types, Lavender Town for ghost types, etc. The scale is impressive to effectively give us the feel of a massive overworld comparatively to us, and world is so damn-charming: a masterclass of world-building I could happily get lost in forever and which still charms and holds up even 25+ years later. This is due, in large part, to its A/V package – one that may feel primitive to the early ages of video games going back today, but charms on that historical nostalgia for real gamers, feels cool and underground like a crowdsourced indie game made by a passionate supergeek with an idea and blood/sweat/tears refreshingly homegrown and underdogish by manifest destiny from the franchise mega-roots today, and bursts with personality its hard to come by in the modern age. The 8-bit graphics are delightful as we roam through these wild and diverse biomes, chibi style avatars effective in translating scale while culturally-authentic to its patriarchal japanese origins, textures fine for its game engine, move animations epic from warping psychadelia to systemic error voltage overloads, and sprites endearingly-simplistic. R/B/G/Y game feels like a game a child dreamed up and built – and that’s the point: the entire concept’s true origins most of the other games in the series outside of G/S/C are too well-built to conceive of its bedroom-made, caringly-crafted underdog spirit it’s even more refreshing to see given how massively the franchise has grown since.

The Toughest Choice Of A Childhood

Everyone Remembers The Decision: POC Of IP-Quality & Real-World Analyzability On Cultural Preferences & Personality Trends

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The score of Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow is one of the greatest in video game history. Even relevant today by its melodies we adults vividly remember and hum, the soundtrack bursts with effervescence, personality, innovation, and good ol’ fashioned escapism. A glorious amalgamation of major key adventure feel utilizing all four sound channels on the Game Boy from its opening ‘Monster’ title theme, the realization that composer Junichi Masuda made it all on a home commodore amiga computer only featuring PCM pulse-code modification and two sound types: synthesizer and white noise flipped and harshened to sound like marching drums is inconceivable. The score is truly an exemplification of talent and visionism over resources/money; it takes its deficient capital and still paints a portraiture that perfectly-parallels and melds us into the overworld in every city and route through timbre and tonal brilliance. Pallet Town’s soft-and-smooth flutes of beginning, fluid harmonics of Cerulean City, asynchronous minor key dissonances of Viridian Forest, buzzy techno-pop electricity of Verminilion, luxurious cascades of opulence on the S.S. Anne, macabre valudeville wurlitzers in Lavender Town, and hardship-rife crescendoes of Victory Road and The Elite 4 are just but some of the magnificently theme-relevance of its soundscape – all befit with the same perfect mainstays of flurrying tornado arpeggio of notes signifying a battle or wild-pokemon encounter of notes and twangy grit of gym battles.

The Starters

Perhaps The Best 3 Starters To-Date (Only Passed By G/S/C In CLC’s Vote), A Trio For The Ages Of Creature Design In Hearts Of Millions: Charmander, Squirtle, & Bulbasaur

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The blissful atmosphere and leitmotif [with plenty of timbre diversification] fuels the dreamscape even further for, quite simply, magic ensorcellment in its worldbuild in audiovisuals – an aspect scientific studies from Columbia and Harvard found children place secondary to gaming experience and thus it didn’t even need, but is all the more a masterpiece for having. Of course, all this cinematographical and acoustic wonderment is good-and-all, but would’ve meant nothing without the creatures to back them up. Tons of franchises have tried to replicate/ripoff Pokémon’s iconic 151 and take the crown of creature-based VG: Digimon, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Monster Rancher, Digipets, Bakugan, Fighting Foodons, Magi-Nation, Duel Monsters, Medabots, Angelic Layer, Cardfight!: Vanguard, Dinosaur King, Yo-Kai Watch, Cardcaptors, etc. – and failed. Perhaps the ultimate seal of quality, care, and magic [+ compliment: imitation] of design, Pokémon’s monsters are still the greatest of all-time – many of the best to-date found here in Generation 1, from the first decision of the game onward: Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. The toughest choice of a childhood and one we all remember for life afterwards is picking between that iconic trio fixated in the hearts of millions: one it’s a veritable challenge of hours to choose between by the brilliance and diversification of its creature-designs.

A Game Based On Elemental Principles

A Balanced Overworld, PKMN Gets Its Type Canvas From Life & Reframes The Laws Of Physics & Nature To Let You Wield Powers; A Chesslike RPG – Advantages & Weaknesses

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Bulbasaur is an indescribably-adorable plantosaur that was overlooked by many at first release by the badassery of its two cousins, but has since undergone a renaissance in pop-cultural appreciation: one that appreciates its phenomenal design, bases, and biological complexity rooted in herbology and anthropology – a fascinating mutual symbiosis of dinosaur/amphibian and flowering plant able to bend nature and tap into its mysteries/secrets leading up to Venusaur. Next, Squirtle is a bold amalgamation of nature and mankind – one that starts as a cute tinyturtle and spends 2/3 of its evolutionary progression and life cycle as a classical tortoise, then evolves into one of the most badass creatures of Pokémon to-date: the giant, tank-sized Blastoise with cannons on its back and power seeping through every aspect of its design and aesthetic even down to the name. Combining our ancient relationship and fascination with weapons, Blastoise wields them inside his shell – a mutual-symbiosis of perplexing evolutionary and historical ramifications that nevertheless gives a masterful water-design for the ages, able to cannonize the elements of the sea for dynamism. Finally, Charmander. We’ll admit: we chose Squirtle as our starter here at CLC when we were children: a perfectly fine choice, being to-date one of the best starters and Pokémon around and perhaps one we were subconsciously influenced by – our favorite color being blue and choosing the blue version it felt right going with the water starter in.

