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 Pokemon Red/Blue Review

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Lotus Crystal

Lotus Crystal

Posts : 1765
Join date : 2013-03-01
Age : 27
Location : Kansas City, KS

PostSubject: Pokemon Red/Blue Review   29th September 2013, 11:37 pm

It's the franchise that defined an entire generation. Back in the late nineties you couldn't spit without hitting a kid who was either playing Pokemon or talking about Pokemon. It was everywhere, in games, on television, movie theaters, albums, card games, toys, stuffies and stickers! Even if you didn't play games chances were you knew what it was and it's still going on to this day. We went nuts about it as kids, we still go nuts about it now and our parents scratch their heads and just shrug their shoulders. As long as we weren't drinking or smoking they didn't care. So, with Pokemon X and Y right around the corner as well as Pokemon Origins I thought now would be the perfect time to go back to where it all began. With Pokemon Red and Blue!


Pokemon Red and Blue (originally Pocket Monster Red & Green in Japan with Blue being released later as a special edition) is a role-playing video game where you take control as a ten year old who catches and train Pokemon making them stronger and fighting against other trainers and gym leaders with the goal to become a Pokemon Master. We start off with a greeting from the Pokemon Professor, Professor Oak who introduces you to the world of Pokemon and how humans interact and use them. From there we see our main character (Red) whom the player can decide to name whatever they want. Default names include Red, Ash and Jack. After we name him Oak introduces us to the grandson, your rival, whose default names include Blue (weird name), Gary and John (the default names being reversed in the Blue version). Once both names are selected we're taken to the starting point, your house in Pallet Town.

Controls: You move around with the D-Pad, select to talk to people, read signs and access menus with the A button, going back with the B button and pulling up the game menus with the pause button. The game menus that are available are Pokedex, Pokemon, Item, (your name), Save and Option. As you catch more Pokemon your Pokedex will collect its data and share it with you, from the Pokedex menu you can look at these Pokemon, go over the data, hear their cry and check out what areas you can find them in.

The Pokemon menu of course goes over the available Pokemon in your party. You can only have six at a time and from here you can look over your Pokemon stats and place them in any order you'd like. Remember that the top Pokemon on the list is the first one to come out when you enter a battle. Item is self-explanatory and can range from cures of your Pokemon statuses, Pokeballs to catch wild Pokemon and things like Escape Rope to get out of a cave or maze. It's also where you can access your map.

(Your name), which depends on what you named the character, shows a picture of your character along with your name, the amount of money you have, how long you've played and the badges you collected. You'll get a picture of each gym leader (minus the eighth unknown) to look at until you beat them, then the picture will be replaced with an image of the badge. You need eight badges overall in order to get into the Pokemon League, or else the guard won't let you in. This is the primary goal of the game next to collecting all the Pokemon and saving them to your Pokedex.

Save lets you, well, save... And you only have room for one file so if you start over and want to save you'll be erasing any process you had before. Options allow you to set your text speed, turn the battle animation on and off and choose your battle style between shift and set.

Once in a battle you have four options available to you: fight, change Pokemon, use an item or RUN! Each new Pokemon you catch has at least two attacks at the start before they learn more, and a Pokemon can only ever learn four attacks at a time. They'll learn more attacks as they grow stronger and level up but for more specific attacks you can use a TM or HM item on them if they're applicable to learn the move. We'll get to the differences between TM and HM in a minute. Pokemon attacks can either do direct damage to an opponent Pokemon or bring down their stats like attack, speed or defense allowing you a bit more strategy to utilize. Like for example, using growl would lower an enemy Pokemon's attack and cause it not to be able to inflict as much damage in its next move and a tail whip would lower their defense allowing you to cause more damage in your next attack.

You can change your Pokemon at any time during battle and will only be forced to change when a Pokemon faints. Once you run out of Pokemon you lose and your next stop is a Pokemon Center. Most other trainers you face in battle usually only change their Pokemon after you defeat one, with the exception of Agatha from the Pokemon League who uses it as a battle tactic. I... I really hate her.

