Spin Offs or Main Series?

Spin Off or Main Series?

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Disclaimer: This is NOT pc++. Post reasoning with your answers, if you don't then this thread will be locked and that is no fun for any of us. Try and make your posts spark legitimate discussion.

Generally in video games, nothing can shape up to the main series. That is what started the series off (thus the "main" part) and that is what the series will generally be known for. Is Pokémon an exception to this though? Pokémon has never been short of main series games; from Pokémon Pinball to Pokémon Snap to Pokémon Trozei, it has always been rich with variety and this is what we shall discuss today.

You may have noticed that the poll has two options: "Main Series" or "Spin Offs". You must try and include every game which you have played and talk about why Pokémon Blue, Gold, Emerald and White 2 are better than Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Puzzle League and Hey You! Pikachu!. There should be no theory in this thread. Please try and keep the discussion to things you have actually experienced. Just because chuggaaconroy enjoys Pokémon Colosseum doesn't mean that you have to.

What is the standing on Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD?

I will use Layell's logic of when he made the spin off tierlist and say that if it has a turn-based RPG mode it is not a spin off. This means Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gales of Darkness are Main Series games. I will include the rest below for reference's sake:

Chronological order of main series games:
Pokémon Red
Pokémon Green
Pokémon Blue
Pokémon Yellow
Pokémon Gold
Pokémon Silver
Pokémon Crystal
Pokémon Ruby
Pokémon Sapphie
Pokémon Colosseum
Pokémon FireRed
Pokémon LeafGreen
Pokémon XD: Gales of Darkness
Pokémon Emerald
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
Pokémon Platinum
Pokémon HeartGold
Pokémon SoulSilver
Pokémon Black
Pokémon White
Pokémon Black 2
Pokémon White 2
Pokémon X
Pokémon Y

Spin Off Games by Series:
Pokémon Trading Card Game
Pokémon Card GB2
Pokémon Pinball
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
Pokémon Ranger
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs
Pokémon Staidum
Pokémon Stadium 2
Pokémon Battle Revolution
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (DS)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue team (GBA)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Keep Going! Blazing Adventure Sqaud
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Let's Go! Stormy Adventure Squad
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Go For It! Light Adventure Squad
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
Hey You, Pikachu!
Pokémon Snap
Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
Pokémon Puzzle League
Pokémon Channel
Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire
Pokémon Dash
Pokémon Trozei
Pokémate (this is on Mobile Phone, but is an official Nintendo game)
Pokémon Battrio
My Pokémon Ranch
Pokémon Rumble
Pokémon Rumble Blast
Pokémon Rumble U
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond
Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure
Pokémon Conquest
Pokédex 3D
Pokédex 3D Pro

This is where you can tell us: How do you enjoy your Pokémon?
Well, this seems hard. Pokemon Sapphire was what got me into it, and the next games I had (Pearl, Platinum, HG, B, B2, X) were very good. On the side, the side games I have are PMD:Blue, PMD:Darkness, PMD:Sky and PMD:Gates. Even though there are few of them, they are all very good games with great storylines, and good aftergame dungeons etc., which was something that was missing from the main series games. Henceforth, I vote for side games.
The only actual Spinoff game I play are the "battling" type ones, PS,PS2,XD,Colo,PBR, you see.
I like them because they have improved graphics from the games and they have a cool single player mode, my favorite is PS2 because of the length of the Gym Leader Castle
Besides that, I play pokemon pinball and Mystery Dungeon (mostly explorers of sky)
I actually can't decide which one I prefer. For main series, my preference list looks like this:
  1. Y
  2. White 2
  3. Soul Silver
  4. Emerald (only so low since I haven't played much of it, I think)
  5. White
For side series, my preference list looks like this:
  1. Mystery Dungeon: GTI
  2. Battle Revolution
  3. Pokedex 3D Pro
  4. Rumble Blast (did not like this at all)
Now its time to list each one and why I liked/did not like it:
Pokemon Y was a break from the old graphics. It provided a whole new world style, in 3D. The game had beautiful scenery, and I could tell that time and effort was put in. Each area provided something fresh, and nothing felt thrown in for more space. You gained the ability to customize your character. You could initiate a Wonder Trade and see what you get from a random person you don't even know (BTW I got 5 starters in my collection that way).