The 151

The Perfect Blend Of Real-Life Naturalism With Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mythology, Allegory, & Folklore, A Collection Bridging Our Worlds W. Magic, Soul, Life, & Personality Copycats Fail To Recreate; Something For Everyone

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

We’ve since realized the absolute fiery brilliance of Charmander and its evolutionary line; if we could go back, we would’ve chosen the fire lizard from the beginning. Bases in nature and fairy-tale/fantasy, the trope of the fire-breathing dragon is revamped with breathtaking creature design across its stages. One note of special importance for the Generation 1 starters is that they were reverse-engineered/backward-designed. The creator: Atsuko Nishida first designed the badass and powerful final evolutions gracing the box-art of each version before going back to the early stages, and the result is a logical progression of authentic practicality that is part of the secret sauce of why the designs work perfectly. No where is this more visible than in Charmander: an adorable red-orange salamander with elemental flame on its tail that grows along with it into the creature-of-a-lifetime: Charizard. One of the Top 7 Pokémon ever created in CLC’s hierarchical ranking and one of the most badass creatures in the history of fiction, there’s a reason Charizard is as famous a mascot for the series as Pikachu and is commonly a ride for other mainstays on the villainy list like Darth Vader in pop culture. The intimidation factor, moxie, personality, valor, brazenness, and supremacy of the design reigns and ascends other creatures: a fire-breathing dragon like none other it’s a damn experience to command flamethrowers and fire blasts from. The statistics of chosen starters by their aesthetics and inspirations can reveal clues about our culture and personalities by generational preferences: Charmander and Squirtle being top choices originally signal that previous children preferred myth/fantasy and badassery by the broad strokes over nature and history [Bulbasaur], while new ones care about social-justice, science, cuteness, and environmentalism by the resurgence of Bulbasaur. The duality of extroverted and introverted personalities is also symbolized by hot fire and cool tranquility of water and nature, respectively – while proof-of-concepting the quality of creature designs and the IP by the herculean difficulty of the choice between the three.

The Diversification Of Experience

The Masterpiece Characteristic Of Pokémon Is Diversification Of Experience: Limitless Genres & Playability In One; Firstly, A Bond Of Lifelong Natural & Animal Friendships

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The trio (or set of four if you count Pikachu in the Yellow version: the electric mouse mascot foundation of the entire series and one that needs little exposition on its gloriousness of its design, cuteness, animé legacy, and cultural importance] is a sight to behold at all stages – but the truth is: they’re only a handful of the masterpiece designs from Generation 1, ones that further eulogize Japan and its culture by taking the phenomenon and beloved Toho film subgenre of kaiju [giant monster fights like Gojira] and extrapolating it to a smaller and more graspable/tangible scale. From ghost-foxes to psychic shrews to sludge-amalgamations to macho-wrestlers to 6′ praying mantises to live magnetized orbs to boxing pig-monkeys to tri-elemental cats to gas-spewing monsters to rock-snakes to leek-twirling ducks to polygonal beings to slothful fatsos to ghosts to legendary birds to transformable goo and everything in-between, there’s a life, joie-de-vivre, soul, and je-ne-sais-quoi magic in the designs of R/B/G/Y’s highly-diversified creatures. Every type, element, trope, and animal kind is represented in the collection of a lifetime – one with a refreshing simplicity and motif of realistic naturalism that was crucial to laying the foundations of Pokémon’s growth. Bridging the gap between our world and theirs, if Pocket Monsters had gone too fantastical and surrealistic, scary, cute, or hypagognic from the get-go, it would’ve failed and faded into irrelevance like the slew of bankruptcy challengers/copiers we mentioned before.

The Diversification Of Experience

Pokémon Revolves Around The Science Of Biology – Darwinism, Evolution, Taxonomy, Classification, Etc. Forcing To Be A Zoologist, Breathe Appreciation For S.T.E.M., & Read

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The crux and defining characteristic of Pokémon is that it lets us wield the power of nature and do things we never could in the real-world – of critical importance in that is being believable that these could be real creatures we’ve seen before and thus have a preconceived attachment to, reimagined in new imaginative ways for a first generation paving the way for limitless possibilities in the future. Many of the creatures are based on real-world animals and plants: frogs, lizards, turtles, caterpillars, butterflies, mouses, wasps, pigeons, rats, sparrows, shrews, foxes, gnats, moths, rafflesia, venus fly traps, dogs, cats, fish, snakes, bats, horses, moles, vines, kangaroos, bulls, crabs, seals, ducks, birds, even humans, etc. However, even the realistic ones are made 10kx+ more interesting by their elemental abilities and typification throwing flamethrowers, ice beams, tidal waves, grassy surges, and earthquakes. There are also fantasy and science-fiction ones weaved between like ghosts, vampires, living metal, transformable DNA goo, cognizant rocks, and sea-jewelry; there are ones with social-commentary and anthropomorphized personality like payday-seeking capitalistic cats, lovably-awkward chubby ducks, pollution-themed sludge-monsters, gangster/troublemaker sparrows, and singer puffballs whom people fall asleep to in its act; there are ones with morality allegory like the useless and bullied Magikarp evolving into one of the best and most powerful creatures in the game in Gyarados and Mewtwo being a perverse subversion of nature and religion by it being a lab-recreation of the God/Jesus of the pokéworld: Mew.

