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Is Pokémon the most genre diverse video game series of all time?

JoeM86

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Aug 11, 2012
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When Detective Pikachu was confirmed to actually still exist on Tuesday, a comment caught my eye

So, what genre has Pokemon not tackled yet?

It got me thinking. Recently I've been applauding The Pokémon Company for how diverse the spin-offs have been the last few years, but now I'm thinking that Pokémon may have even Mario beat in terms of the variety of game genres it has covered.

Let me list it out for you since I'm bored at the moment, not including apps. Most are how TPC listed them, but there is a little liberty here and there. Correct me if you think I'm wrong with some.

Turn-Based RPG - Games: 27 (17 sets)

Obviously the main games are the focal point and are a turn-based RPG. This is the core of Pokémon.
Game List:
Pokémon Red/Green, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Gold/Silver, Pokémon Crystal, Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire, Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen, Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon XD: Gales of Darkness, Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, Pokémon Platinum, Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Pokémon Black/White, Pokémon Black 2/White 2, Pokémon X/Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

Battle Simulator - Games: 4

Obviously this is a genre essentially created by/for Pokémon and somewhat a sub-genre. It takes the mechanics of the above and just uses them for battles, removing the RPG aspect.
Games: Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, Pokémon Battle Revolution

Mini-Game Compilation - Games: 5ish

Nintendo was well known for having mini-game compilations on the Wii and Pokémon has had a fair few of them. However, most of the mini-games were a part of other games such as in Stadium and PokéPark titles so not always the main focus
Games: Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, Pokémon Party mini, Pichu Bros. Mini, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, Pokémon e-Reader mini-games

First Person Shooter -Games: 2

Yeah that's right. Pokémon Snap is for all intents and purposes an on-rails first person shooter. Who'd have thought? Granted, you're not killing the Pokémon, but you're shooting them...on film. Dream Radar is an Augmented Reality FPS too
Games: Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Dream Radar

Virtual Pet - Games: 3+2 devices

This one was a hard genre to pin down. Basically, you look after a Pokémon. Some involve feeding, others do not. I think Pokémon Channel fits here but feel free to correct me
Games: Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokémon Channel, Pokémon Breeder mini, Pocket Pikachu, Pocket Pikachu 2

Pinball - Games: 3

Pinball is an underconsidered genre, but it's one on its own. Three Pokémon Pinball games have existed, but none since 2003
Games: Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Pinball mini, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

Card Game - Games 3

There have been numerous card games. Some based on the actual TCG, others on more traditional card games
Games: Pokémon Trading Card Game, Pokémon Card GB 2: Here Comes Team Great Rocket, Pokémon Zany Cards

There's multiple puzzle games of various different genres too, but you can count it as just one if you want

Match Puzzles - Games: 3

Match-3 puzzles have been a massive thing on mobile, but Pokémon has been doing it since 2000 with Puzzle League and then with the Pokémon Trozei series, which has massive mechanic shifts each release.
Games: Pokémon Puzzle League, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, Pokémon Shuffle, Pokémon Trozei, Pokémon Battle Trozei

Tile Puzzle - Games: 1

Basically it's Tetris. Enough said
Games: Pokémon Tetris

Picross - Games: 1

Basically it's Picross. Enough said
Games: Pokémon Picross

Other Puzzles - Games: 2

Pokémon had a couple of puzzle collections on the Pokémon mini, I found them hard to define. I'll amend if suggestions
Games: Pokémon Puzzle Collection, Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2

Racing Game - Games: 2

There have been two dedicated Pokémon racing games. One on the Pokémon mini, the other on the Nintendo DS being the much maligned Pokémon Dash
Games: Pokémon Race mini, Pokémon Dash

2D Platformer - Games: 2ish

There's two 2D platformers. Sort of. Pokémon Race mini, while a racing title, is solely a 2D platformer. The other is one you created yourself using e-Reader cards
Games: Pokémon Race mini, Pokémon e-Reader Construction Block game

Roguelike - Games: 10 (6 sets)

The classic Mystery Dungeon game shifted into Pokémon. Mystery Dungeon is the most popular of the Pokémon spin-off games, though that popularity has gone down somewhat in recent years.
Games: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky,
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Keep Going! Blazing Adventure Squad/Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Let's Go! Stormy Adventure Squad!/Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Go For It! Light Adventure Squad, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon

