Review by missingn087

"Ah, yes, those were the days..."

Here's a game that even by its mention sends me and so many others like me through massive waves of nostalgia. Yup, it's Pokemon: Blue version, or Red version, to others. It doesn't matter, since they're essentially the same game. Though I will continue to play and enjoy newer installments of this famed series, Blue will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first. From picking out my first pokemon (a Squirtle named Jr.), to getting hopelessly lost in Mt. Moon or Rock Tunnel. Ah....it was great...

But what happens when we take a step back and analyse this puppy from a distance? Will it live up to the hype, or fall into the depths of fad obscurity like the Furby and the hula hoop? A game that spawned this many spinoffs and ripoffs can't be THAT bad, right? Let's find out!

LET THE REVIEW BEGIN!

STORY: 10/10

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. "Why is she giving Pokemon a ten? It HAS no story!" But that's the beauty of it! There's so little story in the game that you insert your own! That's the true meaning of "silent hero" games like this, it's what you make of it that determines what you're out for, and though I admit that the Ruby/Sapphire generation of the series have more options that keep you from HAVING to be a trainer, this one still has far more options than any other RPG I've ever played, or any other game at all, for that matter. As for the game's NPCs, most of them just have random advice about gameplay and adventuring, but if you look around long enough, you'll hear some interesting, quirky things that are a bit reminiscent of Earthbound, so it's worth checking out. Even better, this game carries an air of mystique due to the legendary pokemon, especially Mew. A pokemon that was impossible to obtain normally in the game allowed for a lot of rumor-making, theories, and overall questioning that helped make this game great. The interesting thing is that the creator made this game out his childhood love of bug collecting, and a lot of the pokemon themselves are actually based off of Japanese proverbs, stories, and animals that he remembered, like Meowth was based off a Japanese saying about a cat with money stuck to its head, and that Vulpix and Ninetales are representations of the Japanese fox demon, Kitsune. Very interesting, to me, at least. I don't know about you.

SOUND/MUSIC: 8/10

It's the exact same deal with Pokemon as it was with Mother. The sound effects are very unimpressive, and the music quality isn't....well it isn't good, frankly. However, the saving grace for this score, as with pretty much every other Nintendo-produced RPG, is the brilliant composition that makes you feel like you're actually accomplishing something. I'd like to meet the person who DIDN'T go into happy spasms when they beat the game and heard the super-victorious ending music, or get into the spirit of adventuring when they heard the tune of Route 24, or get a little spooked at the haunting, lonely song of Mt. Moon or the Pokemon Tower, or get totally revved up at the music of the final battle....Sorry...got a little carried away there. Anyway, the music's atmospheric effect makes up for that it lacks in quality, but what can you really expect from a gameboy? It's an old system, and shouldn't be penalized for having "poor" sound. Really, it was quite good for its era. Not the sound, of course, but the music. It's pleasant to listen to, and gives you a real feel of what's going on around you. Nobou, eat your heart out, because in my opinion, Nintendo's RPGs gave far better music than Final Fantasy in terms of atmosphere and feel.

GAMEPLAY: 9/10

Wow. This is probably the most unique RPG battle system I've ever seen. I mean, even Earthbound followed some basic rules, but this game turned it all on its head. You choose six pokemon out of 151 (Well, now it's about 400-something O_O) to be a part of your team. You train them to high levels (One of the few RPG elements it shares) and defeat rival trainer's trained pokemon. Your pokemon can know four attacks, and attacks can be added and deleted to follow your battle strategy, and the order of pokemon in your party could be changed as well. The battling process is surprisingly exhilarating, considering that nothing moves onscreen except for brief attack animations, and is pretty addictive. Experience is gained for each victory, and when enough experience is gained, some pokemon will evolve into new, more powerful forms. There is more than one method of evolution, though. Some pokemon will evolve when exposed to special stones, like moon stones or thunderstones. Others will evolve by being traded with another game. Another goal is to try to catch all the pokemon. This is quite a task (especially now! O_O), but leaves one with an extreme feeling of accomplishment if one is successful in this endeavor. Outside of battle, you walk around a large world, while it's not particularly beautiful, contains enough mystery and intrigue to keep you interested and eager to explore the vast landscape. It inspires a wonderful feeling of finding new places and new things to see, and I only hope that the new additions to the Pokemon family will keep this feeling alive.
Now, the main problem with the gameplay: GLITCHES. This game, for all its triumphs, is quite buggy. Though it's not particularly common, strange things will happen in the game, like unexpected pokemon evolutions that weren't supposed to happen, botched up attacks, program errors, and even pixelly glitch pokemon. Fortunately, most of these glitches can't be noticed unless you go looking for them (Missingno., the most famous glitch pokemon, for example), however, they're very annoying when seen unintentionally, and can also ruin a game cartridge.

REPLAYABILITY: 10/10

This game gets the highest score because it NEVER ENDS. Once you beat the game, you still have everything, and the game continues until the cartridge's battery dies or you decide to start a new game. It can be played indefinitely, if you want to. It doesn't matter, because this is a rare game, a game with infinite playability! You can continue to collect, trade, battle, and raise pokemon to your heart's content, and even get a little attatched to the little critters. That's probably why Pokemon sold so well, because once you get into the game, you get so attatched to your hardworking team of fighting, superpowered creatures you can't bear to reset your game! I honestly cried when I discovered that my original Blue cartridge had, by either a glitch or otherwise, had been deleted. THAT'S how replayable this game is!

CONCLUSION: Wow, what do you know? This game DID live up to the hype and my memories! That's a very impressive thing that most games don't do. Well, since most everyone has played this game at one point or another, I guess I'll just dismiss by saying that if you haven't played this game yet (All five of you), I would definitely recommend it. It's a unique RPG experience and an all-around great game, with a little treat for all the hackers out there who love evaluating hex codes. It's just a shame that after the hype died down, this game was dismissed as "kiddy. Bah! This game is great, and far superior to many other RPGs that have gained a lot of fame *koffdragonwarriorkoff* So, whoever you are, you will probably enjoy this game. I know I do!

VIVA LA PIKACHU! VIVA LA POKEMON!

PS. If this review seemed a little wordy, forgive me. I was trying to meet the word limit.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/13/06


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