So a little backstory on this first: when I was a kid I never played the Pokemon games (as I never had a Gameboy of any kind), but I did watch the show quite a bit. Even though I stopped watching the show after awhile, when I was an older teen I got back into Pokemon and, after getting an emulator, I got the first generation of Pokemon games. However, I never was able to beat them, either due to how long the games took and eventually losing interest, or some other reason, I’m not sure what it was, but after the newest Pokemon games came out (those being Sun and Moon), I decided I wanted to try playing these ones once more, and finally I made it to the end.
Now while I did play the Blue version for this review, I have played a bit of Red and Yellow as well so I know what they’re like, but just to make things clear: I’ve only completed Pokemon Blue, and I probably will not venture into beating the other two because I really see no point. Also, I would have played Yellow for this except for the fact that in Yellow you’re stuck with a stupid Pikachu following you around the entire game and it refuses to evolve into a Raichu, which is one of my favorite, so screw you Pikachu, that’s why I played Blue.
For the uninitiated: Pokemon is a JRPG where you catch a bunch of different creatures (pokemon, aka pocket monsters) and as you catch them, you battle them and level them up. You have two main objectives in this game: get to the Pokemon League and defeat the Elite Four to become the Pokemon Champion, and also fill up your Pokedex by catching all 150 Pokemon in the game. Well technically 151, but we’ll get to that later.
The differences between the two versions of the game, Red and Blue, are rather minor. There are certain pokemon that are only available in certain versions of the game which makes it impossible for you to fill up your pokedex entirely, unless you do trading with your friends. Seeing as I was using an emulator, this was impossible for me, so to fill up my pokedex… well I had to use cheat codes. Yeah, playing it on an emulator kind of takes away some of its features, but even if I had a Gameboy to play it on, it’s not as if I would know anyone to trade with anyway, so whatever. It doesn’t take away from the experience for me all that much.
Pokemon Yellow is sort of a remastered version of Red and Blue, with the sprites being updated, but it’s also modeled after the anime that had gotten really popular by that time. As I mentioned before, rather than getting one of the three starters like in the other versions, you’re stuck with a Pikachu, and it follows you around for some reason (because that’s how it was in the show!). I believe you can fill up your Pokedex a little easier in this version as you can get all three starters in this game along with the Pikachu, and you can find certain other pokemon in the wild where you wouldn’t be able to before in the previous versions. As I said before, I would have played this version if it weren’t for the fact that you can’t get a Raichu, which I prefer over Pikcahu, so.
Now, going into this game I had a strategy of how I was going to defeat the Elite Four from the get-go. I looked up Pokemon types to see what was strong against what and I pretty much had all 150 pokemon memorized so I knew exactly what to use against each as I encountered them. I planned out what all Pokemon I wanted to have on my team for the end game so I could catch and train them accordingly. This is another reason I chose the Blue version, because certain pokemon I wanted on my team were only available in this version. I ended up catching and nicknaming nine different pokemon to have on my team, leaving out three of them from the final fight. These nine were: Venusaur, Pidgeot, Raichu, Sandslash, Persian, Ninetails, Vaporeon, Haunter, and Articuno. I ended up leaving the Pidgeot, Sandslash, and Persian out of the final fight.
Strangely enough, I think one of the things that helped me really get through the game was nicknaming my pokemon. It gave me a bit more of an attachment to them. I’d never done that before in my previous attempts at playing the game because before I’d always been too lazy to come up with names. But this time I had very special names in mind for all of them. I named my trainer after one of my own characters and then I named all my pokemon after the archangels from my collab story series and somehow that just made my attachment to them grow and I managed to make it through the game and become the Pokemon League Champion.
As for completing the pokedex, I caught as many pokemon as I possibly could legitimately, even going through the Safari Zone which was a huge pain, but once I did all that, I used cheat codes to get the rest, though there really weren’t that many at that point. And of course it is actually impossible to get the secret 151st pokemon Mew without cheats or glitching, especially in an emulator.
I would say the worst thing about this game is grinding to level up your pokemon to get them ready for each new area – or in the case of wanting to catch/evolve as many pokemon as possible, leveling them up just so you can evolve them but never use them again. Now on my emulator there’s an option to speed the game up which makes grinding go a whole lot faster because you can just run through the tall grass until you find a battle and just keep battling until you level up, then run to the pokemon center, etc.
I love this game. It may be a lot of work and rather tedious with all the grinding, but that’s how a lot of RPGs like this are so I’m not really going to complain all that much. Plus I just love seeing all the cute (and terrifying) pokemon there are. I think these games are excellent. But finally, now that I’ve officially beaten the gen 1 games, maybe I can start to learn about all the other pokemon there are, starting with gen 2. Who knows how long that’s going to take, but I’m going to try my best.
For those curious, here’s what I named all my pokemon.
– Trainer name: Damen
– Rival name: Dusk
– Starter: Bulbasaur
Venusaur: Gabriel, Lv. 70 – Hall of Fame
Pidgeot: Amenadiel, Lv. 50
Raichu: Michael, Lv. 71 – Hall of Fame
Sandslash: Haniel, Lv. 70
Persian: Jophiel, Lv. 51
Ninetails: Uriel, Lv. 70 – Hall of Fame
Vaporeon: Raphael, Lv. 70 – Hall of Fame
Haunter: Lucifer, Lv. 70 – Hall of Fame
Articuno: Chamuel, Lv. 70 – Hall of Fame