In 1998, Pokemon took America by storm. The video game was big, but so was the anime. Perhaps at a time, the trading card game might of been the most popular medium. I remember long waits at comic book shops, cards going for pretty pennies, and official tournaments at Toys R Us. I also remember Nintendo's digital version that came out two years later in 2000.
The game wasn't a strict represenation of the real life card-game. You controlled a kid named Mark who set out to defeat 8 card masters, and later the champions. The game featured sets straight from the box, and some unique ones exclusive to the video game. And of course, friends could battle and trade with one another.
I was never much a fan of the actual card game (I was more a collector, and I never got the point of the energy cards), so I skipped on it. Ironically it was very well received by critics and fans alike.Some even bold enough to say that it was one of the best spin-off games in the whole series.