Games We Play: Pokémon Throwback
Growing up, we in some way or another had Pokémon in our lives. Those of us who grew up in the 90’s started from the beginning: with the cards, following Ash Ketchum and Pikachu as they traveled with Misty and Brock thwarting Team Rockets schemes, and the Video Games. The rest of you may have come in due to interest from family or when the DS games came out. However if you want to see how it all began or enjoy a huge wave of nostalgia, Netflix (who hasn’t been deterred by the Net Neutrality fiasco) has started releasing the first season of Pokemon.
The first season, known as the Indigo League, follows the beginning of Ash’s adventure and goes to his participation in the Pokemon League Championship. However at this moment Netflix does not have all the episodes up. The Entire Indigo League covers 80 episodes, however only the first 52 episodes have been put up, with the rest coming eventually. The first season of Black and White (the anime season inspired by the generation IV games Pokémon: Black and Pokémon: White) as well as the black and white movies will be available as well.
If you want to play some of the older games, then you have to go dig out your Gameboy, and Pokémon game (if you still have it) and hope the game still works. You could go out and buy the cartridge for the game. They’re hard to come by and can sometimes be very expensive, and again, the battery that powers the cartridge could be dead. But there is a solution, you can download an emulator and find the rom (read-only-memory) of the game.
For a while you could only play emulators on computers, certain consoles, certain phones (android), or if your iPhone was jailbroken. But back in 2012 Riley Testut, a high school student, and Paul Thorsen developed and designed the first emulator for iOS that didn’t need a jailbreak. GBA4iOS is an emulator that allows you to play Gameboy Advanced games on your iPhone, and is one of the easier emulators for the iOS.
While it is not an approved app for the iTunes App Store, you can download and play it on your iPhone with no issue what so ever. With the release of version 2.0 the app has multiple improvements, including the ability to play Gameboy and Gameboy color games in the same app. So you only need only one emulator. This means that you can play generations 1 through 3 of Pokémon on your iPhone, especially since Nintendo has no intent to release one of their most popular devices to the smartphone.
In a press release President Satoru Iwata of Nintendo Entertainment said that even though the WiiU and 3DS are failing to reach their projected sales, Nintendo will not release their key franchises, which includes Pokémon, on Smartphones.
“The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles. It’s not that simple,” Iwata said. “It doesn’t mean that we should put Mario on smartphones.”
So while Iwata ignores the fact that releasing 1st generation Pokémon on the iPhone for $5 could possibly save his company, you can enjoy the first 3 generations of Pokémon and thousands of other Gameboy games, for free. To download the app go to http://emu4ios.net/ or http://gba4iosapp.com/ details and FAQ on the app are on the site, as well as ways to contact the creators with any and all questions.