The 27th of February is a big day for Pokémon, marking 25 long years since the franchise took its first steps, releasing Pokémon Red and Blue on the Nintendo Game Boy. Whether you were introduced to Pokémon by the video games, anime, manga, trading card game or even Pokémon Go, it’s a series that’s been impossible to ignore. Pokémon is still a cultural phenomenon, so much so that just in the last couple of years we’ve seen illumination shows, specially made manhole covers and Pikachu weddings.
Part of what’s kept the energy alive is how dedicated the community around Pokémon has been, creating an amazing amount of fan art and new ways to play through the games. I remember trading cards at school, but now there’s streamers doing Nuzlocke runs on twitter and experts on IV and EV training who have really studied the details of these decidedly retro games.
However deep fans have ventured into this enormous world, for most people the simple charm of fantastic creatures and unique journeys is what originally drew them in. So what kind of fantastic and unique celebrations does Nintendo have planned?
Luckily we don’t have to be too patient, since lots of special campaigns are already underway. If you really want to feel like kid collecting Pokémon again you could try getting your hands on a Macdonald’s Happy Meal, which are now being sold with limited edition packs of Pokémon Trading Cards. For players of Pokemon Sword and Shield there’s a unique singing Pikachu to catch, and from the 21st Pokemon Go is will be holding a Kanto Region themed event, taking us back to where it all began.
We know Nintendo has more in store for us this year, but they’re being careful with information for now. What we can expect for sure is the return of the fan favourite ‘Pokemon Snap’, a sequel to the photography game which came out more than 20 years ago. Thanks to smartphones it’s much easier to get a good photo nowadays, which just shows how long fans have been asking for an updated version of the game. Unlike the re-release on the Nintendo Wii, this will be a totally new adventure, featuring a new professor and mystery to uncover. Could this casual exploration game be another perfect hit during quarantine?
Virtual celebrations are fairly normal at this point, but I hadn’t been expecting Nintendo to announce a Virtual Concert would be taking place on Pokémon Day. The P25 Music Campaign will be kicking off online, with the Pokémon homepage and TV app showing music themed episodes from the series. I couldn’t have predicted who the headline acts of the virtual show would be either, but apparently none other than Katy Perry and Post Malone will be preforming live and streaming free via Youtube and Twitch. You should definitely check out the trailer starring Post Malone because it’s a weird mix of serious narration and CGI transformation, which feels pretty bizarre.
Anything could be announced on the 27th while we’re tuned in to watch the virtual concert. Maybe remakes of Diamond and Pearl? A new Detective Pikachu Film? Pokémon in Fortnite? We’ll just have to find out when Pokémon finally turns 25!
Image source: Pokemon Homepage