Review by GCaparas

"Although not as celebrated as Zelda or Mario, it's certainly enough to be a classic."

Once upon a time, there was a company called Nintendo who wanted to produce a portable videogame console. Months later, they finally succeded with their newborn console. Since Nintendo is Japan-based, they agreed to call it "GameBoy," no matter how funny it actually sounds. It had success for a lot of years, but with the release of other high-quality consoles and videogames, the GameBoy was starting to see the end of the line. Nintendo had to get it's handheld out of the brink of extinction, or else they'll suffer the same fate as the NES. The solution? GameBoy Color. The other? Yep, you're right! Pokemon. Although not as celebrated as Nintendo's other products like Zelda or Mario, it's certainly enough to be a classic. In fact, Pokemon is probably the only videogame that has swept the whole USA, or probably the world! Yes, Pokemania's everywhere, all thanks to this game. Why? Read on and find out.

*** STORY *** 9 ***
Nice intro, eh? Maybe I should get an award for that... ^_^ This is the part where Pokemon shines out from other RPGs, yet also similar to a few. You're a young lad training to be a professional Pokemon catcher. Of course, you have a dream of catching all of the Pokemon in the land. Sounds simple, eh? Well, if you look at it, it's pretty similar to Azure Dreams. However, when compared to Final Fantasy and all the other big-time RPGs, you won't save the world. The sub-title gives you this idea, right? It says: "Gotta catch them all!" No armageddon, apocalypse, war or any other save-the-world stuff here. You should be thankful for that!

*** GAMEPLAY *** 10 ***
We've seen this before, right? I mean, it's an RPG. We all know that RPGs are linked to long dialogues, tons of items, the classic HP meter, and the usual find-fight-read-watch stuff. What stands out in this category is the fact that you can catch monsters and get them to fight under your supervision. Suuure, we've seen this before, too! There's Azure Dreams, Monster Rancher, Jade Cocoon, Monsterseed, etc., etc., etc. Well, there's something different in this game. It's no clone, since it has an ability-learning system wherein the ability can be used in battle. Each Pokemon can only have 4 abilities; the other abilities you rendered useless will be gone, or "forgotten." That is probably the thing that made Pokemon a winner.

*** CONTROLS *** 10 ***
The GameBoy only has 8 buttons. There's the D-Pad (w/ 4 buttons), the A button, the B button, the Select button and the Start button. That's certainly simple when compared to the PlayStation's pad, right? It has 14 function buttons. Anyway, Pokemon manages to make the most of the GameBoy's buttons. It has all the functions that an RPG needs. No, it's not too few, it's just simple to learn. That's why it got a 10.

*** AUDIO *** 5 ***
This is a GameBoy. Everyone knows that the GameBoy is small. Logically, it doesn't have large speakers or a complicated sound system. There's just a small speaker at the back. You won't hear true-to-life KA-BOOM!s or spectacular orchestral music similar to Star War's, just some beeps, bleeps and the usual GameBoy sounds. It doesn't completely s*ck, but each sound effect and small song is enough to satisfy most of our ears. If you're play this on the PC using a GameBoy Emulator, then that's a different story, since you can turn up the PC Speakers.

*** RENT OR BUY? ***
I'm not sure if you can rent GB games in the US, since I certainly don't live there. We all know that it's an RPG, so renting it probably won't be enough for you, unless you can rent it for as long as you like. Well, it's better if you buy it.

*** OVERALL SCORE *** 9 ***
Let's do some Math, folks! OK, let's get the average of 10, 10, 9 and 5. Of course, that gets us 8.5, right? Round it off to the nearest whole digit, and you get 9. I'm correct, eh? Well, the score tells us that it's a good title, even though it's from the GameBoy. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99

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