Review by Xerian
"I've been meaning to say this for a long time..."
This review is being written long after the Pokemon hype has died down. This review is not affected by the craze people had over the game to either increase or lower its score. Just a side note.
I don't believe there is any need at all to explain what Pokemon is about. Considering that just about everyone in the world should know about this game.
Graphics - 3/10
Harsh? No. The game graphics may have been on the Game Boy, but the graphics are in any case, poor and at times, lack of effort is almost painfully obvious. For example, your pokemon's picture graphics looks very large and choppy, as if someone drew the picture small and just blew up the proportions. Some of your Pokemon's pictures is really ugly. In fact, your Articuno must have been done rather lazily, as a portion of it is missing at the bottom, and an unfinished line is sticking out of it for some reason. Walkabout graphics are few in variety and everyone looks almost the same. Seriously, this game's graphics effort is poor and it really makes me wonder if people rushed this game. Also, attacks may bring out major complaints. They also tend to look the same and no special feeling using a certain attack because they all feel the same as the others.
Music - 5/10 / Sound Effects - 5/10
The game has very few songs, and a lot of them are pretty plain and boring. I only really enjoyed the first town music, and it's nice that that town is the only place with it's own song, as most other locations share their song with at least one other town or location. The battle music with Pokemon is annoying and not fun to listen to, the trainer battle music will get boring, and the gym leader battle music is actully fine, but you won't hear it that often. Overall, the music is nothing that great, so you can save batteries and keep the music off.
There aren't that many sound effects, and you will find the few there are is pretty boring and nothing special. It's better if you just keep your sound off. Save the batteries.
Gameplay - 2/10
What does Pokemon excel in that catches so many people anyway?
Basic gameplay to Pokemon is fight, heal, fight, heal, fight, heal, fight, heal, fight. There isn't about anything else to do here except fighting other Pokemon and healing yours. There is one game corner in Celadon City, but all you do is gamble at slot machines and your chances of winning are very low, you get very little prize money and you can only buy more pokemon and items there, and it takes FOREVER to get the items, even if you win the jackpot. No fun there. As for the basic fighting, it's all the same. You battle wild pokemon, they give you a tiny bit of experience and you level up until you're strong enough to fight the Gym Leader, the strongest trainer around the area. Fun. You can fight other trainers too, but sometimes you have no choice but to fight them. You can also buy items which I will state, are mostly useless and expensive at the same time. In fact, the items you need more is very expensive and it's hard to stock up on since you don't get much money for beating trainers (why do you get money anyway) and you don't get any for beating wild Pokemon. Aside from this, there really isn't too much else to gameplay.
Oh yes, catching pokemon. You catch them by throwing pokeballs at pokemon (wild only). Throwing one at a trainer pokemon will result in the trainer bouncing the ball back. For some reason though, you never bother to pick it up, I guess you're just too lazy (or the developers). Also, catching a pokemon is very illogical. To capture them, you must weaken them, but can't make them faint. Why is this illogical you ask? Well the pokemon just fainted, it's not dead, you can heal it at the Pokemon Center. So why are you not allowed to catch a pokemon then? Dumb. And catching some pokemon is very tedious and annoying. Some will just keep breaking out of their ball and keep doing it forever. Some pokemon are rare, and their chances of appearing is like.. 1/100.... bored yet? I am. I think I've explained enough.
As a quick note, battles are not about skill. It's about luck and how many levels higher you are than the other pokemon. If you're not stronger, you don't have any chance of winning even with a super strong attack because well, your level is not high enough.. Dumb.
Story - 1/10
I'm not even sure if I should be giving the point. I hated the story. Basically, you're a 10 year old boy who wants to be the world's greatest pokemon trainer. Nice. You've got a rival who always seems to be better than you, an arrogant selfish concieted (hey, that's sounding like a lot of people I know, maybe that explains your rival's personality) guy who also wants to be the best. Aside from that, there really isn't much else as far as the basic story goes. Raise pokemon, fight.
That isn't the worst of it though. While the story was poor, dialouge and characters... all the other stuff, that was far worse. Almost nothing is explained and everyone is just kind of stupid. People challenge you to battles, sometimes for stupid reasons, or after they just said something stupid. Check that... that's what they do about 99% of the time. Sometimes they'll say ''hey! you looked at me! now we're fighting!'' and you weren't even looking at them. Not only that, you never turn down challenges and you're not allowed to lose any or else, you ''black out'', lose half of your money, and are sent back to the last Pokemon center you used. WHY do you black out when you lose a battle? Why doesn't anyone else? (Side note: In future versions, this blacking out stuff gets even dumber than hell, and you ''white out'' instead) All the characters either have something stupid to say, or something pointless or useless. Almost nothing goes explained and if it is the reasoning is so poor, a three year old could come up with better.
Also, as mentioned before you HAVE to fight some trainers, mostly because they're standing right there, convinently positioned to be in your way so that you have no choice but to fight them and they never move from their spot either. Stupid. If you're going to play this game for intruging story or interesting characters, something must be wrong with you because as far as I can see, nobody in this game is even sufficent enough in mental state to even be a teenager. Play the game for a while and you'll see why.
Overall - 14/50 - F
I'm not bashing this game. If you play without thinking at all except for what you basically do in the game, maybe you can have some fun, or at least kill some time. If you even dare ask ''who, what, when, where, why'' while you play, you'll realize this game just sucks. You wonder just how in the world this thing even was allowed to be released. The world of Pokemon on Gameboy is sickening and horrible (the TV show is even worse... heh...). Just... just don't play this game at all. Unless you reallly need to see what it's like in the mind of a three year old.
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 01/11/04
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