Pokemon Red Review

Pokemon Red is an excellent RPG for players of all experience levels.

A unique mixture of Final Fantasy, Tamagotchi, and rock-paper-scissors gameplay with the collectible edge of Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon is an excellent RPG for players of all experience levels.

You lead a lone adventurer out on his Pokemon journey, a quest to become the champion of the Pokemon League. Before our hero can even enter the Pokemon League, he must win eight badges from the Pokemon gyms scattered around the world. Things are never quite that easy, however, as you will come toe-to-toe with the evil Team Rocket, in addition to a number of other predicaments, on your way to reach the gyms.

An RPG at heart, you scour the globe for Pokemon and capture them with Pokeballs. Once caught, Pokemon can then be added to your party and trained a la standard RPG characters. As they develop, the Pokemon will become stronger and learn new abilities. Many will evolve into a different Pokemon once they reach a certain level or if you use a special item on them. The game's variety and customization is virtually unlimited, making no two run-throughs of the game the same.

You can carry up to six Pokemon with you at a time. In battle, only one of the beasts may be deployed, but monsters can be swapped at any time. The strategy lies in selecting the right types of Pokemon for each battle - every Pokemon is classified as one of 15 different types of Pokemon, adding the rock-paper-scissors aspect: Fire Pokemon are weak against water attacks, flying Pokemon are strong against bug Pokemon, etc.

One of Pokemon's most unique and endearing aspects is its multiplayer nature. Pokemon can be traded or battled with friends via the link cable, adding tons of long-term play incentive. Additionally, those who buy only the Red or Blue versions of the game can't capture all 150 Pokemon without trading - each cart contains 139 Pokemon. As extra incentives, some Pokemon don't evolve unless traded, and traded Pokemon gain experience 50 percent faster than normal.

Under its cuddly exterior, Pokemon is a serious and unique RPG with lots of depth and excellent multiplayer extensions. As an RPG, the game is accessible enough for newcomers to the genre to enjoy, but it will entertain hard-core fans as well. It's easily one of the best Game Boy games to date.

The Good

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The Bad

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