Pokemon Yellow was the first game that I owned in the series. I borrowed Blue and beat that version. The thing I remember the most is getting the game after my friends had stopped playing Pokemon. The craze didn’t last too long in my friend group.
Yellow, in particular, is the game that I enjoy playing the most. A small part of it is having Pikachu following you around. It’s something that added some charm to this version.
There isn’t much difference between Red, Blue, and Yellow. The types of Pokemon are different, and the starter options are different between Yellow and Red/Blue. I do wish I could have picked Eevee in Yellow!
Let’s talk a bit more about Yellow and some of the other things Pokemon that I got into back in the 90s.
TLDR: Pokemon Yellow, Red, and Blue are great starter RPGs. They’re still fun for me today.
Pokemon Yellow was released in 1998 in Japan, 1999 in Australia and North America, and in 2000 in Europe. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I don’t particularly appreciate how the release date says Europe. I’m sure it was released continent-wide, but it reads like Europe is a country.
A remake was released on the Switch in 2018 under Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Pokemon Let’s Go, Eevee! These two games played a bit like Pokemon Go. You also had the opportunity to have Eevee as your started. I think this was the worst Pokemon game I’ve played.
Pokemon Red and Blue were released in 1996 in Japan, 1998 in Australia and North America, and 1999 in Europe. I remember the hype for these games. It seemed like my friends all got the game in 1998, and by the time I got it in 1999, they were done with it.
Pokemon Green is an interesting footnote. It was released alongside Pokemon Red in Japan in 1996. This version wasn’t released outside of Japan at the time. I remember playing the game’s ROM on a Game Boy emulator. I don’t know what emulator it was.
The trading card game came out around this time as well. I think I was a freshman in high school when I started playing it. It was a weird time as most of my friends had moved on from Magic: The Gathering, the Star Wars game, this strange religious trading card game, and some other random card games.
I don’t remember playing it for that long. The friend who introduced me to it gave up on it as soon as the next video game came out, and I didn’t have the motivation to keep up with it or join the card game club that had formed. Wrestling started, and I abandoned the game.
This is a turn-based RPG with a simple rock-paper-scissors gimmick to its combat. The story is simple, it is a mostly linear game, and every boss can be overcome by grinding your Pokemon’s levels.
Each Gym Leader has a specific weakness that can be overcome with a Pokemon type. For example, the Water Gym is weak against the electric type, and the Rock Gym leader is weak against the water type. (Insert IGN too much water joke)
The way you catch new Pokemon is easy to understand and does get a bit more complex when you need to get stronger Pokeballs. You walk into the grass, get into a random battle, and get the enemy’s hit points down low enough to be able to catch it.
I do feel a bit weird explaining how to play a Pokemon game. They haven’t changed much over the years.
The only thing that I think is annoying would be the number of moves each Pokemon is allowed to learn. This is a common theme in the Pokemon games, and it does create some strategy on which Pokemon learns a critical move.
This isn’t a problem with the game; it is something that has always bugged me about the games. It makes sense as it forces you to think each time your Pokemon learns a new move.
I should mention the trading mechanics and how the developers encouraged it. Some monsters will not appear or are very rare, depending on your chosen game version. Some Pokemon will only evolve if they’re traded between players.
If you don’t have friends or don’t have someone to trade with, this can create a problem for people trying to collect all of the Pokemon. I usually just want to beat the game because most of my friends don’t play video games.
The game does encourage you to experiment with different party members. You can go with a well-balanced party or pick your favorite Pokemon and do your best to win.
The three Pokemon games all look excellent by Game Boy standards. They look a little better when you play them on a Super Game Boy or a Game Boy Color. I never needed them to be in color, though.
The battle screens have a decent amount of detail to them. While there isn’t a lot of animation on those screens, the attacks have various animations. It is limited, but I always felt there were enough to cover the different types of attacks.
On the main screens, things look good. There is enough detail in the world, and the dungeons look good. You can also tell when you come to an obstacle that needs a specific attack to get passed.
This is a game that I can come back to many times. It is an enjoyable experience that lets you experiment with different challenges.
I’ve thought about trying out specific challenges, like beating the game with Magikarp, only using a particular type, or beating the game with one Pokemon.
There are many of these different challenge runs. They can be fun to mess around with, and it can introduce an artificial difficulty to the game.
There aren’t a lot of RPGs on the original Game Boy/Game Boy Color that I’m aware of. I also haven’t played all the games on the system to have a complete picture of the handheld library.
I think the Final Fantasy Legend Series is a good alternative to the Pokemon games. You can also move on to them after beating Pokemon a few times.
The other games that I can think of are Pokemon Gold and Silver. They are a little more complicated than Yellow, Red, and Blue and let you bring some of your team with you from the previous generation if you have a spare Game Boy and a link cable.
I’m sure there are more that I’m missing. Let me know what other RPGs I should try on the Game Boy.
9.5/10. While it isn’t the best Pokemon game, it is an excellent RPG with many options for building a team to try and beat the game.
There are a lot of things I love about this game! Here are some of the critical things that I like about it.
- Easy to learn.
- Works great as a handheld RPG.
- Many play options through collecting different Pokemon.
- It’s difficult, but not impossible.
Not a lot to say here. Some of these are going to be nitpicks or comparing it to more modern games.
- It can be too easy for experienced players.
- You get the bike a little late and can ignore it.
- Small inventory that fills up with TMs that you don’t need.
Yellow stands out as my favorite when I look at all of the Pokemon games I’ve played over the years. It’s the game I have the most memories of, and it is the game I go back to the most.
The other Pokemon games have mostly been good to great. There are balancing issues for some of the games, the character designs are getting a little stupid, and some of the mechanics aren’t all that necessary. They’re still fun to play!
Yellow will always be my favorite Pokemon game! Nostalgia is the only thing that separates it from the other games. I’m sure each person has their favorite Pokemon game. I’m not sure which one is better than the others.
I don’t think it is the best of its generation or even the best Pokemon game. That is something so subjective that I can’t make a declarative statement. The closest I can come is to say this version of the game is my favorite.