Review by Nichols660
"One of the single greatest games of all time... for kids under 10."
Pokemon Red and Blue started the Pokemon craze. A card game, an anime TV show, spinoff games galore. Pinball. Puzzle Challenge. Snap. Stadium. But, at around age 12, the fun I had with the games started to fade out, and neither I nor my friends played Pokemon games.
The graphics in Pokemon Red were just better than other games. The Game Boy was not an RPG system, and was known for games like Tetris. The graphics really give you an idea of how the Pokemon and characters really look. One problem I have with it is that in a battle, the Pokemon don't seem to be attacking each other, just moving up and bumping into each other. One small pro is that when this game is in a Game Boy Color(or Advance, or SP, or Micro), it tints your character green, and everything else, red. This might sound annoying, but it's better than the monochrome Game Boy. Also, your character always stays in the center of the screen, and the backgrounds move, which is actually a nice effect, so you can see everything around you. This should have been used in more games.
The music in Pokemon Red fits the game's areas perfectly, from the simple, happy tune of your hometown, to the fast-paced, angry rhythm of the boss-battle music. It actually changes every time you enter a house, or occasionally talk to someone. Strangely, the music doesn't get at all annoying, even though they sound like the ringtone of a cell phone(before the good-sounding ones).
The gameplay, above all other aspects of this game, is what made it famous. You catch little animals called Pokemon, and train them by fighting with other trainers. Sort-of like cockfighting, without the illegality and death. Instead of dying, the Pokemon "faint" and have to be brought to a Pokemon Center, similar to a hospital, to be restored to full health. There is also a money system. When you defeat another Pokemon trainer, you get money. When you lose to a Pokemon trainer, you give them half of the money you currently have. If you're broke, you just don't give them anything. You can spend money at PokeMarts, where you can buy items like the Pokeball, which catches Pokemon, and the Potion, which raises one of your Pokemon's health meter. Each Pokemon has moves they can use, and a maximum of 4. Pokemon learn moves either by leveling up or having items called TMs used on them. Moves can be either offensive or defensive. The battle system works like a normal RPG's. The pokemon with the highest speed stat uses one of their moves first, then the other, then the first, and so on. Another great part is the trading and battling system. With a link cable, two Game Boys, and you and your friend's game, which could be Pokemon Red or Pokemon Blue, you can trade Pokemon with each other and battle each other.
A 13-year-old could beat this game in a week. That's how easy it is. It's an RPG-style game, so a week is a very short time compared to other RPGs. There are actually two goals: beating the final boss trainer and catching all the Pokemon. Catching every Pokemon is tedious and boring, since there are 150, and a lot of them have to be evolved, so you're stuck training crappy Pokemon from level 2 after you just beat the game. The other goal is what's exciting, and takes a week. Most of the game is just pressing the A button, aside from moving around, since you only really need to put the first Pokemon you get into battle throughout the whole game. If you continually use it, it gets stronger, so you don't bother catching new ones and training them, since the strongest and first one never faints.
You leave home at age 10(yeah, right) and set off to be a Pokemon trainer. Your neighbor, Professor Elm, gives you and your rival, his grandson, Pokemon. You choose one, and he chooses the one strongest against it. You have to beat 8 gym leaders, kind of like level bosses, who are in towns all around your state, or country, or continent, or whatever it is. After you have the 8 badges to show you beat them, you go to the Indigo Plateau to defeat the Elite four trainers and the Pokemon Champion. Then you're supposed to catch all 150 Pokemon, which nobody actually does.
This is a great, fun RPG with a twist, but it's geared toward 7-10 year old kids, not teenagers or adults.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/10/05
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