Review by kaptainkirby
"The best Pokemon game available on GBC"
The last Pokemon game on GBC, and it sure it good.
If you don't already know (which I seriously doubt) - Pokemon are sort of elemental animals which battle on behalf of you.
Like Yellow to Red and Blue, Crystal version is the updated game in the Gold and Silver series, with several notable additions, such as animations before battle (which can be turned on or off) the immensely hard Battle Tower for those who think Pokemon is easy, the option to play as a female trainer, updated graphics in the Ice Cave, and minor storyline changes, with the focus now being on Suicuine (but it's still possible to get Lugia and Ho-oh).
Like all other Pokemon games - awesome! It is simple yet amazingly addictive, and the amount of strategy that can become involved with different type advantages and disadvantages as well as items being held is astounding.
For example, when a Fire Pokemon plays a Water Pokemon it will get nailed. Simple right? Counter in burns or freezing that could occur, an inaccurate moving, an item that may make the other Pokemon flinch, a potion for restoring health, and soon it may be much more than just Grade 2 logic.
To get to some places you may also need to use moves on Pokemon, like Cut or Surf. This is interesting itself - waste time getting a Pokemon out of the PC and then putting it back, but wasting more time realizing you need another type of move (eg. Whirlpool/Waterfall as well as Surf) or placing it on one of your party of 6 Pokemon - possibly sacrificing a good moveslot?
Not great, but the game isn't particularly focused on a storyline, you run along and collect all the badges, trying to get all the Pokemon as you go. Nothing needed.
One exception is the Unown puzzles, which is situated in the Ruins of Alph. There are four puzzles here, which are comprised of 2 parts each. A jigsaw-like puzzle, and a hieroglyphic-like message on the wall which tells you to do something. Each time you do something it releases a few of the 26 different types of Unown, which can become quite a game in itself to get all the types.
For a Gameboy Color, they are outstanding, especially in the new Ice Cave. The battle animations a small addition to some, but they make the overall feel that much better. The color is what you expect, but is really well done.
One slight thing that annoyed me was while I liked watching the animation 75% of the time, when I just wanted to get out of the battle (because I was passing through) it slowed me down considerably - but this can't be helped.
It's good for a while, and some battle music is fine, but not really worth concentrating on and you will probably find yourself turning it down soon. (Although it's cool to turn it up high when battling friends just for the sake of it).
You can't go wrong, because the game doesn't need complex control. You select things in menus half the time, and the rest is bashing A/B to catch a Pokemon (though it probably doesn't help a bit) or going left, right, up or down. The select button can also be used to shortcut an item, most likely a fishing rod (for catching water Pokemon) or bike (2x speed).
Replay Value: 9/10
Singleplayer can get boring just training your Pokemon, but there is a certain degree of wanting to "catch 'em all". If you have friends readily available to play you it can keep you up long in the night however.
If you find something out like a certain Pokemon being available only once and you miss out, it can be easy to find yourself starting again (even though it might not matter much - it's just an excuse). There is also 3 different Pokemon you start with - you may want to see how you fare with each.
Buy or Rent: Buy
Definitely buy, you just can't get the full fun out of the game with a rent, and even if you are new to Pokemon - this is one of the best games on the GBC.
Conclusion: If you have Gold or Silver, probably don't bother, but if you only have Red/Blue/Yellow or none at all, go and get it right now. It is one of the most lastable games on Gameboy Color, and the learning curve is 5 minutes.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/31/05
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