There are currently 802 different Pokemon that currently exist in the games, movies, and television show. As someone who generally loves Pokemon, who played each version of the game with vigor and who watched Ash Ketchum routinely use his Pikachu in the most unbelievably idiotic battle situations on the television, 802 is too many. Not only are there 802 different Pokemon, but that doesn’t include dozens of variations of those—forms and ‘mega evolutions’—that bring the total closer to 900.
When Pokemon was the Big Deal in the late 90s—remember those Burger King toys?—there were only 150 Pokemon. Mew was the 151st, but Mew was basically unattainable in the games, and by the time the Mew Pokemon card found its way to America, Pokemon Gold and Silver had already added another 100 creatures to the list.
So 150 was the original number, and it’s a large enough group to have some serious diversity but small enough to grasp the overall idea. Many millennials proclaim their love for Pokemon, but can only name Pokemon in that original group. “They’re the best ones,” these casual gamer millennials will say.
Let’s get this out of the way: the original group are not the ‘best ones.’ One of them is named Mr. Mime, and he’s a mime. Muk is a blob of poison. Exeggcute is literally just eggs. These are not bastions of creativity. Farfetch’d is a bird with a stick. There is nothing inherently fantastic about the designs of the originals. In fact, there are a lot of truly great designs even to this day.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz wrote a book called The Paradox of Choice, which outlines that although having choices is a good thing, too much choice is bad. I think that paradox applies to Pokemon. When the roster of creatures was at 150, you could interact with the group as a whole in the context of the games or movies. Even at 250, it was manageable.
But 802? Forget it. Too much choice. Give me my Gyarados, Charizard, and Gengar, thank you very much.
Yes, that was 350 words about Pokemon. It’s Game 150 and the Royals are the walking dead. Deal. With it. Nothing is real and everything is a lie.
Here are the lineups. Kansas City: