Review by Yoh_of_Izumo

"A Children's Classic"

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 Red comes around in a time where there weren't that many noteworthy RPG's on portable systems, 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 I ever got along with a Gameboy Color and even to this day I sometime check on how the original is doing. Even today, new things keep popping up in this game such as the Mew Glitch. Nobody thought that catching Mew was possible and I'd waste hours beating the Elite Four with a full team of Butterfrees to see if I got a special Pokemon, but all was for naught. Besides all this mumbo jumbo, I still see people playing the originals, battling out on archaic cords, glitching to copy Pokemon, and doing the infamous Missingno cheat for bountiful rare candies and level 255 Snorlaxes. Well after all…it is a classic…

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: 8/10
Hmm…not bad for Pokemon Red. 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 Red 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, who can forgot a monstrous Missingno cheat…friend or foe? Sure it can be surely beneficial to all who love to get infinite rare candies…but catch this guy or one of his cousins (‘M') and you run the risk of destroying your current game. And if you were smart and didn't catch it…well it got you when you beat the Elite Four, tried the Missingo glitch, only to have your Hall of Fame destroyed. Of course, if you don't attempt the Missingo glitch, then there is no reason to fret over spilled milk, but you'll just spend hours leveling up your Pokemon to a level that can compromise the Elite Four, but hey, you lose some and you win some, life is full of choices. 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 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 Red 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 Red 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. 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 Red as an original is a delightful classic.

Graphics: 6/10
The graphics of the game are not its most noteworthy part, but the creature drawings are very nicely done. The reason for such score is that Pokemon was shortly released before the release of the Gameboy Color and many who purchased a Gameboy Color had to sadly have they portables under-performed in graphical power by the Originals. If you play this game on a Gameboy Color cartridge though, you can change around the colors at the startup of the Gameboy Color to get interesting combinations of colors and see the Pokemon world in a different light. I may even say that these graphics are somewhat cheesy, but hey, graphics aren't the reason that games become classics. The in-game battle screen is original to Pokemon, but somewhat simple yet very satisfying for a game made for Gameboy. 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: 7/10
The music corresponds correctly with every environment, but the only problem is that it starts to get banal, and very annoying to the ears. 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: 9/10
After beating the Elite Four, and most likely corrupting your Hall of Fame list with the Missingno glitch, I'm sure that you'll be wanting to playing this game at least two or three more times before getting truly bored with it. Even though I may get tired of this game, after several years of not touching and letting dust accumulate on it, I'm happy to play it through again and again, especially after the horrible experiences with the crass newer games. Maybe you thought Squirtle was too easy of a challenge, and this time choose Charmander and spend ample time trying to get passed the two gym leaders in the beginning. Or maybe you want to have a similar lineup to that of Ash Ketchum in the television series…Pikachu anybody? And of course that Speed Walkthrough guide is very tempting to boast that you beat the game in only three hours! Of course, wild Pokemon encounter become droll, and you wish to fling your Gameboy across the room, but hey…Patience is a Virtue.


Using my rating system for Gameboy Original games:
15% Gameplay, 35% Story, 20% Graphics, 5% Sound, 25% Replayability

Overall Game Rating: 8.15

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.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 06/30/06

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