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Pok+mon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition (GB)
Member Name: markwpage
Pok+mon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition (GB)
Date: 25/10/00, updated on 25/10/00 (427 review reads)
Advantages: Great plot, top gameplay, Pikachu, colourful graphics and jolly tunes, amazingly lengthy
Disadvantages: Battles become repetitive, You need to be really hardcore to be any good at it
So....Pokémon, eh. I bet there isn't a single soul in the developed world that hasn't heard of Pokémon or Pikachu. It started out about a decade ago in deepest Tokyo, Japan where Nintendo developers intended to create a game that would be something of an experience rather than a bog-standard video game. The Red/Blue versions were released in 1995 in Japan, to universal acclaim. Indeed many people immediately regarded the games as classics and even more people do now. Japan was never to be the same again with enormous numbers of Game Boy consoles selling by the bucketload. It was predictable even then that Pokémon was here to stay.
But just what is Pokémon. Indeed many people have heard of it but there are far fewer people who actually know what it is. Well firstly you have to replace 'What IS Pokémon' to 'What ARE Pokémon'. This is because there isn't just one Pokémon. No, there are 151 Pokémon (Excluding Gold/Silver editions). They are basically creatures that live in an alternative world which each have attacks that they can use to battle other Pokémon which gains them experience. In fact, Pokémon means Pocket Monsters which is essentially what they are, monsters that live in your pocket or to be precise, your pocket console. As I have mentioned the 151 Pokémon each have their own attacks. For example, Pikachu is an electric mouse (Infact Pika in Japan means electric and a chu is a mouse). Its attacks are therefore electric based and include 'Thundershock' and 'Thunderwave'. However, Squirtle is a water Pokémon
and its attacks include 'Water gun' and 'Hydro pump'. These element differences lead us nicely into the way battles work in the world of Pokémon.
Because water conducts electricity, Pikachu would have the advantage in a battle against Squirtle and would therefore win. This element matching system is basically the strategic method you must use to win battles in 'Pokémon Yellow' and you must take care choosing which attacks you must use in order to win. Winning is also vital to your Pokémon's level which can range from 1 to 100. Winning and competing in battles increases your Pokémon's level as you gain experience points and if your Pokémon's level gets high enough it may evolve into an advanced version of itself depending on which Pokémon it is. For example, Bulbasaur evolves into Ivysaur at level 16 which enables its attack power to increase quite a bit.
So is this all you do in Pokémon Yellow? Just do battles? Oh no. The game is really more of an adventure which sees you being a 10 year old kid who has been granted his/her Pokémon license and must travel the world with the aim of catching all 151 monsters and becoming the Pokémon League champion once you have trained up your Pokémon and defeated all 8 gym leaders, the toughest trainers there are. You start off with just one Pokémon, Pikachu who follows you round on screen. The cute, yellow rodent soon becomes a bit annoying doing this but you can't help but love him due to the fact that he kicks a*s in battle with his powerful electric attacks. You'll soon be exploring the wilderness with Pikachu and getting into battles with wild Pokémon. This is your opportunity to catch them by weakening them and throwing a Pokéball at them capturing tham inside. Some are very weak though and sometimes you'll KO them before you get a chance to catch them which can be annoying, especially if you've taken ages to seek a particular type of Pokémon out.
The exploring part of the game is really very fun and you'll be taken in by the plot and become magnetised to your Game Boy. Ridiculous clock times can be registered before you finish the game with up to 50 hours being spent squinting at an LCD screen. This is a true hardcore game and doesn't really suit its kiddish look with hardcore gameplay needed rather than quick thrills action that usually suits younger gamers. What makes the game so long are the slightly repetitive battles you'll get into every second of the game. It does become a bit annoying after a while but you'll need to get into these battles if you are going to train up your Pokémon to league level.
You'll play for hours and eventually finish it but is that it?? No it isn't. Multiplayer modes are featured aswell such as battle modes and trading modes. These require 2 Game Boys, 2 versions of any Pokémon game and a link lead. The battles need no introduction and are basically your run-of-the-mill battles that are a bit more challenging against your friends than against the Game Boy. The trading mode is really good and enables 2 people to trade Pokémon which they don't have so they can get the complete collection. Pokémon Yellow has only 139 Pokémon available to collect so you'll have to trade if you want to get all 151.
So what you have here is a great piece of portable heaven that'll last you ages and you'll become obsessed whatever your age. The LCD display on the Game Boy Color provides decent enough visuals and the little GB speaker spouts out little beeping tunes that will stick in your head. BE WARNED, if you buy this game you'll become obsessive and annoying to people boasting about catching a rare Scyther and earning your Volcano badge from the seventh gym leader. This is what gaming is. Proper hardcore stuff from Japanese professionals.