Sixth generation of Pokémon franchise hits shelves this weekend


The newest installment of the Pokémon franchise debuts this weekend and fans of all ages are abuzz.

Pokémon X and Y will be released for the Nintendo 3DS and, with advanced graphic capabilities, the creatures gamers know and love will be leaping off the screen the way fans have always wanted them to.

The latest Pokémon games have fans reminiscing about the originals.

“I remember being eight years old and we got for New Year’s a pocket Game Boy and with it we got Pokémon Red,” said Sheridan grad Amanda Kerman, 23, a member of the Looking For Gamers club.

Having shared the game with her two sisters, Kerman didn’t get to play it much but she still fell in love with its fantastical world.

“It was only for a year-and-a-half that I had to share with them. They got bored, I didn’t.”

Pokémon started in Japan in 1996 and found its way to North America in 1999 for Nintendo’s Game Boy hand-held console, which was just starting to grow in popularity among children.

Around the same time as the game’s release, a television show and card game were introduced, which helped captivate children’s hearts and minds worldwide.

With a Red and Blue version, each game had certain Pokémon its counterpart didn’t, which encouraged players to find others with the opposite version to trade with to complete the Pokédex, an encyclopedia on the 151 catchable monsters.

The Pokémon available in the latest game are the traditional three Grass, Fire and Water starters, Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie, respectively.

“I thought the starters looked cute,” said Bob Rylott, 22, another Sheridan alumnus and member of Looking For Gamers.

“I thought they were going to do another fire, fighting type but I’m glad they’re not doing that now. We’re getting a fire, psychic type fox and that’s really cool.”

One of the biggest additions to the series is Mega Evolutions, which fans have mixed opinions on.

“I was extremely skeptical at first because it’s pretty much Digimon now,” said Rylott, referencing another children’s show.

The new versions include the Pokémon Bank, a cloud service requiring an yearly fee of $4.99 to store up to 3,000 Pokémon over the Internet and to transfer your Pokémon from older games to X and Y.

On Oct. 11 from 3 to 9 p.m., what’s being called Canada’s Largest Pokémon Gathering will be held in Toronto on the WestJet Stage at the Harbourfront Centre. Costumed fans will receive a Poké Ball game case (while supplies last) and all fans will receive a secret commemorative item to celebrate the game’s international release.