The Diversification Of Experience

Capitalizing On Mankind’s Basest Instincts, Hunting For A New Generation – The Same Thrills & Euphoria x1000, With Minimal VG Effort & W/O The Need To Kill Real Animals

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

There are ones based on history like its extinct fossils and dinosaurs; finally, there are ones of mythological and folklore inspirations like legendary birds, cerberus/hydraic ostriches, dream-eating tapirs, dragons, and gods. The collection is breathtakingly-diverse, while keeping its design pedigree and magic across all perhaps best exemplified by a mass-study of hundreds of thousands or millions of registered votes on people’s favorite Pokemon a couple of years ago bringing back results of every Pokémon [across the entire series of generations: wow, but the biggest multitude of votes being sequestered in Gen. 1] being some people’s favorite: a testament to its quality as a set with enough to please every discernable taste and palette, regardless if they’re grown men wanting badass powerful monsters or little girls wanting cute and cuddly friends/pets. The Official CLC Top 10 Pokémon Of Generation 1 are 1. Gengar, 2. Snorlax, 3. Charizard, 4. Pikachu, 5. Dragonite, 6. Mewtwo, 7. Pidgeot, 8. Ninetales, 9. Gastly, 10. Alakazam – and believe us, that was a hard ranking to make with tons of designs just as good it feels like sacrilege to leave out from Blastoise to Muk to Arcanine to Lapras. There’s an entire underworld of mysterious and complex relationships, theories and NSFW hidden meanings in R/B/G/Y’s 151 that pokémaniacs have spent decades deciphering and theorizing on its ramifications for the overworld – from Gengar being the ghost of a dead Clefable, Butterfree and Venomoth being switched final evolutions from their mixed-up previous forms, Ekans and Arbok being Snake and [C]obra backwards and what that means for a perhaps sexually-inspired Muk, Cloyster and Voltorb being possessed by Gastly and Haunter, Haunter’s relationship to the dead Marowak mother of Cubone, what Jynx, Machamp, and Hitmonchan/lee are by how humanistic they are, etc.

The Diversification Of Experience

Our Favorite Part Of Pokémon: Collecting, The Motto Challenge To Catch ‘Em All Drives Playback For Decades – & Fuels Gratitude Of Its Magnificently-Diverse Creature Designs

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

All 151 – impossibly created by a team of fewer than 10 people headed by chief architect Atsuko Nishida – are reframed in the context of nature & a delicate ecosystem of pure brilliance. The mechanization, blueprint, and overworld of its gameplay is the defining characteristic that truly cements Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow as one of the greatest video games of all-time; the diversification of experience and eureka perspicacity to come up with, then execute such a bold and groundbreaking idea quite likely the biggest in fictional history with such acumen on your first game in the series is a borderline-miracle. The elements of nature are wieldable where once they were intangible [with a few exceptions like normal, flying, and bug/poison attacks like biting, stinging, flying, and tackling real-world animals can do on the basest levels], cleverly relate/interplay with each other based on realistic principles, & anchor the wild diversity of creatures in a streamlining compendium of 15 types: fire, water, grass, electric, ground, poison, ghost, normal, psychic, fighting, rock, ice, bug, flying, and dragon. The aperçu is graspable even by a child with practice, and works phenomenally to categorize/typecast each creature into a set of basically only 1/10th the amount of strategem memorization as it would’ve with 150+ [with some creatures being dual-typified and tricky]. The relationships work based on naturalistic elemental principles, while giving each type both super-effective advantages and weaknesses.

The Diversification Of Experience

Of Course, The Most Epic: Battling Godlike Creatures Able To Breathe Fire, Launch Ice Beams, Fly, Psychic-Energize, Thunderbolt, Earthquake, Etc. At The Bark Of A Command

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Fire burns grass and melts ice but is put out by water and grounded by the earth/rocks, water puts out fire and soupifies ground/rock but is soaked up by grass and zapped by conductable electricity, grass is firewood and frozen by wintery ice and susceptible to poison and bugs while strong against water and growing in the ground/rocks, electric zaps bugs and birds but is grounded by earth, psychics are weak to supernatural phenomena/ghosts but stronger mentally than physical fighting, etc. Pokémon nods/winks to the laws of nature while aggrandizing it to maximum potential, entertainment, fantasy, and adventure – one loaded with decades of replay value beyond any other game by how diversifiable the portfolio and experience is. To younger players and influence undeniable regardless, PKMN is a game of friendships – the same love we pour into our pets [anyone whom has had a puppy or kitten instantly understands how much we’d do for them and how much they mean to us in life] extrapolated to creatures of endless varieties and our choosing we can enjoy beyond the single-digit choices nature actually gives us in real life and we form lifelong bonds with. At CLC, each of us has a team we’ve used for generations: our favorites, carefully gleamed and curated across the decades into a set we take into every game because they’ve become a part of us. The game also has a strikingly-proficient scientific background/motif in the very foundations of Pokémon. R/B/G/Y [& every generation since] makes us do the job of zoologist/biologist – filling in the pages of a naturalist’s journal and encyclopedia in the pokedex by the scientific principles of evolution, taxonomy, classification, environmentalism, etc. the game eulogizes through its structure and overworld.

