Review by KnightsoftheRound
"If you already own Red or Blue you might want to skip this one, but if not and you want one of the first games, this is definitely the best version."
Pokemon Yellow is almost the exact same game as Pokemon Red and Blue. The major difference is that Pokemon Yellow has a Pikachu that is always given to you at the start instead of the choice between Charmander, Bulbasor and Squirtle. Pikachu also always follows you around on the world map, and you can "talk" to him to see his current mood. This might sound all nice and dandy but it's actually somewhat of a major drawback. During the course of the game Pikachu will become incredibly underpowered compared to the other choices of electric pokemon available to you. This is mostly to the fact that Pikachu can not evolve because it will "refuse" to evolve if you try to evolve it. Therefore this can only be solved by replacing it or trading it to a friend and getting them to evolve it and then trade it back.
The story of Pokemon Yellow is exactly the same as Pokemon Red and Blue. The story begins with you as a young boy ready to set out on your adventure of becoming the greatest pokemon trainer of all time. You start out by saying your farewell's to your mother and head out to Prof. Oak's pokemon lab. This is where Prof. Oak gives you and your rival your first pokemon. After running an errand for Prof. Oak he kindly gives you one of his new inventions, the pokedex. The pokedex is a small device that records all information of the pokemon you have seen and captured. It is Prof. Oak's dream to create a pokemon encyclopedia, so you set out with two objectives. Become the greatest pokemon trainer of all time, and complete the pokedex to the best of your abilities.
Pokemon Yellow plays similar to most 2D RPG's, in which you run around on the world map going from town to town, entering in random battles. To enter in random battles you usually have to run in the grassy areas where wild pokemon are hiding. Unless you are in a cave, which they will just attack at random no matter where you are. Despite what some may think about the pokemon series (for GB), the battles in pokemon have quite a lot of depth and strategy to them. You will mostly fight wild pokemon during your adventure which will vary in level and type. Your objective is to capture these creatures by weakening them to low HP and then throwing a pokeball at them to capture them. If you do not weaken them enough they can break free from the pokeball. You can have up to a party of 6 pokemon at any given time.
Other than fighting wild pokemon you will also fight other trainers. Usually another trainer will challenge you if you walk into their line of sight. Trainers offer more experience points to your pokemon and you also win money when you defeat them. Battling wild pokemon and trainers isn't as easy as it sounds. You cannot just choose 6 random pokemon and begin fighting. Since pokemon differ in class and strength you must choose your party wisely. There are many different types of pokemon ranging from grass, fire, water, ground, neutral, electric, ect. Each kind of pokemon has it's own strengths and weakness' against other types. For example, fire pokemon are strong against grass pokemon, but are weak against water pokemon, which are weak to electric pokemon and so forth.
The most important battles of the game will be against Gym Trainers. There are only a few Gym trainers in the game and they are the toughest of the bunch. They each usually specify in one type of pokemon so you must know which kind of pokemon to bring into battle against them. Once you defeat a Gym trainer you will be awarded a badge by said trainer. Every time you receive a new badge new special abilities become available to you and your pokemons stats will also increase. Traded pokemon will also obey you more likely than they would a person with few badges.
If you have a friend with Pokemon Yellow, Red or Blue you can trade your pokemon with them. This is especially useful for capturing all the pokemon since some pokemon you cannot capture in Yellow, and can only capture them in Blue or Red. Traded pokemon will not always obey you however, depending on their level and the amount of badges you have they will sometimes do their own thing and ignore your commands. The easiest way to solve this is to get more badges. Traded pokemon also have another nice bonus, which is that they receive an experience bonus after every battle, so they level up much quicker than pokemon that you have captured yourself.
There are also a bunch of other neat things you can do in Pokemon. Since each pokemon can only know four moves at the same time you must decide which attacks to keep and which attacks to "forget" when your pokemon learns a new attack. The new attack is also not always the best choice for your pokemon. You can also customize your pokemons move set yourself with TM's and HM's. TM's are one time use only products that will teach your pokemon a new ability that they otherwise wouldn't have learned on their own, or perhaps an ability that you can teach them earlier than normal. HM's can be used as many times as you wish, but unfortunately your pokemon cannot "forget" this ability and will always have this ability on it's move list.
One of the best aspects of pokemon's gameplay that keeps it interesting is the fact that you can always change your party of pokemon. You could go through so many different pokemon during your adventure. What you think might be your best party ever at one point in the game could be completely different only a few hours later. Also the fact that your pokemon evolve is one of the greatest features of all that keeps you interested in your pokemon. If you have never watched the TV show before or have never played a pokemon game before, watching your pokemon evolve is very intriguing because you have no idea what they are going to look like afterwards. Usually they change into bigger, stronger versions of themselves, but they usually trade their "cuteness" for a cooler looking and stronger version of themselves. You can however keep them in their original form if you want to, as you can cancel their evolution when they are trying to evolve. A nice addition to this is that if you decide that you regret canceling the evolution, is that they will try to evolve every time they level up. Some pokemon also only evolve from being traded, so this is another incentive to find someone else who plays the game to trade with.
In our current time, the graphics of Pokemon Yellow are really nothing to behold at all. If you have a game boy then you know what to expect from the graphics department of any Game Boy game. The neat thing though is that if you play this game on a Game Boy color or Game Boy Advance you get an addition of color to your pokemon. The best thing about the Graphics in Pokemon Yellow is the fact that they added a lot of new animations for the attacks that you use against enemies and some of the Pokemon are also re-drawn and look a lot better than in Blue or Red. So for this it gets an 8 instead of a 7 when comparing the graphics to the other versions.
The music is pleasing to the ear but nothing incredibly memorable here. Each town has a different tune that is generally pleasing and a refreshing change from the other town or area you just spent the last 2 hours in. The sound effects are also decent enough, each pokemon has their individual "cry" that they make, but they are not anything to get excited about but they are still neat to have. The sound in Pokemon Yellow is also a little bit better since there are some new tunes in the game.
Pokemon Yellow has incredible value since I have to this day played this game and it's other versions countless of times and enjoyed it every single time. I have never become sick of playing this game. Yes, it can become repetitive, but there is always an incentive to come back to this game and play through it again. I don't know what it is but Pokemon is just fun to play. And trading with people is also very fun as well. The thought of having to "catch them all" will keep you intrigued in this game for a long time. The only thing to be cautious about is that if you already own Red or Blue you may not want to get this version. If the minor graphical improvements intrigued you than this is worth getting. But otherwise it's not really worth buying if you own one of the other versions, since it's the same game.
Even if you hated the show this game is still great to play. I used to watch the show in my youth and I eventually stop watching it and began to dislike it, but the games are still incredibly fun. If you have any of the newer versions and want to know how the whole series started then this game is worth tracking down. If you have never played a Pokemon game before you may want to check in on the newer Game Boy Advance versions before checking in here. Pokemon Yellow is the best version of the three available for Game Boy, so if you don't already own one of them and want to get the best version possible than Pokemon Yellow is definitely the best choice, but for other reasons than having Pikachu follow you.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/02/06
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