Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Game Freak
Platform: Game Boy Advanced
Genre: Turn-Based RPG
Number of Players: 1-5
Release Date: 2004

GAME PLAY:

FireRed and LeafGreen (FRLG) is the original version on steroids. The same down-looking(turn-based), role-playing game as every previous version, and is a simple remake of the Pokemon red & blue version. Released a year after Ruby and Sapphire, FRLG provides Game Boy Advanced the original Pokemon that are conveniently left out of the Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire version. FRLG is the original with better graphics, but now after completing victory road, a handful of islands are unlocked. Along with some new Pokemon and a couple missions that allow you to bridge this version with the Ruby/Sapphire version 1.

The game will take at least 35+ hours to complete. Trying to catch all the Pokemon and raising them until they evolve to their highest form is time consuming work. Sure, it's possible to collect all eight badges in less then fifteen hours, but did you really try to beef out your Pokedex to get those special gifts from the professor's aide.

REVIEW:

As a kid, when the first version came out, I liked it. But that was then and this is now. Would I like this one now?

I have a few qualms with Pokemon games in general, one being the slow battle scenes. Which leads to another qualm of mine, a great amount of time is wasted with wild Pokemon. It seems every ten steps a fucking wild Pokemon jumps out and disrupts the adventure, with the only exception being in town. This makes the game unbearably slow and repetitive. Then, the game's answer to this, super repel, that even becomes annoying because it wears off after 250 steps. I think all of this would've been avoided by using a longer battle graphic for the trainer battles and a shorter one with the wild Pokemon. Unfortunately, this wasn't taken into consideration and a major part of the game falls a part, and becomes slow, agonizing torture 2.

The gotta collect em' all mentality and hence the game's slogan or tag-line is addictive at first then it becomes old fast because you learn to catch em' all you must be truly dedicated. That's 386 Pokemon, some of which you only get one chance to catch. If it faints, it's gone for good, unless you go back to when you saved the game last. This for some might leave the game revolving around the typical RPG strategies, puzzles, and adventuring that can lose its fun the second run threw. Making the replay value for this game quite low.

The folks over at Game Freaks have added a whole bunch of new features that improve the overall feel of the game. The first thing that stands out are new graphics and better music. That is, they're stepped up to the Game Boy Advance level, but nothing more and nothing special. The newness was introduced in the Ruby/Sapphire version anyways. Where they made the graphics a bit more clear and the music isn't as bland. Simple changes that needed to be done for the GBA platform. FRLG doesn't have a single new feature specific to itself; everything they added has been tested in other versions, taking from the good and leaving the bad.

WHAT ELSE IS "NEW"?

At the end of the game there are seven or eight new islands that are unlocked. This means you can find some new Pokemon that help with the additional obligation of filling the Nationaldex (Pokedex for the new Pokemon). Then upon completion of bill's extra mission your game can be linked to a Ruby/Sapphire version so trades can be made.

Packaged with every brand, spanking new copy is a infrared wireless communication device. The censor/transmitter attaches via a remodeled game-link slot, and works inside the of range of 30 feet or ten meters. The device does have a bit of a lag while the systems sync-up, and also glitches when any two users call for the same function at the same time. Making it so you must take turns back and forth in order to link-up. If the second player requests to link-up in too close of proximity to the first players request, both actions will be rejected because one system must first become the leader. The device can act kinda lame, but does allow wireless interaction with up to five players at one time.

Also, a couple small unrelated games for multi-player were added, stupid stuff like; jump-rope contest, berry crushing, and other games of that nature. Plus, a casino filled with slot machines was added in the regular game, allowing you to buy a few Pokemon and diffrent items not sold in the Pokemarts.

The Pokedex has some new programming that makes it more user friendly then before. Now, it's equipped with diffrent reference capabilities like; alphabetical, numerical, and by Pokemon type. Plus they added an animated Pokestash box that has a hand grabbing the selected critter. This is a big improvement from before when the box was only a list of names printed out.

Changes were made to the battle/leveling stats too but I can't tell you what really. There are also new abilities and moves as well. Now, the Pokemon have special traits, giving certain Pokemon different advantages against diffrent attacks. A couple examples would be; if a ground Pokemon attacks a electric Pokemon, the ground Pokemon might receive a static-shock that can leave it paralyzed, and, when a Pokemon becomes poisoned during battle they will remain poisoned; but if your Pokemon has the ability to shed its skin, once doing so it will stop the poisoning.

The addition of running shoes was probably the best feature missing in the original. I hated going in out of my bag menu for my bike, or being forced to walk everywhere, which sucked. I will never be able to play the first version again because of the ability to run.

CLOSING WORDS:

It was immediately obvious a lot of changes have been made but deep down it's the same game. It cleaned up and is a more presentable version, but didn't grow enough in my opinion and might still appeal more to a younger audience. The new graphics alone make the game better than any Game Boy Color version but all of the originals annoying qualities are still there. I have only played the Red/Blue/Yellow version and now GBA versions. I never followed the game with a diehard passion, which kinda limits my knowledge of any of the changes made during that time. But somehow, I do suggest the game after all the negativity because it might interest those who are still a kid at heart. Look how many times they remade the damn thang. It's a instant classic like Super Mario Brothers, and who doesn't like Mario? 3

TIPS:

Never save money, spend it as quickly as you get it. When you lose a battle against another trainer you must pay, they will take less if you have less to take.

Collect the gifts from the professor's aide, they will help a lot in the quest.

In the Safari Zone, your timer is based on how many steps you take, any time you leave the square your in a step is knocked off. So, if you spin around in a circle, not leaving the square your in, you will find wild pokemon without wasting the game's timer.




FOOTNOTES

1) Pure genius. Scamming even more hard earned money from the parents that have a difficult time providing shelter and food on the table already by selling the same fucking product as before, and saying, "you don't need that" to little billy doesn't work because that means you don't love him.

2) I need to just accept the fact the same 10-15 (more like 3-7) second introduction will happen with every encounter, and I should play only when I really, really want to play.

3) "Oh, you don't like Mario do you? Then, shut up you don't count!"

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