Review by horror_spooky
"I choose you!"
The release of Pokemon Yellow started a tradition that every generation of the main Pokemon games has been following since. Each Pokemon generation releases two RPGs; with the first generation, it was Blue and Red; the second generation it was Gold and Silver; the third generation it was Ruby and Sapphire; and the fourth generation it was Diamond and Pearl. To go along with those two, a third game is always released that mixes up the Pokemon selection a bit and switches things around a little in order to pretty much make a quick buck. While Crystal, Emerald, and the upcoming Platinum (the ones that belong to Gold/Silver, Ruby/Sapphire, and Diamond/Pearl respectively) are good, none of them will top the greatness that Pokemon Yellow provides.
One of the main reasons that Nintendo decided they needed to release a Pikachu-centric edition of their already classic series was to capitalize on the popularity of the Pokemon anime. In the anime, the main character (Ash) missed the day where he could choose between the usual Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle choices, so he is stuck with an unruly Pikachu. The story goes on from there, but the same pretty much holds true for this title.
Pikachu is your first Pokemon and it's an electric type Pokemon, your battle strategies and training will be very different at the beginning of the game than it was in Blue and Red. That isn't the only difference though; Pikachu will constantly follow you around (like in the anime) and his feelings for you will change as you progress further in the game. While the latter mechanic could have been pretty interesting, it really isn't fleshed out enough and feels sort of tacked on.
Since you don't get to choose between the original three starters, you will be given the chance to collect them later in the game. This means that there are new plot points inserted into the game that parallel the anime as well, given the game even more charm than it already had.
Besides that, the game pretty much plays out the same, except for a few minor differences here and there. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. Fans of Blue and Red will still find plenty to love with Yellow, plus the game provides an easier way to obtain some of the Pokemon. Pokemon Yellow is still as unbelievably addictive as its predecessors, and newcomers of the series could jump right in with no worries.
Like I said, there are a few new plot elements injected into the game. Instead of just fighting random Team Rocket members like you did before, you battle the anime villains (Jesse, James, and Meowth), and they have more of a character to them. The overall plot and your goals remain largely unchanged though, and it's a little disappointing that there wasn't more effort put into giving the game some newer plot for fans to sink their teeth into.
Pokemon Yellow looks a lot like Blue and Red do, but there are some new animations thrown in there. All of the glitches and technical mishaps remain in the title for some reason or another, and it's slightly disappointing that the developers didn't bother fixing these problems.
Any disappointments though can immediately be forgotten once you get that Pokemon tune back in your head. Packing one of the greatest musical scores in video game history, Pokemon Yellow definitely has a lot going for it in the audio department, plus some new Pokemon sounds, including multiple noises that Pikachu makes. It's not a huge improvement, but it still is an improvement.
Pokemon Yellow is one of the most addicting games I've ever played and it will provide you tons of playing time. After the twenty to thirty hour initial play-through, there are still some secrets to discover and Legendary Pokemon to capture. Your quest to fill up your Pokedex is a large one indeed, and you can always work to max out your team. Multiplayer options are included via the Link Cable and you can link up to copies of Blue, Red, and Yellow. You can trade or battle, but regardless, the multiplayer does give it another layer of replayability.
Pokemon Yellow is a brilliant RPG and one of the best RPGs that the Game Boy has to offer. It didn't start the mind blowing phenomenon that Blue and Red launched, but it definitely helped it keep its momentum. Fans of the anime will find plenty to love with this title as it includes more than enough elements from the TV show, and fans of the original two games will still find plenty to do once they've reentered the Pokemon world. In conclusion, if you're a fan of turn-based RPGs, a fan of Pokemon, or simply a fan of video games in general, Pokemon Yellow is an essential addition to your collection and not a game anyone should miss out on.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/20/08
Game Release: Pokemon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (US, 10/19/99)
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.