Should your Pokemon's health go down, or you're poisoned, burned, paralyzed, etc. and you got the appropriate item, then you can access these items at any time during battle to cure your Pokemon, though it costs your turn. You can also tuck your tail between your legs and run at any time (unless you're fighting a trainer) but be warned there are times where running away won't work which also means you lost a turn.

TM is short for Technical Machine and HM is short for Hidden Machine. They're similar for the most part except for three key differences: moves learned by the Hidden Machine can't be overwritten with a new move, certain moves like Fly and Cut can be used outside of battle after achieving a certain badge and it can be used more than once without breaking. TMs can be found in various locations throughout the game like most items while the HMs are only given out after defeating a gym leader.

The game plays like any other RPG, only with random battles being limited to tall grass areas and you working to level up your Pokemon instead of your human character. When your Pokemon reach a certain level they'll evolve into their next stage, except Pokemon who can only evolve using an elemental stone. Be warned however that if you don't have a certain amount of badges by the time your Pokemon evolve they may not obey you. Badges bring in respect and the more respect you have the easier evolved and traded Pokemon will obey your commands. My advice? Don't spoil your starter.

At any time during a battle with a wild Pokemon you can catch them by accessing the Pokeballs in your items. First you have to weaken them just enough in order to catch them otherwise they'll break out. If you're feeling like being a douche you can throw a Pokeball at a trainer's Pokemon for some extra dialog.

The big innovation of the game is the ability to trade Pokemon and battle other players via a Game Link Cable you plug into both Game Boys. Since the real main difference between Pokemon Red and Blue are the Pokemon available in certain regions trading with others, or yourself if you have both versions, is critical in order to collect all the Pokemon. There are 150 Pokemon overall, 151 if you want to include the Mew glitch. A plus to having both versions of the games come during parts where you have an either/or choice between two items you can get, like fossils that can be used later to clone an extinct Pokemon and it can also allow you to try out two different starters at a time. Speaking of starters...

You have three starter Pokemon to choose from to begin your adventure: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. Grass, Fire and Water. Which Pokemon you decide to go with will affect what your rival will choose as he'll always go for the type that is strongest against yours. Despite having an early advantage against the first three gym leaders, Bulbasaur is actually the hardest to train between the three choices. On the flip side Charmander and Squirtle can be easier to train but don't have the same advantages at the start, Charmander obviously being the hardest as it has no real advantage over rock like at least Squirtle has. However, level can also be a deciding factor in a battle, not just type. And you can always catch and train different Pokemon for the task of defeating a particular gym leader. At the end of the day your starter comes down to you and your own play style.

Cons: The biggest setback of the game is its glitches. Some of them are harmless and even fun, like the Mew glitch, while others such as the infamous Missingno can cause the screen to scramble and mess with your save data (like the Hall of Fame). It can even get bad enough to where you have to restart your entire game in order to fix it. Should you encounter a Missingno and have your graphics scrambled looking at the stats of another Pokemon usually fixes it.

Psychic Pokemon are broken in these games causing the difficulty to severely decrease when using them or increase when they're used against you. An experienced player can probably find ways around this if they have the right strategy going in, but overall they are way too overpowered and the types that are supposed to be good against them (like Bug and Ghost) don't bold as well as they should. It doesn't help that most Bug Pokemon are part Poison and Poison is weak against Psychic. Mainly, the best counter to a Psychic Pokemon is another Psychic Pokemon or having a really strong Pokemon to stand up against them.

Another thing to consider is while Pokemon Red/Blue were great for their time, they're both pretty dated these days. If you've played the newer gens they can be pretty hard to go back to. Once the nostalgia wears off they just don't hold up as well as they once did and you'd probably be better off investing in FireRed and LeafGreen for the Game Boy Advance if you want to enjoy Gen I.

Conclusion: If you're a fan of retro gaming or if you can look past dated graphics and game mechanics, then I would recommend Pokemon Red and Blue to play if you enjoy RPGs. If you can't look past these things then I would suggest giving these a pass and to look into the remakes if you're used to the newer games.

Final Score: 7/10


Ayen's Reviews
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Pokemon Red/Blue Review

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