Review by aargh! ahoy, mateys!
"This is truly one of the best games... ever!"
The problem with writing a review for this game is for me to express- what's making me give this such a darn high score. If someone explained the game's premise, you probably wouldn't know what the big fuss is about. But I'm here to tell you, in plain and simple words, that- the reason the game is so good is because: it is just FUN.
But what's fun about it? Is it the walking in tall grass just to make pokemon jump out at you? No way! Is it battling pokemon with the turn-based battle system? Nope! Is it throwing the poke-balls at these now weakened pokemon? Come on, you've got to be kidding! No, the fun part is- Walking in the tall grass to make pokemon jump at you so you can fight with the turn based battle system to weaken them and then catch them with a poke-ball!
Alone, each main element of the game (and believe me, there are a whole LOT more than I said) isn't all that fun, but, when they all come together, not only do they combine to become incredibly fun, but each separate element exponentially increases its fun-level just by being intertwined with the other elements. And the end result- one of the best games, ever.
You probably know all about Pokemon by now, they're cute little monsters that range from birds to sea demons, and their one purpose is to fight and fight until someone faints. They inhabit the entire world, and there are between 200-350 types of them- or more!
There are also little devices called "poke balls" which you throw at wild pokemon to catch them. Once caught, pokemon are bound to you for life! Cool, huh!?
Well, in this game, you are some kid who was given a pokemon (chosen by you!) by a pokemon professor, Elm. After he recognizes your "skill" as a trainer, he lets you keep it. Good for you! You then go on an adventure where, at its barest state, is to collect all 8 gym badges and beat the pokemon CHAMPION, therefore becoming a Pokemon master!
But that's not all, oh, no. There's much, MUCH more, including the ability to visit the Pokemon Red/Blue areas(!) So read on and find out!
This is, of course, a Game Boy Color, so the graphics aren't that advanced. But it's in color, and what color it is! Even with the GBC's sort of limited color selection, you never feel as if you're playing some kind of game whose colors somehow, inexplicably, faded away. Key people are very recognizable, but for regular people, they repeat the same 15 characters 2,500 times. The pokemon, however... that's some great artwork. And the introduction to the game is ALMOST (almost) semi-GBA-quality! How great is that!?
This amazed me. How could the sound be SO GOOD on such a small system? Yet you can actually distinguish between instruments (or whatever they use to make music for GBC). And each pokemon has its own distinctive cry which can actually be used to identify them! How cool is that!?
The music, while already outdated, is still classic. If only the footsteps weren't so darn LOUD... oh well.
This is a very well-written story, I must say. Even though there are three points where you can deem the game "finished," it seems as if it'll never end, which actually adds to the whole feeling. And this is the best part- there are SO MANY SIDE-QUESTS. It would literally take me about a month of nonstop playing just to FIND them all, doing them is another story. And in the main plotline itself- so many twists and turns, yet the story never gets too confusing, it never contradicts itself. The main plot is, as said before, being a pokemon master. But you also have a rival (which you name) that hates being nice to pokemon and has to get killed by you a thousand times before he realizes his error, and there's the reappearance of Team Rocket!
Phenomenal. That word just summed up the gameplay. Honest and true.
First of all, the game has some sort of freaky internal clock that not only keeps track of the time and day, but also adds to the gameplay. You'll actually see it get darker at night, and there are events that only happen on certain days. Plus, some pokemon can only be caught at certain times of the day!
Another new feature is the all-powerful Pokegear, which comes equipped with map, radio, and- get ready for it- a CELL PHONE! Have you beaten any tough trainers? Want to get their number? If you talk to them, they might give you their NUMBER! Call for a rematch!
Besides this (and numerous other changes), pokemon's still the same as it has been. Which would warrant a 10/10 alone (NOW do you see the reason for the 12?). The whole reigon of Jhoto is giant, and you get to explore it at your own free will (kind of like a primitive and non-violent Vice City)! When you come to a city, you'll have to test your pokemon and your skills in a Gym! Beat the leader of the gym, and you'll get a BADGE to show off and allow you to progress (no, you CAN'T face the 8th leader first). But sometimes, you may be able to cheat and skip a gym, but you'll have to come back to it later.
But it's not just walk and battle! There are so many things to do in between cities- so many things. Brain puzzles. Ancient ruins. Chopping trees. Oh yeah- and riding on your bike! That is the defining part of the game- the thing that separates the 8 games from the 10!
But still, the main part of the game (the battle system) works just fine. In fact, it's perfect!
When you battle, you can either Fight, go to your Pack to use an item, switch Pokemon, or Run (if you're about to faint). It may not seem like it, but there's unlimited strategy to be used here. First- what pokemon? A Pokemon's power is measured in levels- from 2 to 100- and higher-leveled pokemon are stronger. You can grow in levels by battling wild pokemon and winning. But that's not it- type matters, too. You don't want a fire pokemon against a water one! Or a water one against a grass one! Or a grass against- you get the idea. And don't forget the items! You can refill health with potions- but you lose 2 turns. Is it worth it? Or you can use attacks that poison an enemy- but do no damage. And last, there is chance- will your attack be a critical hit (which does MUCH more damage, but is random)? The possibilites are endless- and I've beaten a trainer I've lost to just by changing my strategy! Truly, truly, truly classic gameplay.
Replay Ability: 10/10
Don't even ask me for a good summary of this. As said before- too many things! But the best one- being able to go back to the land of the Red and the Blue, Kanto. You can even see Ash... uh, I mean RED'S house! And you can even meet Gary... I mean BLUE! Or is Ash Blue and Gary Red? I don't know.
And you don't just visit, you can battle- yes,- battle the gym leaders! This is just... too wild! Add this to the million side-quests in BOTH regions, and the catching of... BOTH legendary Pokemon, and trading with your friends to complete your Pokedex- okay, I'm going to stop before my head bursts with all of the stuff to do.
I've said all there is to say. Even though it may be outdated, Buy this game if you haven't played it. I mean, come on, you can get it for 5 bucks if you can find it, and it's the best one in the series (yes, better than the GBA ones)! But sadly, stores may no longer carry this (come on, it's 3 or 4 years old!). If so, then you should have jumped on the bandwagon, my friend. Ask a dear loved one to lend it to you.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/07/04
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