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The second generation of Pokémon began in 1999 with the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver for Game Boy Color. Like the previous generation, an enhanced version titled Pokémon Crystal was later released. The second generation introduced 100 new species of Pokémon, starting with Chikorita and ending with Celebi. It totaled 251 Pokémon to collect, train, and battle, set in Johto, inspired by Japan’s Kansai region. The Pokémon mini is a handheld game console released in November 2001 in North America, December 2001 in Japan, and 2002 in Europe.
Pokémon entered its third generation with the 2002 release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for Game Boy Advance and continued with the Game Boy Advance remakes of Download Pokémon sun and pokemon moon , Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, and an enhanced version of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire titled Pokémon Emerald. The third generation introduced 135 new Pokémon, starting with Treecko and ending with Deoxys, for a total of 386 species. It is set in Hoenn, inspired by Japan’s Kyushu region. However, this generation also garnered some criticism for leaving out several gameplay features, including the day-and-night system introduced in the previous generation. It was also the first installment that encouraged the player to collect merely a selected assortment of the total number of Pokémon rather than every existing species. By contrast, 202 out of 386 species are catchable in the Ruby and Sapphire versions.
In 2006, Japan began the fourth generation of the franchise with the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for Nintendo DS. The fourth generation introduced another 107 new species of Pokémon, starting with Turtwig and ending with Arceus, bringing the total of Pokémon species to 493. The Nintendo DS “touch screen” allows new features to the game such as cooking poffins with the stylus and using the “Pokétch”. New gameplay concepts include a restructured move-classification system, online multiplayer trading and battling via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the return and expansion of the second generation’s day-and-night system, the expansion of the third generation’s Pokémon Contests into “Super Contests”, and the new region of Sinnoh. This region was inspired by Japan’s Hokkaido region and part of Russia’s Sakhalin, and has an underground component for multiplayer gameplay in addition to the main overworld. Pokémon Platinum, the enhanced version of Diamond and Pearl—much like Pokémon Yellow, Crystal, and Emerald—was released in September 2008 in Japan, March 2009 in North America, and May 2009 in Australia and Europe. Spin-off titles in the fourth generation include the Pokémon Stadium follow-up Pokémon Battle Revolution for Wii, which has Wi-Fi connectivity as well. Nintendo announced in May 2009 that enhanced remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, entitled Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, would be released for the Nintendo DS system. HeartGold and SoulSilver are set in the Johto region and were released in September 2009 in Japan.