Curtis catches a case of nostalgia while going back to the craze that started it all.
I have a weird love/hate relationship with the original Pokémon games. As much nostalgia I have for the world, the monsters, and the simplicity of Red, Blue, and Yellow, I have always had a hard time going back to them. The games that followed it improved on so many of the the original’s mechanics, they always seemed archaic and janky by comparison. At a recent event, we got our hands on with the 3DS Virtual Console versions of the game, and while I’m still reluctant to say they’re worth playing again, it’s hard to deny it’s old-school charm.
The demo stations had all three versions to choose from. Pokémon Red and Blue were presented in their original grey/greenish-yellow style, while Yellow had Game Boy Color/Super Game Boy-enhanced color schemes. The demos were essentially the full game from what we could tell, and everyone at the event just continued on from where the last person left off. Obviously, there wasn’t enough time to get anywhere outside of the first few towns, but we still got an idea of what to expect from these ports.
When the games were first being talked about during last month’s Nintendo Direct, as well as the event’s opening presentation, their wording of the game’s presentation being “representative” of the original games made it sound like the games would be getting changes in how the games look, sound and play. While the graphics and sound were exactly the same as the original versions, they did add wireless trading and battling support. We didn’t get a chance to try it for ourselves, but we did see it demoed by others at the event, and seemed to work without any problems.
One of the unfortunate things about this re-release is that there is no support for Restore Points, like most Virtual Console games. This was most likely done as a ways to deter cloning Pokemon and items, and generally exploiting the game, but I can’t help but feel disappointed by its exclusion. I would understand if these games were still used in public/official tournaments, but I would’ve loved to be able to take advantage of modern features in such an old game, especially when encountering rare Pokémon.
Overall, the Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow still play, look, and feel just as they did back when they were first released, for better and for worse. After spending some time with them, I’m looking forward to seeing if playing through the entire adventure will be able to retain the same magic as they did back in 1998. The games are set to release on February 27.