It introduced some new toys for competitive battling (mainly Protean, Aegislash, and Mega-Evolutions). With Protean, you can put up some mind games and change your type. Aegislash is interesting due to its ability. It can go from a defensive wall to an offensive powerhouse without spending a turn. Mega-evolutions are the biggest change, however. It gave my favorite pokemon the buff it needed to stay in OU (until it got banned. RIP Mega-Lucario, 2013-2014). It allowed some pokemon to outpredict the foe (with some pokemon, like Alakazam and Kangaskhan not always benefiting from Mega-evolving instantly). They add a level of complexity to battles that hasn't been seen before. I do not think the Fairy-type helped anything, though.

Y also had a surprisingly large amount of post-game things for its post-game content. Despite it being just Looker Chapters, E4 rematches, mega-stone collection, and Battle Maison, I have spent dozens of hours, just on the post-game. The looker chapters are a nice way of bringing back old characters, bringing a level of complexity to the Pokemon World. The Battle Maison provides a fun challenge, and easy source of BP.

White 2 was the first remake game I played. Since it came out a year after I first joined the series, I had plenty of time to learn my way around the games. The plot was not appealing, though. It was the same-old plot that has been beaten to death in the 2 decades the series has seen. Nothing more than earn gym badges while fighting off the evil team, and then face off against the team's leader in an epic final showdown that you win. Now that the matter is settled, you go on to ursurp the champion.

One thing I liked was the side-quests. I enjoyed the challenge of Pokestar Studios (and the star animation I got from there). I also enjoyed the PWT. Battling against all the old trainers is very enjoyable, even though I lack nostalgic memories of them. It also made a challenge with the higher-level trainers having great teams. White Treehollow is great, as well. It provides a dungeon through which I can travel, beating trainers and testing my skills in the process, and gain lots of Exp. Points. I got my first level 100 that way, as well.

I also liked all the characters. Hugh seemed like a good character as he grew over time. I liked having Cheren, who seemed to be more of a pokemon expert than ever before. Bianca stayed the same, and the Unova Link feature helped me understand them better.

Provides a relaxing break from the main series by allowing you to play as a pokemon in a far different pokemon world trying to help out. I really enjoyed the storyline, and the art helped.

The plot line was what got me most, though. It had a level of complexity that the main games lacked. It was not just a earn these milestone markers while protecting the world from the local baddies, then ursurp the master and reign supreme, like the main games. Rather, it sent you into a world where you were trying to save it from a cataclysm that was sent upon it, all while the others do not know what is happening. The main character's lack of knowledge about the conflict helped it stand out to me, as well.

This was a great game as it did not require any catching pokemon or going through a storyline to advance. It was just a battle game, one entirely made of strategy. My inability to transfer pokemon from other games helped this, as well, because I did not steamroll the foes, but had to strategize instead.

I also liked the graphics. The lack of a storyline enabled more time, effort, and data space to be spent on prettying it up. That made the game great to look at, how I could visibly see the pokemon attacking each other and see the target take the effects of the attack.

Will finish updating this later.
Colosseum and XD were my favourite main series games. They break the mold and do not recycle the same storylines and designs over and over again.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky is my favourite game of all time, because of its storyline. No other game, Pokemon or not, has ever been as emotinally touching as that one.
The main series at least I played (From RBY, GSC, RSE, FRLG, DPP, HGSS, BW/B2W2, XY, Colosseum and XD *Bold means Have Played*) are always fun and what got me into the Pokemon Games in the first place, Pokemon Battling is fun duh.

However, until XY I was not a competitive battler at all. I was more into the World of Pokemon and The Pokemon themselves who does have a place in my heart, my childhood and my wallet... Indeed the Main Pokemon Games are world building and expand more on the mysteries of Pokemon and their interactions with human which I do like, Main Games always been getting more pretty and really fun to play but...

Games from spin-offs I do play like Hey You Pikachu!, Pokemon Channel(Like 4 Cycles already.), Pokemon Stadium(Them Minigames), and of course The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Sub-Franchise(Except Gates of Infinity I do not have that :( ) They were memorable to me for more of the interactions of Pokemon whether with each other (Mysterious Dungeon) or player (The Pikachu Central Games) and casual fun I can have with family and friends. Heck, that how I battle before XY just with friends and family after the Stories are over of the game. So Yeah, I gonna say prefering Spin-Offs for the most part you know for the more fun of Pokemon themselves over Pokemon Battling.
Oh, well I suppose if colosseum and XD aren't considered a spin off then all I have to go on for what the spin-offs are like is Pokemon Snap.

Honestly, the main series games are so different to the spin-offs, that comparing them almost seems off. They share very little aside from pokemon themselves.

