Review by tiger_gamer
"A fun foray into the world of Pokemon"
Pokemon or Pocket Monsters as it was known in Japan, is regarded today as one of the most influential game and television series to be released from Japan and sent abroad because of the massive fan base it created. Today, Pokemon is enjoyed by probably more than a million people and numerous video games, card games, movies, toys, and even stores have been made due to its popularity. Although Pokemon Yellow was the third Pokemon game to be released in Europe and North America, it is often regarded as the staple of the original Gameboy series because it featured Pikachu as the initial Pokemon that is received in the game. Within a few weeks, Pokemon Yellow, went on to take the number two spots on North American game charts and later take number one and become one of the fastest selling Gameboy games during its lifetime and also became one of the best selling games for a handheld console of all times as well.
Even though this game is really immersive there is not too much of a true story to follow. You start out with your character in Pallet town and learn that you are finally allowed to go to Professor Oak's lab and take your Pokemon, but you awake late and the only Pokemon left is a newly caught Pikachu. At the same time you learn that your rival also got a Pokemon and he hopes to be the best Pokemon master ever. After learning all this you realize it is up to you to explore the farthest reaches of the Kanto region and defeat every gym leader, challenger, and even Pokemon who try to deprive you of your dream. Just like in the original Pokemon series there are eight gym leader, four final leaders, and at least one hundred random trainers that you will encounter on your adventure.
Game play 10/10
Really there are two parts to this game; traveling, and battling. Although some people might say traveling is one of the more boring parts of the game I feel that it is tedious but never the less interesting. In order to get to all the gyms and town you have to take your character all over Kanto and this does take time. You will encounter towns where you can talk to people, buy items and heal your Pokemon in your party. To some this is boring but I always liked talking to people because you would often learn little secrets about the area you were in and even little game play hints that are useful if applied in the right sense. The traveling part can get a little difficult at time because caves can be hard to maneuver through, and often it was through traveling that I figured out one of my Pokemon need to learn a skill through an HM to help get me somewhere that I needed to go. It is also through traveling that your encounter other Pokemon trainers and that leads me into my next point battles.
The battle system in the Pokemon series is turn based, which means that you will attack the other Pokemon, then they will attack back and the cycle will repeat until there is a winner, or if it is a battle in the wild, until you run away. To some the turned base battle seemed annoying but it gets intense especially once your Pokemon know the more powerful attacks or you are dealing with higher level Pokemon where it is easier for you to lose. Gym battles work the same way only each gym leader uses Pokemon from a certain element, and that means they all have a specific weakness. In that case it is important to try to figure out that weakness and use it against them. Gym battles are essential beefed up trainer and wild Pokemon battles but the rewards are often greater since you do receive a badge, more money, and in some regards a feeling of accomplishment and respect from the gym leader community. Battling is also the only way to level up your Pokemon which is very important when battling gym leaders, friends, and teaching new attacks to. Battling is also very important to exposing yourself to all of the Pokemon in this game which to me was really a fun challenge since I was a fan of the television shown, and new probably all the Pokemon in this game. One thing that I found a little annoying about the battles was the in-game text that was used. It essentially said the same thing every time and it did not always seem to match the events in the battle. One example of that is when you deliver a devastating hit to your opponent many times the text will say that it was not very effective. Other than that I have really no problems with the battle system or the traveling.
Graphics/ Sound 8/10
I was never really one to judge a game based off of graphics and since this is a handheld game I do not really have much to say anyway. Overall I like the graphics of this game, especially if played on a Gameboy Color. The grass becomes a nice shade of green, cave floors take on a lovely clay color, and the people look a little bit more like people. I also liked the ways the towns were set up because it was easy to find things like pokemarts and pokecenters when needed. Another cool thing about the towns in that they all had a unique color scheme to them that is if you played this game on a Gameboy Color or Gameboy Advanced.
The sound in this game really on matters if you play with the sound on or not, and if you do play this game muted you will not miss much. Often times I did play with the volume on low since the music is a little hypnotic, nice, but still a little on the mind numbing side. The music in towns was different than the music found in the wild so that was nice but again I often never had the volume on very high anyway. The sounds in battle are a little lame since most of the Pokemon make the same noises and the attacks really all sound the same. In the end the music is nice, but generally I did not care one way or the other.
I have probably gotten more play time out of this game than any other video game I have ever owned. There are 150 Pokemon to catch so that adds to the challenge and you will probably not battle every wild trainer as you walk from town to town, or at least I did because sometimes I just wanted to get from point A to point B. Also it does take a long time to level even just one Pokemon to level 100 so you will have to go back to towns and level up your weaker Pokemon to give yourself an advantage in battles with the final four or even just your friends. This game is also very addictive and I consider it to a fantastic example of money well spent because it will take a very long time to go everywhere you need to, as well as obtain all the items you need, and find all the HMs and TMs that give you the advantages in battle.
Overall Pokemon Yellow was really one the first video games I ever really got into and to this day I still have my original cartage. This game can be picked up really cheap now and some cane Gameboys and Gameboy Colors. Although new Pokemon series are being produced nothing compares to the original series with the original Pokemon. I recommend this game to everyone because it really is immersive, had great replay value, and there is always somewhere to go or a wild battle waiting just outside of town.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/07/10
Game Release: Pokemon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (US, 10/19/99)
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