Gamefreak's Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version were first released in Japan on February 27, 1996. Feeling old yet? Since that day the brand and its associated monsters have exploded across the globe in the form of video games, trading cards, TV shows, movies, toys, and more, growing continually more popular every year.
Twenty years later Nintendo is still releasing new Pokémon games set in new worlds filled with new Pokémon, with fans continuing to purchase and experience these titles as passionately as they did the original games. For some fans however, Pokémon Red and Blue hold a special place in their hearts as a magical childhood title that hasn't been replicated since the days of Game Boy.
To appease those fans, The Pokémon Company has announced that Red and Blue are returning this February 27th on Pokémon Day, the game franchise's 20th anniversary. Alongside this re-release Nintendo is launching a 3DS bundle (pictured above) that includes a customizable system with Red and Blue Version already pre-installed. A slew of other Pokémon related items are also being released on Pokémon Day, including the Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion, a selection of best-selling amiibos, special digitally distributed legendary Pokémon for the most modern game installments, 12 full length feature films available for download on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon, and a cornucopia of merchandise
To download the games, fans will need to purchase and download them from the Nintendo eShop accessible on the Nintendo 3DS system. Players can then experience evolving their Charmanders, collecting gym badges, battling the Elite Four, and catching 'em all in the Kanto region on the comfort of the most modern Nintendo handheld platform. The system comes with the games pre-downloaded for convenience, an exclusive home theme for the system, and cover plates for the 3DS which are adorned with the signature Charizard and Blastoise artwork from Red and Blue Version.
The Pokémon Company is sparing no expense in advertising the brand or its milestone anniversary. On February 7th they will air a Superbowl 50 advertisement that will encourage fans to get engaged across social media and to get excited for Pokémon Day. Fans are also encouraged to get involved on Pokémon Day by traveling to select retailers to celebrate with other fans and to begin to collect Mew, Darkrai, Arceus, and Genesect, which will be digitally distributed at these retailers throughout the year starting on February 27th.
Hopefully experiencing these titles again today will be just as fantastical as it was twenty years ago, but there is a possibility for disappointment. Fans who haven't kept up with the series may not find the interest they once did, and fans who have vigorously experienced every new release may find it disappointing when some of their new favorite Pokémon are not available. Memories of this childhood nostalgia may not match the delivered product for some. For many and most however, just experiencing the journey from Pallet Town one more time will be enough to enchant many afternoons to come.
Pokemon Red & Blue will rerelease on Nintendo 3DS on February 27th, 2016.
Source: Business Wire