It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Some of you may recognize that as a quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (1859), but I could think of nothing more apt to describe 2016. For the Pokémon community it was certainly a standout year and perhaps the best we could have hoped for in honor of the series’ 20th anniversary. The rest of the world fared much worse however, and it is hard to overlook the political changes that have no doubt touched many fans across the world.

Pokémon Go

Many doubted that a mobile Pokémon experience, featuring augmented reality no less, could capture the feel of the series and deliver something worth playing—myself included—but the end result was something that would make 2016 the year Pokémon made its comeback.

While not the most avid player myself, there was something definitely surreal about seeing the creatures pop up around me and also made exercise a little more fun. The same ‘Gotta Catch ’em All’ philosophy from the handheld games carried over to the real world and the game was hard to put down if you saw a rare Pokémon lurking nearby.

Hopefully it will find continued success in the next year and keep Pokémon firmly in the spotlight. Can’t hurt to grow the fandom, right?

Pokémon Sun & Moon

Phew. Now we know what it must feel like for a mother to wait 9 months just to see what her baby is going to look like. We were teased mercilessly by PR with new screenshots and trailers, just to know that there were still months away from having the game in our hands.

And how did it do once it was in our hands? Pretty damn well I’d say. Perhaps the thing I enjoyed the most was that Alola feels like the first region to be alive. The Pokémon introduced weren’t too bad either, with Ultra Beasts providing an interesting new angle.

What wasn’t the best? Z-moves. Not a fan, sorry. Especially painful after Mega Evolutions were shelved after just one generation. If I were to run for president, I’d definitely base my campaign on “A Mega Evolution for All”.

PokéJungle

This year was a good one for the site. Another good year; most new generation years are. We hit 20,000 Twitter followers in February of this year and now we end at 32,000. I thank each and every one of you that puts up with me.

I’ll also take a moment to be perfectly honest: running this website is not always easy. In many ways this year was one of my most stressful. I greatly admire people like Serebii, because they can effortlessly (or at least give the appearance of effortlessness) update their site and continue to document every nook and cranny of each Pokémon game that has been released.

I can’t, it is not my specialty. My talents lie in getting people excited for what’s next; what’s here is already dead and gone. Some of you may have noticed that the site posts decreased dramatically in the next month and I suppose I will be honest about why. For some reason I always have spikes in my depression after new games are released. I think it has to do with the emotional investment I put into news coverage pre-launch and then the emptiness of post launch.

Hope to be running again in full speed for 2017. Love you all. PJ.


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pokejungle

Paul studied journalism just to write better articles about Pokémon. He still resides in Tokyo, Japan.