Adventure - Games: 6

The Pokémon Adventure games are quite different, almost to being in a separate genre. Pokémon Ranger players differently to Togepi which plays differently to PokéPark, but such is Action/Adventure
Games: Togepi's Great Adventure, Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Ranger Shadows of Almia, Pokémon Ranger Guardian Signs, PokéPark Wii - Pikachu's Adventure, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond

Action - Games: 4

Not quite adventure, but definitely action. This is where TPC lists the Pokémon Rumble games.
Games: Pokémon Rumble, Pokémon Rumble Blast, Pokémon Rumble U, Pokémon Rumble World, Band of Thieves & 1000 Pokémon (TPC list this as a StreetPass Game, but no.)

Typing Adventure - Games: 1

A unique genre that follows on from Typing of the Dead. Basically type a Pokémon to capture it as it goes through the level
Games: Pokémon Typing Adventure

Strategy RPG - Games: 1

Basically an RPG you have to consider placement and strategies rather than just go in and attack. This game was a crossover with the Nobunaga's Ambition series.
Games: Pokémon Conquest

Art Tutorial - Games: 1

Essentially tutorials on how to draw but with a Pokémon twist.
Games: Pokémon Art Academy

Fighting - Games: 1

Although The Pokémon Company lists it as "Pokémon Action Battle", this is quite clearly a Fighting Game. Player vs player across 3 rounds to work out who is the best
Games: Pokkén Tournament

Cinematic Adventure - Games: 1

And the game which caused this discussion. Cinematic Adventure is still quite unclear but that's the genre of the game
Games: Detective Pikachu ~Birth of a New Duo~

Utility - Software: 8

Basically software that aids your main game, but none of them are actually games
Software: Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire, Pokémon Ranch, Pokémon Bank, Poké Transporter, Pokédex 3D, Pokédex 3D Pro, Pokémon Tretta Lab, Pokémon TCG How To Play DS

Think I've got them all

tl;dr: That's 22 genres covered. Has Pokémon beaten Mario? What's your favourite spin-off?
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
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I'd give the edge to Final Fantasy or something.

Pokemon doesn't even have an MMO.
 

Nanashrew

Banned
Feb 16, 2014
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I think they're roughly on par now. Both brands offering a huge diversity of genres and styles.

We need a Pokemon kart racer. In general we need more kart racers.
 

random25

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May 23, 2014
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Mario?

2D platformer
3D platformer
Kart racer
Fighting
Party/Board game
Sports
Game creator
Paint
RPG
Puzzle

I'm sure I'm still missing something.
 

Yrael

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May 12, 2014
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My favourite of the spin-offs is by far Pokemon Snap.

And yes, I'm still bitter that a sequel hasn't been made for the Wii U or 3DS.
 
Jan 18, 2013
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Show your work :p

I can only think of 4 genres for Final Fantasy games...

Off the top of my head
RPG
MMORPG
Minigame collection (that chocobo thing on the DS. Also doubled as a tcg surprisingly)
Turn based strategy (tactics series)
City builder thing (my life as a King)
Rhythm (theatrhythm)


I'd guess the most diverse franchise is probably Mario
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,641
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Show your work :p

I can only think of 4 genres for Final Fantasy games...

-Turn based RPG (FFI-III) + Active time RPG (FFIV-IX + X-2) + Charge Time RPG (FFX) (counting them as one category to be kind)
-Action RPG (FF Adventure - it has FF branding in Japan too, nerds - FFXV, Crisis Core)
-MMO (FFXI and XIV)
-Tactical role-playing game (FF Tactics, FFTA, FFTA-2)
-Racing game (Chocobo Racing and G-bike)
-Real time strategy game (FFXII Revenant Wings)
-Minigame collection (Chocobo Fables)
-Card game (Triple Triad and Tetra Master)
-Traditional Fighting game (Ehrgeiz)
-Arena fighting game (Dissidia)
-Rhythm music game (Theatrhytm)
-Third person Shooter (Dirge of Cerberus)
-City builder (My life as a King)
-Roguelike (Chocobo's mysterious dungeon)
-Snowboarding (FFVII snowboarding for mobile)

There are more. But I've gotta jet.
 