Trading

One Of The Few Games That Transcends VR To Real-Life, Groundbreaking Technological Innovation That Grew Friendships [& Sales]

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The game bleeds S.T.E.M. appreciation from our opening field trip to the science museum in Pewter City and the technological brilliance of its capture module pokeballs and PC system converting matter into electronic code-and-back, and refreshingly – of critical importance and benevolence in today’s increasingly-technological/media incorporated youth culture/landscape – makes you read the story instead of getting it spoon-fed by A/V. The game also capitalizes on mankind’s basest instincts and evolutionary programming by giving us the ability to hunt – in a way that respects nature. The same thrills and euphoria x1000 by its elementalization and fightback with effortless and harmless VG idealization, Pokémon lets us track, reconnaissance, snare, and capture game stalking the tall grass without the need the need for killing defenseless animals like real-life hunting does [& thus empathetic and compassionate individuals have to avoid as an experience]. Oh, and the rarity of spawns require sometimes hours-to-days hunting specific ‘mons and legendaries amongst the most difficult to capture but most gratifying when you do. The veritable challenge of the game’s motto to catch ’em all drives playback for generations to come and is our favorite part, being able to craft your team of beloved creatures to use – while forcing intractability and business-growth by clever fracture of the available creatures in each version so that one has to trade with friends or buy two-for-one consoles/games to collect them and many of the game’s best creatures like Machamp, Gengar, Mew, Golem, etc.

The Gameplay & Mechanics

A Blueprint Decades Ahead Of Time Across Gens Is Born: A Complex, Strategy-Rich Turn-Based RPG – TM’s, Evolution, HM’s, IVs, Teams, Items, Bags, Critical Hits, Status Effects, Rarity RNG, Lvl/Exp. Grind, Etc.

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The limitation of 6 on a team is the perfect number so that it gives you enough room for a type and physical balance capability without feeling too few or vast in number for maximum investment in your team, and can switch out at any time by the PC’s boxes of storage for others to let you catch freely as you wish. The game’s trading code that was groundbreaking for its time trade cables were only used in professional battle VG and never imagined for the trade of information with as much as depth as PKMN. The battle mechanics are perhaps the most famous and revolutionary technical aspect of R/B/G/Y – nailed like its other features from the get-go, holding up decades later with scarce-to-no updates needed by the craftsmanship of its original programmers/architects. A turn-based, chess-like, Tekken-inspired but reinvented, dual-staged alternation of moves and countermoves with wild diversification by its status effects, critical hit wildcard, items, moves, supereffective, IV’s, and level/exp. variables, Pokémon’s battle and strategic mechanics are positively brilliant and decades ahead-of-its-time. The most epic part of the game, battling godlike creatures able to bend the forces of nature at-will is as easy as the bark of a command by pressing a button from the perfectly-numbered and curatable choice of four moves with millions of possible combinations by the presence of TM’s and HM’s that progressively amplify and grow more powerful as we do on our journey, the experience points and levels doing so as well and meriting a grind to stay on top of the competition.

The Adventure

A Panegyric To Childhood, Growth, Nature, Life, Friendships, Odyssey, Primal Mankind Origins, Fantasy, Exploration: The Ultimate Adventure And Fictional World Experience

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We love how status effects like poison, freezing, burns, paralysis, and hypnosis are far more pronounced than proceeding generations here and critical hits more prevalent as a wildcard. Beyond its turn-based fighting, pet, hunting, collection, science, natural, mythology, and strategy genres, Pokémon R/B/G/Y fits in multiple other game styles as well. There are puzzles throughout the game like in caves and secret hideouts that present dizzying challenges without proper map guidance even the most experienced explorers and free-roam veterans would get lost in, easter eggs like hidden items to find in unknown places and minigames such as fishing and casino gambling, and spy/action/heroic arcs – all through the game’s story progression and foremost genre: adventure. A panegyric to childhood, our journey of odysseic exploration and self-growth takes us back to our own – an epic that spans across landscapes, mythology, history, and folklore for the ultimate fictional experience of all-time. As children and even into early adulthood the game is applicable to, our existential purpose and drive is to explore and learn the world around us – one our souls crave in their deepest piths by their lost tangibility, made even more pressing and gratifyingly-enjoyable by the progressive industrialization, 9-5 normalization, and technologization society has aggressively encaged us with; the mysteries, love, laughter, hardship, loss, and kaleiodcopic prism of life and nature are here once again graspable and given the maximum fantasizable experience.

The Adventure

A Panegyric To Childhood, Growth, Nature, Life, Friendships, Odyssey, Primal Mankind Origins, Fantasy, Exploration: The Ultimate Adventure And Fictional World Experience

