AshThe original Pokemon Red and Blue for Nintendo’s Game Boy are not typically the first titles to come to mind when vintage gaming is mentioned, however having a serious go at Pokemon Red after a eight or nine year hiatus is a nostalgic reminder that before Pokemon became a multi-million dollar social phenomenon, the games that started it all are humble, well executed pieces of game design that changed people’s perception of what a handheld game could be.

Being a Game Boy game, Pokemon’s monochromatic graphics have aged worse than NES titles predating it by a decade, especially when played on period hardware, and this makes it easy to forget how unique this game was when it launched, especially among handheld games.

getting your first PokemonPokemon is a turn based RPG in which the player captures and trains Pokemon to participate in Pokemon Battles, the preferred means of self defense against wild Pokemon, evil Pokemon trainers, and the multitudes of deranged civilians who love to accost travelers with non-sequitur banter before challenging them to matches.

Red’s adventure entails exploring the Kanto region challenging other trainers, and winning gym badges from the eight Pokemon Leaders to earn the vaguely defined title of Pokemon Master.

a free sampleThe scale of the game’s world was impressive when I was ten, and for a Game Boy game is still considerable today. The game features ten towns, several sizable caves, maze-like laboratories and office buildings, and numerous inter-city routes lined with rival trainers looking for battles.

The writing outdoes earlier, more antiquated Game Boy RPGs like Final Fantasy Legend, but expect more chuckle-worthy banter about boys who like shorts than any serious plot development.
Pokemon’s 151 unique creatures are fun to experiment with in battle with and are customizable with numerous moves.

PKMN centerA now famous key concept of Pokemon is that there are two editions, a Red Version, and a Blue Version, each featuring unique Pokemon creatures which must be traded between versions in order for a player to achieve a complete collection.

Pokemon also sports a highly versatile design. An inexperienced player can easily load up on potions and storm through the adventure beefing up the starter Pokemon they receive at the beginning of the game, and more knowledgeable players can formulate sophisticated strategies and raise powerful, well balanced teams of many Pokemon.

I could likely go on a lot longer about the specifics of this game, like it's famous glitches or all the memories I have attached to it, but as far as a simple overview of these games goes, there isn't a whole lot to be said, which is kind of a shame, because this page looks a bit skimpy in my opinion..

In the end, there’s no denying that Pokemon is kids stuff, but like great literature, truely great video games can by enjoyed by players of many age.

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