In 2017 we took a whole year to celebrate one of the bestselling RPG series of all time—which just so happened to be developed by a Japanese company—Final Fantasy. In 2018, we have decided to switch things up a bit by looking at one of the bestselling RPG series of all time—which just so happens to be developed by a Japanese company—Pokemon.

Similar to our Year of Final Fantasy, our Year of Pokemon will feature at its core a retrospective on the main titles in the franchise. Of course, expect other articles looking at the many, many different games under the Pokemon brand.

The following is in chronological order with the newest article in the series first.

Gotta Snap ‘Em All – A Look Back At Pokemon Snap

By Joe Allen

pokemon snap year of pokemon

I frequently find myself in the middle of debates about the direction the Pokemon franchise is taking. On one side, the franchise’s ardent defenders, staunchly adopting the “if it ain’t broke” stance and loving every minute of each Pokemon game they play. On the other side, the relentless progressives, who want to throw everything Pokemon stands for away and completely reinvent the wheel. I’ve argued for both sides in the past; it’s healthy to play devil’s advocate, as a wider understanding of the issue can usually be reached by understanding both viewpoints.  Read more here…

The Six Worst Designed Pokemon of Generation 3

By Robert Grosso

year of pokemoon worst design gen 3

While Generation 3 is not the worst Pokémon Gen of the bunch, it is on the weaker end of the scale. Much of that, I’d argue, is the opening of the hardware and pushing the graphical limitations further than ever before for Game Freak. The designs of Generation 1 and 2 were always fairly simple comparatively. Simple in terms of color palette, form, and aesthetics with little in the way of visual flair. Generation 3 overloaded the flair, a trend that would continue as we go forward in time with the Pokémon franchise. Read more here…

The Six Best Designed Pokemon of Generation 3

By Robert Grosso

year of pokemon best design gen 3

The Pokemon of Generation 3 are also a mixed bag. Some of them have become massive fan favorites or competent battlers. The majority though have become forgotten for some reason or another. Perhaps it was poor design or over-relying on gimmicks, where we see that concept really take off this Generation. For now, let us celebrate the best this generation has to offer by looking at the six best-designed Pokémon of Generation 3. Read more here…

Generation III …. .5?

By John Quilty

year of pokemon fire red leaf green

Wait … there’s more? Yep, instead of going right to Generation IV, or even getting an expanded version of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, we’re instead getting remakes of Pokémon Red and Green. You read that right, Green. While it was never released in the West, it was released alongside Red in Japan, with Blue and Yellow coming later. The fourth-generation games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, wouldn’t launch for another two years. An expanded version of the main Generation III games, Emerald, would come eight months later. Read more here…

The Six Worst Designed Pokemon of Generation 2

By Robert Grosso

worst pokemon design gen 2 year of pokemon

What fuels the bad design this time? A lot of factors of course will play into it but one unifying theme that hits a lot of the Pokemon of this generation stems from their forgotten status. Half of the list are a single-stage Pokémon that never really made great impressions when first released, while the other half have evolved, or are evolved forms that simply lack a good visual treatment that makes them fully stand out. All but one are also poor battlers, which contributes to this stigma of being forgotten. Read more here…

The Six Best Designed Pokemon of Generation 2

By Robert Grosso

year of pokemon best design gen 2

With every new generation, we get a slew of new Pokémon to capture as well. Generation 2 allowed us to capture 100 new Pokémon, some of which were evolutions and baby forms of monsters found in Generation 1. Generation 2 arguably has some of the best designs for the series, as it was hard to narrow down the best of the bunch to six. Who made the cut? Let’s find out. Read more here…

Generation III

By Connor Foss

year of pokemon generation 3 ruby sapphire emerald

To be honest, I’ve been worried about having to write this since starting the Year of Pokémon. It took me a while to even get started playing through this generation simply because of my bad experiences with it back in the day. Originally I played through Ruby Version, and after coming off of Gold Version I was just not into it as much as I expected to be. Thus, I set it aside and forgot about it … until today. Read more here…

The Six Worst Designed Pokemon of Generation 1

By Robert Grosso

worst pokemon design gen 1 year of pokemon

Part of what shields Generation 1 is a rose-colored view of the franchise. It was an innocent time then, where the rumors regarding hidden Mews under trucks and the glitch-ridden Missingno being a hidden Pokémon really captured the attention of the games’ audience. Now, over twenty years later, I think it is safe to say that not all of the Pokémon from Gen 1 are well-designed, and today were going to list some of the worst offenders of the bunch. Read more here…

The Six Best Designed Pokemon of Generation 1

By Robert Grossobest pokemon design gen 1 year of pokemon banner

What better place to start with the best designed Pokémon of Generation 1, where famed artist Ken Sugimori oversaw the original 151 designs that captured the public’s attention. A lot goes into making a good Pokémon design: a theme of course to its typing, the references it invokes in its design, competitive viability, color scheme and shape—the criteria is wide open for the best and worst in the series. Read more here…

Generation II

By Connor Foss

pokemon generation ii 2 year of pokemon

So how does Generation II stack up to the original? It’s got some pretty enormous shoes to fill, so let’s see how it handles the pressure. Grab a ticket to the monorail system, because we’re jumping continents. From Kanto to Johto, let’s see what Generation II has to offer in this strange new land! Read more here…

Generation I

By Connor Foss

pokemon game changers

Of course, we’re kicking off the Year of Pokemon where it all began. Generation I began what is now a worldwide phenomenon and produced some of the most recognizable characters in all of media. Looking back at it now, how does it hold up? Read more here…