Pokemon is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved franchises in video game history. With the original release of the Pokemon Red and Blue games in North America in 1998, the series became a staple of the Gameboy catalogue, and secured itself in the hearts of millions of kids, and some adults, including myself. In this look back, I don’t really want to review Pokemon Red and Blue as much as I want to try and figure out why these games were so great in a way that goes beyond the fact that I was nine, life was good, and I was having fun with the latest craze.
Everyone has that game, movie, and/or book that they can’t help but wish they could experience for the first time again. For me, that’s the original Pokemon games. Of course nostalgia probably plays a huge part as to why I think so fondly about my first time through Pokemon Red, but I think there is an appeal within the game’s mechanics that helped hook so many people the first time they played it, and it stems from two central aspects, the simplicity and the mystery of Pokemon and their evolutions. Continue reading →
Video game crossovers are nothing new to this generation of platforms. And why not make a crossover? May as well target multiple fan bases, right? Waiting for the release of a crossover title it always feels as though the game will be a shameless cash-in with minimal effort provided in order to make a quick buck. However, once these games are released, more often than not they prove to be at least decent games with recognizable effort put into their development. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe people just seem to like these games because of the characters, or maybe it’s the joint effort of developers aiming to appeal to multiple fan bases. It may even be a bit of both. And while there are certainly exceptions to the success of a crossover, games like, SuperSmash Brothers, Marvel Vs. Capcom, and Kingdom Hearts seem to stand out in the minds of many gamers, and in cases such as these, even become their own franchises. So here’s a strange one, Pokemon Conquest; Pokemon meets Nobunaga’s Ambition. While the concept of mixing these two franchises is unique enough, it’s even more unique given it’s North American release; the lack of success Nobunaga’s Ambition has had in the west being what really raises question marks (an attempt to somewhat hide the lesser accepted franchise can be seen in the games change of name from it’s Japanese Pokemon + Nobunaga’s Ambition, to the North American Pokemon Conquest). Looking at it this way, the game is also a crossover of a series that found success in North America, and a series that didn’t. There’s a more important way of looking at the game, though; whether or not it’s worth your time. Continue reading →