Pocket Monsters

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a game by Game Freak
Platform: Sega GenesisGenesis
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 6.3/10 - 7 votes
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See also: Monsters Games, Pokemon Games, Pocket Games
Pocket Monsters
Pocket Monsters
Pocket Monsters
Pocket Monsters

When Pocket Monsters was released for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) in 2000, the console was already 11 years old. That means right from the get-go, you can tell the creators didn’t plan on this game being a big success. On top of that, it was using unlicensed material from the hit series Pokémon. There’s a lot going against it from the start, but let’s dive into this rare and most likely unknown piece of Genesis’ history.

Pokémon, but Pocket Monsters

When Pokémon first released in the late 90’s, it started a worldwide phenomenon where people couldn’t get enough of it. You had the show, the merchandise, the movies, and of course – the games. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take my Game Boy everywhere with me in elementary school so that I could trade with my friends. As you might imagine, there were companies who decided they would try and take advantage of the craze surrounding the franchise. Once clear example of that is Pocket Monsters. This unlicensed game takes some of your favorite Pokémon and has them face off against Pikachu.

While never named in the game, it’s clear these characters are from Pokémon. While traversing the game’s five levels, you’ll come across recognizable Pokémon such as Beedrill and Ghastly. When fighting bosses, you’ll notice they look awfully similar to Onix, Pinsir, and Snorlax.

Gotta Stomp Em’ All!

The premise of the game is quite simple. Pocket Monsters is a side-scrolling platformer where you control the main protagonist Pikachu as he navigates the five unique stages the game has: a forest, underground cave, lava cave, industrial site, and a jungle. Each stage has different enemies that you’ll have combat, with many of them being recognizable Pokémon.

Combat is very easy for the majority of the game. To defeat an enemy, you’ll simply jump on top of the, Mario style. Every enemy is defeated in one hit, no matter the size of them. On top of that, you’ll rarely feel like you’re being challenged as they don’t have any attacks to throw at you.

Pikachu can also use a special attack once he’s charged his special counter, which looks like battery packs to me. This special attack will cause Pikachu to use his lightning attack and defeat everyone on the screen. Sadly, these enemies will reappear as soon as you go back to that screen.

If one enemy does manage to hit you, you’ll lose all of your life. These are represented by pink diamonds. These diamonds are found throughout the stage and act similarly to Sonic the Hedgehog’s rings. If you get hit again while at 0 pink diamonds, you’ll lose a life. Luckily you shouldn’t be getting hit very often. If you do happen to be losing lives, you can find collectibles that grant you an extra life.

At the very end of each level, you’ll have to face off against a boss. Once again, you’ll find these bosses very recognizable. However, they provide little to no challenge. For each boss, you’ll just need to jump on them until they are defeated. While I wasn’t expecting much from these boss fights, I expected them to be a bit more complicated.

Personality, I Choose You!

One of the biggest gripes I have with this game is that it lacks personality outside of the few Pokémon that you’ll come across. Even when you do come across a Pokémon, it’s not a memorable experience. You simply jump on top of them and they fade away.

This isn’t helped by the game’s poor audio. The only recognizable sound from Pokémon that you will recognize is when Pikachu yells “Pika!” after performing a special attach or getting hit. Other than that, you’re left with a few simple sound effects from the enemies dying or Pikachu landing on a platform. This means you’ll have to listen to game’s super repetitive music over and over again. While some of them may be catchy at first, they grow old a few minutes into the stage. With the lack of sound effects and poor music, you could argue the game could just be played with your sound muted.

5

I’m sure that Pokémon has seen their fair share of unlicensed rip-offs over the years, but Pocket Monster has to be up there as one of the worst games to try and use their IP. Even if you’re a fan of the franchise, I wouldn’t bother playing Pocket Monsters. There’s far better Pokémon, as well as platformer games from that era that you should play instead.

Pros:

  • Art is well drawn

Cons:

  • Stale combat
  • Simple platforming with no challenges
  • Boss fights are far too easy
  • Lack of sound effects
  • Music is poor and repetitive
  • No real story or satisfying ending
  • Can be finished in less than a hour

Download Pocket Monsters

Genesis

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots