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Pokemon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition
Platform:  Gameboy
# of Players:  1 (2 with link cable
Developer:  Game Freak
Publisher:  Nintendo
Features:  
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://www.pokemon.com
Pokemon Yellow is really just a huge marketing ploy. Any other license would be laughed off the face of the market for releasing a third version of the same game (unless it is by Capcom). Pokemon has a weird drawing power with the youth of the world that allows Nintendo to get away with releasing a third version with no new monsters to catch and very few new features and it will sell big time.

Now don't get me wrong. I loved the first two versions of the game. If you don't believe me, just click here to read my review. That review was written when the game first came out, before it was the major cultural phenomenon that it is today. And I stand by the game as being one of the best ever created for this system. So as a game there is no reason why I would not like the Yellow version since it is really just an enhancement of the old version. As far as the entire movement goes, I think that it has gotten a bit out of hand and the third version of the game is really a confirmation of that.

The way that the yellow version came about goes like this. First there was Pokemon red and blue. Then there was a cartoon based on the game. The cartoon deviated from the game a bit by giving more personality to the characters. Then they made Pokemon Yellow which is more similar to the cartoon. One example of this is the way that Pikachu (the little electric mouse that is so cute) refuses to remain in his Pokeball. Instead he follows you around from the beginning of the game. He also refuses to evolve making Raichu impossible to get in the yellow version. Jesse and James from Team Rocket make an appearance in the new version with their Pokemon, but to our disappointment no new Pokemon show up.

Probably the most valued new feature is the extra use of color in this version. 30+ colors are used which is not the maximum for the Color Gameboy (it peaks at 54) but makes the game a lot nicer to look at. The extra colors work very well in the new graphics added to the game. Since Pikachu walks around behind you, you can turn around and talk to him. A screen will come up showing you his mood. At first he will be happy but if he gets too beat up that may change. All of the other characters have changed to mimic the ones found in the series and are all displayed in wonderful color.

The game plays just like the first two with you as an aspiring Pokemon trainer looking to catch 'em all. You must go through all of the same landscapes and one new dungeon level in order to fight, capture, and trade your way into being a Pokemon master. The distribution of monsters in the Yellow version is sort of a cross between the way red and blue were split up. There will be monsters in Yellow that you could not get in blue and some you could not get in red. The best feature is that Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur are all easily catchable.

All in all the special Pikachu addition to the Pokemon craze is nothing more than a way to suck the money out of every hungry Pokemon fan who can't get enough. It is an unoriginal copy that would be overlooked if it were anything but Pokemon. But it is Pokemon and if you are a fan, then no one is going to be able to tell you that it is not worth the money. However, if you have already caught them all then why would you want to catch them all again. Wait for the Gold and Silver versions and catch all new Pokemon. That is of course after you have seen the movie and the new season of the TV show and bought all of the toys and...

Chris Shade


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