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Pokemon has been a popular cartoon show, card game, and toy line since its first appearance in 1996. What stands out to most people, especially gamers, is the series of video games that have been developed based on the series. Over 200 million Pokemon games have been sold as of 2012 with the first games, Pokemon Red and Blue, released for Nintendo's Gameboy in 1998. There have been Pokemon games made for every Nintendo system, the most recent being Pokemon Black and White 2 for the Nintendo DS. Amongst the official Pokemon video games, there have been many versions of fan-made games based on the Pokemon series. Two fan-made games, Pokemon Tower Defense and Pokemon Tower Defense 2 have become particularly popular.
The Pokemon Tower Defense series is a flash game that was created by Sam Otero and Dan Bell of Sam and Dan Games. Released on March 20, 2011, it combines the memorable elements of the original Pokemon Gameboy games and television show with a slight early 90's Final Fantasy feel. It touches on modern gaming tactics such as the “waves” of Pokemon that players must battle which is similar to the “waves” of zombies in zombie mode of Call of Duty Black Ops. Of course, like its title, it is a tower defense game, which involves real-time strategy. Given all of the gaming aspects that Pokemon Tower Defense brings to the table, it is a sure-fire hit for gamers of all generations.
While this game brings back many familiar elements of the official Gameboy games, there are some differences. For example, it is much easier for players to train and level up their team in PTD. In the original games, players have to travel and encounter individual trainer battles in order for their team to gain experience. They can only send out one Pokemon at a time, which makes leveling up take longer. PTD is more fast paced and encourages that players use their entire team of Pokemon at the same time, which makes leveling up extremely easy. Similar to the original games, players can level up their team through battling boss Pokemon or just by traveling through training areas along the story. PTD uses “waves” of Pokemon that teams can battle per level, which also helps to quicken the training process. Areas that have large waves of Pokemon, such as 12 waves, are good areas for players to train.
In order to advance through each level, players will need to plan strategically. Strategic planning includes everything from picking their starter Pokemon to picking their team for the final battle. It is always best for players to begin catching Pokemon as soon as they can, which is easier in PTD than in the original games as players can simply drag the Pokeball icon over the weakened Pokemon that they wish to catch. By catching Pokemon early on in the game, such as the basic Caterpie and Pidgey, players will have a bigger and stronger team as they progress as opposed to players who wait for the bigger catches. It is easy for players to forget that mediocre Pokemon such as Caterpie do evolve into more useful Pokemon, in this case, Butterfree, who can pack a punch with its psychic and poisonous attack list. Strategies for battling the different Pokemon in the different levels will vary from player to player. For example, players who pick Charmander as their starter Pokemon will have a great advantage against levels with grass-type Pokemon but they may run into trouble with rock-type Pokemon. The best strategy does not involve knowing the game inside-out but rather relies on being an ultimate Pokemon fan. Players who have been gaming with Pokemon over the years will have the biggest advantage. The key is to just know what types are strongest against each other and what types are weakest against each other. From there, players will have to build their teams accordingly. This is where catching all types of Pokemon beginning from the earliest parts of the game is important. That Pidgey you caught in the first ten minutes of the game might come in handy five levels later.
All in all, Pokemon Tower Defense 1 and 2 are not insults to the Pokemon series but rather enhancers. Sam and Dan have created a refreshing walk down memory lane while still managing to stay current. The storyline is genuine, the controls and handling are easy, and the fun is endless. Newcomers to the Pokemon video game series may not appreciate these games as much as the “old school” Pokemon fans who grew up watching the show, however, PTD has done an excellent job in integrating all generations of Pokemon characters. Pokemon Tower Defense has created the pathway to this series' success. Pokemon Tower Defense 2 backs it up. If you are an avid gamer, Pokemon fan, or both, definitely do not pass up the chance to check this series out. You will not be disappointed.
As always, visit Sam and Dan blog for the latest news about Pokemon TD!
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