Splatoon‘s latest Splatfest event is a true trial for the Nintendo faithful, asking participants one simple question: Pokemon Red or Pokemon Blue?
For many devout fans, picking a favorite first-generation Pokemon game is an impossibility. By the end of this weekend, however, one game will reign supreme as the top title among Pokemon connoisseurs.
Released in North America in 1998, Pokemon Red Version and Pokemon Blue Version ignited a new wave of popularity for Nintendo’s Game Boy portable console, and each sold millions of copies. Both games offer lightweight, kid-friendly RPG experiences that center around battling and collecting an army of superpowered fictional creatures.
The game’s dual-title launch forced many players to make a difficult decision before committing to a purchase, however. Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue each offer a different selection of collectible creatures, and fans frequently argue over the relative merits of each version.
In order to gather up all 151 Pokemon featured throughout Pokemon Red and Blue, players had to exchange collected Pokemon with friends using a Game Boy Link Cable. This aspect of gameplay became a standard feature in later Pokemon releases, and to date, many mainline series Pokemon games split their collectible creatures across two or more versions.
While some fanatical players purchased both Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue in order to complete their Pokemon collections, many players picked one version over the other at launch, resulting in a long-standing war over personal preference that rages decades later.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Pokemon’s release in Japan, and Nintendo plans to capitalize on fan nostalgia with upcoming Virtual Console releases of Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue for the Nintendo 3DS. Both ported games boast simulated Link Cable functionality via 3DS wireless technology, allowing players to trade their collected creatures in the same way as they did in 1996.
Nintendo will also release Pokemon Red and Blue-themed New 3DS and 2DS hardware bundles later this month in North America and Europe to commemorate the franchise’s anniversary.