Livin' La Vida Lucia

Gotta Catch Em’ All: Pokémon’s 20th Anniversary Surprises!

Train on My Wayward Son

By Lucia Rossi

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Nintendo used Celebrate; it was super effective! It’s Pokémon’s 20th Anniversary and Nintendo is celebrating with freebies, competitions,  limited edition products, and events.  When it comes to “Livin’ the Lucia life,” it’s not always just about beauty. As a proud, geeky, gamer I am just as excited as every dedicated Pokefan out there for what Nintendo has in store for this year-long celebration. Here’s what’s going on so far according to the Pokemon20 website.

The best thing Nintendo is doing is giving away one free legendary Pokémon every month for the entire year. They’re calling it, “A Year of Mythical Pokémon Distribution Events!” For the month of February, a level 100 Mew was given away with the ability Synchronize and the move Pound. In order to get any mythical Pokémon from this promotion, you have to go to any participating GameStop and pick up a code. The code can only be used on Pokémon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, X and Y games, and will expire May 31st 2016. For March 1st-24th, a level 10 Celebi with the ability Natural Cure and moves, Confusion, Recover, Heal Bell, and Safeguard, will be given out. It was also released on February 14th that a new Pokémon, Magearna, will make its debut in the 2016 Pokémon game, Pokémon Sun & Moon.


Another fun addition to the celebration is the Pokémon Photo Both app available only on iTunes. If you love selfies and love Pokémon, this is the app for you. Thanks to The Pokémon Company International, you can take pictures and then personalize them with different captions, themes, or custom designs inspired by the games. It’s a free app where you can create your own Poké profile pic. However, it’s only rated three stars because of a lot of bug issues. Personally, it kept crashing for me over and over no matter how many times I deleted and re-downloaded it.


If you’re looking to purchase a 3DS, the new Pokémon 20th Anniversary Edition Bundle was released on February 27th. It comes with Blastoise and Charizard cover plates for the console, and Pokémon Red & Blue versions pre-installed. It also comes with an exclusive home menu theme but does not come with an AC Adapter. It’s sold by GameStop and Best Buy for $199.99. Sadly, they are both currently unavailable for purchase on both websites. It is available on Ebay, but you will be paying at least $100 more than the retail price. However, Ebay is a great place to get all kinds of 20th Anniversary limited Edition products for a decent price. There are also all kinds of Pokémon plushes, apparel, accessories, trading cards, and video games available at the PokémonCenter website.


If you’re into the Pokémon trading cards, the Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion was released on February 22nd. It includes over 110 cards, the second Radiant Collection, 16 Pokémon—EX with 4 Mega Evolutions, and a Pokémon TCG online code. The Pokémon TCG game is also available for download on, so you can play online.


Do you want to be the very best? That no one ever was? Then join the online Pokémon Competition through your Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on the Pokémon Global Link (PGL) and fight in battle against other Pokémon Trainer Club members. In celebration of 20 years of battles, the Kanto Classic Online Competition have rules based on the original Pokémon Red & Blue games, meaning only using a team of six from the original 149 Pokémon in a single battle with no items allowed! Qualified participants on the online competition get a special Dragonite inspired by one owned by Elite Four Trainer Lance. It comes at level 62, has the ability Inner Focus, and the moves: Agility, Barrier, Slam, and Hyper Beam. To be a qualified participant, you need to earn a ranking by competing in at least three battles. For more information about qualifications, rules and important dates, check out the Pokémon official website under Global Link.


Explore “Two Decades of Pokémon” on the Pokémon20 website which allows you to browse the entire timeline of Pokémon since its birth on February 27th 1996. If you click on 2016 on the time dial, it tells you about all kids of new things to expect this year including: Pokémon’s 19th season of their television series, Pokémon TCG: XY—BREAKpoint expansion, Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow being available in the Nintendo eShop, Pokken Tournament for Wii U, Pokémon Go, and the announcement of Pokémon Sun & Moon.


The website also encourages that everyone in the Pokémon community come together in celebration of the 20th Anniversary using the #Pokémon20 on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Submissions using the hashtag could win a prize!


Pokémon has come a long way in two decades and will continue to grow and change. As a dedicated fan, I am so glad they’re still going strong and that the next generation will get to experience the same love and determination I did when catching them all. Even if there’s over 1,000 Pokémon and Nintendo runs out of names for their games by then, on to the next 20!


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