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

The customization [besides sex/gender, which would get fixed in Gen 2 and is barely noticeable throughout the game with the chibi sprite style of your avatar and overlookable by name] lets you personalize the epic we begin in Pallet Town: one in which small-town kid goes on a huge adventure we all wish we could’ve gone on [and our ancestors did back in ancestral/tribal times to low survival rates, a need to explore coded into our DNA and evolutionary story] – but are restricted by the limitations of our real-world canvas wiped away by the bright-eyed idealism and pure wish fulfillment magic of the Pokéworld. We climb mountaintops, surf the seven seas, spelunk down caves, fly in the crisp morning air skies, and roam the grasslands across a pastoral masterpiece of phenomenal layout and game/story progression that unlocks life’s true experience and somehow balances a free-roam existential feel and self-startership to be able to go and wherever and do whatever, whenever you want with clear-cut development and goals by the 8-badge motif and missions of filling the pokédex and becoming champion of the Pokémon League. There are hints and winks by the levels and gamestops by its B-arc and certain unlockable routes plus the chapter-substitutes in badges on the way to the Elite Four, but there are multiple trajectories to reach those goals and one could happily forsake a map. There are seamless transitions in the A/V cues as we control the protagonist from overhead perspective and write our own journey as expandable or contractable as we like – one that can take hundreds or thousands of hours to fully complete the game on all missions thrown down and every trainer and route beaten, or can be speedran in 25 minutes by world-records doing the absolute bare minimum and skipping exploration if you choose.

The Adventure

From Quaint Seaside Towns To Grasslands To Volcanic Islands To Bustling Metropolises To Ghost Towers To Rocky Mountain Peaks, True Life & Experience Of Nature Unlocked

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The game is one you can obsess and gush over the nuts-and-bolts like we have here, or just enjoy on its experience and natural adventure with lifelong friends and foes, both animal and human. For a game so focused on nature and monsters, R/B/G/Y packs a commendable story and canvas of characterization that stands to-date as the best of the series. From the warm joviality of Prof. Oak’s academia grandfatherisms to rock-hard machoisms of Brock to tomoyish mermaid Misty to ’80’s S.E.A.L. veteran feel of Lt. Surge to pure Japanese gardenship of the kimono and zōri-clad Erika to ninja sleuths of Koga to psychic duality exposition of Sabrina to fiery volcanic moxie of Blaine, the gym leaders pack as much unforgettable magic and life in their designs as the original 151 – while being perfectly syncopated/synergistic with their type and curated Pokémon teams. Even the side-characters we encounter on our journey [humorously lined on routes facing one-direction like pawns waiting for a check and just for you to make you wonder what they’re doing in the meantime] are phenomenally-designed by archetypes: bug catchers, burly rock climbers/hikers, super nerds, fishermen, blackbelts, sailors, court jesters, psychic mediums telekinetically floating pokéballs, engineers, bird keepers, rockstars, biker gangsters, florists, and rich gentlemen.

The Story

A Youth Traverses The World To Capture, Battle, Trade, Evolve, Research, Analyze, Decriminalize, & Become The Champion – Free-Roam Balanced By Clear Progression

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Pranksters, boyfriends and girlfriends, dojo ninja-trainees, and every other type of character you could think of are programmed – even fitting in cameos by the developers and writers. The Elite Four is also the best of any game in the series to-date, type-themed while bursting with personality and character-aesthetics even imagistically-connected to their star pokemon and referencing & remixing the earliest trainers we fought on the biggest stage and challenge imaginable for brilliance of journey & storytelling beginning/end parallels: Lorelei’s Lapras-lookalike/themed calmative ice-cool fluidity of personality referential of Misty, Bruno’s macho kung-fu Machamp-synergized all-out attack prowess evocative of Brock down to even the Onix while also highlighting the fighting element, Agatha’s [personal favorite] Gengar-connected ghost-type malevolence taking us back to Lavender Town spooky vibes in a difficulty-challenge star display of its type, and Lance the Dragonite-matched lookalike draconian wielder complete with old-world medieval references like capes and pseudo-legendary creatures across history and mythology like Gyarados, Aerodactyl, and the yellow puff magic dragon of the hour. The dialogue is witty, funny, and dynamic – some of it even meta/self-referential and fourth-wall breaking like a Lass at one point saying ‘we must look silly standing here like this’ and tons of [children-questionable] inclusions like hikers saying they’re on drugs and magic mushrooms and creepy old guys hanging around outside the young women gym of Celadon City. There are two characters we left off the previous list because they deserve special recognization and eulogization: Gary Oak and Giovanni.

The Characters

Beloved & Ensorcelling Like Its Creatures, The Best Characterization Of The Series: Gym Leaders, Trainer Archetypes, Cameos, Easter Eggs, Citizens, Villains, Rival, Etc.

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The rival of Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow is the best of the series – Blue by default or Gary Oak by classical manga/animé name being the grandson of Prof. Oak [he humorously somehow forgets the name of in the beginning] oozes douchebaginess, pretentiousness, smug cockiness, and superiority complex from every time he says ‘Smell ‘Ya Later’, begging to question the complexity/depth of his backstory to wonder what fuels his need for overcompensation. Nonetheless, it’s an indescribable pleasure to pummel him into the ground from your first battle of Lvl. 5 starters to the finale Championship; the story is handled and written/paralleled so deftly, it’s an epic pleasure amongst the best in video game history when we finally face the kid we met just as one ourselves back in Pallet Town with starters now with a beast of a team for the title of World’s Greatest PKMN Trainer post-Elite Four! Perfect ending. Gary Oak is indeed even a bully at times, insulting and telling his sister to not give you a map to gain the slightest advantage in his burning passion/desire to be the best there ever was too – a rival that’s far from made for a kids’ game and perfectly-executed rivalry magic the rest of the series’ dumbed/watered-down ones lack and further fuels investment, competitiveness, and excitement. Furthering the mature/hard-R exposition, there are Easter Eggs well-documented in the Poké-community like the mysterious sole disappearance of Gary’s team in his Rattata/Raticate – with his presence at Pokémon Tower with a 5 team instead of 6 when he said he had caught 30+ Pokémon y that point teasing that perhaps we [accidentally] killed it by our last battle off-screen and he was laying it to rest, if you choose to interpret it that way and either way depth of emotion in a death featurette 10x more mature and sad than typically ascribed to a children’s game showcasing its tangibility for all ages. Even further-fueling that thesis is the villain of Generation 1: Team Rocket.

