Playing Pokémon X and Y is making us all sorts of nostalgic for the ole Nintendo franchise. Be the very best, like no one ever was, with our breakdown of facts you may not have known about your favorite game for the Nintendo 3DS. We join The Sync Up host Veronica Belmont to bring Pokéfans the top things you didn't know about Pokémon — but wish you did.
Do you really have to catch them all? Yes, that's the whole point! In this guide for Pokémon n00bs, The Sync Up host Veronica Belmont breaks down what's new and notable in Pokémon X and Y, the sixth generation of the popular role-playing game.
Watch the full-length version over on the POPSUGAR Girls' Guide YouTube channel, and let us know: what's your favorite Pokémon?
Pokémon is full of bright, cuddly things — but cute waters run (really) deep, as our partners at ReadWrite discover.
By Taylor Hatmaker
The Pokémon franchise, a series of role-playing games with strategic elements, is a smash hit, both in its origin country of Japan and around the world. With its first simultaneous worldwide release on Oct. 12, Pokémon X and Y (two barely dissimilar versions of the same game) sold over four million copies in three days. The Pokémon series takes up five slots on the list of the 25 top selling console games of all-time.
That level of sales isn’t just driven by kids’ Christmas lists. So what gives ... and why do adults like this stuff?
Look a little closer at Pokémon's absurdly cute sprite animations, thoroughly Japanese trappings and seemingly simple gameplay and you'll discover a vast underlying framework with plenty to teach us self-respecting adult types.
1. Strategy: Rock, Paper, Scissors on Crack
Pokémon's core mechanic seems simple enough on the surface. For the uninitiated, two pokémon (those cute creatures controlled by you, the “trainer”) take turns whacking each other until one “faints”. Each pokémon in this sprawling world of rock, paper, scissors has a “type” (fire, water, grass, psychic, dragon … the list goes on and on).
Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, eat your heart out.
But you know how paper is weak to scissors and scissors are weak to rock? Imagine if there was also coffee cup and blowtorch and slide rule . . . and . . . well, lots of things. And not just that, but scissors could be both scissors and paper. Did you brain just explode? If not, please enjoy this chart, the holy grail of Pokémon strategy:
2. Economics: Like Wall Street, but Fluffier
There I was last week, minding my business in Pokémon X’s iconic tall grass, when I discovered a little thing called the Global Trade Station (GTS). Granted this is my first Pokémon game in over 12 years, but whoa. The GTS is an online marketplace that connects you — the Pokémon trainer and hero of your own personal journey to gently subjugate the creatures of the greater Kalos region — to the other four million-plus trainers doing exactly the same thing the world over.
If you’re the arguably the obsessive sort like myself, you could spend a whole day just observing the in-game economy—not even playing the game at all—studying which Pokémon players are trading, which are commanding a high value in the market and why and jumping on in-game economic trends. Stop looking at me like that.
3. Statistics: Enter a Numerical Wonderland
The Pokémon series is essentially two things: battling and collecting. Dive into the online elements of the game, and the insanely varied strategy meta-game of Pokémon battles with other sentient players might be your kryptonite. And now that us would-be adults ablaze with late 90s Pokemon nostalgia are all grown up (kinda), this gets extraordinarily complex very quickly. It’s not as simple as assembling a team of six critters and wielding them at opponents all willy-nilly.
Like I mentioned in item one, each critter has a “type". That type has subtypes in the form of numerical values that represent its strengths and weaknesses . . . and those subtypes have subtypes. And you know, those subtypes might even have subtypes. It’s a rabbit hole with seemingly infinite permutations of 718 different sets of statistical variability (a.k.a. “ Pokémon”) ready to romp down it with you. Not just that, but these numbers aren’t fixed by any means—you can play mini-games and get into the Pokémon breeding business (don’t even get me started…) to up your statistical odds of total domination/awesomeness.
4. Happiness: Escapism Meets Unconditional Positive Regard
Grand Theft Auto lets you maim, rape and generally pillage your way through a hyper-realistic in-game world; Pokémon must be its complete antithesis. The world of Pokémon doesn’t really make sense and the story is thin bordering on nonexistent. The great part about that? Pokémon embraces the central conceit of a video game, whispering in your ear: Hey, you’re playing a video game … let’s skip to the game part, you know?
Forget yoga class with your cheating wife. Go out into the nonsense world and assemble a team of fantastical creatures just for the hell of it! Out there, everyone will greet you with unconditionally positive statements like “Don’t you just love collecting Pokémon?!” (yes!) right before they hand you a gift for no apparent reason.
If you’ve grown weary of insanely realistic games depicting the darkness and drudgery of “real life," just hop into the world of Pokémon, where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
5. Patience: Neurotic Stamp Collector Types Unite!
Are you the kind of person who puts “detail oriented” on a resume? Yeah, me too. Pokémon is a completionist’s dream, turning our favorite compulsion into an actual game. Collect things for the sake of collecting them! Collect like things and group them together… virtual things—cute ones, even! And because Pokémon X and Y are on the Nintendo 3DS console, these things literally live in your pocket.
On the surface, the Pokémon series is a cloyingly cutesy game about collecting tiny virtual animals—but look closer and it quickly spirals into a web of intricate statistical analysis, deep strategy and positive psychology. The people behind this whole Pokémon thing appear to really have us figured out, which is slightly unsettling. But hey, this crazy-smart, endlessly self-sustaining business model preys on our weaknesses to bring us untold joy, so it could be a lot worse. Collect all the things!
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Although I've had this copy of Pokémon Platinum in my hands for some time now (it was released on March 22), I've finally had some time to sit down and actually play it. And you know what? It's as fun as you thought it would be. For hard-core Pokémon fans, the past two years have been painful, waiting for the series to be completed (it's a follow-up to the first two games in the set —Pokémon Pearl and Pokémon Diamond), and now it's finally here.
In the traditional role-playing game style (which is Pokémon's bread and butter), you use your creatures (or Pokémon) to fight your enemies. Although it sounds simple, and you may think the game is made for kids, it's consistently one of the top selling games in Japan — and it's played by all ages.
To see what else I loved about PP, just read more
If you can't tell, this little psycho has his hands on a stack of Pokemon cards. My guess is that he just scored a rare card and the following behavior is his reaction to such good fortune. Not so fortunate are the loved ones on the receiving end of this hyper-dramatic display of insanity. May I suggest hiding the sugar?
I knew Pokémon was an international phenomenon, but did you know that All Nippon Airways (ANA) has Pokémon airplanes? Serving both international and domestic flights, Pokémon jets are plastered with tons of Pokémon characters including Celebi, Plusle, Minun, Deoxys, Torchic, Jirachi, Latios, Latias, Pikachu, and the Gonbe.
Featured on Joystiq and Kotaku these colorful airplanes boast flight attendants wearing Pokémon aprons and head rests covered with Pokémon designs. I guess you could say the perfect plane for kids and those who are still young at heart. To check out more pictures, just read more
Call it a wild guess, but I think this kid might have a (small) penchant for Pokemon. And clutter. Love the trucker's hat!