Pokémon How do you decide which game version to buy?

Chris

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I find the way Pokémon games are released to be very interesting (and exciting!) so I'm curious to know:

  • How do you decide which version of the game to buy?
  • Do you buy one or both versions of the game?
    • Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?
  • Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?

I'll give my answers in a separate post as it is going to be long. I'll be listing how I picked which game to buy every generation. 😅
 
It’s simple: if I like the design of one legendary Pokémon in a game’s cover better than the other, I may consider getting that version. Heh, that’s what I do…judging a book by its cover, which I probably shouldn’t be doing. XD
 
I'll try to answer each question as best as I can.

How do you decide which version of the game to buy?

I usually go with the boxart that I like. 9 times out of 10 I usually get the "blue" version but its just a pure coincidence really. The only non-blue games I got first were Sun and Ruby.

Do you buy one or both versions of the game?

I used to in the past. I would get the first version and do a playthrough then I would get the other version later. When I was younger, my parents would only get me one of the first two and I would get the "third" version later if I could convince them (failed to get Crystal and Platinum). For Gen 6 I bought both games together. Now I only get one game. I don't really like the direction Pokemon is going in but I am still a fan of the franchise so I try to only buy one game now.

Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?

Not always. Before Gen 5 it was up to others. I either got them as gifts or begged my parents for them. When I became more independent I bought B2W2 and X&Y together. I only got Sun and UltraSun for Gen 7. I usually just buy the aesthetic one that I like first.

Did you buy third versions of any games?

Yes

Or only third versions?

Only for Gen 5 with B2W2.

How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?

It certainly made the games lazier. I really just want them to make complete games again with no bugs or glitches. That would be nice but I know that DLCs are here to stay so there's no really point in wishing for them to return to that formula. I will miss them though because there is sometimes a distinct difference between the primary pairs and the third versions, like with DP and Platinum, for example.
 
I usually buy both to be honest, just in case I want to do a challenge of my own making on the other version.
 
For some reason, I almost always prefer the first one. The only time I haven’t done that is with Pokémon Sapphire because Kyogre is objectively better than Groudon. If not, I’ll just choose based on which legendary is better, like with Hoenn.
 
When I was younger my mom would buy me both as a gift for either my Birthday or Christmas. I really didn’t have anyone to trade with so it was nice having both. Violet is the first I have bought in years. I went with Violet because I liked the exclusive pokemon better. I thought about getting both but wanted to play and see how much I liked it before buying Scarlet. I probably will end up getting Scarlet at some point with how much fun Violet has been.
 
I honestly don’t understand why people would want both copies? I own both Pokémon Black and White because they came with my 3DS for some reason. I was unbelievably confused and played both games to experience the tutorial over and over because I couldn’t work out how to delete my save data 😂 I didn’t play for long enough to even find out what the difference was.
Anyway, I recently got Let’s Go Pikachu - I feel like that’s not the same choice as with the other games but still. I prefer Pikachu to Eevee and I looked at the version exclusive pokemon and Pikachu had more that I liked the look of.
I would only ever buy one version, unless there’s a major discount or something.
 
1. How do you decide which version of the game to buy?

I base it on the Pokemon that are available in the games and the legendary, which one I like the design and/or type more.


2. Do you buy one or both versions of the game?

I used to buy both - not at the same time but over time (I stopped doing that after a certain point. For example: I used to know no one that played Pokemon when I started playing. The first game I played was Pokemon Red; I later bought a link cable and Pokemon Blue as well. I did this to Heart Gold & Silver I think. I didn’t get the other version when I got Black & Pokemon X though. I liked being able to have them all without trading with random people. Later I was okay with trading; I liked the trading system better than how it is now since it let you search a specific pokemon you want to trade for. I can’t deny that now that I’m back to playing Pokemon that I’m considering it again even though I have friends that I can trade with or can trade here. My friends helped me already so much, I don’t want to ask more of them than I already have (even though I’m sure they wouldn’t mind).

—Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?

It’s been about 20 years since I got into Pokemon so I’m not 100% sure in the case of Pokemon Red. I think I based my decision on the Pokemon on the case 😅.

3. Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?