That being said, I am such a sucker of the Jynx level in pokemon snap. I thought the world-building in that game was just so ahead of its time
Man, this is a hard question. Although I love all the main series games, they just cannot compare to the storylines of the Mystery Dungeon and Ranger games. Seriously, the Mystery Dungeon games made me cry.
Wow this is a really hard choice since Colosseum is probably one of my favorite games just for the sheer fact of it being a 3D Pokemon game.But PMD:Blue Rescue Team and Conquest are just so good. Conquest and PMD most likely take the crown since Conquest's gameplay and PMDs storyline are amazing
I absolutely love all the mechanics introduced throughout the main series of pokemon and that is why I have enjoyed the competitive sideso much because of the rich mechanics. But I have never been so emotionally touched than I was by mystery dungeon reds ending. I was crying when my pokemons spirit was slowly drifted away.

For that reason I say spinoffs
Counting Colosseum and XD as main series games? You monster. Handhelds forever~

That said, other than XD, I've played/owned all of them, with exception of Black 2 and XD. So RBY, Green a tiny bit, GSC, RSE, FRLG, Colosseum, DPP, HGSS, BW, White 2, and XY. It's been so long since I actively played RBY/GSC, and I usually play stuff on the RSEFRLG engine in the form of randomizer/romhack, so it's hard to fairly rank those. DPP and XY I really loved, while I found BW to be pretty lackluster, so I didn't do much in W2 other than just beating it once.

Hated Colosseum, though. I felt like I spent half the game backtracking to healing stations, and the fact that I had to leave/re-enter towns to grind my Shadow Pokemon drove me nuts. I never beat it as a kid, and only finished it when I went back a year or two ago and did the item duplicating glitch to Master Ball all of the Shadow Pokemon at the end.

Moving to spinoffs:

Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, a tiny bit of Guardian Signs
Pokemon Pinball
Pokemon Rumble Blast
Pokemon Conquest
Pokemon TCG
Pokemon Stadium/Stadium 2, Pokemon Battle Revolution
Mystery Dungeon: Blue
Pokemon Ranch

So Stadium/2/PBR are all kind of nice, but in the end having 3D Pokemon is only so cool. Especially with XY now, there would really have to be another Colosseum-type game to make it worth it.

Pokemon Ranch was cute, but it's more a minigame than a game.

Mystery Dungeon seemed cool enough at the start, but I got frustrated/bored with it pretty quickly, so I put it down and never looked back. Not really too upset with that decision.

Pokemon Pinball was something I tried to play a lot as a kid, but I never put any real time/effort into it. Needless to say I didn't enjoy it enough to get the 3rd gen version.

Moving on to games I DID enjoy, I always liked the Pokemon TCG game. For one thing, it gave me the chance to actually play the card game. I'm not sure anyone at my school knew how to play it besides me, and I wasn't willing to spend the money to buy enough cards to get crap like Charizard. I've played it since and it's still fun to make decks and so forth. I'd love to see a current generation remake of this game, tbh.

The Ranger series... I always feel like I'm the only one who enjoyed it haha. I thought the first game was really fun, a pretty decent mix of challenge with a story that at least wasn't any less engaging than all of the main series games. The second game was significantly easier, and all of the other features added in (particularly changing partners) made the game really enjoyable. I only ever got Guardian Signs in Japanese, and at the time I wasn't really patient enough to play the game through and keep up with the story in Japanese, so I put it down and played more main series games instead. If I had any clue where the game was, I'd play it again.

Rumble Blast was lots of fun to play through, but grinding out legendaries and world levels and all of that nonsense was decidedly not. But in terms of a game you can sit down and play for a few minutes at a time to fill the gap between doing other stuff, it's hard to beat.

By far the game I've enjoyed the most out of all the spinoffs has been Pokemon Conquest. I thought it looked completely stupid initially, but once I got it, I was hooked. The main story quest can be a bit tedious, especially when you realize it's basically a really long tutorial... but the enormous amount of "postgame" material is just crazy. The degree of customization, in terms of what warlords and Pokemon you choose, is pretty much on par with the main series games. If you play through and recruit every warlord, it's a relatively easy game, but it's simple enough to increase the difficulty for yourself if you limit your recruits. While I definitely have more play time on some of the main series games than Conquest, a significant amount of the time spent in main games is spent riding up and down to hatch eggs, while Conquest is spent playing the actual game, for the most part. While I would probably pick up a 3DS Ranger game, I would definitely get a 6th gen upgrade of Conquest, especially since it would almost certainly be better in a lot of ways.