The Villain

A Criminal Organization Of Mafioso Feel Below A Godfather CEO Of [Secretive] Power/Influence, Thieving Friends & Abusing Animals Paves Way To Allegory Of Mankind Vs. Nature & Killing Religion

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The classic villain team of Pokémon’s origins is still quite arguably the best: challenged by Black/White and Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald’s, but delightfully-macabre in its aesthetics, motivations, and allegorical depth/complexity. The simplistic charm and realism are once again huge factors in its success – a criminal organization with classical mafia/mob feel under a capitalistic godfather of immense power/influence in the overworld; the type that happens all the with big business and underworld dealings of the rich and powerful and is limitless enjoyable at both aesthetic and deeper levels. Thieving our pokéfriends and abusing animals, its megalomaniacal, slicked hair and tuxedoed patriarch Giovanni feels straight out of a Francis Ford Coppola or Scorsese picture – feigning innocence and benevolence as the mere gym leader of Viridian City, all the while being a devil hiding in plain sight from the mystery laid out brilliantly plot-structure-wise in our first city gym being ‘closed’ for unknown circumstances. Slapstick and hilarious meta-comedy by the way of the animé’s goofy & lovable loser-trio of Jessie, James, & Meowth is balanced by old-world/noir-esque aesthetics in its grunts’ black/red fedora ensemble, pure evil in existential drive/mission to use/abuse animals, mystery, and superheroicism feel and child-empowerment being the ones to take them down.

Team Rocket

Classical Villain & Noir Aesthetics Balancing Black/Red Suited Evil & Dark Themes W. Sci Fi, Horror, & Comedy: Jessie, James, Meowth

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Add to that list: secretive spy-ops deciphering its warehouse puzzles to stop their master-plans and save the world, and even strikingly-advanced malice in allegorical themes that work beyond enjoyment at aesthetic levels to a deeper social-commentary. Team Rocket’s rapacity towards the natural world is a dark mirror we can shine on ourselves: with things like deforestation, pollution, & hunting/poaching, we’re not exactly the exemplification of how to respect nature as a species. Their usage of Pokémon as weapons and for profit is a parable of mankind and how far we’ve fallen – going as dark as even reference implications or out-right sayings that they’ve even killed some of the wondrous creatures like the Marowak in Lavender Town, leaving a baby Cubone motherless and alone just out of profit-exposition. The power-lust/natural allegory in horror, mob, and criminal motifs turns into a sci-fi one with religious overtones in its major arc: Mewtwo. Mew is laid out as the common ancestral putty from which all Pokémon were born – the Jesus one, if you will, when translating it to religious themes.

God And The Devil

One Of The Best & Most Powerful Legends, Mewtwo Is A Masterpiece Of Xenomorphic / Frankenstinian Science-Fiction & God-Complex, Alongside Other Mythological & Folklore-Inspired [Early-IP] Legendaries

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Mankind, hopelessly lost in our egotism, vanity, and god-complex, try to recreate and one-up religion’s answer by killing it with our own: a badass Xenomorphic/Frankenstinian amalgamation of lab-tests and scientific research/development we futilely try to control, gone awry when it evolves past the need for us and realizes its self-worth/slavery under Team Rocket’s fist. Mewtwo is one of the best and most powerful legendaries to-date in Pokémon, but is perhaps its best in terms of storytelling potential magnificently painted across Gen. 1’s games, animé, and film. Mew, on the other hand, is the ying to Mewtwo’s yang – cuteness and overt happiness in playful design paying homage to domestic cats worshipped in Egypitan and medieval lore, with vertebrate embyonic features to symbolize its birth and Darwinistic origins in reference to natural selection/evolution themes and recapitulation theory. Sharply-juxtaposed is its cousin’s alienic and otherworldly feel, just enough to look related by the feline characteristics but reframed in angry vengeance feel of Old Testament Fire and gene-spliced hard cuts. The trio of legendary birds, though we prefer the more epic and aggrandized legendaries of later generations, are still very good for this early in the IP – certainly powerful & iconic in their own rights, while perhaps the most realistic and worldly in bases cleverly-evocative of mythological origins.

The Legendary Birds

Drawing Inspiration From Egyptian, Native American, Persian, Norse, & Asian Folklore & Mythology, The Elemental Trio Showcases The Depth, Research, & Care Of G1’s Designs

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Zapdos was likely inspired by the Thunderbird of Native American lore so sacred, it’s the top of totem poles and is described in Algonquin texts as being able to summon thunderstorms. Moltres was clearly based on the Phoenix, the fire bird of rebirth and regeneration that itself can be found in endless mythologies from Egyptian to Persian to Slavic to Asian ones referring the archetype to as the Vermillion Bird [again, no coincidence & clear proof of the brilliance and depth of research that went into Gen 1’s designs]. Finally, Articuno likely traces its design and roots back to Persian and Iranian texts thousands of years old: the Roc and Simurgh that both share color and design similarities, as well as icy preferences near lots of water like in The Seafoam Islands. Translations in other languages even further reveal inspirations from folklore and legend like Norse mythology in Thor for Zapdos and Odin for Articuno, plus Egyptian in Ra for Moltres. The wild diversification and depth of origins/realism of these legendaries just reverberates how special Generation 1 is – and the herculean challenge to catch them, along with the existential fascination to be able to own a piece of mythology your own, is one of its otherwise greatest and smartest achievements as video games. Perhaps R/B/G/Y’s defining characteristic and everlasting lure is how damn challenging it is.

