Review by XsolidusX
"Pokemon = Nicotine"
Right before the new millennium Pokemon really took the USA by storm. Pokemon is short for "Pocket Monsters", which started out as a Japanese cartoon. In the world of Pokemon, monsters known as "pokemon" (duh)roam peacefully. Once reaching a certain age (usually early teenager) some people set out on a journey to become a pokemon trainer and master. That is, to train Pokemon to fight, and collect all of them.
There are hundreds of pokemon in the world. They also come in a wide variety of types. They range from electric rats, ghosts, two-headed birds, dragons, slime (lol can you guess?), and much much more.
They all have one or more weaknesses. It is like a complicated game of rock paper scissors.
Gotta Catch 'em All!
In order to catch a pokemon you must first weaken it. Once you weaken it, you throw a pokeball at it. This ball attempts to suck a weakened pokemon inside the ball. Sometimes, the pokemon will not give up his freedom and break out of the pokeball. This makes it very exciting. BUT, when you do catch one, it is yours to keep and train!
Pokemon trainers can carry up to six pokemon with them in a pokemon battle. So you must find a balance between your lineup. You cannot have too much of one type, or too little of another.
On the road to becoming a Master...
The main character in Pokemon is Ash Ketchum. He embarks on his journey with ONE of three pokemon to choose from. From then on he must battle, and catch different pokemon to fight in Pokemon Gyms.
Pokemon Gyms house powerful trainers who are crucial to the completion of the game. They are like Bosses.
Usually these trainers specialize in one special type of pokemon: Rock, Electric, Ghost, Water, etc. If you beat these leaders, you are awarded a Gym Badge! This is an honor. You get to continue with the story, and are usually awarded a special item.
What makes this is an RPG is that the pokemon grow based on Experience Points, and have different levels. For example, a level 32 pikachu would kill a level 12 pikachu. Also, there are random battles encountered in wild grass, and caves/dungeons.
Pokemon battles can be held between trainers, or just encountered in the wild. The battles are exciting, and controlled via a menu of attacks and options. After choosing your attack, an animated sprite would be shown demonstrating that attack. The best battles are the ones that go right down to the wire, and you have everything to lose...
The controls are easy as pie. Its just scrolling through a menu.
Darwin must be spinning in his grave...
After reaching a certain amount of experience Pokemon "evolve" into second, or even third forms. They are stronger, and usually look older and more mature.
The gameboy shines with Pokemon. The animations, and character portraits are beautiful. The battles are littered with sound effects. The sound effects are not too great, but its extremely minor.
My first run at Pokemon took me a loooong time. Around 30 hours. If you play the game for just the story you can beat the game in under 15 hours easily. However, your main goal is to catch them ALL which can take 100+! The replayability here is great. Depending on what pokemon lineup you, choose your entire fighting style changes. However you may get too frustrated after you finish the main story. Catching them all is quite difficult.
PLUS! You cannot catch ALL the pokemon with just Pokemon Red. There are some pokemon in Pokemon Blue, that you cannot catch in Red and vice versa! You must trade them with your friends via a link cable.
An incredible game, with an incredible world.
My final score 9.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/10/05
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