** Introduction ** Most of you will be wandering either A) why write an opinion so long after this game was released? OR B ) isn't this game for kids? To answer the first question its because lately I have been helping my younger sister more and more with it as it's becoming more difficult towards the end. Yes she has had it for a long time now and still hasn't completed it. And no this game isn't just for kids. You see even though Nintendo make cutesy games and market them towards kids this doesn't mean the game is specifically for younger children. As you can tell this game is a long lasting challenge and a huge and highly playable RPG. Yes the merchandise such as cuddly toys and cartoons all targeted children but don't let that confuse you about the game. ** What's it about and how it started ** The idea behind this and all other games in the series is that you are an aspiring young Pokemon trainer that hopes to win lots of competitions and make it big. As you set out on your adventure you will encounter many characters and puzzles that effect your journey. The game started out as the Red and Blue versions in Japan many years before it was successfully brought over to the UK. The main developer had an idea to create a game around something he loved to do when he was young, capture insects and make them fight. This gave Nintendo the initial idea for this amazing game. ** The gameplay and how it works ** When you start you are given a choice from three Pokemon to start your quest. They come in three distinct types fire, water and grass. Each type of Pokemon has it's own advantages and moves it can learn along the way. For example water is particularly strong against the fire type. This is a great aspect because you will have your own preferences and when you eventually get round to battling friends you will be able to use your chosen few to battle usi
ng a great deal of strategy to play off your strengths against their weaknesses etc. It's a massive RPG after all and is played from a top down view like many Gameboy games of this type. As you progress you start to run into wild Pokemon that you have to battle with your own. You do this in order to weaken them and then when you are given the chance use a Pokeball from your bag to throw and catch them in. Once caught the Pokemon joins your team and you can use it's various skills. The more you catch and see the more your Pokedex fills up. This is a small dictionary of Pokemon that records information about various Pokemon, must usefully the area they can be found in. Your team can consist of upto six Pokemon at any time so any other most be stored in boxes that can be accessed at Pokecentres using a PC. The Pokecentres are very good because you can take your Pokemon there to get them healed and swap and change your team around if needed. As you progress you will find a great many items lying around and get drawn into many plot developments. All this helps customize your experience because many of the items can be used on your own Pokemon. Some notable changes from previous version are the new Pokegear. This is basically a mobilephone that you can use to take down the numbers of people you meet along the way. You can then receive calls from them and arrange to meet for battles, this is great and I love seeing how the people I have met have improved as I have. Another thing is that Pokemon can be bread if they are compatible and obviously a male and female. Something else that adds a whole new dimension is that you set the time and date and the game actually turns from night to day and the date and day changes. Certain events and things only happen at certain times so you have to take notice of this. ** About the Pokemon ** When you catch them they are normally of a low level so need training. What this me
ans is battling them so they gain experience that up's their stats on things like attack, defence and speed etc. Once they reach a certain amount of experience points they will level up and as they level up you are given the option to make many choices in their customisation. At certain levels Pokemon learn new moves which are different depending on their type and as they can only have a maximum of 4 at once you have to decide whether to permanently delete an old move to teach new one. As you can tell this opens up a huge scope for making your Pokemon different to others depending on your playing style. Items that can be bought or found around the game can be used or given to Pokemon to help them during battles, plus moves can be bought or found in a similar way and can be taught to compatible Pokemon. The moves you teach them are also needed to help you get past certain things in levels. For example a water Pokemon can learn Cut which allows you to cut through bushes to access new areas. Certain events can also cause your little friends to evolve and change to something new. Rather like a Butterfly in real life. Of course if you prefer them as they are this can be stopped if you like. I really love this amount of freedom and customisation. Everytime I pick the game up my sister has a new team of six using different types and moves. This makes battling friends via a link cable very interesting. There are many types of Pokemon as mentioned earlier here is the list: 15 Dark 14 Dragon 13 Ice 12 Psychic 11 Electric 10 Grass 9 Water 8 Fire 7 Steel 6 Ghost 5 Bug 4 Rock 3 Ground 2 Poison 1 Flying 0 Fighting Now I will let you know a little about the battling and how it works. As with many RPG's they are set out in a turn based procedure. What this means is one person chooses an option from move, pokemon,
item and run. The run function cannot be used when battling a trainer only a wild Pokemon. The item function allows you rummage around in your sack and find a useful item to use during battle. After choosing your option the turn is passed onto your opponent. By the way Pokemon don't die during battle but only faint when their energy runs out. ** Graphics ** Never going to be a strong point of any game designed for the GBC but for the nature of the game they are perfectly suitable. All the Pokemon look different and some of the effects of moves during battles are pretty to look at. The entire gaming world is pretty colourful and clear but it's not a huge step in anyway from the previous versions. ** Sound ** Very annoying after a while because everything is bleepy and very samey. Beep after beep can get very infuriating and could drive you insane after a while. The music is standard Nintendo stuff so once again annoying after a while. As this is the gameboy you can play it whilst watching the TV etc so turning the sound off completely is no problem. Unlike many of todays top next gen games sound is not needed to enhance the gaming experience here. I'm sure a Gamecube of GBA version would have far better sound because ultimately this is down to the limits of the actual handheld GBC. ** Value ** Without doubt the games best feature, my sister has clocked up over 100 hours of play so far. It will last far longer than many console games and is very enjoyable along the way. Collecting all the Pokemon will take time especially as Gold and Silver have to trade certain ones to fill their Pokedex. There are multiplay options so you can use your team of highly trained beasts to beat your friend. Overall no game other than Pokemon can get so much out of a tiny portable console. Its great fun and will suit all ages. Don't get the impression this is just for kids, in fact the difficulty and dedicatio
n means most kids might not even finish it all. If you have a chance to own it then I suggest you do because it's one of my all time favourite games. There is far too much to comment on and I could have added much more but I'm sure it would have taken too long to read that way.