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In defense of Pokemon Yellow

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Joseph DeGolyer 3 years ago.

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    Okay, so I’ve been listening to the newest episode of the podcast episode (Rocksmith review) and I’m about 30 minutes in. Around the 25 minute mark (approximately) Joe begins to talk about his recent 2DS purchases. He talks about his experiences with Pokemon Yellow, stating that the game is boring and looks terrible. Those are fair statements, but I’m here to defend Pokemon Yellow, since Craig (no offense to Kaleb) didn’t say much to explain some of the issues Joe was having on the podcast. Hopefully we can have an open discussion about it and I can address some of Joe’s initial problems with the game.

    First lets start with the graphics. The Gameboy color was released in November of 1998 in the U.S. and one the earliest titles for the newly released Gameboy color was none other than Pokemon Yellow. Pokemon Yellow was the first of the Pokemon games in the Pokemon series to feature full color, although Gameboy color games were only capable of displaying approximately 56 (most likely less) colors at once, which is about the same as the NES. The Gameboy color is basically a portable NES. The Gameboy color in terms of power and graphical capabilities is on par with the NES, which released about 13 years before it. It is only capable of 8-bits graphics and sound, and 56 colors being displayed at once, so of course its not going to look or sound that great. Also, Yellow was released on a new console, so Game Freak probably didn’t know how to utilize the technology to its maximum potential until around the release of Pokemon Crystal version.

    My next point is about Pikachu being OP, and the truth of the matter is that it is not. In fact, it is an awful Pokemon overall, especially as a starter. It is the worst starter of any Pokemon game ever in my opinion. It is fine right at the beginning of the game, but once one reaches the first gym leader (Brock) they find out that Pikachu is not good against rock types. Of course this is early on, so one may be able to beat Brock with just normal attacks anyway, but that strategy won’t work after the second gym. Also, the reason one would keep running into the same Pokemon, is because they aren’t exploring other areas. Right at the first of the game within the first two cities, the following Pokemon are available: Pidgey(Normal/Flying type), Rattata(Normal-type), Nidoran (male(Poison-type)), Nidoran(female(Poison-Type), Mankey(Fighting-type), and Spearow (Normal/Flying-type). None of these are grass-type Pokemon, but they are Pokemon found in the grass…

    Next, let me explain to everyone what the goal of Pokemon is. There are a few end goals in Pokemon games. One is to catch them all, the other is to defeat the elite 4 and become the strongest trainer in that region. The problem is that you can’t actually catch them all unless you have beaten the elite 4 and one has to trade with other versions of the game to access certain Pokemon. Either way, those two goals go hand in hand. In order to reach the elite 4, the player must collect 8 various gym badges from different areas in the region. Aside from that goal, Pokemon has a pretty vague story and there is always a villainous team threatening to destroy the world that the player must stop at some point in the game, as well as a rival of some sort. That said, this is not a story driven game or series for that matter. The fun comes from the gameplay. Now let me explain the gameplay, as it is not clearly explained in Pokemon yellow.

    The gameplay consists of catching, raising/training, battling, trading, and traveling with Pokemon. The battle aspect of the gameplay is basically rock, paper, scissors, but replace those objects for elemental, physical, and special types of Pokemon. For example, fire-types(scissors) are strong against or super-effective(meaning it does twice as much damage) against grass-types(paper), however; fire-types are weak against water-types(rock). This is then expanded further as fire-types are also weak to ground-types and rock-types, but are strong against bug-types, ice-types, and grass-types. Also, certain types resist other types, such is the case for fire and water. Fire-type moves are not very effective against a water-type Pokemon. In other words water-types resists fire-type attacks, meaning the attacks do half damage. Types that are not weak or strong against each other are neutral, thus they do neutral damage (x1). The game becomes much more fun with the various types having advantages and disadvantages. Also, the level of the Pokemon directly influences how much damage a Pokemon does. The stronger the Pokemon (the higher the level) the more damage that Pokemon does.

    To wrap this all up, I want to talk about the reasons for why I think one would find the game to be boring. First, the target audience for Pokemon Yellow is children, thus it may not be too engaging for an adult. The series has expanded its story and gameplay elements to give the more recent games much more depth. To Joe I would recommend getting Pokemon X or Y. Second, the game is unfortunately outdated. Graphics, sound, and busted gameplay mechanics such as, missingno, the mew glitch, wrap lock, hyper beam without recharge, special attack and special defense being the same stat do hinder the overall experience. To experience a much better quality version of the first generation games, I would recommend Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen. My third and final reason is that Pokemon isn’t for everyone. It is easy to get into it if that is what one has grown up with, but from the outside looking it, it may be confusing to see what all of the hype is about. Not everything about Pokemon is enjoyable (like hms, easiness of the game, lack of story, and sometimes the lack of creativity). I find that it really is up to individual effort to find the things they like about the series. For me, I enjoy exploring and making my Pokemon stronger through leveling and training. For others it may be battling online, breeding Pokemon, or building secret bases and customization.

    It is important to have a foundation for Pokemon games in order to judge it for themselves and Pokemon Yellow is an okay place to start, but not the best. I would like to challenge anyone who hasn’t played a main series Pokemon game to give it a shot and try to beat that games elite 4. I would recommend Pokemon SoulSilver and Pokemon HeartGold personally, but due to their current prices I also think Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire or X and Y would be a fine place to start as well. Let me know what you guys think about Pokemon and if you have additional tips for Joe or for others who may be interested in trying out a game in the series. I look forward to reading your responses.
    Thank you.

    (P.S. Special thanks to Joe for the Birthday shout out!)

    Tips for Pokemon Yellow:
    -Don’t battle wild Pokemon for experience. Just battle trainers. It saves time.
    -Have a diversity of types on your team.
    -Use Repels.
    -Level Pikachu to 25 and get a free Bulbasaur, and Squirtle.
    -Talk to the guy above Cerulean City to get a free Charmander.
    -Ditch Pikachu after level 25.
    -Psychic Pokemon and Electric Pokemon are overpowered. Use them!
    -Hyper Beam is actually a good move. Use it if you are in range to knock out a Pokemon. That way -you don’t have to recharge.
    -Use an HM slave (A Pokemon that learns strength, cut, rock smash, surf, etc.).
    -Use Snorlax! Normal-types are great in this game.
    -Explore and try to find good TMs like earthquake, blizzard, thuderbolt, etc.
    -If you need to grind, use the Digletts and Dugtrio in Diglett’s cave.


    Joseph DeGolyer

    We’ll see… I got Mario 3 and Zelda to get through

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