I bought the third versions; I didn’t get the newer Sapphire, Ruby & Emerald (any of them including the third one.

I’m indifferent about Nintendo dropping it. What matters to me more is the quality of the games; I’m concerned about the glitches and bugs they aren’t fixing in Violet and the quality of the games.
 
For me, I’ll go with the character design. With trainer customization being a thing now it’s really not too important, but trainers still look slightly different in each version and that’s an important factor for me.
 
Late to Pokemon so the first game I picked was Pokemon Sun and later bought Moon.
I now purchase both games and start the first title. 2nd console starts the 2nd title later.
3rd Edition-Ultra Sun and Moon. I would love to play older games third edition or remakes for the Nintendo Switch. Happy that I was able to play Brilliant Diamond/ Shining Pearl.
 
How do you decide which version of the game to buy?
It'll be the design of the legendary, what type it is compared to the other one and then the exclusive Pokémon. The latter would be how the dominant colors of game version is used in the game. Like for Pokémon S/V, I compared which version of uniform I liked.

Do you buy one or both versions of the game?
I only buy one version. I have an older sister who would always pick the other version, so that we could trade pokémon. She's gotten busy and now I play with one of my friends. We usually discuss which game version we like the most, in this case, he really liked Pokémon Violet and I liked Pokémon Scarlet, so it worked out well.

Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?
I rarely do. I'm usually burnt out on the storyline (even if I really enjoyed it) and I can't imagine replaying it all again, just to get the third legendary. I am actually very glad that, that this concept is done. Pokémon is one of those games that it can feel very redundant and the replay value imo stems from after the game is beaten. Unless you absolutely love the story and want to re-watch the cutscenes. I really like the addition of DLCs to the Pokémon games more. I wish they could be free but the Pokémon Scarlet's/Violet's DLC was one of the best storylines so far.
 
I tend to decide based on a mix of factors: legendary Pokemon + version exclusives + trainer customization + overall aesthetic. I've pretty much always ended up choosing the "blue" version of the game for whatever reason, although Scarlet and Violet was the toughest choice yet. I like the purple uniforms and the Violet legendary a lot more than whatever Scarlet has going on, but the Scarlet version exclusives are SO much more varied and creative. I ended up agreeing to get Violet pretty much only because my partner and I always play the games together, and we like to get different versions and choose different starters. We both preferred Fuecoco and Scarlet this time around--so I got Fuecoco and he got Scarlet, since I still liked Violet and he still liked Sprigatito.

I only ever buy one version of the game. There are too many video games in this world (and I have too little time) for me to do extensive replays of what amounts to basically the same game. I'll play a third version IF it's substantively different from the original two, but usually it's one title per mainline release for me. I feel neutral about losing the third Pokemon game, honestly. Although I agree with previous posters that adding paid DLC is a weakness for the series--I think fans would respond really well to free DLC that added a lot of new content. The current wring-every-penny-out-of-customers business model that nearly every corporation has adopted might pay well in the short term, but I think it's going to lead to customer burnout and an eventual drop in sales.
 
I get both versions. I’ve been doing this since BW. It makes completing the Dex easier as well.
 
How do you decide which version of the game to buy?
I take a look at which legendary interests me the most, what exclusive Pokemon are in which version, and consult my good friend who I play with. We always get the opposite of what one of us decides. She got Sword, I got Shield. I got Scarlet, she got Violet.

Do you buy one or both versions of the game?/ Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?
It depends! When I was a kid, I got Fire Red, Leaf Green, Diamond and Pearl. They were gifts, obviously, so I couldn't get them myself. When X/Y came around, my Uncle got me X for Christmas, and I used my Christmas money for Y later. The last time I bought both versions of a game were with Sun and Moon, and I barely played Sun after my initially beating Moon. So now I only stick to one game, unless I really like the world.

I usually buy one game at a time, and unless I have a really good time with the game, I just stick with it.

Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?
My folks bought me Emerald when I was younger, which was great. I love the third version of games because they feel like the definitive way to play some Pokemon games. (Shoutout to Platinum, which I never got until 2019) For them dropping it, I don't really have any strong feelings, but I do think there was some potential to be had with some of the titles that could have benefited from a third game.
 
