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

Cipher Peon

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Aug 19, 2013
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The first thing that came to mind before I clicked the thread was "Pokemon has never had a horror game."

I'd be so down for that.
 
Jun 13, 2014
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I'd say the only thing Mario has over Pokemon is the sports titles - Mario has not only racing, but tennis, golf, basketball and baseball. I don't know how those games would work in terms of Pokemon but I'm sure they could think of something. Maybe a bit like Mario Sports Mix where several games are featured (but then is that going into mini-game territory?) rather than a dedicated 'Pokemon Tennis' for example. I'd like to see it happen though. They could even base it off the Pokeathlon in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, like a Pokemon Olympics.

But I digress, apart from sports I'd say Pokemon is definitely one of, if not the most diverse. I'd like to see a return of some of those genres though, especially the ones that were only on Pokemon mini like the Platformer game. Could definitely have a revitalised version on the eShop.
 

Yoshi

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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.

Missing Shooter (Yoshi's Safari), Picross (as that was counted differently to puzzle in the op), arcade racer (Mario's Excitebike), Adventure (Mario is Missing, Luigi's Mansion), Minigame collection (Wario Ware series), rhythm (Mario's DDR, Donkey Konga)
 

ash_ag

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Jan 24, 2013
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On a somewhat related note, I recently started working on a reference spreadsheet with all Pokémon releases, and this is what I ended up with as sorted by genre:


Included are all Nintendo-endorsed games and software:
  • Retail and digital releases on Nintendo platforms
  • Pokémon GO
  • Pocket Pikachu 1 and 2
  • Smash Bros.

Not included:
  • e-Reader series (should probably add)
  • PokéPark Fishing Rally DS (not sure if to treat as a tech demo or a limited DL game...)
  • Monthly Coin Toss: Pokémon Card Magazine (technically Satellaview is a Nintendo platform, but... :p)
  • Pokémon Card Game: How To Play DS (Tie-in DS game, but not officially listed on website)
  • Pokémon Tretta Lab (Tie-in 3DS game, but not officially listed on website)
  • Mobile, PC, Flash and web software
  • Arcade games
  • Toy-based games
  • Tech demos
  • Licensed games on other systems (ie. the Sega Pico series)
  • Games and software that are contextually part of an already-included game (eg. PokéWalker, PokéTransporter, Relocator, etc.)
  • Appearances in crossovers that aren't Smash Bros.

If anyone wants to take a look at the spreadsheet, here it is: [Google Docs link]
Developers are still work-in-progress.
 

RionaaM

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Jul 6, 2012
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Some of these are stretches. And the only ones worth a damn really are the turn based RPGs.
Nope, Puzzle League and Challenge were really fun. As were the minigames in both Stadiums. I also liked what little I played of Rumble on Wii.
 

SilverArrow20XX

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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.

- Tower Defense (My Life as a Dark Lord and Crystal Defenders)
- Board Game Sim (Itadaki Street and Dice de Chocobo)
- Puzzle (Pictologica Final Fantasy)
- Trading Card Game (Final Fantasy Trading Card Game)
- Tamagotchi type (Chocobo World)

Tons of F2P mobile games too but we'll not count those.
 

randomkid

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Feb 7, 2007
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Considering all those puzzle game parsings in the OP, I think we can say Megaten can compete, here are all the dumb genre classifications I can think of off the top of my head:

Turn-based RPG (lots of em)
Action RPG (Raidou)
Tactics RPG (Devil Survivor)
RTS (Messiah Riser)
MMORPG (Imagine and P3 Social)
Strategy (Majin Tensei)
Dungeon Crawler (lots of em)
Battle Simulator (some mobile game I don't remember)
Pinball (SMT pinball)
Fighting (Arena games)
Rhythm (Dancing All Night)
Dating Simulation (lol)
Top-Down Action (Megami Tensei for Japanese computers)
Trading Card (Devil Children Card)
Action Puzzle (Jack Bros)
Sokoban Puzzle (SMT Puzzle)
Utility (those Devil Summoner Encylopedia on Saturn)
Pachinko

And probably some other genres buried in this big list of mobile games.

Also even though Catherine and Maken X aren't Megaten games some people seem to insist they are, so that would add a couple more genres to the list.
 

