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Pokémon Red & Blue Review

Poemon Gameboy Box

With the recent release of Pokémon Go players have once again embarked on the journey to ‘catch them all’ and the Pokémon series has seen a revitalisation that the franchise has not experienced for a while. With the franchises triumphant come back seizing the minds of Millennials all over the world it is worth stepping back and relooking at the now classic game that sling-shoted this series to prominence and captivated a generation of gamers. Released for the Gameboy in North America in 1998 and then Europe in 1999, Pokémon Red and Blue soon became a worldwide hit, and laid the foundations for one of Nintendo’s most successful and profitable franchises.

Pokemon Gameboy Original

The premise of the game involves capturing and battling fictional creatures called Pokémon, as well as to catch and collect if not all, then as many of the 151 Pokémon as they can. The game actively encourages the player to achieve this by rewarding them with certain items and move sets that can only be obtained by capturing a certain number of Pokémon. It’s in the player’s interest as well to catch as many as possible, as each Pokémon has a different and unique set of moves which can be invaluable in forming a strategy in dealing with your opponents.

The games visuals however don’t hold up as well as its gameplay, and the game’s graphics have not aged well over time. The games black and white colour pallet make the game world seem bland and uninteresting, and it does not hold up well when compared to other games released around the same time. However, despite this the visual design is thankfully not what gives this game its appeal, and the core gameplay of catching and battling with Pokémon manages to remain fun and engaging throughout. Indeed, this is probably Pokémon’s most resounding success, as both the varied and different move sets and the extensive variety of Pokémon available manages to keep the battle mechanics fresh throughout and not become repetitive.

Pokemon battle

The integration of the single player and multiplayer functions however is one of the things which made the original Pokémon games most stand out from the crowd in comparison to other games available for the Gameboy at the time. The ability to trade and battle Pokémon with your friends allows Red & Blue to give players a huge amount of potential time in game, and allows it to keep its appeal long after the main singe player quest has been completed. Indeed, in order to fully complete the game, trading with other players is paramount, as certain varieties of Pokémon are only available by the act of trading with other players. The sleek integration of single player and multiplayer functions into the core game experience is done expertly here, and does not feel tacked on or an added bonus like many games Multiplayer functions can feel.

Pokémon Red and Blue remain some of the most successful and iconic games released for the Game Boy. Despite its dated look, this title still manages to remain an engaging and deep game when played today.

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