Review by Something_funny
"Pokemon was the greatest game ever made for the Gameboy systems"
Pokemon was a great game that offered huge advances over earlier RPGs. The inspiration for pokemon comes from the hobby of bug collecting, which is very popular in Japan. Like bug collecting, one attempts to gather the 150 pokemon scattered across the game's (at the time) large world. There hadn't been anything even similar to this game at the time of its release except perhaps the Dragon Warrior series (which allows one to raise one or several characters to battle in slightly more epic settings)
The story, while original, is not exactly exciting. Your character decides to become a pokemon trainer, collect all the pokemon, and become the pokemon champion by defeating the Elite Four. Along the way, you have to defeat 8 Gym leaders, fight the Team Rocket Gangsters, and train your small little pokemon until they evolve into powerful monsters. It would be nice to do something like save the world, but admittedly, that has been done quite a lot.
The gameplay is what makes this game. You start off with one of three little pokemon; either a fire, water, or grass pokemon. Soon, you'll be able to begin collecting a wide variety of pokemon that range from small rats to ghosts; the pokemon become more powerful as you train them and fight other trainers. The game has a relatively advanced statistics setup that is impressive because even a 6 year old can play the game whereas someone much older can still be devoloping powerful teams based on the most advanced understanding of the statistics of the various creatures. One thing that makes me prefer this game to later pokemon games is that it doesn't have an overwhelming number of pokemon. 150 is a large number, but a manageable one. The roughly 350 pokemon that have been made for all the games stop being original, appear rather ugly, and are almost impossible to fully collect, due the immense numbers of hard to find pokemon. The game is amusingly absurd to older players in the way most games aimed mostly at kids are. The best part of this game compared to later entries in the series, however, is its relative simplicity compared to later games in the series. There are no contests, no berries, or other useless additions to the game. This game is about raising and training the pokemon until they are strongest, not making them cute. I must say, I really prefer the original pokemon to the second or third generations.
Discussing controls in a gameboy game is kind of funny considering how few controls there are on a gameboy in the first place. Anyway, the controls all work, and are easy to use and figure out. A few little details and improvements in available in later entries to the series are missing though: One can't carry many items, and there's no way to organize the items. Also, there aren't any hotkeys, so getting on and off the bicycle or using a pokemon's move on the map (as opposed to in battle) is a bit of a hassle. For the most part, though, the controls are intuitive and good.
The graphics for this game really don't push the system that much. The pokemon are impressive but could have looked much better and so could the attacks. I'm thinking specifically of Dragon Warrior when I say this, which had much better looking gameplay when ported to the same system. However, the graphics aren't hard to look at, and it's easy to figure out what's what. One can identify different types of trainers, and images of the various pokemon in battle is very clear (curiously enough, one's own pokemon look rather ugly in battle compared to the enemy pokemon).
The sound is very good for the time. The music always feels right, the battle noises are reasonably intense, and there's a wide variety of sounds. Noises occur at almost anything that happens in the game world, which helps give the game a type of life. Still, the sound comes from a gameboy, so don't expect Pink Floyd in high fidelity.
Interestingly, in order to finish collecting all the pokemon, one must trade pokemon with another person. The multiplayer is small, but well implemented, offering opportunities to fight your friends and finish your collection of pokemon. The multiplayer has been continued on the internet where people battle original pokemon against one another online.
In conclusion, this game was so groundbreaking and popular, it's really part of history. Many people started pokemon with later entries in the series. These people should all go back and play the game that started it all. Any game that started a television show, a card game, and countless sequels and knockoff games should be played by everybody. This game is better than any of the games that followed it, and by far one of the most original games ever made. I reccomend it to anyone.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/22/06
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.