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Video Game Review: FTN Reviews Pokemon Blue

February 18th, 2013 by Irwin Fletcher 2 Comments

Pokémon Blue Review

Ah Pokémon blue. Everyone loves Pokémon. Well the First Generation I mean. Originally released in Japan in 1996 as the special edition with Red and Green, the original name was “Pocket monsters” before it was changed to Pokémon. It is the second bestselling Gameboy game of all time with Tetris being the first, but I decided to have a go at trying to “catch ‘em all” by getting my own Gameboy colour.

The game is clearly a work of art. It’s not quite an RPG but more of an action/adventure game with some of the elements of RPG in it. As you walk around the fictional region of Kanto as Red, the trainer. You have an overhead view of your character as you walk through the black and white landscape.  You must battle other trainers, capture your own Pokémon, talk to normal non-trainers, buy and sell things at the market,  take a trip to the Poke’ centre to see nurse Joy and defeat eight gym leaders in order to battle in the Pokémon League.

I love so much about this game. The opening screen brings joy to my heart. Even though it was made at such an early stage of hand held console gaming history, Game Freak really did a good job.

In the beginning of the game you are in your home, Pallet town. You are about to venture out into the large region of Kanto to become a Pokémon master but first you must choose your starter Pokémon from Professor Oak. Bulbasaur , Charmander or Squirtle. I chose Bulbasaur because I think he looks cool and seems to be a little underrated out of the three, plus he gets a huge flower on his back and I’m such a hippy.

Your rival and competition is the Professors Grandson Gary who is a huge douche bag who tries to put you down every chance he gets. He even chooses the Pokémon of a stronger type no matter who you pick. As I chose a Grass type, he went for the fire type Charmander.

You find Pokémon by going into caves, deep grass, fishing or swimming.  While on the journey through the region you find Team Rocket. They’re the baddies. They believe that a Pokémon is worthless unless it is powerful, rare and can make you money. So they attempt to steal things and try to take over. But you stop their evil ways. At least for now.

Another goal of the game is to catch all the 150 Pokémon available. It takes a long time and requires you to train Pokémon to level up and get stronger by battling others. You can make some Pokémon in the game evolve by giving them various stones like the moon stone, fire stone, water or leaf stone. Each Pokémon is different in battle and can be either super effective or weak with different attacks. For instance, fire is weak to water type, water is weak to grass and grass is weak to fire. There were originally 15 types but 2 more were added to make up for a flaw. In the anime Psychic type was meant to be weak to ghost or bug types but a programming error made it the other way around leaving Psychic weak to nothing and with an unfair advantage.

In order to get every single Pokémon you need to trade in multiplayer with a link cable as not all Pokémon are found in Blue. Each 3 had Pokémon the others didn’t. This made Nintendo very rich… You go to a Poke’ centre to get them in the game and complete the 150.

In order to fully complete the game and get all 150 Pokémon you must swap them in the Trade centre located in the Poke’ centre by linking a friend’s Gameboy with your own. You can’t get all the Pokémon in each of the Blue, Red, Green and Yellow games. If you don’t have another friend who plays with a different cartridge than you then you have to buy another Gameboy and trade with yourself, meaning multiple copies of each game, which is a serious cash hit for true collectors.

You can also battle your friends too. The battle themes are smooth epic and exciting and go like clockwork with each opponent taking it in turn to pull off an attack or defensive action. Each Pokémon is able to do a set amount of 4 attacks but the attacks differ as some Pokémon can do and can’t do some moves.

The graphics aren’t that bad considering this is early console game but some of the sprites can be a little ugly but the style of the game is very unique. Pokémon yellow was originally made to follow the story line of the anime but it gave the sprites a nice sort of facelift and improved the look of the game. The game has many little theories that are quite bizarre and I suggest you look up Gary’s Ratticate, White hand, Lavender town syndrome and buried alive.

The music in the game is extremely creative and probably one of the best 8-bit soundtracks I’ve ever heard. With a different track for every stage, route and town it is very soothing to the ears as often many Gameboy games have a terrible habit of constantly looping the same music over and over.

Things that bug me about the game are the glitches. But not all of the glitches are bad, some of them actually are quite fun but there are so many I couldn’t possibly tell you about all of them without writing a book. I sadly lost my save file in the game after only getting 89 out of the 150…hours wasted…ruins…

The back view of your Pokémon in battle is not the best but the typical battle sequence is very nice and memorable. There are many strange cheats in the game and even strange unknown Pokémon such as the infamous Missingno. Missingno can be obtained through a glitch by walking along a beach in the game in a certain way. It can cause save losses and completely crash the game. Other than that the game is absolutely my favourite retro game.

Every Pokémon in this game is memorable and very creatively made with small things added that make the game seem even cooler. For example the two poison/normal types Ekans and Arbok are Pokémon which look like snake but their names are snake and kobra backwards. The game gives off a magical sense of adventure with a great story line and wonderful music that adds to the nostalgia.

4.5 out of 5 Nerds

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.