The Challenge

A Game So Hard, I Lost My First Battle & More For The First Time In Years – A Game That Forces A Grind, Strategy, & Knowledge Internalization – A Golden Lure Since Lost

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We have played every generation of Pokémon ever released multiple times, and none still compare to the RPG difficulty of Red & Blue – so hard, I lost my first battle in the game in my 2021 playback, the first of many to come and first I’ve lost in generations and years of later games in the series. Many hardcore gamers [ourselves included] have bled criticisms of the fact modern Pokémon games have dramatically nerfed the difficulty and ~dumbed-down the formula with mechanizations like permanent and forced EXP share, typing guidelines, and level rebalancing curves: ones that make it actually a challenge to *not* beat the game and win every battle along the way. What’s the fun of that? From our first rival battle and gym leader, Red/Blue/Green/Yellow makes it clear this isn’t going to be a cake-walk or experience tailored for kids and casual gameplayers; it took me 30 minutes and strategic maneuvering by a Sand Attack/Sing status deception and gradual chip-away gambit to even take down Brock’s Onix and Misty’s Starmie – ones with a 5-10+ level advantage able to OHKO your top ‘mons, especially if you picked Charmander as we did and most players do by polls. Even the bug-catcher kid you encounter as your first challenger on Route 1 is given a level advantage – and first time we go trough a cave without escape ropes or repel possibly in a game that loves to [playfully] antagonize and provoke you.

A Worldwide Pop-Culture Phenomenon

R/B/G/Y Started A Revolution Never-Before-Seen In The History Of Media: Movies, TV Shows, Trading Cards, Animé, TIME Magazine, Spinoffs, Merchandise, Etc.

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The game forces you to grind, face every challenger, level up, strategize, use pawns/sacrifices and items, and pick correct movesets to win – otherwise you’re going to get your a** beat throughout the game in a barrage of losses it’s far more investable and enjoyable as a game experience knowing are plausibly right on the horizon if you don’t bring your A-game. That’s not even including The Elite Four: the best and most challenging final boss-battles/arc of the series with fully-evolved monsters easily amongst the best of the entire Gen 1 all 10-15+ levels higher than your team even if you’ve been grinding to level up along the way. The post-game is fantastic and overall game one of, if not THE most complete standalone and first project ever in gaming history – one that, predictively and understandably looking back, set the world of pop-culture ablaze. Every now and then, there’s a game that comes around that changes everything and revolutionizes the medium like Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow did so back in 1996. Amongst some immortalized in the pantheonic halls of such lore were: Pong in 1970’s Atari, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man in the 1980’s arcade evolution, Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Metroid, & Super Mario World in the ’90’s, Call Of Duty: MW2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and World Of Warcraft in the 2000’s, GTA V and Red Dead Redemption in the 2010’s. One we ironically left off that list because it isn’t as good of a game but did certainly make a lasting impression changing the trajectory of where the future of video games is heading is of the same franchise and pop-cultural phenomenon level: 2016’s Pokémon GO.

A Worldwide Pop-Culture Phenomenon

Thanksgiving Day Parades, Olympic Features, The Official Mascot Of The Nation Of Japan, Etc. – No Video Game Has Ever Had Such A Cultural Impact On Mankind & Legacy – Tappable Even 30+ Years Later: GO

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The prodigal son returning, perhaps it was the foundation of childhood memories driven by Gen Z and Millennials that grew the smartphone app reframing them in a new technological way to over a billion downloads and $30,000,000,000+ evaluation in that fateful summer the world was at peace and you couldn’t walk 10 feet outside your house without seeing people hunting on your street for Pikachu or Snorlax – and further proves the unparalleled legacy of R/B/G/Y. Few games are remembered even days, weeks, or months after release or gameplay; only the greats are remembered years or even a decade out. Red/Blue/Green/Yellow’s experience, memories, and passion/love are so fused into the very fabric and DNA of pop-culture and the world’s population, they can be reinvoked 30+ years later [with only Generation 1 to further prove its hierarchical crown as the world’s favorite collection] with just as much radicalistic fire as it was on its original release date. Back in the ’90’s I grew up in, you couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without conversation on Pokémon being brought up: movies, tv shows, trading card games, animé, spinoffs, TIME Magazine covers, merchandise, and video game generations even cascading into larger-than-life Thanksgiving Day Parades floats, Olympic features, and the official mascot of a country on the United Nations world stage: Japan.