How do you decide which version of the game to buy?
I usually just buy both versions. I've been primarily a Nintendo player for a few years, only actively follow a few series and am big into the Pokémon series. I like having access to all of the version exclusive Pokémon and prefer to limit interaction with others until the necessity arises.

Do you buy one or both versions of the game? Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?
As mentioned in the first section, I buy both. I typically buy them both at the same time and have tended to go for the double packs they sell; not only is it convenient, they also tend to give you a code for like 200 free Poké Balls, so why not, ya know? Then the matter of which I play first is based on which has version exclusive Pokémon that I like better. For example, for Scarlet, I preferred the prehistoric Paradox Pokémon concept more than the futuristic ones found in Violet, so I played Scarlet first.

Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?
The third versions were always my favorites, aside from Yellow which I didn't enjoy. They were, essentially, enhanced versions of their predecessors and I felt that they were the best way to experience their generations.

Crystal introduced the option to choose a female player character for the first time in the series, added color to the series thanks to it being a Game Boy Color game, had cool animations when encountering a Pokémon, made Suicune less of a hassle to catch, let you catch both Ho-Oh and Lugia, and all at the low cost of a small amount of Pokémon that aren't in the base game that you can just trade for anyway. I stopped playing the series at Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald due to peer pressure, even though I still enjoyed it, and eventually got back into it years later with HeartGold and SoulSilver, which were fortunately basically just Crystal and were amazing. And yes I went back to play the games I missed out on in between. Even though the mechanics are archaic now thanks to all of the progress that has been made over the years, I still look fondly back on my time with Crystal.

Emerald adds Rayquaza and its content, Platinum adds Giratina content, X & Y really would've benefited from having a Z and it's awkward that it didn't happen and the Zygarde stuff was stuffed into Alola. The sequel games, Black 2/White 2 and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, are their own distinct thing but sort of still had the spirit of and were effectively third versions since they changed things and made them new experiences in the same setting. The third versions/sequels also tended to have more moves available via move tutors, thus allowing for more moveset flexibility and more fun.

Third versions are admittedly unnecessary now that they release DLC as of the Switch era, and considering that Switch games are more expensive than DS and 3DS games, it's also less expensive than third versions would be. I kind of miss them, but the DLC model is probably for the best. I've enjoyed the DLC of both Sword & Shield and Scarlet & Violet, so yeah.
 
  • How do you decide which version of the game to buy?
    • Mainly based off the cover art I prefer. Some I had a hard time deciding though! I try to avoid info about the game differences until I play. I often end up choosing the blue colored version of the game if applicable. There were some exceptions though, like going with Red due to Charizard's popularity, although I'd pick Venusaur over either (yes I picked Leaf Green too)
  • Do you buy one or both versions of the game? Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?
    • Usually one. Rarely I've gone back and replayed the opposite version later on. With BW2, ORAS, and SM I ended up getting both versions just to gift the other one to a friend who wanted to play at the same time, which was very helpful.
  • Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?
    • Almost always, the only one I skipped was USUM. Since I don't have the Gameboy games anymore and it had been so long, I also played Yellow and Crystal for a second time when the 3DS VC versions came out. The third versions were always better than the originals to me. I'm glad they don't do that anymore though because I get tired of playing similar versions of a game. I much prefer to continue my existing save with DLCs instead. I own all the DLCs.
 
  • How do you decide which version of the game to buy? It’s always the design of the legendary. What’s odd is I usually go for the less popular version completely unintentionally. The only exceptions are Sword and Let’s Go Pikachu.
  • Do you buy one or both versions of the game?
    • Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first? Ive never bought the other version since the differences are so minor for the most part and I can just trade whatever Pokémon I don’t have.
  • Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept? When third versions are released I always buy them even if I have the “inferior” version already. I’m glad they quit making them since they’re basically DLC being charged full price along with a game that’s already been released.
 
It's only take me 2.5 weeks to get around to responding to this myself. 😂


Gen 1: Pokémon Yellow was my first Pokémon game. It was actually my Dad's copy that he let me restart, so I didn't get a choice in it! I don't actually remember making the decision to play this game, just remember the hours of fun I had with it.

