It’s been 21 years since Pokemon premiered for the Game Boy (or as some of us remember them, the big grey battery eating boxes), and a year later we were introduced to Pokemon Trading Card Game thanks to Wizards of the Coast (as if Magic: The Gathering wasn’t addicting enough). This year, however, both originals are getting a retro revival re-release.
In Japan, The Pokemon Company is celebrating by re-releasing the original starter pack card set. The pack includes 60 cards, a player’s manual and a coin (just like the original) used to solve damage and scoring deputes. Featured on the cards are the designs identical to their 20-year-old counterparts, which first arrived in retailers in 1996. So fingers crossed for that holographic Charizard! No word if The Pokemon Company or Wizards will make this available for an English re-release.
On top of that, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow are not only getting a re-release in the eshop world wide on February 27th, Japan has released a special edition 2DS systems for the game, which interestingly enough resemble the see-through Game Boy Colors of Christmas past and come in red, blue, green and yellow (apparently, there was a Green Version of Pokemon, but only in Japan). They also come outfitted with the pre-installed game relevant to it’s color, a home menu theme inspired by the games, stickers and a poster based on the Kanto region’s map. If that’s not enough, they cut out the Game Shark middle man; players will receive a download code for Mew. The code also works with the Virtual Console title as well as Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. But there is a time limit: you have to use the code within one year of it’s release as it will expire. No word if and when Japan will release the special edition 2DS systems internationally, but nostalgic are hopeful for a North American and European option this spring. Just another reminder that not only does Japan get the cool stuff, they get it FIRST.
Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow versions will be available for download February 27th. As a Pokemon fan since the beginning, I feel it should not have taken this long to have an option other than digging through game shops and ebay for an old school game boy and the original game cartridges. But finally, after 20 years of being on the world’s gaming radar, the original 151 Pokemon are back on the gaming menu. The question now is: Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur? Choose wisely.
Oh, and recall how they said Pokemon GO was cancelled? Apparently, it’s back on.