Review by Yoh_of_Izumo

Reviewed: 06/30/06

As Close as it Comes

If this is your first time ever to purchase or play a Pokemon game, then Pokemon Yellow is truly the best game of Pokemon that will ever come close to the true form of the television series. Basically, Pokemon Yellow is the image of Pokemon Blue, Red, and Green, but it adds an interesting sidequest to the entire game: I choose you…Pikachu! If you enjoyed the Animé show, then pick up a copy of Pokemon Yellow, because no game that proceeds this game ever comes close to the Pokemon show as this one has.

After several years, many people have forgotten about the original Pokemon games and have moved on to the more advanced versions. Despite years of advancing technology, Pokemon has yet to change besides a grayscale picture to a 32-bit setting. And even after all these years, the original Pokemon versions: blue, red, and green (and yellow…) still far outweigh all the Pokemon games of the current era. The past is slightly murky on the history of Pokemon but it is easy to say that everything happened so fast. The games, the cards, the television show all caught on fast with the popular culture and they still continue today feeding the young generation, though of course, originals are always better than their remakes.

Pokemon Yellow comes around in a time where there weren’t that many noteworthy RPG’s on portable systems – besides the just released Pokemon Red, Blue, and failed Green, and despite its simple setup, Pokemon caught the attention of upcoming gamers and will always remain as one of the classics in the Hall of Fame of Games. I remember, it was my first game (Pokemon Blue) I ever got along with a Gameboy Color and even to this day I sometime check on how the original is doing. Sadly though, they removed the Missingo (‘M’) glitch from the game, and the slight thrill of cheating was removed. But for this, Pokemon Yellow has been brought to higher standards. Without item glitching and above 100 level Pokemon to enter onto a Pokemon battle, battles became more about skill and dedication to the Pokemon game. And with the newly introduced walking around Pikachu, Pokemon Yellow caught the eye of many who dreamed of play a game that synchronized itself with the Television Series. Well after all…it is a classic…a classic perfected.

Now what are the differences between Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow? Not much. They always take 13 (or more) away from the game so that you have to trade with another person. Green is just a failed version…marketing issues, while Red and Blue continue to shine. On Gameboy Colors, Pokemon Red is delivered with a tinge of Red in the environment, while Pokemon Blue has an aqueous taint to it. How about Pokemon Green? Yep, just a grassy color setting. Of course, you can always change these colors during the ‘Gameboy’ screen – before the Nintendo logo shows up – to supply different flavors to the gaming environment. And what about Yellow…well that actually became compatible with the Gameboy Color and Pokemon actually had some color for once, instead of these dull coloring, and you also had a small sidequest…keep Pikachu happy, so it came closer to the Television series. But now is not the time to go any more in-depth into other Pokemon Games: read my other reviews if you want to learn more about them.

And on we go into the deciphering of an ancient game with modern views. I will classify this game on the technology is was meant for and try not to incorporate any bias from its progeny or other lavish games that crush current Pokemon games…but remember, the Originals are not the Currents, the Originals far outperform the Currents, and so onward…


Gameplay: 9/10
The controls are simple, the logic is brilliant, and there are no problems with clunky controls, or a problematic system. It only takes about fifteen minutes to learn how to adequately play this game, and I’m sure that after seeing your friends play this game, that you should have no problems playing it. During world exploration, all that is needed is to press up, down, left, right, to move around successfully in this nice Pokemon World. A map that you receive early on in the game easily points out where you are, and helpful people in the towns will willingly inform you of hints on how to continue on in your pursuit in becoming the Pokemon Master. If you want to catch a Pokemon, it is fairly simple: weaken it, and catch it. And for the harder Pokemon: weaken it, status it (inflict it with burn, sleep, etc…), and catch it with a more expensive ball such as an Ultra Ball. During in-game battles, there are only four moves to choose from, and three other actions you can take to assist you in the game. If all your Pokemon faint, you will blackout and wake up in the Pokemon Center with half of your money. Pokemon Centers are in ever town and if your Pokemon are in need of a tune up, just talk to Nurse Joy and she will fix them right up for you. Now then, despite all these wonderful attributes to the gameplay of the originals, there are some detrimental components. It is impossible to catch all 151 Pokemon on one cartridge, because either Game Freak wanted to make people more social and link everybody up with each other, or they wanted to make increased profits…I say the latter. If in your neighborhood, everyone purchased all Pokemon Yellow cartridges, there go your chances of collecting all 151 Pokemon. Another annoying aspect is that your Pokemon can only acquire four moves at a time, and if you wish it to learn more, one move must be forgotten. This is extremely annoying, especially when coupled with the Animé series where it appears the Pokemon never have to forget a single move. And of course, the crowning aspect that perfects the originals is the incorporation of a sidekick: Pikachu. Pikachu resembles one of those carry around electronic pets in your pocket, yet very much easier. As you walk around, Pikachu will respond affectionately or negatively to your treatment. Of course, usually through the middle of game, if you’ve hardly allowed Pikachu to faint, given him items, and never deposited him, he will surely acknowledge this with several hearts and your Pikachu will ‘pika’ in joy. It almost follows the true logic of the television series with Pikachu hating you in the beginning, and truly adoring you in the end. With the destruction of the glitches from Pokemon Blue, Red, and Green, battles are fairer, and dedication to the game truly demonstrates your legacy in becoming a Pokemon Master. The multiplayer aspect of this game is also noteworthy as there are no problems with lag or harmful glitches in the system. The game keeps track of your wins, losses, and ties. And the most notable distinction in Pokemon is the ability to trade Pokemon via Link Cable (have to buy that…Nintendo’s marketing strategies) to reach the destined 151 Pokemon to receive a diploma to which to show your friends or print out with that lost-in-time Gameboy Printer.

