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falcon

Pokemon Blue

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Pokémon Blue

When GameFreak first published this game, based on its creator’s obsession for insects and animals he found in his youth, they could have had no idea how big a success it would be. That within months I would be arguing over whether my level 56 Charizard could beat my brother’s Alakazam. That within months this game would have resurrected handheld gaming for the masses. That within months there would be hardly a child left on the planet who had not heard the word ‘Pokémon’.

Now I take you back to 1999, I am 10 years old; it is the release of the original Pokémon games, Red and Blue. I am sitting on my bed as the game music begins, and as I enter my name I am filled with wonderment. Now five years later I wonder, are they really worthy of the success they have had? So, at 15, I am sitting on my bed, I turn the game on, and as I enter my name, I am filled with wonderment. And so I must simply reply ‘Yes’.

So here I am, starting the game with a measly level five Pokémon, either Bulbasaur, the master’s choice, Squirtle, the easiest to get to grips with, or Charmander, the really cute one. I choose the fire one, cuteness must always prevail over logic. I receive my Pokédex from Professor Ok and now it is up to me to travel from city to city, town to town, to fight the 8 gym leaders and receive their badges. After a few hours I am meeting all the different Pokémon, from Rattata to Onix, Pidgey to Muk, and by battling against these my squad is gaining experience points, levelling up, and becoming stronger.

To the reader it must just sound like a normal RPG though, what it is that made it such a phenomenon? It is actually the fact that the game was created for the Gameboy. The lack of technological power means the game has to be simplistic in many ways, perhaps most notably its graphics. I know what you are thinking, ‘Bah, graphics are not important, gameplay is’, but keep reading. The lack of graphical power means there are gaps in the game for your imagination to fill in. Your Pokémon are just a few pixels yet each individual can make them whatever they want. I remember drawing pictures of my Charizard, with the scratch under his right eye. I look at that picture now, and I smile. It was this attachment to your Pokémon that kept you playing for hours on end, for they were not just pixels, they were your squad.

This simplicity applies to other aspects of the game, allowing it to become an RPG for novices and for children. The attack system and rock-paper-scissors strengths of Pokémon types is incredibly simple, and creates a strategy that even a child can understand . As a child at the time of its release this was wonderful: A game that everyone in my school could play and enjoy, but this does not mean the game is only for kids.

Underneath the simplicity is a whole new level of gaming: now I know to lead with normal types and fighting types because they had less weaknesses; I now save my money for carbos and proteins so I can improve your Pokémon’s stats; and now I spend hours to get that extra level because it might give me that slight edge.

This is why Pokémon is such a great game. A few years ago I enjoyed and loved it, but now, coming back to it I am immersed in this whole new world of strategy. It is a game that a child and an adult can get the same amount of enjoyment out of, and that is something that is all too rare these days. But there is one aspect of the game I have not discussed yet: its addictivity, if that is a word. I am sitting here, being told I have played this game for 25 hours in the last week, and I am bored of constantly fighting the same wild Pokémon to train mine up. But I cannot put it down. And in the past I could never put it down. I always had to go into school the next day and be able to beat my friends, no matter how much hard work involved. I had to be the ultimate Pokémon master. This, the multiplayer mode of Pokémon, drives you on. The simplicity of it all: You against your friend; six Pokémon each; but only one winner. I can remember my entire class gathering around in a huddle as me and my brother fought for superiority. And even now, when he has been put off the Pokémon brand, I still am compelled to train mine, in case he ever wishes to battle again.

This game gives you such a sense of achievement when you beat the Elite Four. The first time I defeated Gary is still my favourite gaming moment. And now as I am finishing off his Blastoise with my Gyrados, I am filled with the same emotions. I am not going to give this game a score, because I do not think a number can show you how much it can mean to you. It is not a perfect game, it can become tedious, the gameplay is repetitive and there is an awful lot of walking to do. But this can be forgiven, for this game has introduced more people of my generation into gaming than any other, and for that, I think it should be applauded. And I’ll tell you something, my Charizard could beat my brother’s Alakazam.

