Review by chaoticone

"A nice trip down memory lane"



Ah the good old Pokemon red and blue days… how I miss them. Sure, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Sapphire and Ruby came out, but always left me with a missing feeling inside – I only just realized what the hell it was when I purchased Pokemon Leaf Green.

See, Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green are direct remakes of the two original masterpieces in a new form. Think of Sapphire or Ruby and that is what Fire Red and Leaf Green are all about. They look near identical and play the same way. However, there is something about Fire Red/ Leaf Green that makes me remember those good days when the Pokemon craze was all the rage. Simply put: these two new games are the best to arrive since the original Pokemon red/blue.

GAMEPLAY
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Pokemon Leaf Green is an RPG. RPG usually spells out danger in the gameplay zone yet while this is somewhat true for this game, it is surprisingly addictive.

For those who have no idea what a Pokemon is, read someone else's review. I am assuming everyone knows about Pokemon, and seriously who wouldn't? In the Pokemon games you take on a role similar to an old-fashioned turn based RPG. But there are multiple twists and turns along the way. Instead of having party members, you have to catch wild pokemon and train them up to a high level. You can hold six pokemon at any one time, and there are sixteen different elements, each with a different weaknesses and resistances to the others. There are a total of over 200 pokemon to catch in Pokemon Leaf Green, and as you level up Pokemon, they may evolve and pave the way for newer, more powerful pokemon. Your main quest is to challenge the eight gym leaders for a badge and enter the pokemon league to defeat the elite four trainers. Gym battles are more like Bosses while there are trainer battles, which are more like a mix between boss battles and normal battles. There are a TON of trainers to fight in Leaf Green – even more than the original Blue version. PLUS, you can fight each twice for more XP to level up your pokemon. Speaking of levelling up, pokemon gain stats and learn new abilities, a max of four at any one time. This can be a nuisance, but it makes the game fairer. There are basically two types of abilities: attack and status. The attack abilities are all you'll need to win the game, as the turn based style makes the status changing moves next to useless. For instance, string shot, a move that slows speed, has absolutely no effect, because you waste a turn using the move. That was the turn you gained. Pretty useless.

And level up you will. It can get tedious and slow easily. I must say that the newer the Pokemon RPGs get, the slower and more inaccessible they are. Random battles are a big pain in the backside, and you'll be spending a long time on this game if you want to win it.

8 / 10

VISUALS
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Pretty and colourful, yet don't push the GBA at all. The attack animations are OK, but nothing special. The actual pokemon themselves have no animation – they are one picture that moves whenever they use tackle or something. The pictures are done quite nicely however. Although a small improvement over Ruby/Sapphire, they are still dated.

7 / 10

SOUND
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One word: awful. There are no good sound effects in the game. The pokemon make the usual metallic noises that they've done since day one and have been used in every single game since they were created. Even pikachu makes a crazy zinging noise when brought out, but I believe they could be better. Pretty average, that's for sure.

5 / 10

MUSIC
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Pokemon music is always pleasant to hear, and this game is no exception. The music is the old Gameboy music made new, and it sounds quite nice and memorable. I got the shock of my life listening to the old ‘route 2' tune when it turned into a neat whistle tune. The battle music is cool also, but overall the music is the saving grace for the sound.

10 / 10

LASTING APPEAL
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Nine times out of ten RPG's never ever lack in the length department. This game is definitely no exception, providing endless hours of entertainment and replay – you can only have one file, but in that file there are pokemon to train up, beat the league as many times you want, travel to the new set of mysterious islands that are brand new to this adventure, acquire all the legendary pokemon and tons of other stuff to do. Trust me, I've just beaten the game in 45 hours of training up to level 70 and I'm still playing it.

10 / 10

Pros / Cons

+ Addictive
+ Unlimited play time
+ Neat music
+ It's red and blue again

- Pathetic sound
- Slow, annoying battles
- RANDOM BATTLES!
- Pokemon is getting VERY stale

Hopefully the final Pokemon RPG before a full remake on the Gamecube or something – Pokemon really needs to come out with something new. Overall, this is my favourite Pokemon game other than the originals, so if you are a fan of the originals and have fond memories of the old times, then I strongly suggest you purchase this game. New timers are better to have this game than Ruby / Sapphire, because it has all the old pokemon you'll know and remember. Overall this game is a nice, fun trip down memory lane.

Overall

40 / 50 (8 / 10)


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/23/04


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