There are few franchises that have withstood the test of time, surviving for many decades as others fail to make it past their initial releases. One such successful franchise is the well-known Pokémon franchise, which has continued to enthral fans and capture the imaginations of young and old alike. While this franchise spans many different formats and iterations, the first and arguably most successful format for Pokémon is video games. In this article, we’re going to take a look at a selection of games released by Nintendo, as well as explore the Pokémon themselves. In particular, we shall help answer the question, are Pokémon animals or monsters?

The Original Era

The first Pokémon games were released in Japan and were created by Satoshi Tajiri and Game Freak, Tajiri’s game development company. Nintendo funded his project in the early 1990s, and then Pocket Monsters: Red and Pocket Monsters: Green, or as they’re better known, Pokémon Red and Green, were released in 1996. The popularity of these games snowballed after a special promotion in which the secret and legendary Pokémon Mew was given away as a special prize, and the extra revenue from further sales led to a further Blue version being released, as well as the games subsequently being released in western markets after 1998. The special Yellow version was also released in 1998, in which the main character was given a new starter Pokémon by the name of Pikachu, who would follow the player around akin to Ash’s Pikachu, who refused to go inside a Poké Ball in the animated series.


Nintendo 64 Games

Around the same time that Pokémon was released came the release of the Nintendo 64 console, which was the successor to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System or SNES. The timing of this was perfect, allowing Nintendo to combine the success of the Pokémon franchise with the new 3D graphics that the N-64 boasted. They released five Pokémon games in total for the N-64, and only one of them, called “Hey You, Pikachu!” was released in Japan only. The rest were at the forefront of the N-64’s success, becoming bestsellers and securing their place in history as some of the most popular games in history. The games were Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2, Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Puzzle League

The Next Generation

After the stellar success of the original Pokémon games, Nintendo kept its foot on the gas pedal and turned its attention to the next iteration of games. Instead of releasing another new version of the same original game set in what is known as the Kanto region, they would instead create a new place for players to experience. This was known as the Johto region and came with the new games Pokémon Gold and Silver. These versions were released in 1999 in Japan, 2000 in the USA and 2001 across Europe. These new games, released for the Game Boy Colour, also gave players access to 100 new Pokémon species, blowing the minds of many fans, especially as it was released at the height of the franchise’s popularity.


GameCube Games

With the release of Nintendo’s next big game console, GameCube, came the introduction of a new wealth of 3D games. This included a number of Pokémon titles, further cashing in on the success of the franchise. As well as this, the world of Pokémon began to become ever more fleshed out with books, movies, and new seasons of the anime show, and this led to some becoming even more dedicated hardcore fans. Over the years, it opened up new talking points and considerations, with people asking many deeper questions, such as are Pokémon animals or monsters? Are Pokémon battles ethical? And do the people in the world of Pokémon eat them as well as befriend them? This may have also been influenced by darker themes that began to be introduced in games such as the GameCube’s Pokémon Colosseum, in which the villain-turned-hero protagonist, Wes, seeks to rescue “Shadow Pokémon” that have their very souls corrupted by his former organisation.

Are Pokémon Animals Or Monsters?

Before delving into the next generation of the game, it’s worth answering the question, are Pokémon animals or monsters? It’s worth remembering that Pokémon means pocket monsters, so you may think this is an easy question to answer. You would be wrong. There is plenty of debate out there, with plenty of research conducted to help find out are Pokémon animals or monsters? You could argue for either point, but it’s best to look at these creatures much like the creatures in our own world. For example, some Pokémon have animal like tendencies, such as having the ability to poop, even with little evidence, there is still proof that they do. It could be argued that some Pokémon are animals and some are monsters, based on how they act and behave in the world. Are Pokémon animals or monsters? They can certainly be both.

Generation Three

With the release of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo and Game Freak, the developers of the Pokémon games, naturally turned their attention to their next projects and released yet another generation of Pokémon in Ruby and Sapphire versions, this time with even more new species than the last generation, adding 135 to the roster. This was also the beginning of Game Freak’s plans to re-release previous iterations of the franchise to try to revive the previous popularity found before the third generation. They released Fire Red and Leaf Green versions, a homage to the first two games that were released.


Subsequent Versions

Over the years, alongside the releases of new handheld consoles, Nintendo and Game Freak released a number of other games, each adding more and more Pokémon to the list, as well as new places, expanded lore, and new features, most of which were made possible with advanced technology in the newest consoles. More advanced technology meant more advanced iterations of Pokémon, this further probed the question are Pokémon animals? Following the release of Fire Red and Leaf Green, they released a whopping 23 versions of the main game series, including remakes and special versions. They also released a number of spin-offs, such as the mystery dungeon games, with the latest released for the Nintendo Switch topping the UK charts. This shows that the 26-year-old franchise continues to be incredibly popular among gamers and still doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

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