The release of Pokemon X and Y is so close, you can smell it. With this new game, the dawn of a new generation is at hand. With any new generation (or sequel for that matter), there are always those who will complain that it’s “just not the same”. Every generation has its fanboys and fangirls who insist that the generation they grew up playing is the best, and everything after is a waste of time.
So what started this trend? That would be Pokemon Gold and Silver, the first real sequel to Pokemon Red/Green/Blue (or for the international releases, Red/Blue/Yellow). This new entry in the Pokemon franchise was a hit, selling oodles of copies and spreading the Pokemon bug even further. But alas, it wasn’t just a new area with new Pokemon. It changed several game mechanics and added new features, some to the dismay of previous players. Thus the “genwunner” was born.
I was around for the launch of both games and enjoyed them equally, and though I wouldn’t say I’m a true “genwunner” (I’m content with “gentooer”), I feel it’s my duty to help others understand why they think this way. So let’s take a look at the one big change Pokemon Gold and Silver have in common with Pokemon X and Y: new types
Generation 2 introduced two new Pokemon types- Dark and Steel. Dark was introduced as a counter to the ridiculously unbalanced Psychic type. Previously, Psychic Pokemon were only weak to Bug Pokemon and moves, and yet there were no moves strong enough to make it worthwhile. Psychic was originally supposed to be weak to Ghost, but a programming error made them immune. With Ghost repaired and new Dark moves to beat them down, Psychic Pokemon were no longer sure sweepers (though it’s still a popular type).
Steel was introduced as the physical counterpart to the special Dark type. The Magnemite family was made part Steel, and several original Pokemon were given Steel evolutions. Steel moves only hit double damage on two types, but they are amazingly defensive- resisting 11 types and negating 1. Their big weakness, though, is that they are weak to Fire, one of the most common starter Pokemon types.
It wasn’t enough to make waves that certain Pokemon were getting new types, as the focus was more on the new Pokemon. But the news that Eevee was getting a new evolution brought massive waves, and when “???” type was revealed to be Fairy, the internet exploded in response. “Fairy Pokemon taking down Dragon Pokemon? You mean that stupid Jigglypuff will destroy my Garchomp? NOO!!!”
The embargo on Pokemon X and Y information disappears this week with its official launch, so in the coming month we’ll be sure to get the straight scoop on how much Fairy changes the battle mechanic. But will it be as big for you as the addition of Dark and Steel was? Only one way to find out…