Gen 2: Pokémon Silver. My Dad already had Pokémon Gold, so I asked for the opposite version. I then asked for Pokémon Crystal when it came out. When my Dad later got bored of Gold, he let me restart that too.

Gen 3: Pokémon Sapphire. I chose this one based on the box art mascot. I didn't really like Groudon at the time. I later got Pokémon Ruby as well - although this was because we were moving country so my parents let me pick out a new GBA game to play on the 13hr journey. My parents didn't let me get LeafGreen/FireRed or Emerald. I'd have gone LeafGreen based solely on the box art.

Gen 4: Pokémon Diamond. I liked Dialga better than Palkia. I then received Pokémon Platinum as a Christmas gift. I then went with SoulSilver over HeartGold - mostly for nostalgia as Silver was my first Gen 2 game.

Gen 5: Pokémon Black. I liked Reshiram more than Zekrom. I didn't really enjoy this generation so I didn't play B2/W2.

Gen 6: Pokémon X. Again, preferred Xerneas. Then Alpha Sapphire again for the nostalgia factor, as I played Sapphire first in Gen 3.

Gen 7: Pokémon Sun because I wanted the clock to reflect real-time day/night cycles. Then I went with Ultra Moon to get the opposite experience. Then I received Let's Go! Eevee as a Christmas gift, and at the same time my Mum gave my Dad Let's Go! Pikachu.

Gen 8: Pokémon Shield. I received both for Christmas, so I did some research on version exclusives and then offered my Dad the Sword version so we could play together. When BD/SP came out I was dating a streamer, so my at-the-time girlfriend bought them for us with her Twitch earnings. She wanted Shining Pearl so she gave me Brilliant Diamond.

Gen 9: Pokémon Scarlet. Picked mostly due to preferring the orange uniform over the purple. But I also liked the prehistoric Paradox Pokémon more than the Futuristic.

I miss third versions to Pokémon games.
 
  • How do you decide which version of the game to buy?
I normally google it, and weigh out the regional Pokemon from each game, more specifically for let's go Eevee.
  • Do you buy one or both versions of the game?
The only one i've bought both versions for was Pokemon X and Y, but normally a family member has the companion game. (Older brother also has Y, I have Sun, Little brother has Moon, my dad has Scarlet and Shining Pearl, I have Violet and Brilliant Diamond, etc.)
  • Do you buy them both at the same time or one and then the other? If so how do you decide which version to buy first?
I got X and Y together because they were second hand but with wiped files, because it was a "bundle discount"
  • Did you buy third versions of any games? Or only third versions? How do you feel about Nintendo dropping this concept?
I was disappointed that they scrapped Z to make the release dates universal, but it felt like the games were dropping off slowly and going from 4 to three to 2.
 
I used to buy both versions, but for my “main” I’d choose my favorite cover legendary. You can always trade for exclusives but you can never change the title screen. Story differences don’t really matter since the story isn’t what I play for anyway and it’s only ever “character/location x replaces character/location y”.

Red is an exception because all the glitches and whatnot are why you play it and they’re just the best-documented on Red over Yellow or Blue. My preferences for the pairs are: Gold/HeartGold, Sapphire/Alpha Sapphire, kinda indifferent about FRLG (I would have liked a Blue), Pearl (both are really good tho, this is the closest one and I might just say Diamond for nostalgia), Black, Black 2, X, Moon/UM, Shield and Scarlet.

Gen 5 is weird because of all the other stuff you can’t change. I prefer the environments in Black 1 and White 2 to their counterparts, but Black Kyurem is so much cooler than White Kyurem it’s a joke. Honestly though, White 2 is carried by Reversal Mountain being an active volcano which gives it a VERY distinct presence compared to the dormant version in Black 2, so I just stomach that one and prioritise both Black versions. I like their cover legends better, I like the futuristic locales better. Etc

Dropping 3rd versions would have been fine/ideal if they took a better direction after that, but imo charging twice for the same DLC is the worst possible route they could have taken, other than continuining with the “Ultra” type games (where people still debate if they’re even better because of the story changes, and they were basically the same games for full price)
They can do away with dual versions now. Seriously. But they never would so… it kinda sucks honestly, the newer games are missing so much and could do with so many reworks that we need third versions more than ever.
 
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