Pokemon games

Here are all the Pokemon games currently out in Australia.

Pokemon Red

This Game Boy game, alongside Pokemon Blue, is what started it all. This role playing game has the gamer play Ash (or name of your choice), a boy from Pallet, who is trying to live out Professor Oak's dream of cataloguing information for all 150 Pokemon into a Pokedex, electronic encyclopedia. To get all 150, Ash has to travel from town to town, catching Pokemon, trading for them and occasionally being given them.

Ash raises his own Pokemon so that they can weaken wild Pokemon for capture, and thus get more for the Pokedex. He raises his Pokemon by challenging fellow trainers, particularly 8 trainers who are the strongest in their cities and have been named Gym Leaders. Defeating a Gym Leader earns Ash a badge, and the right to continue along his journey.

After collecting all eight badges, beating his rival Gary and the criminal organisation, Team Rocket, Ash can progress to Pokemon League. There, he challenges four elite trainers, to hopefully be named a Pokemon Master and earn the right to enter a cave containing the most powerful and dangerous wild Pokemon...

Along his journey, Ash catches Pokemon and can choose six to keep on his main team. They will fight for him, and he can teach them attacks and raise them to higher levels. There are also a lot of items lying around the place that Ash will need to progress in the game, as well as some simple puzzles to solve, and many fellow trainers to talk to.

Pokemon Red and Blue are almost exactly alike, but there are differences in commonness of Pokemon. Some Pokemon are not even in Pokemon Red, and others not in Blue. And sometimes you have to choose between two or three Pokemon at a time. So, a player has to trade with friends using a Game Boy link cable, in order to catch all 150. Friends can also battle each other using the cable.

Pokemon in Red that aren't in Blue are:

Pokemon Blue

It didn't originally exist in Japan, but Pokemon Blue is English speaking country's Red counterpart. It is exactly the same as Red, except there are some different Pokemon, and different pricing on Pokemon in Celadon City.

Pokemon in Blue that aren't in Red are:

These Pokemon are counterparts to each other; ie they can be found in the same places in each game, at the same levels. Sandshrew/slash take place of Ekans/Arbok, and the snakes are weak to the sand Pokemon. Meowth/Persian replace Mankey/Primeape, and the cats are weak to the monkey Pokemon. The Oddish family and Bellsprout family both are grass/poison and reach their final evolution via Leafstone. Vulpix and Growlithe are both fire types that evolve with Firestones. Pinsir and Scyther are both bugs found in the Safari Zone. Electabuzz is rare in the Power Plant, and Magmar rare in Cinnabar's mansion.

Pokemon Yellow

Another Game Boy game, Pokemon Yellow, is similar to Red and Blue; identical gameplay, but a few characters say different things, a few characters have different Pokemon, and there are different Pokemon to be found. Ash starts the game with a Pikachu, and Gary with an Eevee, mirroring the show. Ash's Pikachu doesn't go in a Pokeball and actually follows him around on-screen.

This game is based more heavily on the TV show than the original two games. A Yellow player would have to trade with both Red and Blue to get all 150.

More on Pokemon Yellow can be found here.

Pokemon Snap

This game is for Nintendo 64. In it, you play Snap, the Pokemon photographer, who travels through seven worlds of different terrains, snapping pictures of different Pokemon who inhabit it. Snap is working for Professor Oak, who rates pictures.

However, not all Pokemon are in easy snapping range. Some have to be drawn out using Snap's ingenuity and a small arsenal of weapons. ^_^. As he drives Oak's invention, the Zero-One Vehicle (a machine that can fly and travel on water, and provides a convenient excuse to keep you on the course Oak wants and not let you go wandering on your own and thus take better shots), he covers a beach, disused power plant, volcano, river, cave, valley and the mysterious Rainbow Cloud.

Apart from taking photos of Pokemon, Snap has a few other challenges to tackle, like capturing certain landmarks and finding out how to get from one level to another.

More on Pokemon Snap can be found on the reviews page.

Pokemon Pinball

A Game Boy Colour game that incorporates a special built-in "Rumble Pack" that shakes when you hit certain things with the pinball. ^_^.

This game has the player choose one of two table styles - red or blue - and play with a Pokeball (the pinball), propelling it around the table to get bonus points, activate special stages, advance to the next level, and of course... capture Pokemon.

After a certain progress, the player can, if they propel the ball to the right place, begin "catch 'em mode", where they try to hit certain elements of the table which will allow them to capture. After this, evolution mode can be initiated, which is somewhat more difficult, especially with a time limit.

The tables themselves are, naturally, decorated with Pokemon. There are Diglett, Psyduck and Poliwag to hit, which if hit enough times, will allow you to advance to the next level. There are Voltorb or Shellder bumpers, which give points and are useful for "catch 'em" mode. There is a Ditto or Slowpoke to mark evolution tunnels, and Bellsprout or Cloyster to mark "catch 'em mode" tunnels. There are also Pikachu who can protect your ball from falling in the hole at the bottom. What Pokemon are there depend on which colour table you are using. Stages are named after Pokemon cities, and certain cities have certain Pokemon of different rarities. Catching a Pokemon will add it to your Pokedex, which ideally you must fill.

This game works perfectly well on uncoloured Game Boys too. It is quite fun, although it can be hard without a lot of practise.

Super Smash Brothers

This is not a Pokemon-specific game. It's a beat-'em-up for Nintendo 64 which stars several main characters from popular Nintendo games. These include Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Kirby, Pikachu, Samus Aran, Fox McCloud, Link, and some secret characters, including Jigglypuff.

Each character has moves specific to them, and each has a 'home stage'. Pikachu's is Saffron City. The characters fight on some sort of platform, and the object of the game is to beat the opponent up, to weaken them, and then send them off the platform into oblivion. ^_^.

Pikachu uses a couple of electric attacks, as you would imagine, as well as Quick Attack. Jigglypuff can use sleep moves, but its most useful ability is that of using itself as a balloon and floating up.

This game is best as a multi-player game, where several players can pick their fighter and basically free-for-all.

More on Super Smash Bros. can be found on the reviews page.

-Games that should eventually appear include Pokemon Stadium, a N64 Pokemon battling game, and Pokemon Attack, some sort of puzzler.

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