Review by tranmerefan
"Brilliant fun for All."
Every young child will need a great game that will introduce them to the gaming world, without the game being too graphic heavy or extremely powerful. I'm a firm believer in that younger children should play all the old classics before demanding the next generation consoles. Pokemon Red and Blue is such a game. I have played it many times and it is a classic and, as it is the original Pokemon game, it has the features that made it great before hundreds of new Pokemon games came out making the games less enjoyable. I am not dismissing Pokemon as a child's game, I played (and enjoyed it) when I was around 16 which is the age that people start to look down upon kids games. However, it's nature does mean that it's a game with lots of depth and importantly a good game, yet it's great for young children to learn to play.
The story of Pokemon is pretty simple. You play the game as Ash, a young child who lives in Pallet Town. This is where your journey of gaining 150 pokemon and to become the Pokemon Champion, before your cousin does. You start off by visiting Professor Oak, who gives you a choice of 3 Pokemon for you to start your journey. Going between towns you are required to collect and to train up your Pokemon until your pokedex is full. This is given to you at the start by Professor Oak and keeps a record of all your collected and seen Pokemon. This journey will require you to fight 8 gym leaders to collect their badges. Doing so will allow you to challenge for the title of Pokemon Master. This is why I believe that the game is more suited to the younger child, although anyone can get hooked on Pokemon. Some of the Pokemon, namely Pikachu, can easily become a Childs favourite and the storyline helps to capture a person's imagination in a way that is so hard to do and that I have never really seen in a game before.
As ever with a game, the gameplay is going to be the main thing. Here, Pokemon doesn't disappoint. Despite the game having been released a good few years ago, it is still fantastic and will compel you to continue playing the game until all 150 pokemon have been collected. However, there are problems with it as well. I don't like the fact that the sole difference between the red and blue versions of the game is that some pokemon can only been seen in one game and not in the other. To collect all 150 you either have to hope one of your friends bought the different version and trade, or buy the different version yourself and use another gameboy to do the trade. This is the only fault of the gameplay and the pros easily outweigh the cons. The pros of the gameplay are that the way it's played is simple. You walk around finding the pokemon on your way to the next city, and the next gym (and hopefully another badge). Thankfully, so you don't really miss anything out there is only one way around the place when walking although later in the game a flying pokemon can fly you to another city you have visited. This allows you to fully explore the paths, caves and anything else you see in the game without taking a wrong turn or getting lost. With the game being a fantastic one for the younger gamer I feel that this is a strong advantage as getting lost will be more frustrating to those who haven't played the game before.
The graphics and sound, although not spectacular, work very well with the game. Considering the pokemon games are fairy old then there are no complaints. There is a top view 2d screen which works well because you can easily see where you are going, without having to move the camera all the time. Also it helps to enforce the fact that there is only one route in the game for you to take. Games in 3d usually have different ways and I don't believe that this style of game wouldn't work as well in 3d. Again, for younger gamers (although older people will still enjoy the game as well It isn't just a child's game) it's perfect because it gives them an insight into games without too much. However, sounds do fall down slightly. The battle sounds work well with the game, but what annoys me and the people who happened to be around me when I was playing the game was the tunes continually played. Although it's the type of things kids love anyone else and it is irritating. The simple solution is to the turn the volume down as you don't miss anything not having it on. This is the only other thing where Pokemon Red and Blue falls down on.
Pokemon is a huge game. It will take the average gamer a good length of time to get all 150 pokemon and to become the Pokemon master. I believe that there is a good 30 hours worth of play in the game especially if you haven't played the game before and if you are inexperienced at playing games it can take even longer. This will make the game worth anybodies money. When it's done, you can always start again because it's worth the fun. You can try choosing a different pokemon at the start and have a different collection as your main six. This can make the overall game time even longer and certainly worth anyone's money.
My final recommendation is that you buy this game, no matter what your age is. It is a fantastic game, highly addictive and I am sure that over 90% of people will enjoy this game. It will keep you hooked for hours and as a bonus, there is part colour to them on the Colour Gameboy, so if you have that instead of a normal one the game will run.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/09/04
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