This remake of the original Pokemon games is just as much fun as the original, though it doesn't make many improvements.

User Rating: 8.8 | Pokemon FireRed Version GBA
Pokemon Fire Red is a remake of Pokemon Red, one of the first games in the Pokemon Series. Along with Pokemon Blue and Yellow, Red was the first time that gamers got to see the world of Pokemon. The series has expanded quite a bit since then, and Pokemon Red manages to include some of the improvements that were made to the series in later installments. The game stars you as a young Pokemon trainer who is setting out to make a name for yourself. You set out from your hometown with a Pokemon of your choosing that you receive from local Pokemon expert Professor Oak. You'll spend your time traveling to the various cities and towns in the land of Kanto to prove that you are truly one of the greatest trainers in the land. Your main goal is to challenge the different Gym Leaders that are located in different Pokemon Gyms in certain towns. Defeating a Gym Leader in a Pokemon battle will gain you a Badge, which is necessary for you to challenge the Elite Four. Defeating them will make you the Pokemon League Champion, and therefore the greatest trainer in the world. The game plays like a standard two-dimensional RPG, but with a few twists. To begin with, you must have Pokemon to do battle. To gain more Pokemon to add to your team, you must capture them in the wild. You need to have your own Pokemon do battle with a wild Pokemon to weaken it enough to be captured with a Poke Ball. Once a Pokemon has been captured, it is yours to use as you see fit. Capturing Pokemon can be incredibly easy or incredibly difficult, depending on which ones you‘re trying to find. Some of the rarer ones can take a long time to find and be difficult to reign in once found. It can be a bit frustrating to gain some of the more unusual ones, but its not necessary to capture every Pokemon there is to create a good team. Most of the time in the game is spent traveling around it’s rather expansive over world. You travel from town to town looking for new challenges and new items to further your quest. There are a few dungeon-like areas that you must explore however. Most of them are nothing more than mazes that require some light puzzle-solving or a special ability to complete. Normally, these places are important to the game's plot in some way, and you'll usually discover some sort of important item at the end of them that will allow you to continue on to your next destination. They usually involve quite a bit of combat, and they're a good place to build levels. Despite this, it's still sort of disappointing that they're not more complex and don't have very many objects beyond pushing a switch or defeating a trainer. You are allowed to have up to six Pokemon in your team at any given time. Whenever you get into a battle with a wild Pokemon or another trainer, the one at the front of your list will be sent into battle first. Once a fight begins, you must choose between four different options. You can either use an attack, switch Pokemon, use an item, or run. However, you are not allowed to flee from a battle with a trainer. Winning a fight will grant experience points to your Pokemon, allowing you to level them up and increase their stats. Also, Pokemon will learn new moves at certain levels that vary from species to species. Each one can be taught up to four moves. Once they've learned four moves, one must be forgotten if you wish to teach them something new. Pokemon's strengths and weaknesses follow a rock/paper/scissors sort of arrangement in battle. A fire attack will do more damage against a Grass-type Pokemon than a Normal-type attack would. At the same time, a Water-type attack would do less damage to a Grass-type than a Normal-type would. Some Pokemon types are completely immune to certain types of attacks. Others are extraordinarily vulnerable to certain types. There are even many Pokemon that combine different element-types. For example, certain Pokemon may be a Water/Flying type. This means that they will be immune to Ground moves, thanks to the Flying-type, but extraordinarily vulnerable to Electric attacks thanks to the combination of Water and Flying elements. Also, the two new element-types that were added to later games in the series have also been added to this remake, making for a total of seventeen different element-types. Building a team of Pokemon that is both varied and strengthened to take on any and all comers is one of the biggest draws for this game. Its a lot of fun to try to create the "perfect" team, even if it can be said that there's really no such thing. Leveling up your Pokemon is one of the most important parts of the game. You can usually gain enough experience just by taking on every trainer that you come across, and spending some time battling wild Pokemon. The developers even added a new item that allows you to challenge trainers to a rematch after you defeat them, whereas the original version only let you battle others only once. Its sort of nice that you can do this, but leveling up can still be a rather large problem at certain times. It would have been nice if they hadn't made it so that you didn't have to spend so much time building up your Pokemon, as you may find yourself spending a great deal of time in the same area building your Pokemon's levels until they reach a certain standard. This can become tiresome very quickie, and its a good example of the game at its worst. You have the ability to trade Pokemon with anyone else who has one of the GBA Pokemon games. Its actually necessary to trade with someone who has the Leaf Green version of the game to get every single Pokemon game, because both versions feature a few specific Pokemon that can only be found in that version. You can also battle with other trainers by using the link system. The game even comes packaged with a brand-new wireless adaptor that allows you to link up with other players without using any wires. One of the most disappointing things about this game is that they didn’t include the time-of-day feature that was introduced in the Gold and Silver editions of the game. Just like in the original game, it’s always daytime in Fire Red. This is a bit upsetting, because allowing the time of day to change in real time was one of the best new features to be introduced into those games. It’s a shame that they left this out with all the other stuff that they added from the later additions to the series, and the game would have been a lot better with it. The game's graphics are decent, but really aren't much more than the original game's graphics with a new coat of paint. Most of the overworld still has the same basic look to it that the first games in the series had. Battles are also the same as they always have. In a fight, characters are always represented with the same static picture that never moves that much or changes the pose that it constantly holds. Its sort of disappointing that they haven't allowed the graphics in the Pokemon series to change all that much, because by now its getting a little bit old. Still, they do look nice enough. The characters are all well-drawn, and most of the images do the job. The game's sound is done quite well. Most of the music is incredibly well written, and its all been remixed for the GBA version. The songs in this game are among the best that have ever been written for any Nintendo game, and they're definitely some of the best on the Game Boy Advance. The sound effects are sort of boring though. Each Pokemon has its own unique cry that it gives out when it appears in battle. However, other than that, there really isn't much to speak of. All of the other sound effects are just mundane noises that just serve a purpose and don't do much else. Still, sound is solid overall, and you’ll probably end up liking it a lot. Pokemon Fire Red is a very solid purchase for the Game Boy Advance, even if you've already played the original games in the series. They didn't add all that much to this new version outside of the Pokemon from later games in the series and a few other things, but its still worth going through all of it again. With it's lengthy main quest and a huge Pokedex to fill out, Pokemon Fire Red will last you for months if you want to see it all. Its more than worth any GBA player's time.