JoeM86

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Aug 11, 2012
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On a somewhat related note, I recently started working on a reference spreadsheet with all Pokémon releases, and this is what I ended up with as sorted by genre:



Included are all Nintendo-endorsed games and software:
  • Retail and digital releases on Nintendo platforms
  • Pokémon GO
  • Pocket Pikachu 1 and 2
  • Smash Bros.

Not included:
  • e-Reader series (should probably add)
  • PokéPark Fishing Rally DS (not sure if to treat as a tech demo or a limited DL game...)
  • Monthly Coin Toss: Pokémon Card Magazine (technically Satellaview is a Nintendo platform, but... :p)
  • Pokémon Card Game: How To Play DS (Tie-in DS game, but not officially listed on website)
  • Pokémon Tretta Lab (Tie-in 3DS game, but not officially listed on website)
  • Mobile, PC, Flash and web software
  • Arcade games
  • Toy-based games
  • Tech demos
  • Licensed games on other systems (ie. the Sega Pico series)
  • Games and software that are contextually part of an already-included game (eg. PokéWalker, PokéTransporter, Relocator, etc.)
  • Appearances in crossovers that aren't Smash Bros.

If anyone wants to take a look at the spreadsheet, here it is: [Google Docs link]
Developers are still work-in-progress.

I wouldn't really say that Zany Cards is Role Playing but great list :)
 

UncleSporky

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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.

- Tower Defense (My Life as a Dark Lord and Crystal Defenders)
- Board Game Sim (Itadaki Street and Dice de Chocobo)
- Puzzle (Pictologica Final Fantasy)
- Trading Card Game (Final Fantasy Trading Card Game)
- Tamagotchi type (Chocobo World)

Tons of F2P mobile games too but we'll not count those.

I'm surprised these lists don't include Final Fantasy Explorers, the just-released-in-the-West Monster Hunter type game. You could call it action/adventure with RPG elements.

Also Crystal Bearers on Wii, which also kind of defies categorization, kind of a third person action game.

So comparing this to OP with his 22 genres:

Turn-Based RPG - Games: 27 (17 sets)
Battle Simulator - Games: 4
Mini-Game Compilation - Games: 5ish
First Person Shooter -Games: 2
Virtual Pet - Games: 3+2 devices
Pinball - Games: 3
Card Game - Games 3
Match Puzzles - Games: 3
Tile Puzzle - Games: 1
Picross - Games: 1
Other Puzzles - Games: 2
Racing Game - Games: 2
2D Platformer - Games: 2ish
Roguelike - Games: 10 (6 sets)
Adventure - Games: 6
Action - Games: 4
Typing Adventure - Games: 1
Strategy RPG - Games: 1
Art Tutorial - Games: 1
Fighting - Games: 1
Cinematic Adventure - Games: 1
Utility - Software: 8

I dunno, I think some of those Pokemon genres could stand to be condensed. A lot of people would call match puzzles/tile puzzle/picross/other puzzles one "puzzle" genre.

Additionally, Final Fantasy covers a lot more of what people would consider traditional examples of their genres. Dirge of Cerberus is definitely a third person shooter, while Pokemon Snap kind of defies categorization or is fringe at best. Pokemon Dash is kind of a weird racing game while Chocobo Racing is an earnest and successful attempt at a Mario Kart-like.

FF really gives it a run for its money.
 

pirateluigi

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Apr 28, 2014
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A lot of these longrunning franchises have had some really.... diverse spin-offs. Sonic is up there, Mega Man has had quite a few, and DQ has had a bunch too.

For Sonic, I know there have been: Racing, 2D Platformer, 3D Platformer, RPG, Puzzle, Fighting, Pinball, Endless Runner, Sports, Educational, Adventure, Puzzle-Platformer, and I'm sure I'm missing a few.

If you count the Mario spin-off series like Wario and Yoshi then I don't think anything can beat Mario when it comes to genre diversity. Pokemon comes really close though.
 

kswiston

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

How do you figure that stuff like Triple Triad doesn't count? The version on iOS and Android isn't the same minigame that was in FF8. The cards are completely different and the rules have been expanded.
 

Boss Doggie

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Some of these are stretches. And the only ones worth a damn really are the turn based RPGs.
I dunno. Probably. Most of the non mainline games aren't very good so there is that.

last I checked one of the better pokemon games is a roguelike

How do you figure that stuff like Triple Triad doesn't count? The version on iOS and Android isn't the same minigame that was in FF8. The cards are completely different and the rules have been expanded.

