What's the most complete Pokemon encyclopedia out there?
March 13, 2013 8:54 AM   Subscribe

My son is looking for a Pokemon reference guide with certain qualities. Is there one book that covers all of this?

He says he wants it to show:
What types the Pokemon are
What level they evolve at
If they evolve with high friendship or a certain stone
What they look like
Their names
Show all five series

He already has Pokemon: Essential Handbook, Pokemon: Black & White Handbook, and The Complete Pokemon Pocket Guide, volumes 1 and 2. None of those are perfect.

It needs to be a printed book, not a website or e-book.
posted by The corpse in the library to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Your son and mine should be BFF! I've been looking for the same thing for two years now and have yet to find it. The Essential Handbook is the closest we've come to finding what you're looking for.

I have the following books q'ed up for purchase on Amazon (when my son earns a special treat for grades or what have you). Maybe they'll help?

Pokemon Visual Guide
Pokemon Ultimate Handbook (although this one only features 400-some Pokemon, so not all)

Good luck in your quest!
posted by youandiandaflame at 12:30 PM on March 13, 2013

Is there any reason he wouldn't use Bulbapedia? It seems to have everything he is looking for (example Pikachu entry).
posted by calistasm at 2:34 PM on March 13, 2013

Response by poster: It needs to be a book, not a website. He carries them around everywhere, consults them repeatedly throughout the day, etc. If that were a book it would be perfect.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:48 PM on March 13, 2013

Yeah, I'm kind of confused why you rule out websites/e-books when this is exactly what they do.
posted by turkeyphant at 2:48 PM on March 13, 2013

Response by poster: Because he needs to carry it around with him until the pages fall out. Trust me on this. He'll love that site but he still needs a book.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:50 PM on March 13, 2013

You could make a custom style sheet.. grab the data off of bulbapedia.. print out everything on printer paper and put it in a binder. Maybe with something to shore up the pages so they don't rip out easily.. Then when the next version comes out you can just add pages and it is easy to replace damaged pages. Heck of a lot of work though.
posted by Feantari at 3:01 PM on March 13, 2013

Best answer: Hey, my useless knowledge being useful!

Bulbapedia can be really buggy/virus-y. My antivirus stuff freaks out about once a month when I go on it. So if he does go on it, make sure he knows not to click on stuff/call you if he suspects something weird. I don't go on it on my "main" computer, for example.

I don't think you will find one with all five (soon six!) generations, and if you do I'm not sure it would be small enough to carry. The thing is, every generation the moves have been updated--so for, like, Zubats, there are five different sets of moves. While there are some casual guides, if he is really into Pokemon he'll eventually want to know when/how they learn moves, egg groups, egg moves, EVs, abilities/secret abilities, etc. I'd also check that he doesn't want this now, especially moves and egg groups--those are what usually drive me to look stuff up and it's what bulks up encyclopedias.

Regardless, I think you might be better off buying him one for each generation. Most of the new generation books include all the information needed for that game for the old Pokemon included, so if he was playing one game, he'd have all the information needed.

It would be unfeasible to print off all the Bulbapedia pages, even if you managed to fit each Pokemon to a page. It would be over 500 pages and have to be kept in a d-ring, and if there's anything I know about my d-rings, it's that they are certainly not portable.

Also, though I'm sure he's told you this, you may have better luck searching for "Pokedex" instead of encyclopedia. Also try checking game guides. I remember I once had an amazing game guide that had a complete Pokedex in the back (though this was Gen 1, so a lot of the stuff I use guides for now didn't exist).

TL;DR: There isn't an encyclopedia you are looking for, the book would be either too long or useless. Don't buy him one that just skims stuff because he'll find the other information useful/interesting eventually. You can't print off bulbapedia, but you can buy him five separate encyclopedias that are rich and full of the info he wants (and more!). Try searching for "Pokedex" to find them. :)
posted by obviousresistance at 11:04 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for that explanation, obviousresistance. If I can add a followup, he says:

"The most important thing is when it evolves. Like, say, Little Pup, you'd want to know when it evolves into a Herdier and then into a Stoutland. So you need to know if it evolves by leveling up or with a certain stone or with high friendship or whatever. That's the most important thing." (All misspelling mine.) Do you know if there's a Pokedex that shows that information? It's in his Black and White guide but he wants similar books for the other characters.

I have no idea what I'm talking about.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:35 AM on March 14, 2013

Best answer: My kids say your son needs Pokemon Black & Pokemon White Versions: Official National Pokedex. They assure me that, despite the title, it also includes all Pokemon from the versions before Black and White. (It describes itself as a "complete guide to over 640 Pokemon.") It has information about how they evolve, and much, much more. It has everything, according to my kids. My son uses it so much that even though he's only had it a few months, its cover has fallen off and it's looking decidedly worn.
posted by Redstart at 7:34 PM on March 14, 2013

You got most of them right! The first one is Lillipup.

To be honest...and boy this is embarrassing!...I have most of them memorized. All official Pokedex's will have that information, but I would make sure he knows how to read the tables and stuff. There's usually a "how to use this book" at the front of the Pokedex. I don't remember having that much trouble with evolution when I was younger, but Pokemon only evolved two ways back then. I can see how seeing the patterns would be tough on younger kids!

Also, you should tell your son that if it's evolution that's causing him the biggest problems, then in Black/White 2 (the one with Lillipup/Herdier/Stoutland) he can "call" Professor Juniper with the Xtransceiver* and she will tell him how certain Pokemon in his party evolve. He should know what that all means :).

* I looked up the name of the phone, I'm not that much of a dork :P.
posted by obviousresistance at 12:44 AM on March 15, 2013

FYI, the reviews for the book Redstart suggested say that the book is lacking egg groups. If he is absolutely unwilling/unable to use the internet to look stuff up...egg groups (which Pokemon breed with which) are what I need to look up the most often. There's just too many and too many counter-intuitive things to remember, and I can see it getting really frustrating for a kid to keep trying to breed Pokemon and be unsuccessful.

Otherwise it looks like a good choice. I'd just remember that while it includes all the Pokemon, it doesn't include all of their previous stats. So, like, my friends and I play Gen 4 games. Even though the Gen 5 (Black/White) guide includes Gen 4 Pokemon, the move lists have been updated. It isn't always dramatic, but I would just remember that for if he came running to you saying the guide was wrong (for example, some monsters in the first generation learned like, seven moves total, and by the fifth, would learn over 25).
posted by obviousresistance at 12:55 AM on March 15, 2013

Today my kids showed me a place in that book where it does show egg groups, so maybe the reviews that said they were lacking were wrong. (Or maybe my kids are wrong; I didn't look closely at the book and even if I had I'm not sure I would have understand what I was looking at.)
posted by Redstart at 3:52 PM on March 15, 2013

Response by poster: Redstart's book is exactly what he wanted, to the point that he needs another copy now just a few months later because his has fallen apart. It's now $25 and up on Amazon, though. Does anyone know if there's a new edition of it coming out soon, or why it would cost so much?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:06 PM on July 1, 2013

Response by poster: Also, for anyone else in this boat: ours has a different cover, but I think it's still the same book.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:09 PM on July 1, 2013

Best answer: I think maybe this one is the newer edition. It seems to be a bit cheaper. And maybe there will be yet another new edition when Pokemon X and Y come out, which I think is supposed to happen in the fall.
posted by Redstart at 8:31 AM on July 7, 2013

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