Monday, January 20, 2014

3 (Free) Websites That Will Make You Love Pokémon Again
By Justin Rose
If you’re enrolled at Whitman College right now, you likely grew up during the golden age of Pokémon. When the first games were released in 1996, they caused an international sensation that has not abated to this day. While there are now 718 creatures to catch instead of 150, Pokémon is still just as fun as it was when we were younger. But it does cost money to play the games, something we as college students notoriously lack. With the most recent generation clocking in at $39.99 for the game and the Nintendo 3DS at around $200, that’s a significant drop in the bucket. But if you want to relive your childhood and battle monsters and gym leaders once more, here’s three free websites you can use that won’t cost a cent.
#1: Play All The Classic Pokémon Games At
If you’re looking to start a new Pokémon adventure, look no further than, a free site in which you can play the first two generations of Pokémon games on your computer. This includes first-gen games Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, and Pokémon Yellow, as well as the second-gen Pokémon Silver, Pokémon Gold, and Pokémon Crystal. The controls are simple and in no time you’ll feel like you’re playing on a Gameboy Classic once again. The best part? If you take the extra minute to register for an account, you can save your progress and play your game on any computer. Another interesting feature is the “Saves” tab, which allows you to pick up other Pokémon Trainers’ journey wherever they saved and play with the teams they built. If you get bored of Pokémon (impossible, I know) there are also classic games like Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Bros Deluxe to play.
#2: Battle for Free With Pokémon Showdown
At risk of revealing myself as a huge Pokémon nerd, I love Pokémon Showdown. With an intuitive interface and two-second account registration, it’s absurdly easy to start battling. Using the TeamBuilder feature, you can start a team from scratch and alter their stats, items, and moves to fit your tastes. With an active server of about five to ten thousand trainers online at any given time, you’ll never be without someone to battle.  If you don’t have time to meticulously build that perfect team (I know I don’t), just sign in and select the Random Battle mode. You’ll be assigned six random Pokémon and pitted against another trainer in their same predicament. No matter which mode you choose (there are over 40 and counting), winning battles will increase your rank. The more you win the more experienced players you face. For a quick battle to break the monotony of studying, or to test your wits against other seasoned veterans, Pokémon Showdown is a slam-dunk.

#3 Everything There Is To Know About Pokémon Is On Bulbapedia
I know you just read that title and thought, “Okay, not EVERYTHING there is to know”. But you’d be wrong, and here’s why. Largely considered to be one of the most active Wikipedia communities, Bulbapedia is a huge sprawling community that is constantly updating and adding new information. Pokémon has changed a lot since 1996, and this is a one-stop shop for information. Whether you’re curious about what the new generations of Pokémon look like (they have ones that are piles of trash and ice cream cones now) or want to know what’s up with Ash and the television series (he’s still 10 years old somehow), this is the place to go. If you’re battling with the games, there is also a lot of very useful statistical information to help form a powerful team.