By Amanda L. Kondolojy
During these years, Pokémon made a very important comeback. After the Pokémon franchise's sudden almost overnight success in the late nineties, many wrote the series off as a fad and were ready to never deal with Pokémon ever again. But these few years proved that the Pokémon franchise not only had staying power, but was also capable of improving and diversifying itself.
As with any Pokémon era, this one began with the release of a handheld RPG title. Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl came out in 2006, to modest acclaim. The gameplay remained largely the same, despite being for Nintendo's new handheld, the Nintendo DS. The game featured 107 new Pokémon and had the most connectivity with other Pokémon games of any other title. Not only did it connect to all the Game Boy Advance titles, but it also connected to Pokémon Ranger, which was another Pokémon title for the Nintendo DS.
After the success of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the obligatory console follow-up came in the form of Pokémon Battle Revolution. This game did not receive the type of praise that the earlier console Pokémon fighters received, mostly because it omitted the RPG mode that had been the staple of the Colosseum games. It received further criticism because it was virtually unplayable if you didn't have the DS version.
But despite the criticism of Pokémon Battle Revolution, the modern era of Pokémon is doing rather well. In addition to these two gaming staples, the newest TV series, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, is airing successfully on the Cartoon Network in the US.
Pokémon Ranger also debuted during this time and presented a very different game experience than the traditional Pokémon RPGs. This title focused on catching rather than raising Pokémon and was met with generally favorable reviews. It was the first Pokémon game to really utilize the Nintendo DS' touch screen, and although Pokémon you caught in the title had to be released (this downgraded the depth considerably), the game provided a fairly fun experience.
2008 also saw a follow-up to the successful Mystery Dungeon series, which gained considerable praise, despite sticking firmly to the formula set down in the first game. The games are Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time / Explorers of Darkness.