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And I’ll tell you something, my Charizard could beat my brother’s Alakazam.

its all in the slash my friend, all in the slash

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yeah, but red was miles better.

You sir, are wrong in the head, Blue outclassed Red in every conceivable way. End of story.

BTW, good review Falcon :)

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Me and my brother only had one gameboy (color) and one copy of Pokémon (Red). :wub:

I put too many damn hours into this game though - upwards of 170 when I finally had all 150 (I was also levelling my beasts so they could fight in Pokemon Stadium). All later versions just haven't been as good as Red/Blue, and I haven't really been able to figure out why.

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Me and my brother only had one gameboy (color) and one copy of Pokémon (Red).  :rolleyes:

I put too many damn hours into this game though - upwards of 170 when I finally had all 150 (I was also levelling my beasts so they could fight in Pokemon Stadium). All later versions just haven't been as good as Red/Blue, and I haven't really been able to figure out why.

Because they are exactly the same with a few bells and whistles on. But not different enough to be fresh and exciting like Red/Blue was all those years ago.

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I had blue. Blastoise rocked !

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Pfft.

100% on Red and Blue. Yellow was a big pile of wank.

I had Mew. Who wants to touch me?

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Pfft.

100% on Red and Blue. Yellow was a big pile of wank.

I had Mew. Who wants to touch me?

I had mew too and mewtwo :unsure:

Pesky little Pokemon 151

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I sold Mews for a pound at primary school.

I love my Action Replay. That's the only time I used it for Pokémon - to get Mew. I also sold items for 50p each, though. So I only used it for myself once, and loads of times for personal gain.

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I had a Mewtwo toy from Burgerking with eyes that light up !!

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I had Red.

Charmander was my favourite character, so I made sure I always started with him.

As a result, I learnt to despise Blastoise because of that damn Gary.

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I had Red.

Charmander was my favourite character, so I made sure I always started with him.

As a result, I learnt to despise Blastoise because of that damn Gary.

Squirtle > Charmander

Wartortle > Charmelion

Blastoise > Charizard

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Squirtle > Charmander

Wartortle > Charmelion

Blastoise > Charizard

Yeah I meant after the little chap evolved into a fire breathing killing machine of 'izard' proportions.

Up until that time there were indeed multiple damnations after Squirtle attacked my poor little man.

Luckily I had a Pikachu and electrocuted the bastard.

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I had Squirtle. Or "Squirtz" as I called him. I meant to call him "Squirty" but pressed the wrong letter, Squirtz > Squirty, though.

Then I reset my game without thinking and cried. Then came Squirtz Jr.

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I had Squirtle. Or "Squirtz" as I called him. I meant to call him "Squirty" but pressed the wrong letter, Squirtz > Squirty, though.

Then I reset my game without thinking and cried. Then came Squirtz Jr.

imodium_capsules_2.jpg

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I enjoyed them for a while, but it was just one big leveling up grind I found.

I had no idea where to go for most of the creatures so I never bothered "hunting" them down so to speak. I just cruised through with whoever I had at the time and power leveled to beat the faggots in the gyms.

Edit:

And this may only be because I never got into Red or Blue properly, but I did really enjoy Ruby, I think the extra bit of colour in the graphics really helped. (I think it was Ruby anyway, may not have been)

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seriously though, best game ever. well, top 10. probably.

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Me and my brother only had one gameboy (color) and one copy of Pokémon (Red).  :P

I put too many damn hours into this game though - upwards of 170 when I finally had all 150 (I was also levelling my beasts so they could fight in Pokemon Stadium). All later versions just haven't been as good as Red/Blue, and I haven't really been able to figure out why.

Probably because they don't have realistic names anymore. :)

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seriously though, best game ever. well, top 10. probably.

Yeah deffo. I never did get 150 Pokemon ;)

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