Guys… We’re a quarter of the way done with 2018. Isn’t that weird?
Tomorrow the 1000th episode of the Pokemon anime will air here in the US. Considering I was in elementary school when this whole Pokemon business first started, that’s an amazing feat! This month, we’re going to take a little look at the original games that started it all — Pokemon Red and Blue.
Pokemon Red and Blue were released in the US in September 1998, twenty years ago. In Japan, the Pokemon craze was already in full swing, as the games (with Pokemon Blue under the title Pokemon Green) had been released two years earlier in February. Pokemon Yellow, the special edition of the duo where the protagonist starts with a Pikachu just like Ash in the anime, was released roughly a year after Red and Blue in the US.
In case you’ve lived under a rock, the Pokemon games feature a protagonist who travels throughout the game’s region, catching and training Pokemon to become the very best. Pokemon Red and Blue were the original games, featuring the Kanto region and 150 Pokemon that the protagonist could obtain while trying to “catch ’em all.” The games have been on IGN’s Top 100 Games of All Time list multiple times, as well as being featured in the 2009 Guinness Book of World Records under “Best selling RPG on the GameBoy” and “Best Selling RPG of all time.”
Red and Blue have gotten remakes in the form of FireRed and LeafGreen, both for the GameBoy Advance in 2004. The original Red and Blue were also released on the 3DS family’s Virtual Console as a celebration for the franchise’s 20th anniversary in 2016.
Playing Red and Blue were not my first introduction to the Pokemon games. That honor goes to Pokemon Snap over at a friends’ house, twin girls that I was close with until they moved to another state back in elementary school. Pokemon Snap (and Mario Golf) on the Nintendo 64 were a couple of games that we enjoyed playing, and they introduced me to Red and Blue. I was lucky enough to receive a GameBoy Color and Red, Blue, and Yellow for the handheld from the “Easter Bunny,” later on.
Red and Blue were a couple of games that helped cement my life as a gamer. I have yet to miss a main series Pokemon game, and the franchise has stayed dear to my heart. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Generation 8 looks like on the Nintendo Switch!