Review by BigCj34

"It's really just Pokemon Red/Blue masquerading as a new game, only bother if this is new to you."

The Pokemon games on the Game Boy made it to the UK in Autumn 1999 as an RPG with two different versions, red and blue. All you do is catch a team of Pokemon, train them up and become an ultimate Pokemon master. This launched a craze of trading cards, board games, sticker albums, and sweets, plus a whole lot of other toot. This also came to a rather good cartoon, but now mine and maybe your merchandise sits in the attic oxidising and catching dust, unless you have a serious mental issue or sold them.

This version came out in the UK in June 16th 2000. In a nutshell, the Pokemon Yellow version is supposed to be more TV program orientated, using events from the animated series into the game, but it really is a bit disappointing. Sure, you start off with a Pikachu, who refuses to stay in his Poke ball, and he doesn't want to evolve. The real Team Rocket are in there, with Meowth and all that but it just uses red and blue as a template, thrown in a few TV program events and you can check Pikachu's emotions. Gymwise, Sabrina has her very hard Alakazam. Whoopee. There is also a secret, now impossible to get minigame, which you will now have to cheat to get. Why do Misty and Brock not follow you around, or you face that weird guy in Viridian forest? The Elite Four's the same. You can check Pikachu's emotions when he walks behind, so train well and he'll like you, and it's possible to have Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle in your team at once!

I, t isn't even in full colour, and at the time, Game Boy Colours were the rage, and this is designed to work on a Game Boy. The cartridge is technically a Game Boy Colour cartridge, if you go to a different area, there is different colour, plus more colour in the battles. Yay.

But hey, it's not all bad news, because, well, it's still the same game we enjoyed a few months back. If you are new to the game, you should really get this, and if you do have both, then there are little Pokemon that you must trade off the blue/ red version, depending on what you have.

You start off as a boy called Ash, who reaches his 10th birthday, thus meaning he has reached the age to train Pokemon. As he goes to the lab, Oak is not there, so you try to find him. As he spots you go to the tall grass, he encounters a Pikachu, and catches it for himself. Back at the lab he has one Pokemon left (and it's not Pikachu) and your rival, Gary, pushes you to the side and takes it. So Professor Oak gives you the Pikachu he caught earlier He refuses to stay in his ball, so he follows you around on his big fat ass behind you, and he is the same size as you! Gary challenges you to a battle. On his journey he gets a Pokedex for doing an errand, and must have got information on all the Pokemon in there, the Pokedex logs are different this time round. You can also print stickers of your Pokemon via the no longer available Game Boy printer. You just have to become a master, although it does take hard work. In most towns, there is a gym, with a gym leader who specialises in a certain type of Pokemon. If you beat the leader, you get a badge. Collect all 8 and you can fight the Elite Four. You have to fill your Pokedex and become an ultimate trainer.

There are many places to catch Pokemon, like in water, caves, or in wild grass. You also fight trainers, who want to test their team of their own trained Pokemon with yours. There are many events like the SS Anne ship, the Viridian forest, routes, and there is also a hell of a lot of battles with the Team Rocket crew, who treat their Pokemon badly to use them to take over the world.

In every town, you will find a shop to buy Poke Balls to catch Pokemon, medicines and power-ups, and a Pokemon centre, to heal all your Pokemon fully. There are a few buildings to go in, with people who give obvious advice. The buildings all look more or less the same, which makes it look a bit boring. In places like Celadon city, there is a casino or in Fuchsia city, there is a Safari park. The casino is a mildly addictive casino, so there are quite a few mini games. There is a secret one in Fuchsia city, which I won't say, but it involves using Pikachu.

The battle system is the same, but there are much improved, more authentic, character appearances. There is additional colour, so Gyrados is blue, and Venesaur is green, but not a lot of it. For newbies, the battle system is turn-based, but you can get an extra go if you have a fast Pokemon. You can have up to four moves to use. You have a limit to the times you can use each. Moves can inflict HP damage, cause status effects (Poison, sleep, etc.), or weaken statistics. There are moves for your own benefit as well. Items can be used in battle like potions, antidotes and if you confront a wild Pokemon, ensuring it's weak enough, throw a Poke Ball and catch it (maybe). There are many elements of Pokemon, water, thunder and normal to name a few. Pokemon have strengths and weaknesses, so carry a balanced squad. You can only carry 6 Pokemon, and you can store the rest in a PC, found in Pokemon centres. You can also store items in there, and get an evaluation on your Pokedex. Pokemon are customisable, you can give them items to bolster attributes, teach them moves via TM's, or moves which you will need throughout the game, to use in the field map.

When in the field map, you can bump into many trainers, along routes and all that. But there is a problem. The trainers are too easy, your Pokemon do take some damage, but most you can defeat in less than 4 shots. So you get overconfident. When it comes to the Elite Four or the Gym's, your rival Gary and people like Giovanni, the Team Rocket leader they are quite hard. Sure, battles earn you money and your Pokemon give you vital experience points to level, but it could have easily been fixed. In dungeons as well, like the Silph Company building or the Pokemon tower, it's quite easy. Most of the trainers have the same names. Cooltrainer, Hiker, Firebreather, Junior, etc. to name a few. It's all generic, and the same appearances, a tad repetitive to say the least.

Battling against a mate via link cable is still there, plus a new mode called Colleseum 2, which I've never done before. You can trade Pokemon, essential for getting them all.

The games visuals are behind in the technology there was back in 2000. Where most people would have been using a Game Boy Colour at the time, and they were launched a couple of years before Yellow version was released.

Pokemon Yellow is only in partial colour, the colour changes when you go to a different area. There is added colour in the battles, but only a few shades of a colour. The graphics are quite repetetive, all they are are just pre-rendered pieces placed all over the map. Every building has the same design, just a different design. Walls look the same, and a few other things as well. There are a few differences in cities, but not many. Townsfolk look the same as well. One good improvement is that the drawings of Pokemon in the battle scenes. But the animations are still poor, just moving sideways for a tackle attack. To be fair, it is Game Boy graphics, but it could have been better, for the Game Boy. Oh, and when Pikachu walks behind you, he looks like a butt-ugly giant.

The music is still the same, but it is still very good, very jolly and it doesn't get too repetitive. Pikachu speaks, saying a thoroughly distorted ‘Pikachu' when you turn to talk to him.

If you intend to beat the Elite Four, it'll take you a few dozen hours. (About 50) If you want to catch ‘em all then it'll take 100 hours. You'll probably forget about it once you've beat the Elite Four, I don't think anyone in the right mind would want to complete it fully. Of course, you can trade, which you'll have to do to complete the game.

Graphics Repetitive, poor animations but looks okay and authentic appearances. 6/10
Sound Good music and Pikachu speaks. 8/10
Gameplay Too similar to the last but it's still good. 8/10
Length You'll beat the Elite Four, but after? 9/10

It is hardly based on the TV program, and there are very few new features to call it a new game. It is getting a 7, because although it's hardly new, it's still the same game people enjoyed a few months before, and there are some newbies to the game as well. There could have been more improvements to the game, but doing a quick slap of extras is the developer's way of making money. Well I hope it doesn't happen again, oh sorry, Pokemon Crystal's came out didn't it? Oh bother…

Overall score: 7/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/30/04

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