Story: 9/10
If it is an original, and Pokemon Yellow is surely original, then it must certainly have an original story to it. This Pocket Monsters called Pokemon were surely an element of origin in the game world. Ever since, I get a laugh when I see other companies try to copy the originality of Pokemon…cough…Digimon. But besides this, Pokemon Yellow takes on an intriguing RPG aspect: Game Over doesn’t exist. You go around the world of Pokemon collecting these creatures and building up a strong party that coalesces all the aspects of a strong team: water for fire, ghost for physic, fire for grass, and the list continues. You have to defeat eight gym leaders on your quest to challenging the Elite Four and once you have finally received full satisfaction from crushing the toughest trainers in the game, you can finally acquire the strongest Pokemon (and still strongest in all 351 Pokemon) in the game…MEWTWO. There is also one major sidequest: collect all 150 (151 Pokemon if you want Mew). It definitely extends the games life by causing you to get together with your friends and trade (or glitch) to acquire all 151 Pokemon. I always looked forward to catching an additional 10 Pokemon to add onto the Pokedex, because the saying that Professor Oak would say would always be different, some worthwhile to read, others disappointing. And as you have read before, Pikachu’s side of the story also contributes to a more warming environment that pulls it closer to the Television series that links you with Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town – Ash is the name I always call my character. With the ability to acquire all the Pokemon that Ash receives in the Pokemon World such as Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur, you become an ultimate team. The story is short, sweet, and original, but as Pokemon games continued to use this storyline, the series has continued to deteriorate, but of course, Pokemon Yellow as an original perfected that has never been surpassed by a Pokemon game created after its time on the more technologically advanced systems.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics of the game are not its most noteworthy part, but the creature drawings are very nicely done. All the drawings have been redone, and if you have a Gameboy Color, you can finally use some of its colorized power. If you have a Gameboy Color are more advanced and wish to stay in the colored realm of technology, Pokemon Yellow surely assists. The graphics are not as cheesy as they were in the predecessors of Pokemon Blue, Green, and Red, and are far more appealing to the eyes from the rear view as from the side view as well. The in-game battle screen is original to Pokemon, but somewhat simple yet very satisfying for a game made for Gameboy and Gameboy Color. You keep moving up in levels learning new moves just to see how this newly acquired move looks, and sometimes you’re disappointed, while other times you’re thrilled to use the move just to see the graphical sequence roll through.

Sound: 8/10
The music corresponds correctly with every environment, but the only problem is that it starts to get banal, and very annoying to the ears, and the music has been slightly redone to make those who have been playing Pokemon Blue, Red, and Green not bored out of their minds. I find myself singing to the eerie Lavender Tower music or humming the Pokemon battle music, but eventually I just have to turn it down, because it loses flavor after several hours of listening to it. Though I have to say that I always love hearing the music of the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four battles.

Replayability: 7/10
Replayability has slightly gone down in Pokemon Yellow from the previous games of Pokemon Blue, Red, and Green, because all the amusing glitches that set apart the original trio from Pokemon Yellow have been removed. Though, with the addition of Pokemon Television series elements, Pokemon Yellow is truly a fun game to play once in while to take a break from current generation gaming…Halo 2, Warcraft, etc…With the ability to battle other people, trade, and make ingenious combinations to your team and to your Pokemon’s moves, the game can surely eat away at the time you spend in the car, bus, metro, train, boat, airplane…did I miss something?


Using my rating system for Gameboy Original games:
20% Gameplay, 30% Story, 20% Graphics, 5% Sound, 25% Replayability

Overall Game Rating: 8.25

Suggested Action: Borrow this game from a friend or Buy in a store if you can find it for less than $10.

Final Comments: Though it does receive a score of 8 out of 10, it is truly not for someone in the teenage years or higher who have already played classic RPG’s such as Golden Sun, Final Fantasy, and more. If this is your first time ever playing an RPG than it is perfectly fine to test the waters to see if you are an RPG style player, yet if you have played other more mature classics on higher systems, you may be slightly disappointed. It is a children’s classic, but that’s as high as it goes.


Rating:   4.0 - Great

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