The Popularity of the Pokemon Series

Pokemon, or Pocket Monster, started out as a video game for Nintendo’s original handheld system, the Game Boy. It was the brainchild of creator Satoshi Tajiri. His early fascination with collecting bugs led to the concept of then having those bugs battling it out on a monochromatic screen. What started as a simple turn-based battle game has developed into one of the most popular properties in the world.

Including spinoffs, Pokemon video games have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. It is second only to the Mario properties from the publisher Nintendo. Pokemon Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire was the top selling 3DS games in 2014. It managed to outsell Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Kirby: Triple Deluxe combined. However, it transcends just video games.

Just eight short months after the initial release of the first Pokemon video game Red and Blue in 1998, Pokemon the Trading Card Game launched. This was the Pokemon Company’s answer to Magic the Gathering. It was designed a younger audience than Magic. For the last two decades, it has ranked as one of the single best selling Trading Card Games on the market. In fact, World Champions are crowned every year with prizes like college scholarships going to the winners.

We would be remiss not to talk about other areas where Pokemon has flourished. On the small screen, Pokemon is one of the longest running television series in the United States. As of this writing, it is in its eighteenth season that has spanned 851 episodes. By comparison, Fox’s popular primetime animated series the Simpsons has had only 568 episodes. Pokemon has also released seventeen feature-length movies. Last but certainly not least, the Pokemon Adventure manga is on volume 52 with no end in sight.

To say that the Pokemon property is successful is a gross understatement. As a matter of fact, a 2014 report from the publication License Global ranks it as the number forty most profitable license in the world. It averages roughly $1.5 billion per year. That is certainly not too bad for a bug collection.

Best of the Wii U Games

Two Franchises Making A Strong Comeback

The Nintendo console has had several strong reoccurring series throughout the years, and in their latest incarnation of the Wii U two titles in particular have shown that you can in fact re-invent the wheel. While such games as the Super Mario series will always hold a place near and dear to my heart there are two that have been released so far that have been shining stars that revitalized the lagging console. While everyone has their vision of what games would constitute as the best it’s these two in my opinion that truly embody what the Wii U was built for; a console that brings people together.

Mario Kart 8

A racing game that has survived longer then most in it’s genre, Mario Kart 8 continues to bring a fun but competitive game to the Wii U. The level design is breathtaking as they have both new courses as well as a revamp of several old ones. Old and new characters have also been included in the game and a new go kart design system allows the player to specialize their cart however they wish, and the controls themselves can be designated to the Wii U gamepad, the Wii mote, and several other controllers that are compatible with the system. While the battle mode had been toned down considerably the Grand Prix is something that players will enjoy over and over again, and with the reasonably priced DLC that’s dropping on it there will be even more for Mario Kart fans to enjoy.

Super Smash Bros for the Wii U

A call-back to the original Gamecube version, the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros takes the competitive brawler and includes many of the old mechanics that were lacking in the previous installment for the Wii. There are a multitude of modes that the player can engage in, from solo modes where the player matches wits with the computer to the impressive eight player match that is a flurry of fighting. With dozens of stages and the ability to create your own as well Super Smash Bros for the Wii U is not only one of the best fighting games for the console but one of the better fighting games all around.