Review by Emptyeye

"Pokemon - The Catching Element + Some Mini-Games = Pokemon Stadium"

Ah...Pokemon. Some love it and some hate it. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle. So when my little brother brought home Pokemon Stadium to play, I said ''Hmm, why not.'' It was pretty much what I expected from reading about it--you battle your Pokemon in 3-d, in four different Cups, each with different rules and Level Restrictions. Essentially it's Pokemon without catching them, though if you'd like you can use your Pokemon from the Game Boy games, provided they meet the resrictions. If you'd like, you can also play your Game Boy game on the N64 with the help of the included Transfer Pack. There are also several mini-games, which I'll get into later. But first, the ratings:

Graphics: 7/10- I don't know what you're expecting here, but it's basically the Pokemon and their attacks, in full 3-D glory. The stadium itself is done pretty well, and so are various Pokemon animations. The effects as the little guys emerge and retract into their Pokeballs is pretty nice as well. I especially like Psyduck falling on his head after losing a battle.

Sound: 6/10- It's not bad, but it's essentially the music from the Game Boy game ''Remixed'', if one can even call it that. The bike theme, title theme, etc., they're all here in this game. The announcer during the battles themselves is just annoying, but thankfully you can turn him off. The effects are the typical pokemon fare--they're cries are better than the Game Boy version, but not up to TV show standards.

Control/Gameplay: 8/10- Basically, the control for the battles is you use the C buttons to select one of your Pokemon's attacks, then sit back and wait for the results, not unlike the Turn Based RPGs of old. This is fine, but it gets repetitive rather quickly. There are also some mini-games here. Some are better than others (Ekans' Hoop Toss is like the flick-the-joystick game in the first Mario Party, I forget the name, except with better control, [Meaning it's pretty cool] while the Likitung game falls flat), but one--while admittedly somewhat addictive--approaches Bear in the Big Blue House level evil and scariness. This game is called Clefairy says. Basically it's Simon Says with Clefairies. After every sequence, the Clefairies do a little dance while chanting ''Clefairy...Clefairy!'' If they mess up the sequence, they get bopped on the head with a hammer. It's really quite scary to hear their chant.

Story:N/A/10- I don't think there's really a story. If there is, it's the same as all the other Pokemon games out there, save for Snap: Become a Pokemon Master. I don't know how much you expect me to elaborate on this....

Challenge: 7/10- Much of the challenge depends on how hard you make it--what Pokemon you use in battle and such. As far as the mini-games go, most of them are pretty easy with the computer set to Normal difficulty. Of course I'm a bit older (16) than the target audience for this game, so you may want to take that into account.

Replay Value: 5/10- Because it's so repetitive, I'm honestly not sure you'll wat to play it through to the end, where all 151 Pokemon get into the Hall of Fame for winning tournaments. The mini-games are a nice diversion, but their fun wears off too, though they can be played with multiple players, which ups the replay value some. Even still, this would eventually make a better multiplayer game than a single player one.

Overall: 8/10- I'll admit it, though the replay value of the game is limited (And Clefairy says is almost pure evil), the game is actually quite fun. And you don't need to have the Game Boy game to play this one either, as the game will give you Rental Pokemon for the different Cups. If you're a pokemon fan, buy this game. If not, you may get some fun out of the mini-games, but it's probably not more than a rental for you.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/16/00, Updated 03/16/00

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