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Pokemon Gameplay Gimmicks from Every Generation

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  • Posted on 09th Aug, 2022 19:12 PM

Each generation, Pokemon introduces a new gimmick to keep things from getting stagnant, and it is always exciting to see how the series innovates.

p>Pokemon has managed to endure for years through its addictive gameplay formula and its catalog of cute critters to collect. With each generation, players are encouraged to catch as many Pokemon as they can and strive to be the greatest Pokemon Trainer. To keep things fresh, a new gimmick or two is added every generation, and this will also be the case with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, which fans eagerly await.

Gimmicks may seem superfluous, but they have a significant impact on battles, and a good gimmick can permanently positively impact the entire series. The latest Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer has proven prior leaks true, revealing that the games will introduce Terastallization, a new gimmick that will likely replace Mega Evolutions. Whether it will only be around for a few generations or whether it will be a lasting feature remains to be seen.

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Pokemon Gold and Silver - Pokémon Hold Items

After the international success of Pokemon Red and Blue, Game Freak released Pokemon Gold and Silver. The core formula was retained, and gamers are still sent on a quest to become a Pokemon Master, a feat achieved by collecting gym badges and training up one's Pokemon. The games also attempted to innovate on the foundation laid by the previous generation by including new features such as a time system and Pokemon breeding.

Of course, there were also plenty of new Pokemon added, bringing the total number of Pokemon up to 251. The ability for Pokemon to hold items was introduced in Generation 2, and it is one of the most successful gimmicks, as it has become a series staple. Depending on what item the Pokemon is holding, players can enable various effects during battle. For example, by giving a Pokemon the right berry, players can restore health or cure status effects, or by giving the right Pokemon an Amulet Coin, players can double their earnings with every battle.

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire - Double Battles

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, released in 2002, continued the franchise's successful streak, and it introduced 135 new Pokemon. Gamers are taken to the Hoenn region, which features a series of islands that players can travel between. New features introduced in Generation 3 include innate abilities and natures, as well as secret bases that players can decorate and hang out in. Once again, the gimmick introduced in this generation is an enduring one, as it has since become a staple in the series. For the first time in the franchise, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire allow players to engage in double battles, which has them send out two Pokemon to battle at the same time. Opponents can also send out two Pokemon, and some moves affect multiple Pokemon at once.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl - Online Play

Pokemon's fourth generation had the advantage of being the first entry in the series to be released on the Nintendo DS, which allowed developers to use more powerful hardware, as well as the handheld console's dual screen. Consequently, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were able to introduce a fully 3D world and shove in a host of new features that enhanced the overall experience. There were also 107 new Pokemon added, bringing the total up to 493. The biggest changes were enabled by the Nintendo DS's Wi-Fi connectivity, which Pokemon Diamond and Pearl took full advantage of, allowing players to trade Pokemon and battle online. The ability to do this wirelessly was a revolutionary step forward for Pokemon, and it has come to shape the series going forward.

Pokemon Black and White - Triple Battles and Rotational Battles

Pokemon Black and White, along with their sequels, take players to the Unova region, which is inspired by New York. Although the games sold well, fans and critics were divided on the Pokemon designs from this region. Nevertheless, there were plenty of new features added that make the games worth playing. Most notably, the games introduced Triples Battles. Though the gimmick was an extension of Double Battles, it was innovative, as it tested endurance as well as strategy. Additionally, the games added Rotational Battles, which are a little like Triple Battles, though the order of Pokemon can be rotated whenever players choose.

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Pokemon X and Y - Mega Evolutions

Generation Six features Kalos, one of the most distinctive Pokemon regions, and it is inspired by France. Pokemon X and Y are noteworthy, as they introduced the Fairy-Type, which balances out the powerful Dragon-Type Pokemon, which many players had complained were dominating the competitive scene. Game Freak was bold with its battle gimmick this generation, as it introduced Mega Evolutions. If players have a Key Stone and the right Pokemon is holding the correct Mega Stone, they can trigger a Mega Evolution, which causes Pokemon to take on a new form for the duration of the battle. Mega Evolved Pokemon are more powerful, and they sometimes gain a new Type. Having a Pokemon Mega Evolve can drastically change the dynamic of a battle, and it led to some interesting new designs.

Pokemon Sun and Moon - Z-Moves

The last Pokemon games to release on the Nintendo 3DS are Pokemon Sun and Moon. These games greatly innovated the series by doing away with gym leaders and instead featuring the island challenge, which better suits Alola's tropical theme. The games also introduced regional forms, whereby past Pokemon get new forms, often with new Types. Pokemon Sun and Moon's also brought Z-Moves, which can be used if the Trainer is wearing a Z-Ring and the Pokemon is holding the appropriate Z-Crystal. Z-Moves are extremely powerful, and the Trainer strikes a pose before the move is executed.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing

Pokemon Sword and Shield are set in the Galar region, which is inspired by Great Britain. Thanks to the power of the Nintendo Switch, the games feature the Wild Area, which is an open-world area affected by the weather where Pokemon roam freely. The games introduced Dynamaxing, which allows players who have obtained a Dynamax Band to increase a Pokemon's size, raising their HP and changing their moves in the process. A handful of Pokemon with the Gigantamax Factor are also capable of Gigantamaxing, which grants them a different design in addition to G-Max Moves.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Terastallization

The next game in the series is Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. As trailers have shown, the games will have gamers exploring the Paldea region, which is inspired by Spain. Players have already gotten a look at the starters, as well as the legendary Pokemon which they will acquire early on in the game to help them get around Paldea. The generation's gimmick has also been revealed, which is Terastallization. Through the Terastal phenomenon, Pokemon take on a sparkling, crystal form, causing them to have enhanced stats.

As is the case with Mega Evolutions, some Pokemon will even change their Type, and the latest trailer showed a Flying-Type Terastallized Pikachu. Payers will also be able to team up to capture Terastallized Pokemon that are particularly strong. The latest Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer also confirmed that regional variants will be making a return, and one of the Pokemon that will be getting a variant is Wooper, who will be Poison/Ground Type. It seems the game still has plenty of secrets left, and gamers could still see some more gimmicks revealed.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are scheduled to release on 18 November 2022 on Nintendo Switch.

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