Review by PentiumMMX

"The best out of the Pokemon games on Game Boy"

I'm sure everyone knows about Pokemon by now; it's been going for over 10 years, with nearly 500 monsters available to capture and train as of the latest games (Diamond, Pearl, & Platinum). However, long before Diamond & Pearl, there was Pokemon Crystal. When I first played it, I considered it to be the best Pokemon game I have ever played on Game Boy. It's been nearly 8 years since then, but how well does it hold up compared to the newer games?

Story
You just turned 10, so you leave home on an adventure to capture and train different monsters for battle, as you earn the badges to enter the Pokemon League by defeating the Gym Leaders. Also, you have to deal with an evil organization along the way, along with your rival.

It's basically the same story as every other Pokemon game, except with a few minor changes to make it fresh (Like how the rival is the type that never admits defeat, no matter how badly his Pokemon are beaten in battle). It's ok, but there are games with better stories to them out there.
Story: 5 out of 10

Graphics
It looks the same as Gold & Silver, but with a few slight tweaks to the battle graphics; the attack animations look a little smoother, plus the sprites of the Pokemon in battle are a little more animated (When you encounter a Pidgey, it will flap it's wings before the fight. It doesn't really do much, but it does look cool). It's not the absolute best on Game Boy Color, but it's very close.
Graphics: 9 out of 10

Controls
It's standard RPG fare. If you've played any of the previous Pokemon games or even the first Final Fantasy, you already know what to expect from Pokemon Crystal when it comes to controls. The only unique feature to the controls is the ability to set an item to the Select button, allowing for quick access to it when you need it. The controls work perfectly, but then again, it's hard to mess up controls for a turn-based RPG.
Controls: 10 out of 10

Music \ Sound Effects
The music of Gold & Silver was some of the best on Game Boy, and Pokemon Crystal continues the tradition by carrying over the original soundtrack from the previous 2 versions. Featuring many of the greatest tunes to ever be in a Game Boy game, it even puts some of the best NES music to shame. The sound effects are also great, featuring that Pokemon style to them. Overall, it's an example of a quality soundtrack for a Game Boy game, rivaled only by The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX.
Music \ Sound Effects: 10 out of 10

Gameplay
It's standard Pokemon fare; you capture and train monsters as you explore around the Pokemon world, battling your way to the top by beating the 8 Gym Leaders to obtain the badges required so you can enter the Pokemon League. As always, if you're interested in capturing all 251 monsters, you'll need to do some trading; some monsters are easier to find, or in some cases, only obtainable on other versions of Pokemon. Thus, obtaining every last monster in the game is a pain in the butt unless you have a group of friends to help you, because trying to capture all the Pokemon alone gets very expensive.

It also brought back the clock from Gold & Silver, which not only tells you what day and time it when set properly, but affects certain things in the game; for example, some monsters can only be caught at certain times throughout the game, and some events only happen on certain days. It works very well, and makes the game's world feel more “alive” than past games in the series.

The game does have some new features; one of which is the ability to choose the gender of your character. For the first time, if you want to be a girl in Pokemon instead of being a boy, you can, though it doesn't really affect much in the game outside of what your character looks like. Also, when you enter a town or get on a route, a box will pop up on the bottom of the screen telling you where you are, which is useful. Also, they include the Battle Tower, which allows you to battle a series of randomly generated trainers to build up your Pokemon. It's a cool feature, and provides a challenge regardless of how powerful your Pokemon are (Even if your Pokemon are all Level 100 with maxed out stats, you'll still find a decent challenge awaiting you). Also, there's a side-quest involving Suicune, making it a little easier to obtain it (You still have to hunt to find Entei and Raikou, though).

However, Pokemon Crystal isn't without a flaw; the save battery. Because the battery had to hold onto your file while keeping track of what time it is, the lifespan of the save battery was drastically shortened; meaning it's a pain to find a fully working copy. It can be replaced if you know what to do, though it's not a task for someone who's inexperienced with soldering. This is one rare case where I'd say it's worth the effort, seeing as this is probably the best Pokemon game I have ever played.
Gameplay: 10 out of 10

Overall
It's quite possible the best Pokemon game ever made; it's only flaw is the problem with dead save batteries. However, it's worth buying if you love Pokemon and you know how to replace the save battery.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/13/09

Game Release: Pokemon Crystal Version (US, 07/29/01)


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