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Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Pokemon: LeafGreen and Pokemon: FireRed

Pokemon: LeafGreen and Pokemon: FireRed
by Dr. Matt J. Carlson
October 29, 2004

Wireless, handheld monster pit fighting for all those little girls and boys.

Reviewed for GBA.

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Scroll down for our Kid Factor.

GamerDad Seal Of Approval - 6+.  Click to learn more about our review seal. Wireless, handheld monster pit fighting for all those little girls and boys.

Nobody could have predicted the outcome when Nintendo first introduced Pokemon for their Gameboy handhelds. The game, an RPG/adventure game focused on collecting cute little animals which you then used in arena battles to fight other collectors. The mix of collecting, trading, and growing your Pokemon was a huge hit and has spawned oodles of sequels, cartoons, merchandise, and other games. In itメs newest GBA incarnation, Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed, Nintendo has included a wireless networking adaptor for the GBA so that gamers now can link up Gameboy games to trade and/or fight without the use of cables. It is a handy little adaptor that improves all aspects of linking Pokemon games together, while the usual Pokemon story and gameplay remain mostly the same.

For those not モin the knowヤ, the standard Pokemon adventure starts out with a boy (or girl) who wants to become a モprofessionalヤ Pokemon Trainer. You are given your first Pokemon and sent out into the world to find more. You can try to trap any Pokemon you find in the wild, but it is best to weaken them a little before trying. Different Pokemon appear in different environments so it is important to explore many different kinds of areas. As you wander and collect new Pokemon, you will also journey from town to town and challenge each townメs Gym :Leader to earn a Gym Badge that often gives you new powers to help you explore. Defeat all the Gym Leaders and youメve basically won the game, although you are still allowed to wander in a very open-ended manner.

Pokemon trainers fight each other in combat that has each player starting with 1 to six different Pokemon. They are sent out one at a time to defeat each other. Defeat all your opponentメs Pokemon and you win the fight, gaining a little money and some experience. With enough experience your Pokemon can increase in power by gaining levels. As they gain levels they improve their basic statistics and sometimes learn new attacks. Gain enough levels and most Pokemon evolve into new, more powerful species. The training and growth of Pokemon is very deep and complex. Some Pokemon evolve only when traded, others only when give specific items, and so on. You can even breed Pokemon at a special center, provided the two Pokemon are two different genders. The result is an egg which must be carried around until it hatches into a new Pokemon.



The two versions of the game, FireRed and LeafGreen, are basically equivalent and only different in the frequency of the various Pokemon species that appear within the game. Thus only rabid collectors need access to both games, as playing through the story mode is entirely possible and enjoyable with a single game cartridge. Only one game can be saved at a time on each cartridge, so every player needs their own copy. A second GBA and game cartridge is needed to perform any of the vs modes as well. Via the wireless adaptor, gamers can have Pokemon battles, conversations, or even post potential trades on a trading board. Each wireless player sees all the others as little figures wandering the room. Walk up to another player to challenge them or examine the trading board for a potential trade. The wireless adaptor works well, able to penetrate through a single thick wall or a couple thin ones. It can even work on a direct line of sight of 100 yards as long as no one is in the way. For gamers who own earlier versions of Pokemon, both trading and battling can also be done using a direct link cable with the older Sapphire and Ruby versions of Pokemon. In fact, since items can be traded by having Pokemon hold onto them during a trade, new rare berries from the new versions can be traded into the old. This can become important since in the new versions, you are no longer able to raise berry plants to harvest. The new versions are also Pokemon Coliseum compatible if you feel the need to fight with your new Pokemon team on the glorious Gamecube Pokemon arena.

In all, the game itself has changed only a little from previous versions, with a few new items and Pokemon available. There are some new attacks, new items and berries to find, but the largest change is the wireless adaptor. It makes connecting GBAs easy and quick. The wireless adaptor (which is included with LeafGreen and FireRed) allows dozens of players to connect up all at the same time. It isnメt backwards compatible with the game cable, so games have to have the technology programmed in to be able to take advantage of it. For most people, it isnメt probably enough to warrant a new Pokemon game purchase. If youメre a bit burned-out on Pokemon gameplay, there isnメt enough new here to bring you back. Those of you Pokemon-crazy will get the game no matter what you read. I think you will find the improvements worthwhile, but not groundbreaking. If youメve never tried Pokemon on the Gameboy, this newest version is probably the one to get since the wireless networking has some very good potential. There is a reason why Pokemon keeps coming back and is such a sensation. If you have any interest in adventure or light RPG style games, you should check it out.

Kid Factor: If you never think about the somewhat dark theme of trapping animals in little balls and making them fight each other for fun and profit, this is an excellent game for little (and big) people. There is no blood or sex and the violence is pretty much exclusively between Pokemon creatures, and even they never die, they are just モexhaustedヤ. The game is filled with cuteness and has a huge collecting element that is well received at certain ages. Due to the collecting and モleveling upヤ of your Pokemon, the game can become addictive so the amount of play time should be monitored if your game player falls into that category. Given enough equipment (GBAs and game cartridges), the trading and multiplayer battles can be quite fun for siblings or friends who all enjoy the game. Anyone want to take on my level 70 Charmander? (I like to keep my Pokemon unevolved as long as possible, I find it enhances my smack talk when I defeat kids with my set of モwimpyヤ unevolved Pokemonナ)


Reviewer Recommended Ages: 8+
Genre: RPG, Collecting
ESRB Rating: E for everyone
Producer: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo






Click to learn more about GamerDad's Kid Factor review section. If you never think about the somewhat dark theme of trapping animals in little balls and making them fight each other for fun and profit, this is an excellent game for little (and big) people. There is no blood or sex and the violence is pretty much exclusively between Pokemon creatures, and even they never die, they are just モexhaustedヤ. The game is filled with cuteness and has a huge collecting element that is well received at certain ages. Due to the collecting and モleveling upヤ of your Pokemon, the game can become addictive so the amount of play time should be monitored if your game player falls into that category. Given enough equipment (GBAs and game cartridges), the trading and multiplayer battles can be quite fun for siblings or friends who all enjoy the game. Anyone want to take on my level 70 Charmander? (I like to keep my Pokemon unevolved as long as possible, I find it enhances my smack talk when I defeat kids with my set of モwimpyヤ unevolved Pokemonナ) Kid Factor by Dr. Matt J. Carlson

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Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Pokemon: LeafGreen and Pokemon: FireRed
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Game Info:
Platform(s):
GBA

ESRB rating:
E - Everyone

Score:




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