5 Things to do When You Can’t Play Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO has all but taken over the world and the timing couldn’t have been better. With this year being Pokémon’s 20th Anniversary, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Pokémon’s return to the Zeitgeist. Save these other Pokémon themed activities for a rainy day (or until they fix the tracking…) to make sure that your PokéVenture never stops!
Pokémon Sun and Moon
Sun and Moon may not release until November 18th, but that shouldn’t stop you from looking up every bit of information you can about it. After all, if you really want to be a Pokémon Master, you’re going to need to learn all of the new generation of Pokémon before they come to your favorite Augmented Reality Pocket Monster Catching Simulator.
Set in the region of Alola, Pokémon Sun and Moon is taking a tropical slant on the traditional Pokémon Formula. The game is coming with plenty of great improvements, such as max training to allow your Pokémon to become stronger after they’ve hit the level cap, new four-way battle modes, a talking Rotom (which is a Pokémon from the 4the generation) based Pokédex. The most important feature however, is the ability to hair dry your Pikachu whenever they get wet and it’s so cute because you get to pamper them up before they go out to battle or suntan or whatever a Pikachu wants to do… (I may be a little too excited about this new trailer…)
Regardless, Sun and Moon look to be a great entry into the series and definitely worth looking out for come this November.
Pokémon X and Y/Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Pokémon ORAS)
If you can’t wait until November to get your hands on some traditional Pokémon gameplay, the 3DS has you covered right now! Currently there is one new generation (Pokémon X and Y) and one remake of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire on Nintendo’s latest handheld. Which game you choose is really based on your current nostalgia of the Pokémon.
If you’ve never played a Pokémon game before Pokémon GO, X and Y is a great entry point into the main series. The first game to be fully 3D modeled, the game takes you through the region of Kalos and the Paris-inspired Lumoise City. Not to mention the game gives you a starter for the new generation, and from the first, so you can bring your Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle from Pokemon GO into your new adventure.
If you’re trying to relive your childhood Pokémon Adventures, Pokémon ORAS should be right up your alley. Remaking the adventures of Pokémon’s third generation, Ruby and Sapphire, ORAS takes players back to the Hoenn region and brings it into the new 3D engine. All of your favorite features from the originals are back and better than ever. Secret Bases, which where Pokémon’s equivalent of a tree fort safe house, now allow you to connect with other friends playing the game, to create very own gym. Pokémon ORAS is a great example of how to create a remake, and I can’t suggest it enough.
Nintendo’s Virtual Console
On February 20th, 1996, Pokémon Red and Green released in Japan. So to celebrate their 20th anniversary, The Pokémon Company did some pretty awesome things.
But on top of this crazy awesome 3DS (which I may or may not have in my pocket right now…) they also re-released Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow on the Nintendo eShop for 3DS! I went back and played Pokémon Yellow recently and it surprisingly holds up incredibly well! With the exception of missing the “Running Shoes” (which I am now convinced is the single greatest improvement in the Pokémon franchise). Although I don’t particularly recommend it to new players, if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, go back and relive the classic games!
Pokémon: Indigo League
Maybe you’re not into traditional video games, or just don’t have a 3DS. Don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to enjoy Pokémon. Did you know that Netflix has the first season of the American Anime? Referred to as Pokémon: Indigo League, the first season of the anime follows our young protagonist Ash Ketchum and his friends Brock, Misty, and of course, Pikachu, as they battle their way through the region of Kanto. While a little campy, and definitely aimed towards kids, the show remained enjoyable, even if Ash was a WAY worse trainer than 10-year-old me (I mean who puts a Pikachu against an Onyx, REALLY?!) If you grew up waiting for every new episode and sang the theme song during your elementary school Music Class (which was a surprise to no one), going back and watching the first 52 episodes is a pretty enjoyable trip back to Pokémon’s hey day.
However, if a newer anime, or a somewhat competent trainer, is something you crave, Pokémon Origins has got you covered. A four-part miniseries that released last year, the anime follows the adventures of Red and Blue, the original trainers from the first generation of games. While it may be over quickly, it is definitely worth the short watch. The story is pretty solid, and they even do some mini callbacks to the original games, like showing the save menu before the end of every episode. You can watch Pokémon Origins right now on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
The Trading Card Game
Finally, and most surprising to me, the Pokémon Trading Card Game is still around! Going to the Card Game section of your local superstore, will reveal a giant wall of card packs and decks of the TCG giant. I went back and bought a couple decks for my girlfriend and I to play, and it is still surprisingly fun! Taking turns, players must give their Pokémon “Energy Cards” so that they can use the attacks written on their cards. Decks can be bought for around $12 and they also offer a two-player “Trainer Kit” which gives two decks of 30 cards in place of the standard size of 60, allowing you to get into the game for even cheaper.
If you’re really enjoying the game, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series, they’ve launched a new set of cards known as the Generations set. This set focuses on remaking some of the cards that you may still have in a dusty binder or shoebox from the original sets, as well as adding in some of the newer and more powerful Pokémon from later generations. The cards are incredibly nice, and are only included in special sets that come with pens and special cards of various Legendary Pokémon throughout the generations. Although the price may be a little higher because of it, it’s a great way to quickly bulk up on some stronger cards to take down your friends!
So there we are, a list of activities to keep your Pokémon Buzz going when it’s a rainy day, or when the servers are down… What are some of your favorite Pokémon past times? What’s the best Pokémon you’ve caught in GO so far? And why not start a gang war in the comments section below?