Review by shiningstone

Reviewed: 12/12/05

The first Pokemon game released into the U.S.

- Introduction -

As many people who visit the Pokemon boards here on GameFAQs are aware of, I am a personal die-hard fan of Pokemon and all categories related. I have dedicated much of my time (and life) to the series that has swept the world with its turn-based RPG styling ways. Ever since I was able to grasp a copy of Pokemon Blue from a friend who worked at a Gamestop store somewhere many years ago (sometime around 1995 or 1996, can't remember exactly; I don't document things anymore) I have been playing this game, as well as its followups, off and on ever since. That's right, 10 years worth! And you know what? It never gets old! Now I know that writing a review for such games that are older years after owning them might seem kind of odd, but I care not. I shall write a review for each one I own to show my gratitude to these great games that helped my love for Role-Playing Games grow and flourish. Now, one day, GameFREAK got a smart idea and decided to create a game which harnesses both RPG and a good story-line in the mix - the game would be called something catchy, such as Poketto Monsuta (Pokemon, in Japanese). They tried for a while to find a truly catchy name, and Pokemon stuck. People loved the name, as it was a one-word phrase that nobody had ever heard of before. Poketto Monsuta means "Pocket Monsters", because back then, the games were meant to be carried with you whereever you went so as you wouldn't be bored, but the world of gaming has evolved a tremendous fortune since then, hasn't it? The programmers have even thought ahead with what names to give these "creatures", namely, Pokemon. Now some people may not know this, but Bulbasaur was not the first Pokemon actually created; Rhyhorn was. Just because Bulbasaur's Pokedex number is 001 doesn't mean that it was the first Pokemon created, that's just how they were listed. Neat fact, huh? Don't believe me? Look it up yourself from a credible source. Now we shall move on to the topical rates!

- Gameplay 8/10 -

One of, if not the most important aspects of any game, if you ask me. Why play a game if there's no gameplay involved? What would you do, listen to music all day? I'd rather go buy a CD for that. This is a game! Now the gameplay category gets a 8/10 simply because I feel it is superb in its own right, and I'm sure many agree with this statement. I enjoy the idea of traveling the land, purchasing Pokeballs and receiving/trading/catching Pokemon to battle and catch other Pokemon with all while saving the world from Team Rocket and searching for the elusive and all-mighty Mewtwo, a Pokemon that a bunch of scientists funded by Giovanni of Team Rocket created as the world's most powerful Pokemon. The feel of all this combined is an awesome one, at that. The gameplay experience changes when you link up with a buddy using the Game Link Cable (sold separately, duh) that lets you and a buddy connect games and battle or trade your very own Pokemon! The only downside: you don't get any experience for the battles no matter how many you hold, and you can't use any items. But that's okay, me and my friends have had hours of fun just battling and holding town tournaments.

- Sound 6/10 -

While the sounds are somewhat cool, the music is a little off-beat, but what can you expect from an 8-bit video game (handheld, at that) console? I don't mind it, besides, some of the soundtracks are cool, such as the final battle with your rival and the Gym Leader music. The battle sounds and such are also pretty sweet, which is why I give the Sound category a 6/10 rate. I also find it envious how GameFREAK went out and recorded different sounds for a distinct "cry" for all 151 Pokemon created. That itself must have took a lot of time and energy. All hail GameFREAK!

- Controls 9/10 -

Simple controls. As with pretty much all Pokemon games, the controls rule. For this game, the controls are small and simple - A, B, Start, Select. That's all; four buttons. Can't get any easier than that, right? That's why the Controls category receives a 9/10 rate. I love 'em!

- Challenge? 9/10 -

As with most games, the challenge of the game is decided by how you, the player, sets it as. For example, if you go with one Pokemon and skip many of the necessary parts, such as catching stronger Pokemon, your experience will probably leave you crying or very, very upset. However, if you meet many requirements of ownage and catch many Pokemon and beef them up with special stat enhancers and affix their DVs correctly, you will find yourself smashing any and all competition. I find the game as a good challenge, and since I've played through and beaten this game hundreds of times, I usually leave out some training so I can have a pretty formidable challenge, in which case I love. The Challenge category gets a 9/10 rating.

- Graphics 4/10 -

Hey, what can you expect from an 8-bit game, as I've said? The graphics mean nothing, as does the rate I give it. I enjoy playing RPGs when they're based out like this game is, not by how "beautiful the graphics are rendered". Save that for other games that focus more on FPS perspectives, sheesh. Graphics = 4/10.

- Storyline 9/10 -

One of the best parts. The story of a true RPG says it all. It determines what is the game's basis of existence. It details what the game is all about. And this storyline is no exception. I find the storyline to this game quite amazing. In fact, dazzling, even. The tricky puzzles and daunting foes create a good challenge when trying to advance to the next segment of the story. I give the Storyline category a 9/10 rating.

- Buy or Rent? -

This one's definitely a buy. Like with some other games (or all GB games), you can make yourself a file on this game by renting it or something, sure. Then, after hours of playing through it, you become somewhat attached to your masterpiece and don't want to fork it over to anyone, however, deep down you know that soon you must return it to the rental store. Well, guess what? All of that hard work and determination (and time) will be wasted if whoever rents it next decides "Hey, someone already has a file on here, that takes out all the fun for me! I will delete the save file now", and poof, your file is gone. Buy it, that way only you can determine the fate of your pokes, not anybody else.

- Replay Value 7/10 -

The main aspects of this is that you can battle the Elite Four endlessly, however you cannot battle the Gym Leaders or Team Rocket after you already conquer them, so that takes a blow out of the Replay Value. Oh well, there's plenty of other things to do, like catching 151 Pokemon.

- Conclusion -

This game is truly a classic, and will remain on my active game's shelf for many more years to come. Nothing else RPG-based stands up to this game or the rest of the Pokemon series, nothing. I will always remain a fan of GameFREAK and Pokemon alike. Long live Pokemon!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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