The Pokémon phenomenon in Japan is getting ready to invade America as the first games for the Nintendo Game Boy, Pokémon Red and Blue, are about to be released. It looks to be an interesting game, based around your character finding, collecting and battling small creature called Pokémon. The Pokémon have specific move-sets, elemental based types that change battle tactics and can evolve into bigger, stronger creatures if you train them hard enough with the aim of conquering ‘gym leaders’ (essentially boss battles) and their Pokémon to gain badges up until you become ‘Pokémon League Champion’. Of course the higher-ups are expecting, or at least hoping, that the wave of popularity it has drummed up in Japan will carry over into the States. With nothing short of global domination in mind, Britain is going to be next my friends.
A lot of people have already become fans of Pokémon, but I’ve managed to play an American cartridge of Pokémon Blue and I honestly don’t foresee it becoming the massive hit many people expect. Why? A variety of reasons, which are helpfully presented in this list. Some of them are cultural differences. Some of them are missed opportunities and some of them seem to be straight up problems with the game that could affect the critical reaction and sales figures when the games get released in the UK in October of next year.
It looks like we’re off to a bad start with…
10. We’re Already Lagging Behind
Let’s not jump the gun yet, we haven’t even gotten the games to this side of the pond. These games are only just being released in America soon whereas Japan had them back in 1996. They’ve just now remade the game with slightly better graphics, released as Pokémon Yellow but this is in the midst of Pokemania sweeping the entire country.
What happens if the Pokémon franchise takes a wrong turn over there, while we’re only just getting started here? Let’s say the next wave of games for the Pokémon franchise are just rehashes with more monsters and the same game mechanics? Sales could seriously dip and while we watch this happen, we’re supposed to jump on the bandwagon? Hopefully, if Pokémon maintains popularity, the gaps between release dates can be narrowed and this problem can be circumvented. But as you likely gathered by this being the first entry on the list, there are more pressing problems the Pokémon must overcome first.
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This article was first posted on April 1, 2013