Classic Video Game Review: Pokemon Red and Blue

In 1996 I was four years old. Is that crazy? Pokemon Red and Blue were released in the Gameboy’s prime in the US in 1998. So I was six years old when I started really getting into Pokemon.

Parents couldn’t understand for the life of them what the appeal was. I could sit here and try and explain the appeal, but then I’d imagine I’d sound weird. It was a combination of collecting and role playing that was simply irrestible.

I watched the show, collected the trading cards (Three holographic Charizards ftw) but the most amazing thing that ever came out for the apparently still running series was the first Gameboy games Pokemon Red and Blue.

There were only slight difference in each versions, like could catch certain Pokemon in a version that  you couldn’t catch in the other and some Pokemon could only be collected by trading via “link cable” with a friend. Thus encouraging that you not become a complete hermit to this game. Which for that time I was, and the five or six times I’ve played it throughout my life sense.

The past two weeks I played through Pokemon Red Version again on a Gameboy Advanced that I bougth at Flea World in Orlando (For $15!) Having played through this several times I couldn’t possibly the amazing sense of adventure and problem-solving that I did on the first time playing through. Mainly because I already knew how to solve all the problems.

I caught my Pokemon that I wanted, trained them, they evolved and I’d battle every trainer I encountered to level them up. First time playing through beating this game took me over a month and I kept playing after trying to catch them all. This time knowing pretty much the whole game front and back it wasn’t as exciting. I did catch Mew though, which I didn’t know you could do till this year.

Anyways, I did play a little of Gold when it first game out, I believe I made it through the game. So a logical solution would be to experience that sense of wonder in these games or the even more updated games. My predicament is that I hate that they kept adding Pokemon after the 150. That was goal enough, I just want a different story along the way. Plus the new Pokemon seem much more annoying and less badass as the originals.

I realized recently I can name all the original 150 off the top of my head still. I loved everything Pokemon as a kid and me and my brothers obssession with these games are what really drived it forward. The cards and show were fun, but the game was a classic and the reason I see Red/Blue as classics over the rest is because they started it all.

In my final words I will say that there were a lot of Platformers, some alright RPG games for the Gameboy at the time, but nothing that even came closer to the addictive and satisfying experience of these Pokemon games.

Final Score: 5/5