LaronX

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Feb 23, 2015
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Show your work :p

I can only think of 4 genres for Final Fantasy games...


JRPG for the main series,

action rpg co-op for Crystal Chronicles

tactics games for FF tactics

adventure game for FF legends

third person shooter game for digger of cerberus

third person action for the upcoming FFXV and FFVII

fighitng game for the Dissidia games

MMORPG for FFXI and FFXII

Racing games in the chocobo racing ones

rhytem game in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Monster hunter like co-op game in exploers


That's all I can think of there is still some mobile game things that are japan only and I am almost sure there is also a puzzle game. Still not as moány as Pokemon I think, but more then 4.
 

Zalman

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It's pretty cool how flexible the franchise has become. For some reason I've had a pessimistic view on Pokémon spin-offs, but I've actually enjoyed a good amount of them.

Stadium 1 & 2
Snap
Puzzle League
Colosseum & XD
Pinball
Mystery Dungeon (Sky)
Conquest
Art Academy
And hopefully Pokkén

I've heard okay things about the PokéPark series, but for some reason never tried them.
 

Cikay

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Nov 5, 2013
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Off the top of my head
RPG
MMORPG
Minigame collection (that chocobo thing on the DS. Also doubled as a tcg surprisingly)
Turn based strategy (tactics series)
City builder thing (my life as a King)
Rhythm (theatrhythm)

RTS (FFXII: Revenant Wings)
Roguelike (Chocobo Dungeon)
Fighting (Dissidia)
 

JoeM86

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-Turn based RPG (FFI-III) + Active time RPG (FFIV-IX + X-2) + Charge Time RPG (FFX) (counting them as one category to be kind)
-Action RPG (FF Adventure - it has FF branding in Japan too, nerds - FFXV, Crisis Core)
-MMO (FFXI and XIV)
-Tactical role-playing game (FF Tactics, FFTA, FFTA-2)
-Racing game (Chocobo Racing and G-bike)
-Real time strategy game (FFXII Revenant Wings)
-Minigame collection (Chocobo Fables)
-Traditional Fighting game (Ehrgeiz)
-Arena fighting game (Dissidia)
-Rhythm music game (Theatrhytm)
-Third person Shooter (Dirge of Cerberus)
-City builder (My life as a King)
-Roguelike (Chocobo's mysterious dungeon)
-Snowboarding (FFVII snowboarding for mobile)

There are more. But I've gotta jet.

I stand corrected.

If we're including mobile then I can add a few more into this though :)

I've heard okay things about the PokéPark series, but for some reason never tried them.

PokéPark 2 is severely underrated. Had such fun with that game and I long for a Wii U sequel.
 

fredrancour

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i'm eagerly awaiting the days that we get rhythm game and party game spinoffs. gimme my shameless mario party clone so that my friends and i can make a drinking game out of it. gimme an elite beat agents inspried pokemon rhythm game because the original EBA was too good for this world so i'll take what i can get.



...wait am i imagining things or is one of the weird japan-only mobile games a rhythm game? maybe my brain made that up.

edit: i too feel vaguely tempted to try pokepark for some reason.
 

Yrael

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May 12, 2014
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Mario?

2D platformer
3D platformer
Kart racer
Fighting
Party/Board game
Sports
Game creator
Paint
RPG
Puzzle

I'm sure I'm still missing something.

Tetris (Dr. Mario), though this fits under puzzle
Rail shooter (Yoshi's Safari)
Educational (Mario's Early Years)
Rhythm (Mario's Rhythm Heaven)
Survival Horror (Luigi's Mansion...kinda, lol)
Typing (Mario Teaches Typing)
 
It's really going to depend on what you define as a genre, which can get fairly complicated quite quickly. For instance, you have multiple puzzle genres, which could all arguably be considered a single genre or distinct genres as you list them. So when you start comparing another franchise, like Mario, a bunch of questions start popping up. For instance, are all Mario Sports games the same genre? Because Mario Tennis (GBC), Mario Strikers, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games are all very different games. Even among the remaining sports games there's a lot of diversity, with fuzzy dividing lines. Going into other genres, do we count 2D and 3D platformers separately, or together? You also have odd games like Super Paper Mario which is sort of an RPG/platformer hybrid.

