Review by Ofisil

"Why the hell should I catch them all???"

Pokemon is an RPG developed by Game Freak. Pokemon… how the hell did this thing became so popular? Was the game so revolutionary? Was the whole concept of collecting and “training” creatures so damn amazing that some years later we have Pokemon, movies, comics, toys, condoms and so on? I don't know and I won't try to explain it. What I know though is that the game is just an average game and nothing more…

Story: N/A

I decided not to flame the game in this section because… hey, what the heck! It's a freaking Pokemon game what did you expect? You control a kid and you must collect as many Pokemon as possible and fight with other trainers until you become the Pokemon Master… the end.

Gameplay: 4/10
Replay Value: 0/10

In its core Pokemon is just another ultra-typical RPG and NOTHING more. You go around “talking” with people, find items and fight to level up. But what do you level up, your character? No. You train the little creatures called Pokemon, creatures that you must catch by throwing some special balls at them. Each creature has a set of unique attacks. Some just hit the enemy, some lower their defensive\offensive abilities, some throw poison, put enemies in sleep and so on. After a certain amount of training they evolve, meaning they change into a stronger form of their selves. You can collect many Pokemon but can carry only 6 making you think what to carry in a more strategic manner. The problem? There isn't really any strategy involved… it is just a rock-paper-scissors game where certain kind of Pokemon are stronger than others, for example Plant Pokemon kill Water ones, Water kill Flame ones and so on.

The game's main addiction is supposed to be the fact that “you have to collect them all!”. There are more than 100 Pokemon but what's the point of collecting them all? Pokemon in each category are pretty much the same, with similar skills and stats not to mention that no sane person would train all the Pokemon he would find. I just created a team of six Pokemon and focused on levelling them up and just them. Finally the game becomes boring too soon because of its length. For a game that you only collect Pokemon it's a very large one, with many random encounters involved, not too mention very linear. What you do in the game is: Go into a town, fight with the town's champion and gain a certain budge, use the badge to find a certain skill that will allow you to visit the next town, repeat about 7 times and after a lot of hours you will fight a team of very strong trainers and finish the game.

Graphics & Design: 7/10
Sound & Music: 5.4/10

The Good: PR has quite good graphics for a GB game, with nicely designed sprites, tiles and so on. What is especially good is the great diversity of Pokemon. There are more than 100 Pokemon available and many of them have very good and unique design. Also the game looks even better if you have a Super Game Boy adapter cartridge. The bad: Nothing is really special here… while the game looks good its overall design becomes extremely boring the moment you reach the third or fourth town and realize that that's all there is to it. Cities that all look the same, grass, houses, grass, water, grass and so on. The Average: The music and the SFX quality is what you would expect from a decent Nintendo game, meaning: It's neither bad nor good.

[+]:
-The Pokemon have nice design

[-]:
-Just a typical RPG and nothing more
-Too long, too linear and too easy
-Collecting all the Pokemon isn't so damn good as its supposed to
-Good graphics but very boring overall design

Also Play:
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Final Fantasy 6 (SNES)
Final Fantasy 7 (Playstation, PC)

Overall: 4.1/10

I just don't get it… this game is so freaking average that I just don't get how it became such a phenomenon. Mass paranoia maybe???


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/11

Game Release: Pokemon Red Version (US, 09/30/98)


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