Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow are all games that are considered classics, yet these games as well as newer games in the series are often talked about amongst trainers on a daily basis. Pokémon Red and Blue were the first two Pokémon games I started with and even now, 17 years later (age 20) I can still say my love for Pokémon has only strengthened. Today, I would like to review these games and explore what makes these games so great.
Starting out in Pallet Town, newbie trainers blindly walk into the tall grass, until Prof. Oak stops you before you could be attacked by wild Pokémon! He takes you to his laboratory where here, you meet his grandson, (Blue/Gary) In Pokémon Red or Blue, Blue will always take the Pokémon with the type advantage against you. In Yellow, Gary will quickly swipe the Pokémon that Prof. Oak was about to give us. So the newly caught Pikachu becomes our first partner. After that its our goal to defeat the Eight gym leaders and eventually the Elite Four; four of the toughest trainers in the world and Kanto Region. Through you're journey, you will meet many different trainers and Pokémon with their own styles and ways of growing while you, develop your own.
Quite honestly, I believe that Pokémon is one of the best RPG's of all time, if not, the best. How clever was Gamefreak to make a game where you could bond with the characters you use (which can't even talk by the way) while through your journey you see them quite literally evolve and grow? Even you, the main character will grow as you figure out what Pokémon you like using, what moves work best for each Pokémon on your team, and for what strategies you come up with for battling. Best of all, Pokémon is one of a kind. Gamefreak was the first to come up with the idea of monsters holding the abilities of various powers than anyone else and all other companies trying to copy its style will never overcome the overwhelming amount of fans and likability that Pokémon has. With this unique gameplay, it will always be one of a kind and enjoyable to the player.
Lastly in terms of Gameplay, is typing's and moves. Truly what sets Pokémon apart from other RPG's is its battle system and its one of the best that has been created. The fact that your Pokémon can learn moves outside of its typing to defend itself against other typings is a great way of countering typings and yet at the same time, its more than a good idea to make sure you have a move of the same typing of your Pokemon as it will get a STAB (Same type attack bonus) if it uses a move of its type.
The game design of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow are excellent. Of course when comparing it to today's standards, the quality has dropped a lot. However back in 1996, this game looked great and even today, many people don't complain about the design being outdated, as its still pretty well done. What makes the game design particularly amazing about Pokémon, is looking at the design of all 150 Pokémon from these games. In most RPG's before Pokémon, you had a main character, and usually some friends that would join you along you're journey.
In Pokémon, it doesn't matter who had what Pokémon. You could have the same Pokémon as you're opponent and this is what make Pokémon R/B/Y so special as an RPG. You have 150 different choices of Pokémon to choose from and thankfully, there are many Pokemon that have the same typing, but different design, giving you a variety of options where as in most RPGs, once a characters joins you're party, you don't have much of a say in the matter.
On top of all this, the landscape of Pokémon is very diverse with many fun and unique dungeons to explore. First you have the S.S Anne which is a cruise ship ready to set sail that has party go-ers aboard and ready to battle. Next you have Pokémon Tower that houses the many fallen Pokémon with their spirits shadowing them. Then you have a casino with a secret level behind a poster which reveals a secret lair run by an organization that steals Pokémon; Team Rocket! You also can't forget Rock Tunnel. Rock Tunnel is almost pitch black and its important to use HM Flash to guide your way through!
Lastly we have the design of the individual Pokémon. When looking at some of the Pokémon, we can see their detail is carefully shaded and clearly much time was put into them. Other sprites arent quite as impressive. However its difficult to tell as these were made many years ago but there is definitely a large gap between some of the designs
The music in Pokémon Y/R/B is something I think everyone can agree with; its fantastic. Each soundtrack perfectly fits its landscape. You have the music that plays around Lavender Town, that is definitely creepy and eerie. The music played in Vermilion City definitely sounds like a "sea shanty" kind of soundtrack. And one soundtrack I personally find underrated; Pokémon Mansion music. The Pokémon Mansion music sounds high-tech and creepy and even distorted. When you walk in and listen to the music, you can see serious events occurred within the mansion. Its definitely up there with Lavender Town.
Game Design 8.5/10
While I don't have many complaints, there are a few arguments that could be made as to why this game falls behind its predecessors and I can completely understand how some of these things would bother people:
- Small inventory space
- Too many Pokémon to catch in order to 100% the game
- Cannot complete Pokédex unless you trade with someone else
- HMs cannot be forgotten from a Pokémon
Thankfully, many of these things were fixed in later games in the series.
Honestly, it may be biased because I grew up with the game, but I still feel this game holds up well. My cousin Thomas, (Founder of Super Chasm) can vouch for me that I was more than addicted to the game when he let me play his Pokémon Red on his Gameboy Color almost 18 years ago. Even yesterday while playing Pokemon Red, the game still holds up. It baffles me how incredible this game is. There are few flaws I have with the game and the flaws I see are only seen because I've been spoiled by the newer ones in the series. Overall, Pokémon will always have a place in our hearts and to make a game thats even compared to any Pokemon game would be an honor.
Thank you all for reading!
Super Chasm Games