Gotta Play Em All!
If you don’t know what Pokemon is, you must be living under a rock. There was a time when Pocket Monsters ruled the Globe in the mid 90’s and whilst the series mainstream appeal has decreased over the years, it is clear that people will always have a soft spot for Pikachu and pals. Afterall titles like Pokemon GO! sparked the Poke flames again and the Detective Pikachu movie starring Ryan Reynolds is going to be released soon.
So with the series having such an amazing amount of success, it certainly is no surprise that it has garnered a massive amount of spin-off titles over the years. Just as Mario has taken to racing, tennis, the Olympics and many other situations. So has everyone’s favourite fictional mouse Pikachu. So lets take a walk through memory lane and have a look at the best Pokemon spin-offs ever released.
10. Pokemon GO!
Perhaps a controversial choice, but I stand by the fact that Pokemon GO is a good Pokemon game. People can easily complain about how basic it is, but that is exactly what it is meant to be. Heck…Tetris is basic and everyone loves Tetris! Pokemon GO was nothing short of a phenomenon just like the early days of the series. It seemed like just about everyone was playing it and a game that encouraged socialising, exercise and capturing your favourite Pokemon gets a thumbs up from me!
9. Pokemon Pinball
Everyone loves a good ole game of pinball, so when you take the classic game and mix Pokemon with it, you know what you get? Pinball with a Pokemon skin. I mean there isn’t much room for improvement or original ideas in a Pinball game is there? I mean they do have bosses, but outside of that it is a Pinball game. With that being said being original isn’t a necessity for a good game and that is clear in the this Game Boy gem.
8. Pokemon Colosseum
Upon its initial release Colosseum did attract a fair bit of negativity. It is certainly no surprise as whilst the game is good. Most people were hoping for a more traditional Pokmon experience on the Gamecube. Little did we know it would take till the Nintendo Switch was released for a mainline game to be played on the big screen!
Colosseum biggest flaw was expectations, cause outside of that it gives players a very fun little adventure to take part in with a nice little story. Sure the meagre selection of Pokemon the player could catch can be brought up, but there’s hours of fun to be had on this overlooked Gamecube title.
7. Pokemon Ranger
Here’s where things start to get interesting. The Ranger series certainly is polarising. There are those who can’t stand it, but there is a group of people who find drawing circles around Pokemon on a DS screen thrilling and I must admit I am one of those people.
The Ranger series was released fairly early in the DS’s lifespan and was one of those games where it was designed with the touchscreen in mind, but managed to pull off implementing a decent touchscreen gimmick unlike the earlier released Pokemon Dash. Nice visuals, easy to pick up and play and the only way to get Manaphy make Pokemon Ranger quite the addition to any Pokefanatics library of games
6. Pokemon Battle Revolution
Some would say I should’ve opted for the Stadium games instead, but in my opinion Pokemon Battle Revolution does everything the Stadium games did (Minus minigames), but better. PBR was the ultimate accompaniment to the mainline titles Diamond and Pearl. The DS games did have good enough visuals, but having Pokemon battles online and in full 3D was brilliant. Nowadays though the need for such a title seems totally obsolete, but I know I will always have fond memories of PBR.
5. Detective Pikachu
Not all games need to have the greatest gameplay to be excellent titles. Detective Pikachu could be criticised for being a bit too easy, but one most acknowledge the split in playerbase and the Pokemon games must cater towards younger fans as well. However as easy as it can be at times, the idea of a crime solving Pikachu who loves drinking coffee is one that always brings a smile to my face.
The question is can the the Detective Pikachu movie break the abysmal track record video game films have? Or will it join the ranks of Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros and Mortal Kombat?
4. Pokemon Trading Card Game
I have to be honest, despite the fact that I collected Pokemon cards as a child, I had no idea how to play with the darn things. It was only years later that I finally got to grasps with it and went back to play the Game Boy game based around the trading cards.
It does exactly what it says on the tin and that is all it had to do. Forget the agony of buying booster packs and finding the same awful cards you don’t want. Just pick up the game and have them all in the virtual realm!
3. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
The fact that the Mystery Dungeon games are the longest running spin-off the series has should say a lot about what the fanbase things of the games. Being able to take control of the Pokemon and experience a world where humans are absent certainly was something fans wanted for a long time and they got it with the Mystery Dungeon series.
Randomly generated dungeons, a huge amount of Pokemon to play as and all kinds of attacks mean that there is a ridiculous amount of content packed into each game in the series and if it is your cup of tea there is certainly a lot to drink.
2. Pokken Tournament
Ever since Pikachu and Jigglypuff were playable in the original Super Smash Bros for the N64, fans have wanted to see a fighting game starring only Pokemon. It took a long time, but they finally got it in Pokken.
Whilst it might not enjoy the popularity of more long running series, Pokken is a respectable fighting game and has a great roster. Its single player content certainly is lacking, but its gameplay is on point and does a good job of setting it apart from other fighters.
1. Pokemon Snap
Pokemon Snap is the kind of game that could only have ever been made during the height of Pokefever. An on rails photography game certainly doesn’t sound enthralling, but enthralled we were, when Pokemon Snap came out for the N64.
In many ways it is hard to put my finger on what made the game so great, but it just had a certain charm to it and it did go above and beyond the call of duty and certainly wasn’t a cheap and easy cash grab. Alternate paths, stages packed with secrets and high scores gave it great replay value.
In fact I must say I am totally baffled as to why we’ve never gotten a sequel. Who knows perhaps we will on the Switch, as I could see the system being perfect for some high octane Pokemon photography action!