I know of the cards but didn't know they changed the rules.

I feel it's for the worse? Because outside of Random bullshit, TT in FFVIII was perfect.
 

djtiesto

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Gotta give it to Mario, you have everything from dancing (DDR Mario Mix) to action-puzzle (Wrecking Crew), to a larger amount of RPGs than most mainline RPG series, to a painting game.

And for long-running series what do you think the least diverse one is? I'd say Street Fighter... only really been either 2D or 3D fighters. Surprised that even with Samurai Spirits RPG existing we never got an SF RPG...
 

SilverArrow20XX

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I'm surprised these lists don't include Final Fantasy Explorers, the just-released-in-the-West Monster Hunter type game. You could call it action/adventure with RPG elements.

Also Crystal Bearers on Wii, which also kind of defies categorization, kind of a third person action game.

So comparing this to OP with his 22 genres:

I'd still classify that as Action RPG, which is listed already. Crystal Bearers is more straight Action Adventure, so that's one more genre. There's also a number of arcade action types, which I'd replace FFVII Snowboarding with since Snowboarding isn't exactly a genre. That's still 21 genres, which easily beats OPs list if you don't split Puzzle into several genres like he did.
 

UncleSporky

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I'd still classify that as Action RPG, which is listed already. Crystal Bearers is more straight Action Adventure, so that's one more genre. There's also a number of arcade action types, which I'd replace FFVII Snowboarding with since Snowboarding isn't exactly a genre. That's still 21 genres, which easily beats OPs list if you don't split Puzzle into several genres like he did.

But Final Fantasy Adventure on the Game Boy feels totally different from Final Fantasy Explorers. 2D vs. 3D, maybe? But also the pace of gameplay, the feel, the systems at play. Being about grinding and crafting instead of playing through a story.
 

Boss Doggie

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But Final Fantasy Adventure on the Game Boy feels totally different from Final Fantasy Explorers. 2D vs. 3D, maybe? But also the pace of gameplay, the feel, the systems at play. Being about grinding and crafting instead of playing through a story.

RPGs are like that though.
 

correojon

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As some have said some of the genres in the OP feel like stretching it, so many puzzle and RPG variations could be 10 or just 2 genres depending on how you look at it. Anyway, I feel Mario has more variety, specially because the genres are much more diverse than those "subgenres" in the OP. I mean, you could put Strikers, Kart, the Olympic games, Golf, Tennis...under "Sports" and make them count under 1 genre, but no one would disagree that those games are much more different than those in the OT under Turn-based RPG and Battle Sim, to name an example.
 

Zombegoast

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The first thing that came to mind before I clicked the thread was "Pokemon has never had a horror game."

I'd be so down for that.

Pokemon Snap X Fatal Frame. It's not like Pokemon has never taken a dark path with it's manga with an Arbok being cut in half and the Psyduck.

Do it Masuda.
 

Boss Doggie

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People still going on with "spin-offs are bad" eh? Eh whatever makes them sleep I guess.

I know that Star Wars is more than a game series, but it would be a good contender.

It needs an adventure game. Surprised Lucasarts didn't make one... or maybe I haven't heard of it.
 

Berordn

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I know that Star Wars is more than a game series, but it would be a good contender.

Come to think of it, yeah. It runs the gamut from FMV game to CRPG to Dancing Sim. Add in non-electronic games and it dwarfs most everything.
 

Battlechili

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Pokemon is a lot more diverse than I realized. Although aren't most of the spinoffs, even as different as they are from each other, fairly sub-par? Like, the mainline games, Orre games, Snap, and Mystery Dungeon games are fine, but otherwise....
Final Fantasy and Mario, and those series' spinoffs contain actual good games here and there too.
This implies that Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games aren't good.
I'd argue they're better than the mainline Pokemon games and directly comparable with high class JRPGs.I mean, they're actually hard and have fantastic storylines
that may be argued to put Final Fantasy to shame
The first thing that came to mind before I clicked the thread was "Pokemon has never had a horror game."

I'd be so down for that.
This reminds me of when Junji Ito was doing some stuff for Pokemon.
http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/17/6995959/pokemon-junji-ito-manga-kowapoke
 

omgwtfbentime

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I think Mario probably has it beat, but considering pokemon is like 15 years younger its impressive regardless. Pokemon is such a huge franchise for Nintendo, I could argue there was a stretch of time where it defined them more than Mario did.