one of the gadgets i was excited (yes, i know how geeky that sounds) — ahem — i was excited to get for my gamecube was the game boy player. (btw, can someone please explain to me why it’s “game boy” (w/ a space), but “gamecube” (no space)? unless there’s some sort of verbal command implied by the former name brand (“name brand” has a space, btw), it makes more sense to me as one word.) anyway, like the super game boy this device enables you to play game boy games (in this case, also game boy advance games) on your TV.
anyway, one of the first games i’ve been playing (other than the legend of zelda: link’s awakening) has been pokemon: yellow version. to be honest the whole pokemon obsession, as i’m sure for most people over the age of 10, had stayed pretty much in my distant peripheral view. i can directly point to the one game that changed all that: super smash bros. melee. i won’t go into that too much since this post is already getting ridiculously long, but the game is a classic for a reason, and nintendo scored a major coup in highlighting all the various characters of their franchise and breathing life into the less well known ones. the game got me scurrying to track down the games all the characters appear in, and making my wishlist grow about tenfold. although next on my list is the metroid and the earthbound (a.k.a. mother in japan, from whence the character ness comes) series, the wide variety of pokemon used in smash bros. piqued my interest the most.
it took a few moments to figure out the difference between all the different pokemon versions, and i don’t have the entire series mapped out in my head yet, but the basics for the first three games are that pokemon red and blue came out in the US at the same time and were designed so that some pokemon could only be obtained in one or the other of the games and thus would require a friend with the opposite game to trade you. pokemon yellow came out a bit later and featured enhanced graphics (although keep in mind this is “enhanced” for the game boy), slightly different game details (e.g. locations of the various pokemon), and a storyline more based on what had become a hit TV series. i ended up getting the yellow version even though i’m still planning on playing through the other two versions, although in retrospect i should’ve started with them. but i just happened to win this one off of ebay first.
phew! with that all said i can finally get around to talking about the game. i was surprised at how much this game is like the NES final fantasy. like the SNES game earthbound the game does a great job of doing a completely modern-day RPG. in earthbound the hero uses such weapons as a baseball bat and a yo-yo. in this the battles are all between pokemon, monsters you capture and train (through battles) and teach increasingly powerful techniques to. the battle scenes are highly reminescent of the orig. final fantasy, but other elements have the same feel to me as well.
i think i’m a little less than halfway through. the games has proven to be addictive, although as with final fantasy the battles do get a bit repetitive. much less so in this game though b/c instead of 4 characters you have 6 that you’re constantly rotating and most that evolve. as someone pointed out, yes you could just stick to the same 6 or so to beat the game (which hasn’t been very hard so far), but the fun is seeing what moves each pokemon has and can learn and seeing them whoop @$$ in battle. as cheesy as it is to say so, you really do find yourself wanting to “catch ’em all”. the designers did a great job giving each pokemon a different look, identity, and name, and as the first installment in the franchise it has def. been worth playing. i’m constantly amazed at how much stuff programmers were able to pack into these early classics, and as usual the simplicity is deeply satisfying. like some good tosci’s ice cream.
ign.com, as usual, has the most attractive guide around. i’ve been purposely refraining from reading too much of it though. after i finish the game i’ll def. be going back and poring over the guide more thoroughly … and getting the next game!