This month’s debate we’re putting a couple of our favorite Pokemon regions head to head. It’s Johto versus Kalos, with me on the side of the second generation and Rachel trying to debate that the sixth generation is better than it.
Ironically, I began my Pokemon journey in Johto since I was super younger when Kanto came out. Still, Kalos is the best region in my opinion. So far, at least. I completed Pokemon X in two days after getting the game and I still go back to it to collect more Pokemon and shiny hunt to this day.
Kalos was a great region, but Johto incorporated many mechanics that are still seen in the core series of games. The Johto games brought the day and night cycle, making it strategic when it came to catching every Pokemon. With Crystal, Johto also began giving Pokemon animated sprites and gave trainers the choice between a male and a female avatar.
Kalos introduced some new mechanics as well. While the customization lacks a bit, you can still customize what you want your character to look like and you can change your hairstyle and color throughout the game. They added roller skates in addition to the bike and, best of all, Pokemon Amie. Now we can pet, feed, and play with our Pokemon. Not only is this adorable, but it pays off in battle. Depending on your friendship level, Pokemon will dodge attacks more often and even shake off status conditions like poison.
Pokemon Amie is a more advanced version of another mechanic that was introduced in the second generation. Friendship was first measured and used for Pokemon evolutions in the Johto region. Breeding was also introduced into the Pokemon games thanks to the Johto generation, giving competitors another way to raise the perfect Pokemon for battles as well as hatching baby Pokemon that otherwise wouldn’t be found in the wild.
Friendship became a thing, yes, but all you could do to bring it up was to battle and not let them faint. Pokemon Amie is way better. Also, there are Fairy-type Pokemon now. A new type was introduced and used as a gym battle, which was cool.
Other ways to bring up the friendship was to spend time with the Pokemon, letting them be in your party, as well as certain items. Speaking of items, held items were first introduced into the Pokemon core games as well, bringing on another depth of strategy that became a staple in the games. Johto brought in two new types of Pokemon, Dark and Steel, both of which have been showcased with Elite Four and Gym Leaders specializing in their types. Aside from the new mechanics, I believe the Johto region games had a better plot than the Kalos games. Bringing back Team Rocket from the first generation, playing off of the time lapse between Kanto and Johto, was a great move. With that, the Johto games held onto that lore that a kid from Pallet Town originally thwarted Team Rocket, and gives players the chance to go through Kanto again until they face the most powerful trainer atop Mt. Silver.
I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of similarities and differences between the two regions. Kalos came out years after Johto, so of course, the Johto region will introduce new things. Kalos has improved upon them. We’ll just have to see what everyone else says.