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What is Pokémon? Discover the Pokémon phenomenon in this article

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For 20 years, Pokémon has delighted millions of fans of all ages and has grown into one of the most successful entertainment brands in the world. This legendary series has sold more than 279 million video games since the debut of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green for the Game Boy in Japan in 1996.

this is photo of pokemon
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What are Pokémon?

Pokémon are creatures of all kinds of shapes and sizes that live well in the wild or alongside humans. Most Pokémon only speak to say their names. Currently, there are more than 700 creatures that inhabit the Pokémon universe.

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Pokémon owners (called “Trainers”) breed and care for them. During their adventures, Pokémon grow and gain more experience, and sometimes even evolve to become stronger Pokémon.

There are more than twelve different types of Pokémon, such as the Fire type, the Psychic type, or the Dragon type. Each type of Pokémon has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to fighting against other Pokémon. For example, a Fire-type Pokémon will have an advantage over a Plant-type Pokémon, but will be at a disadvantage against a Water-type Pokémon. This makes the strategy, positioning and use of Pokémon in your team crucial in the development of the combats.

Here are some examples of what different Pokémon look like:

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Pikachu – Electric Type
Pikachu – Electric Type
Bulbasaur – Plant Type
Bulbasaur – Plant Type
Charmander – Fire Type
Charmander – Fire Type
Squirtle – Water Type
Squirtle – Water Type
Eevee – Normal Type
Eevee – Normal Type

Basic game mechanics (video games)

The first Pokémon video games appeared in Europe for the Game Boy in 1999, and since then, the popularity of Pokémon has continued to grow. Pokémon games have appeared on Nintendo systems, including the Nintendo 3DS system and the Wii U system.

In most games, the player plays the role of a young Trainer who is dedicated to traveling from one city to another catching and training Pokémon, and fighting against the Pokémon teams of other Trainers in order to become the Champion of the Pokémon League. Another goal is to catch and catalog all the Pokémon in the game. Despite the combative aspect of these games, explicit violence is avoided in Pokémon games. In fact, Pokémon never die during the course of the game. Trainers are invited to participate in many side activities during the game, whether it’s talent and beauty contests, tournaments, or fishing (of Course!).

Players can battle and trade Pokémon with other players, allowing children to learn values such as sharing and playing with sportsmanship. With the most modern video game systems, players can even play and trade Pokémon online with other Trainers around the world.

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Developer statements about the success of the series

Junichi Masuda is the director of Pokémon at video game developer Game Freak.

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“I would say that when we started we had absolute faith in what we were doing and we wanted to bring children the joy of discovering special creatures – the Pokémon – collecting them, fighting with them and exchanging them: that was our dream. Of course, at that time, the hope that people would like our vision as much as we did was just that, hope. We got a very pleasant surprise… although it was rather a dream come true when the game achieved success.”

“I think a lot of Pokémon’s success is due to the Pokémon themselves and the bond that fans create with the creatures they discover while playing. Fans love to pick and battle their favorite Pokémon. With each new generation, there are new Pokémon that people can discover. This and the games’ abundant communication options that allow people from all over the world to play together.”

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Developer statements about the success of the series

Junichi Masuda is the director of Pokémon at video game developer Game Freak.

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“I would say that when we started we had absolute faith in what we were doing and we wanted to bring children the joy of discovering special creatures – the Pokémon – collecting them, fighting with them and exchanging them: that was our dream. Of course, at that time, the hope that people would like our vision as much as we did was just that, hope. We got a very pleasant surprise… although it was rather a dream come true when the game achieved success.”

“I think a lot of Pokémon’s success is due to the Pokémon themselves and the bond that fans create with the creatures they discover while playing. Fans love to pick and battle their favorite Pokémon. With each new generation, there are new Pokémon that people can discover. This and the games’ abundant communication options that allow people from all over the world to play together.”

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Most important Pokémon video games

Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version

Release date: 05-10-1999

Platform: Game Boy

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The first game in the Pokémon series was released in Japan in 1996 and arrived in Europe in 1999.

Pokémon Red And Blue Version

Pokémon Yellow Version: Pikachu Special Edition

Release date: 16-06-2000

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Platform: Game Boy Color

The uniqueness of this game is that Pikachu follows players on their adventure.

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Pokémon Yellow Version, Pikachu Special Edition

Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver

Release date: 06-04-2001

Platform: Game Boy Color

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100 new Pokémon were introduced, plus a “day and night” cycle that allowed players to find different Pokémon depending on the time of day.

Pokémon Gold and Silver

Pokémon Crystal

Release date: 02-11-2001

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Platform: Game Boy Color

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The first game that allowed players to choose between Coach and Coach.

Pokémon Crystal

Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version

Release date: 25-07-2003

Platform: Game Boy Advance

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These Game Boy Advance titles introduced two-on-two battles, allowing four Trainers to play at once.

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Pokémon Ruby Version and Sapphire Version

Pokémon Fire Red Version and Pokémon Leaf Green Version

Release date: 01-10-2004

Platform: Game Boy Advance

In these improved versions of the original games, players could for the first time swap and battle without the need for cables, using the wireless adapter for the Game Boy Advance.

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Pokémon Fire Red Version and Leaf Green Version

Pokémon Emerald Version

Release date: 21-10-2005

Platform: Game Boy Advance

In this third adventure set in the Hoenn region, which we first met in Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version, powerful Trainers will be able to fight in Battlefront mode.

Pokémon Emerald Version

Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version

Release date: 27-07-2007

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Platform: Nintendo DS

For the first time, players could fight and trade with other players from all over the planet via the internet.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Version

Pokémon Platinum Edition

Release date: 22-05-2009

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Platform: Nintendo DS

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Third adventure in the Sinnoh region, first seen in Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version.

Pokémon Platinum Edition

Pokémon Gold Version HeartGold and Pokémon Silver Version SoulSilver

Release date: 26-03-2010

Platform: Nintendo DS

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Thanks to the pokéwalker accessory that comes included, players can train their Pokémon just by walking through the real world.

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Pokémon Gold Version HeartGold and Silver Version SoulSilver

Pokémon White Version and Pokémon Black Version

Release date: 04-03-2011

Platform: Nintendo DS

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In this adventure set in the Unova region, the Triple Combat feature was incorporated, in which six Pokémon – three in each team – can face each other.

Pokémon White and Black Version

Pokémon White Version 2 and Pokémon Black Version 2

Release date: 12-10-2012

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Platform: Nintendo DS

Set two years after the predecessor game, it features a new story and many Pokémon to discover.

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Pokémon White and Black Version 2

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y

Release date: 12-10-2013 (worldwide)

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

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For the first time it was possible to see the Pokémon in 3D, adding a new dimension to the adventure. Megaevolution allows some Pokémon to take different forms.

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Since October 12, 2013, these titles have sold more than 3.5 million units across Europe.

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Gameplay Trailer
Video: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Gameplay Trailer

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Release date: 28-11-2014

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

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Improved versions of Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version, with new megaevolutions and secrets to discover.

Since November 28, 2014, these titles have sold more than 3 million units throughout Europe.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon

Release date: 23-11-2016

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

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The new era of Pokémon adventures is set in the Hawaii-inspired Alola region and will offer new Pokémon and features.

Explore the Alola Region in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon!
Video: Explore the Alola Region in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon!

We hope you enjoyed this review of 20 years of Pokémon history with us. With the launch of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon just around the corner and Pokémon GO available for iPhone and Android devices, this is the best possible time to embark on your own adventure. See you out there, Coaches!

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