Review by Menji

"Refreshing, Entertaining, and Detrimental to one's health"

Pokemon Red started the craze, creating one of the most addictive and fun experiences in gaming. Enter Red's story: A young boy leaves his mother and journeys to become the next Pokemon master. As he travels, he collects many Pokemon and raises them to be his friends and the strongest they can be. Do you have what it takes?

The world of Johto is amazingly huge and takes a long time to learn and memorize where everything is. After choosing from three starting Pokemon; Charmander (fire), Squirtle (water), or Bulbasaur (grass), the game really begins. The style of play is up to the player from here. Either catch every Pokemon that is encountered along the journey or focus on a set group. There are 150 Pokemon to catch and there is a long journey ahead. The world is enormous, but the cities are a bit small. Fortunately there are plenty of tunnels and caves to make up for the petite cities.

Pokemon Red is a bit like an RPG. Battles take place in the wild grass and caves. Killing a Pokemon results in experience to strengthen the current Pokemon or it can be captured if its health is low enough. Once captured, the Pokemon is now yours to control. Only six are allowed to be carried around at once while the others wait in the computer. Yes, Pokemon are sent to the computer for storage. Pokemon gain levels form experience and some may even evolve to stronger ones. There are all different types of Pokemon, and each has a strength and weakness. Fire Pokemon are obviously weak to water but strong against grass Pokemon.

For a Gameboy game, Pokemon Red did a lot. The controls, sounds and graphics are the best the Gameboy has produced and is a staple for games to come. Button response times are instantaneous and controlling Red is quite easy. The sound quality is amazing. Each city, event, and battle has its own catchy tune and will be remembered for as long as one lives. The storyline allows for plenty of exploring and is not completely linear. There are plenty of quests to keep the game fun.


“Hey mister, can you save my cat from the tree?”
“Help me learn this song.”

Pokemon Red gives an experience unlike any other...

“Get your butt into that tower and save the town from the terrorist group: Team Rocket!”

Even after beating the game. There is still plenty to do, an advanced dungeon opens up and tests the true power of your Pokemon. Pokemon Red is great for ALL ages and all levels of gaming experience. There is some challenge but nothing to stop a gamer from putting it down. Nothing is a too simple or too frustrating. Pokemon Red is one of the few games that can be played at any time for any length and still make great progress.

What's the difference between Red and Blue?

Nintendo does business well. They made two relatively similar games and marketed them as somehow being different. They are, but only in the slightest of ways. Each version has a few Pokemon exclusively available. The only way to capture those Pokemon is to link to another Game Boy with the game inside. This way, trading is possible. There was even a Yellow version released a bit after the first two. Yellow added the ability for a Pokemon to walk behind the trainer and be a bit more interactive.

It would be a bit difficult locating this game. My advice, purchase Pokemon FireRed for the Game Boy Advance. It's a remake that improves on everything and is probably much easier to find. This version is the best in the series and a great place to start ones Pokemon journey!

You gotta catch ‘em all

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/05/04, Updated 06/25/10

Game Release: Pokemon Red Version (US, 09/30/98)

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