Review by QueenMac91
"Gotta Catch 'em All!! I didn't but I still had fun."
Ah, Pokemon...One of the few things I enjoyed as a child. After school me & my best friend at the time would quickly do homework so we could have 6 hours to do nothing but level up these strange but awesome creatures. While 13 years have passed since its release, obviously you have no reason to return to Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow (unless you want to fill like a kid again, which I like to every now & then :) but it's a game that if you haven't experienced by now, like the original Zelda in the mid 80s, you missed out on what kicked off a very successful, if repeitive, franchise.
Keep in mind that the scores I give for presentation, graphics, sound & controls are on how they performed during that particular point in time (1998). I could easily give 2s & 4s, but that's completely unfair giving this is 2011 & Pokemon Red is 13 years old.
Graphics: 7/10- For its time Pokemon Red was a great game to look at. While not on par with Kirby or Mario, the graphics were very well made. From Professor Oak as soon as you start a new game to the Pokemon in the Pokedex, they looked pretty much like their television counter-parts. However, character models, YOUR Pokemon, grass, trees literally look like crap. Example: battle starts, I send out Butterfree. My opponent sends out a Butterfree. His looks stunning while mine looks like something out of the Hills Have Eyes. While this was a OBVIOUS flaw & issue, Gamefreak corrected this in Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal. Now everybody can enjoy to watch the battles they participate in.
Presentation: 8/10- Again, for a game released in 1998, looking back I was shocked at how well Gamefreak presented this game. They give you a world to explore. A LARGE world. "Go catch 150 Pokemon, because my back will give out!" Just kidding, but not really. 150 Pokemon seems like a lot (compared to 700 today O.O) but once you get a friend who has Blue, you're good to go. I loved exploring Kanto & visiting the cities. The buildings didn't look bad at all, gave you the sense you were in a real metropilis or village. The Pokemon look great as well...in the Pokedex, but still each one is pretty cool; Mewtwo=BadA** Ditto=Nickoledeon slime
Sound: 9/10- After all these years I catch myself humming the Celadon Game Corner music! The sound of the creatures moves (Aurora Beam, Hydro Pump, even Cut) have a distinct sound & at 8 years old I thought they were the coolest sounding moves ever. What annoyed me & lots of others was the sound the poison effect made whenever one of your Pokemon became sick by Poison Sting :P But, take that away & you have some of the most catchiest tunes & awesome sounds to moves that couldn't be beat till the next set of Pokemon games.
Controls: 10/10- The only thing perfect about this game, along with Mewtwo, are the perfect controls...Even if they are basic & a 3 year old can lay the Smackdown, if a scheme works why fix it? A=your talk/accept button B=your back button You have the D-pad to move (duh). The battle menu is stuffed & complicated, it's basic but perfect. You can easily run away from wild Pokemon w/o whining about what button to push. This game definitely needed some running shoes (YAY RUBY!) but walking the whole time added to the fun believe it or not.
Story: 6/10- You're just a boy wanting to become Pokemon master. Then your world comes turning upside down in Mt. Moon when we first meet Team Rocket. By far the best criminal organization in the Pokemon universe, mainly because of Giovanni the leader, but like Aqua, Magma, & Plasma very stupid. But how were they to know a 10 year-old could be so darn good at battling? They weren't which is why instead of getting owned by 10 year-olds, just kick 'em aside & take that powerful Charizard! While Giovanni wants to rule the world, he doesn't seem to have any, um, heart to push forward with his plan. Not til Gold/Silver did I take Team Rocket seriously. Your main focus is to collect 8 badges & challenge the Elite4. I would've liked to have seen Lance involved like he was in Gold/Silver, to give the player some sort of feeling when you finally face him to become Champion. Pretty childish plot, but water gunning Brock & Flamethrowering Ericka is enjoyable.
Gameplay: 7/10- Yes it's fun to go around & capture Pokemon to build a team, whoop on some Gym Leaders & train but after about 6 hours (less for the non-devouted) you realise it's repetitive & boring. If you have a friend, you can link up with a wire & trade and/or battle for bragging rights. This is the main draw to me & where I had my most fun. Who has the better Charizard? Battle & find out. Fun? Yes, but Gold/Silver made it more fun with more purpose.
Replayability: 2/10- Yeah, the BIGGEST downside to these Pokemon games, even now in 2011 with Black & White, there's not alot of reason to go back into Kanto & start ALL OVER AGAIN. What Red needed (& its successors) was a New Game+. For instance, you beat the Elite4 with level 50 Pokemon. When you go to start a new game you should have the option to start over but at the level you left off. That would've meant challenging gyms, trainers & a more powerful Gary & Giovanni. Sadly, New Game+ is & most likely never will be in Pokemon...EVER. Once Gamefreak figures out this amazing innovation, Pokemon will not only gain popularity but a reason to return to the games region.
In closing, Pokemon Red is old but a game that I was engrossed in for several hours daily. Is there a reson to play such an old game? Yes. Games like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7, Spyro, Rayman, Super Mario are all over 10-20 years old but they're still being played bceause they started what we're playing now. Without Pokemon, Monster Hunter wouldn't be as popular as it is today. Pokemon will alaways be an enjoyable experience for anyone no matter what age.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/09/11
Game Release: Pokemon Red Version (US, 09/30/98)
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