Over the course of 12+ years (15 in Japan!), the juggernaut of a handheld-focused series has been the target of both much praise and much criticism. It’s a given fact the more popular something is, and the more attention it gets, the higher the chances of it coming under fire from critics, be it staff members from a gaming website or magazine, or even just your best friend. And Pokemon is one of those series where everyone is talking about it in slightly different ways. But what makes Pokemon what it is today? What makes it so special in the sea of other monster-raising series you can find on store shelves?