This does a good job of merging the mainline Pokemon games with the trading card game. I think this was a good choice because it lent some familiarity to what you’re expected to do.
I remember playing the trading card game when I was younger. It came near the end of my interest in them until I got to college. My friends and I lost interest in them, and our money was better spent on video games, pizza, and movies.
Thankfully, the rules of the trading card game are easy to learn. Those rules are translated into the game and work quite well for the video game. My biggest issue is creating decks and what you have to start the game.
TLDR: Trading Card Video Games work well on handheld systems. This is a good version of the card game.
The game was released in Japan in December 1998. It was released in Australia, North America, and Europe in 2000. Interestingly enough, Australia got the game before North America and Europe. I thought that was interesting.
In 2001, a Japan-only sequel was released. You can get a fan translation of the second game if you want to. I didn’t want to.
The game was banned in Saudi Arabia because it was allegedly promoting Zionism somehow. I find it extremely interesting to see what other countries use for moral outrage. I guess I’m used to the stupid things that people freak out about in the US, so seeing what other people freak out about is fun to me,
You start the game by learning about the legendary Pokemon cards being up for grabs. The main character journeys to acquire the cards, and things start like every other Pokemon game in the main series.
You have to choose from three starter decks when you start the game. The decks are labeled Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. You would expect them to be Fire, Water, and Grass. However, they’re a bit of a mess. It would have been better if they were two types instead of three or more.
There are eight gyms, four masters, and a rival for you to deal with. It feels like you’re playing either a first-generation or second-generation game. There aren’t any twists in the story.
The gameplay is good. You walk around, talk to people, and sometimes play cards with some people in the gyms. I wouldn’t say I like the lack of an overworld and the preset decks you have to choose from.
Instead of fighting with Pokemon, you fight battles with a deck of cards. There are 60 cards in a deck, you draw seven cards, and at the beginning of each turn, you draw a card. Your deck consists of the following:
- Energy cards
- Evolution cards
- Action cards
The energy cards are one of the dumbest parts of the game, especially with how the game has constructed the started decks. If you’re a new player or coming from another game, the decks are too complex for beginners. If you’ve played the TCG before, you probably won’t have a problem.
The battles are turn-based. A coin flip decides who is going to go first. From there, you play the card game. Your goal is to win all of the prize cards.
You take a prize card by knocking out one of the opponent’s Pokemon. You will win the game if you take all of your prize cards. This is a little overly complicated. It makes me wonder if Magic the Gathering had 20 hit points for each player copywritten.
Going back to the rules of this game after so many years makes me realize why my friends and I didn’t play this game for very long. It might be my personal bias, but I wouldn’t say I like the rules of this card game.
You can get more cards by winning matches. Instead of earning money, you’ll get a booster pack. This was a good change and fits with the game we’re playing.
Overall, the gameplay is fine. It works for this genre, even if I don’t like the Pokemon Trading Card game rules.
The visuals get the job done. They aren’t all great, but the graphics are far from bad. Because this is a card game, the battle animations are limited and more simplistic.
The battle scenes look similar to the other Pokemon games but have commands that reflect the Trading Card Game. The cards look like the physical cards that I remember seeing. These are first-generation cards, so that they might have changed over time.
The rest of the game looks like the first-generation Pokemon games. You would like this game’s visuals if you liked how Red and Blue look.
7/10. If you were looking for a way to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game on the go, this was your best bet. It is a solid game that does a good job of emulating the card game. Like other trading card games that get turned into video games, this one has some limitations but is a decent attempt.
The game is fine. I wasn’t a fan of the Trading Card Game, so I had some issues that a fan probably won’t care about. The game needed more as it was missing quite a bit of content that would have made it better.
Eliminating the paths and random battles was disappointing. Instead, you move to each gym and fight some of the people there. It makes the game feel unfinished.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game is okay. It looks good, and the gameplay is fine. However, it makes me want to play the card game with a friend to have more control over the deck I’m playing with.