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Pokémon Blue/Red Package Art
 GENRE
  RPG
 DEVELOPER
  Game Freak
 PUBLISHER
  Nintendo
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-2
 CONNECTIVITY
  Yes
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Pokémon Blue/Red

Catch'em all, catch'em all, I gotta catch'em all. They are all around me, coming to get me. Those are the sounds of avid Pokémon collectors in an insane asylum. Once normal everyday people but now addicts of one of the most addicting games ever, Pokémon Red & Blue. The game is so addicting that in my home country Canada, the government made Nintendo put labels on the games like the labels on cigarette packs that say, "Caution: Pokémon can be addictive and cause epileptic seizures." Well, maybe not the epileptic seizures part but the other caution is there. We all know that the show in Japan caused seizures at one point and that was when most of North America first heard about Pokémon. The game is huge and takes a long time to beat. Like an RPG, you have to build up the power of your character but in Pokémon there are 151 characters and to train a level 3 Pokémon to level 60 can take a very, very long time even if the Pokémon was a traded one. Of course, to train 151 Pokémon to level 60 would require someone from an insane asylum. Training ten terrific Pokémon should be more then enough to keep you occupied for several hours. For me, the game took 48 hours to beat. That is just to beat the Elite Four at the Pokémon League and Gary. I beat the game, but there is still so much more to do like catching ‘em all and continuing training. All is not put to waste because the Pokémon can be traded with future games.

visuals

This game has decent enough graphics for Game Boy, but after seeing the sequel, I know that much better graphics are possible. In Pokémon Blue/Red, the graphics are fine but the animation is horrid -- not so much the animation in the world, but the animation in the battle-mode part of the game. Characters sort of just stand there during battles and the real info lies in the numbers. Your Pokémon is in the lower left-hand corner and you see his back. The Pokémon you’re battling against is in the upper right-hand corner and is smaller because he is supposed to be in the distance and facing your Pokémon. So, in battle, expect lots of puny animations because most of the power of the Game Boy is going towards AI in battle.

The world of Pokémon is nicely done with enough variation that towns can be distinguished from other towns even though all the houses look about the same. At the beginning of the game, Prof. Oak tells you about how you can choose from a palette of colours when the game is played on Super GB or GBC which was a nice addition to the game.

Since Pokémon does not have to rely solely on graphics to sell itself, a big congrats goes to Game Freak for making the graphics as good as they are. I would say that they were some of the best on the black, greenish-yellow, and grey shaded Game Boy. I really liked all the pictures put into the game for all the individual Pokémon, and the trainers. I thought that the individual pictures were incorporated well into the game to save cartridge space and make the gameplay more unique.

audio

The GB was simply not meant to handle the sounds of the beasts. There was some hope behind the music of the game and the music did not turn out to be very annoying. The tunes can even grow on you after 48 hours, but that is after the mandatory 48 hours in the insane asylum of course. The best music in the game was the gym leader music in my opinion. Also, hats off to the different last boss music, which every game should have.

The audio holds the game back but the limitations of the Game Boy hold back the audio. Do not expect much more when Pokémon Silver/Gold come around because the GBC has the same sound system as the GB. Perhaps this problem will be addressed when Pokémon 3 is made for the GBA.

gameplay

The battle is the most intriguing part of the Pokémon experience with cool moves and strategies involved. As soon as you thought that you had won the match, boom, the other trainer uses a potion and restores his or her Pokémon back to life. Certain types of Pokémon having an advantage over another type makes the game even more fantastic. There are several different conditions that can harm your Pokémon in the game too such as being poisoned, burnt, confused, and put to sleep. There are also a variety of moves that can be assigned to a particular pocket monster, which adds to the depth of gameplay considerably. My Charmander certainly mastered his rage and that's one of the moves he can do. All Pokémon have a maximum of four moves that they can do. Different moves can be added in the place of old moves and customizing each Pokémon for their full potential could take lots of practice and experience.

Adding even more to complex gameplay is the fact that a maximum of six Pokémon can be carried at one time. At first, this may not seem like much of a problem, but when you advance further in the game, especially at the last battle, choosing a variety of Pokémon for battle is essential to avoid easy defeat.

The gameplay of Pokémon Blue and Red is simple to learn yet difficult to master which makes this another great Nintendo game for all kiddies, no wait, that's for all ages. There is a lot to do in Pokémon Blue and Red, which adds to the gameplay.

multiplayer

Battling the most challenging opponents, your friends and mortal enemies, can be rewarding unless you lose. Pokémon Blue and Red made multiplayer on Game Boy fun, so if you are looking for a Game Boy game with great multiplayer, this could be the game to buy.

overall

Pokémon Blue/Red is THE best GB game in my opinion. The size of the game is huge. Finishing Donkey Kong 64 took a lot less time then for me to beat Pokémon Blue. The gameplay is a new idea, which works better then Nintendo could probably even imagine. The replay value of the game is low but that is because the game never really has to end. Training Pokémon can take a very long time, and to train all of them would be an amazing feat, only worthy of the true lazy person.

I think Pokémon has so many high points that I cannot even think of the low ones. Well, I guess I have to say one negative aspect of the game, which is no fast forward buttons for battles and travelling through caves. Pokémon is as perfect as a game could possibly be.

final score 10/10


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