If it came to choosing, I'll always pick the main series over spinoffs. The biggest factor is just that all of the major innovation happens in the main series games. The GTS and WiFi battles were a 4th gen invention, and probably the most noteworthy advance in the Pokemon series. While all of the spinoffs are fun, the Emerald/Platinum Frontiers do a lot to make otherwise-stale battling exciting again, if you're not looking for competitive battle (but still want something that requires more skill than just barreling through the game). Again, if playtime is any indication, then I love the main series games a LOT more than spinoffs, but the main series games are easy to burn a lot of time without really thinking, especially when you find yourself hatching dozens and hundreds of eggs.

Not that spinoffs aren't guilty of requiring significant amounts of grinding for postgame stuff. Since they're generally self-contained games (unlike main series, which forces you to interact with other games/people), they have to make it difficult to get the "ultimate goal" somehow. So that's a downside, definitely. In the end, definitely main series games win, but the spinoffs are what keep me interested in Pokemon when I get burnt out with breeding and battling. And by the time I get burnt out grinding in the spinoff, some new main series game is slated to come out.
I've never investigated the Pokemon spin-offs, really, for various reasons:

I grew up on Playstation and only switched over to Nintendo's consoles when the Wii was released, so that's everything from Colosseum to Snap out the window already.

Mystery Dungeon: I played Diablo for like a month straight in the early noughties and have kind of been burnt out on dungeon crawlers ever since.

Ranger: I don't know, this series never popped up on my radar really.

Rumble: My brother owns Pokemon Rumble Blast (or Super Pokemon Rumble as it's known on this side of the Atlantic), and it looks pretty mind-numbingly repetitive and lacking in depth. I doubt it would have sold at all but for the brand recognition. Got the dreaded 6/10 (= 1/5 for films) from many game review sites.

Pinball: I believe I had Windows Space Cadet Pinball as one of the free games with the family computer at the time. It satisfied my pinballing needs.

Are any of the older games released on Virtual Console? I feel like I should check a few of them out...


Banned deucer.
Wait, Colloseum and XD counts as main games?

I'd choose the main games anyway I think, however PMD Red/Blue are great, while PMD Sky is my favorite game of all time if we think InGame-wise. Pokemon Ranger are also pretty decent, though I've only finished the first one.
Spin-offs are slightly more enjoyable, I think. I'm a huge fan of the PMD games, and I wish there was at least some sort of Sequel to Colosseum/XD so I could have more fun with those kinds of games, too. u_u I just remember having a lot more fun and adventure, especially in the aforementioned two games (and does anyone remember Pokemon Battle Revolution? You have to admit, for a game that has no storyline, being a 4th Gen console games and having the ability to search for opponents via wi-fi was kinda a big deal. Especially since you can transfer your mons from your 4th gen games to Battle Rev).

It's really just that main games are only enjoyable to a specific extent unless they offer extra content post-game (aka more things to do after you beat the E4), which, in my eyes, doesn't really happen too often, anyway. At least in the spin-offs, you have a more...interesting experience, so to speak. Like, take Pokemon Conquest for example! Its concept was honestly the most interesting part about it! Here you have a game whereas the goal was to expand your army and increase its strength by defeating other armies. And even the way that you catch Pokemon was certainly exciting, and even the postgame was interesting! Yes, it was kinda overwhelming in a sense, because of the many perspectives, but yet, it's a nice option, because having the option to play several storylines of several different characters is something that was unexpected (in a rather pleasant way), and allowed the player to see what other characters saw, and go through the many events that they went through, things of that nature!

In the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, while I feel they all follow the same general concept (you're a human, sent to the Pokemon World temporarily to resolve whatever crisis that may arise there concerning the balance of their world, etc), it's that in itself that I feel is a rather mesmerizing, and yet it creates a rather addicting experiences....the game focuses on the actions of you as the player as you go around multiple dungeons recruiting Pokemon in your quest to stop the Pokemon World for collapsing upon itself. It's also the emotional attachment to the games, as each and every single time at end-game, it literally almost leaves me to tears.

In short, I have a lot more fun with the spinoffs than with the main games, because I feel the latter can be rather monotonous and repetitive, whilst not really offering that many things that are new and innovative, while you never really know what kind of emotional impact that the next Pokemon Spinoff would have on you. I like the fact that it's something different just about almost each and every single time. Yes, the formula can stay the game for some/most game (Ranger/PMD/Colosseum and XD series) but I like that what you can do is different and how you can do it, if that makes sense~

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