Pokemon Red and Blue

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a game by Game Freak
Platform: GBA
Editor Rating: 8.5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Pokemon Games, JRPG Games
Pokemon Red and Blue
Pokemon Red and Blue
Pokemon Red and Blue
Pokemon Red and Blue

Capturing, raising, and battling Pokemon has become almost second nature for many players, and it all began here. Pokemon Red and Blue are the first international games in the popular Pokemon franchise, and it set the framework for what would become one of the most important media empires of all time.

Gotta catch ‘em all

The main idea of Pokemon is simple: capture all 151 Pokemon and defeat the Elite Four. This simple concept is brilliant, especially since this game could easily become the first RPG for many players.

Simple yet highly endearing, the formula of Pokemon is easy to grasp but hard to master. In Red and Blue, the difficulty is not as high as some of the later entries in the series, thanks in part to the game’s most blatant fault: its balancing issues.

Being the first game in the series, it’s clear that some elements of the combat had yet to be refined. One clear instance of this is the Psychic type: Psychic pokemon are basically invincible in this game, as their only weaknesses lacked any offensive power to counter their moves.

From Pallet Town to Indigo Plateau

In Pokemon Red and Blue, players will travel the world of Kanto. While the Game Boy had some great-looking RPGs like Lufia: The Legend Returns, it’s amazing what Game Freak managed to do with such a limited console.

The scope of Kanto is not immediately mind-blowing, but as soon as you start exploring and looking everywhere for pokemon to catch, the real complexity of Kanto unveils. From mountains to caves and cozy towns, there’s a lot to see in this region.

Gyms and trainers

There are two (actually three, but we’ll get into that later) main types of trainers you’ll have to overcome in your journey: trainers and gym leaders. Trainers are located all over the map, challenging you to fights as soon as you cross their paths. Gym leaders, on the other hand, are eight trainers that must be beaten for a chance to challenge the Elite Four.

Since trainers can’t be rematched, grinding in the latter stages of the game becomes somewhat of a chore. You’ll have to fight wild pokemon to level your party, and their low levels means that you’ll have to spend a good while walking in the tall grass and beating Rattattas for a chunk of EXP.

Team Rocket

The mischievous Team Rocket are the main antagonists of the game’s plot. These trainers will usually stop your progress in the middle of moving between towns, and their hideouts and challenges are usually a spotlight for the game.

Being a very simple RPG, the plot of Pokemon Red and Blue is nothing to write home about. That said, Team Rocket adds a necessary layer of conflict to the game’s story, especially if you’ve known the characters from the anime. Fans of the animated series will definitely enjoy Pokemon Yellow a little more, thanks to its more refined plot and interesting Pikachu mechanics.

Captivating and simple to grasp, Pokemon Red and Blue serves as a great introduction not only to Pokemon but for RPGs as a whole. It has some balancing issues and it can be a bit lenient with its difficulty, but ultimately, the game has a lot going for it.

8.5

Also worth mentioning are the communication elements of the games, as both versions connect to trade pokemon and to battle. While it’s a fun idea, it also means that you have to know someone with the other version of the game to actually be able to “catch ‘em all.”

Pros:

  • Great character design
  • Fun map to explore
  • Catching new pokemon is a truly gratifying experience

Cons:

  • Unbalanced combat
  • The plot is a bit too simple

Download Pokemon Red and Blue

GBA

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

GBA Screenshots

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