Game review on
Sharna Barker / Tue 6th Feb 2018
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OVERVIEW Pokemon Blue is a classic game that became huge in the 90's. Over two decades later, Pokemon's still going strong with the most recent games being released last November. With the recent release of Crystal on the Virtual Console, how does the first generation shape up when looked at today?
The story of Pokemon is mostly a simple one. A 10-year-old boy sets out on a journey to catch as many Pokemon as he can while also battling through eight Gyms to get to the Indigo League. This boy, whose official name is Red, gets caught up along the way in a plot by the nefarious criminal organisation, Team Rocket, to steal rare Pokemon
Some people may say that the plot is boring and not unique or not engaging enough, but that's never been the draw of a Pokemon game. Over the years Pokemon has started to put more effort into their story and the history of the world but for the first game, a simple plot is enough to supplement the rest of the game.
There are a lot of Quality of Life changes that were made in later games that are missing in the first generation and they can be felt. No running, status conditions taking a whole turn to recover from, and grinding can get exhausting at times. Along with the bugs, which were kept in the Virtual Console version, and the first battle system, you'll have your patience tested throughout.
But while the first gen games have a lot of flaws, at the time it was something unique enough to capture the imagination of a generation and it still has that charm to it. It's not a perfect game but some of the bugs, like the infamous MissingNO, add to the enamour.
The sprites of the first gen Pokemon and trainers are done well and look great, especially since it was for the original Gameboy. Though some of the Pokemon sprites are still a bit wonky, and in some cases wrong, like with Koffing, it's still a vast improvement over what appeared in the Japanese versions of Red and Green. They capture the essence of the Pokemon well and the towns and trainers look good.
On the Virtual Console, the game looks a bit blurred since it's on a bigger screen than what it was made for and while some may not mind, others will dislike it. Thankfully, if you hold Start when booting the game, you can play in the original resolution which makes the game look quite a bit sharper.
A lot of the tracks in the very first Pokemon game are iconic and it's easy to see why as you listen to them in the original format. These songs and background music accompany you throughout your journey and set the tone for each battle, town, and trainer. Your rival's theme is catchy while the Lavender Town theme is unnerving.
Even with all the remixes and different versions that have been done throughout the years, the original tunes are still definitive.
Despite how many flaws the first generation Pokemon games have, there's still a lot to be enjoyed about them. Most of the Pokemon are well thought out and unique, the music is exemplary, and the bugs are fun to play around with. If you've never played through a first gen Pokemon, you should give it a go and see where this iconic series got its start.