And then of course, there's the debate of what is a Mario game. Strictly something headlined by Mario? Anything with Mario in it? Anything with a Mario universe character? Because Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Wario really complicate things.

tl;dr it's either Mario or Pokémon, but it really depends on your definitions.
 

Boss Doggie

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Jul 1, 2008
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As much as I think of Pokemon having big, Mario seems to have been so much that they got it in everything, only missing really is a cinematic adventure/visual novel game.

-Turn based RPG (FFI-III) + Active time RPG (FFIV-IX + X-2) + Charge Time RPG (FFX) (counting them as one category to be kind)
-Action RPG (FF Adventure - it has FF branding in Japan too, nerds - FFXV, Crisis Core)
-MMO (FFXI and XIV)
-Tactical role-playing game (FF Tactics, FFTA, FFTA-2)
-Racing game (Chocobo Racing and G-bike)
-Real time strategy game (FFXII Revenant Wings)
-Minigame collection (Chocobo Fables)
-Card game (Triple Triad and Tetra Master)
-Traditional Fighting game (Ehrgeiz)
-Arena fighting game (Dissidia)
-Rhythm music game (Theatrhytm)
-Third person Shooter (Dirge of Cerberus)
-City builder (My life as a King)
-Roguelike (Chocobo's mysterious dungeon)
-Snowboarding (FFVII snowboarding for mobile)

There are more. But I've gotta jet.

Some of those are minigames from main games that "spun off", so I don't think they count.

Also I disagree on Ehrgeiz on the grounds that it's not a final fantasy game. It's like saying Killer Instinct is a battletoads game.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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I have to agree with some people here that the Final Fantasy list including mini games that appear in the RPG main series doesn't count.

Also Ehrgeiz. The only tangible part is they had cloud in it. If that's the case, Yoshi now has a fighting game on its belt
 

rjc571

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Jun 23, 2012
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-Turn based RPG (FFI-III) + Active time RPG (FFIV-IX + X-2) + Charge Time RPG (FFX) (counting them as one category to be kind)
-Action RPG (FF Adventure - it has FF branding in Japan too, nerds - FFXV, Crisis Core)
-MMO (FFXI and XIV)
-Tactical role-playing game (FF Tactics, FFTA, FFTA-2)
-Racing game (Chocobo Racing and G-bike)
-Real time strategy game (FFXII Revenant Wings)
-Minigame collection (Chocobo Fables)
-Card game (Triple Triad and Tetra Master)
-Traditional Fighting game (Ehrgeiz)
-Arena fighting game (Dissidia)
-Rhythm music game (Theatrhytm)
-Third person Shooter (Dirge of Cerberus)
-City builder (My life as a King)
-Roguelike (Chocobo's mysterious dungeon)
-Snowboarding (FFVII snowboarding for mobile)

There are more. But I've gotta jet.

You could probably throw in Crystal Bearers as an Action-Adventure
 

neurosyphilis

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Jun 16, 2015
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Some of these are stretches. And the only ones worth a damn really are the turn based RPGs.
 

NHarmonic.

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The only Pokémon spinoff worth paying imo is Pokémon Puzzle League aka 3D mode infinite ?? Combos.

Conquest is a lot of fun. I'm still wishing for a sequel.

And i sure keep wishing for a challenging new game in the main series, and a focus post-game that isn't the breeding aspect that's boring as fuck.
 

L.O.R.D

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Apr 14, 2011
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really ?
the pokemon levels in harmoknight , i still count it as Rhythm game.

they should make stand alone Rhythm game for pokemon.
 

ash_ag

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Jan 24, 2013
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Interesting topic! You could also classify Pokémon Ranger as an Action/RPG for the most part, which is another major sub-genre Pokémon isn't thought to have touched. Unlike PokéPark, which is more of a super-lite Action-adventure game (like, say, roughly Zelda), Ranger has plenty RPG elements, from stats and stats boosting to an RPG-like story formula.