Legacy & Evolution

Fueling An RPG & Adventure Game Gold-Rush, Reinventing Interactibility, Paving Way For Every Generation Since, & Saving The Greatest Company Of Video Games

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CLC would certainly argue no video game has ever had such a cultural impact on mankind – and it had one just as much so in the world of video games. R/B/G/Y fueled an RPG & adventure game revolution and gold-rush – one we’re still feeling aftershocks from all the way into the 2010’s and 2020’s from Uncharted to LOZ: BOTW to Assassin’s Creed to Cuphead. The game reinvented interactivity and multiplayer gaming experiences through its innovative reimagination of the game link cable to trade information on such a vast level, saved the greatest video game company of all-time from bankruptcy on the horizon in Nintendo, and paved the way for every generation since of its franchise – turning $20 game cartridges sold at kiosks without even media coverage into a phenomenon we have to thank for over 850+ Pokémon owing their existence to the original 151. A few quality of life nitpicks like no revives early on, unforgettable HM’s, low bag space, and a psychic type imbalance were fixed instantly and not even really flaws you’d notice without having played other games in the series or actual detractors from experience – one that remains perhaps the greatest first feature ever made, ultimate adventure, and easily one of the greatest video games ever made.

Conclusion

One Of The Best Video Games Ever Made

The Pop-Culture Revolution & $100B+ Idea That Set The World Ablaze, A Panegyric To Childhood, Adventure, & Nature W. Once-In-A-Century Blueprint, 151 Icon Creatures, Beautiful A/V, Legacy, & Diverse Experience

Photograph Courtesy Of: Nintendo, Gamefreak, & The Pokémon Company

Overall, Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow are some of the greatest video games ever made. Future generations may have better individual components – G/S/C has better monsters and starters, R/S/E better legendaries, B/W more depth-filled villain motivations, all progressively better graphics and cleaner execution by resources and technological advancements, etc., but none [and arguably: no other video games in history] has as much legacy, pop-cultural revolutionism, indie love-letter bedroom-project craftsmanship, and pure imagination. R/B/G/Y are once-in-a-millennium games all those later gens owe their very existence and ~every feature/mechanization of the blueprint and architecture to – ones of impossible realization of such a huge concept in an origin project on a shoestring project its patriarchs bet & mortgaged everything on. The idea of the wieldable power of nature through 151 elementally-reimagined and mythological-origin creatures from our world we can hunt, capture, battle, and become best friends with is quite simply the greatest concept in the history of fiction, and one that would not have taken over the world without the perfect execution of Generation 1. This can be easily seen by overflowing graveyard of failures and VG challengers like Digimon, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Monster Rancher, Digipets, Bakugan, Magi-Nation, Angelic Layer, Cardfight!, Yo-Kai Watch, etc., but we’ll further analyze what made Pokémon succeed where these all got eviscerated like the first Lv. 2 Rattata trainer we battle. The eponymous creatures obviously were the major element that drove Pokémon’s success: designs bursting with life and soul behind their eyes still as beloved/cherished decades and 1,000+ monsters later amongst the fandom’s and world’s favorites of all-time in fiction [Pikachu. Enough said.], extrapolating japanese art/culture and the genre of kaiju to a smaller and more graspable scale while impressively being amongs the most naturalism-based and ~simplistic of monsters: bridging the gap between our real-life world and theirs to make us just enough believe they’re real while tempering them with the perfect hint of fantasy and elemental typification to lay the groundwork foundations for evolution in future generations. Beyond creature-design, the audiovisuals were painted with care, personality, effervescence, and craftsmanship it’s damn near impossible to find in video games anymore – especially origin games this probably takes the crown of greatest of all-time on. The synth-and-white-noise-flip score is one of the best and most effervescent ever in gaming and 8-bit visual canvas breathtakingly-nostalgic to gaming’s golden era while technically-impressive in unprecedented worldbuilding scale diversified in landscapes to create a panegyric to nature fringed with japanese aesthetic-touches like the chibi and sprite style. R/B/G/Y are just as proficient in storytelling as they are on acoustic and ocular levels, boasting the best characters in franchise history of every personality and elemental type while oftentimes synergizing between the two and their ‘mon choices. The villain team is a classic in mafiaic aesthetics and religion/capitlism/animal-abuse allegorical complexity: Team Rocket led by The Godfather-esque Giovanni, and the challenge is palpable in juxtaposition of these battles to across the entire game – everything modern PKMN games are missing by its brutal, aggressive determinism to make you fail and grind/strategize and never let your guard down at any point along your journey. The worldwide pop culture revolution is one encompassing RPG, puzzle, fighting, pet, mission, spy, action, mythology, strategy, hunting, collection, science, etc. games in a singular package: one that took a lifetime to dream and ~10+ years to build by Satoshi Tajiri, turning $20 cartridges into a $100B+ kingdom with the crown of biggest media empire of all-time. The ultimate fictional concept ever made reimagining nature to let you command & wield its powers, Generation 1 epitomizes the magic of video games to transcend life within its own contexts for maximum fantasy experience and one of the greatest video games of all-time – a groundbreaking $100M+ once-in-a-century IP and blueprint/overworld mechanization of pure brilliance decades ahead-of-its-time with 151 legendary pocket monster designs of realism, elementalism, mythology, allegory, humor and soul bridging the gap between our worlds and to-date amongst the most beloved ever created, breathtaking region/culture modeled after real-life Japan, pure adventure in a panegyric to childhood, highly-diverse customizability whose depth breathes universal gaming allure, nostalgic charm in 8-bit A/V bursting with personality, the best characters and story/villain in the series, and provocative challenge behind every gym, catch, battle, route, and objective on the mission to catch ’em all.

Official CLC Score: 10/10