Ahhh the memories. My Grandad giving me a Gameboy and a bag full of games which he bought off of a bloke down the street in what I’m sure would have been some dodgy deal. It probably “fell off the back of a lorry” but I didn’t know any better. All I knew is that I held in my hands a game which would define my entire generation. Pokemon Red. I also had blue and the Japanese Green game, that’s how I knew it was a dodgy deal, although I didn’t figure it out until I was older.
I will make this review about Pokemon Red as that is the one that I mostly played. It was more or less identical to Blue except each game had 10 exclusive Pokemon that weren’t in the other game. Although unlike later games, those Pokemon weren’t any of the legendaries. You begin your journey in Pallet Town as a young little sprite who is soon to receive his first Pokemon. You go downstairs and speak with your mum before taking a long walk to meet the Don himself, Professor Oak. Ahhh Professor Oak. For the OG’s among us, he is the one and only true Pokemon professor. He was the lab coat wearing hero who gave us our first little critter.
Your overall objective in the game is to both “Catch ’em all”, gain every gym badge and defeat the elite four.
Choices, choices, choices
So your choices were clear; Fire, Water or Grass. Charmander, Squirtle of Bulbasaur. Interesting fact; 70% of players choose Charmander, 25% choose Squirtle and only 5% choose Bulbasaur. Although if you want the game to be easier, Bulbasaur is the best one to choose as the first 2 gyms are Rock and Water; both of which are weak to grass type Pokemon. All though please note that your rival, unlike in later games, will always choose the pokemon which is your weakness. If you go fire, he goes water, you choose water, he picks grass and you pick grass, he picks fire. There is no getting away from it; he’s a prick. You can also select his name but most people call him Gary.
Your choices aren’t only limited to which Pokemon you choose but also how you fight. Every battle requires some form of strategy. Whether you choose to go in full force or take a more methodical stat raising/lowering strategy.
Pokemon Red/Blue is and forever will be in my top 5 games of all time. In terms of ingenuity, replay-ability and originality it was years ahead of it’s time and in terms of creativity it is still years ahead of many present day titles. As a franchise it has lost its way a little over the years but the original game will always be in the history books as one of the most defining games of all time.
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