The Hunt for November

blogging anime and life

Pokemon Fire Red

This weekend, I was seized by a sudden desire to play some Pokemon, and not the new crap (Diamond, Pearl, Ruby, Sapphire, etc.). These are my thoughts on the 3rd Gen remix of Pokemon Red.

First things first–if I didn’t want to play those newfangled versions of Pokemon (Diamond and Pearl specifically, though Emerald was also incredibly frustrating), why would I play Pokemon Fire Red and not just Pokemon Red?

Basically, Fire Red and Leaf Green are just Red and Blue with the same tech improvements that the series brought in with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (The 2v2 battles most notably). To me, it was an opportunity to play the game that so captured my imagination back in fourth grade (over 10 years ago). I can still remember my first experience with Pokemon, at lunch on one spring day. I was so engrossed by it that I missed the bell to go back to the classroom, and had to be found by one of my classmates who had noticed me totally sucked in and deaf to the world.

Most of all, Fire Red didn’t have all the weird ass Pokemon brought in during the 2nd and subsequent generations. I was shocked to find out that there are almost 500 different pokemon now, dwarfing the 151 offered in the inital releases.

Fire Red drops you into Pallet Town, where you meet Prof. Oak, who gives you your first pokemon. You still have the classic choice of Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur, a real interesting choice. Charmander in the original game was a tough pokemon to pick first because of the pokemon you’d face in the gyms at Pewter City and Cerulean City. That Pewter City gym had a number of Geodudes and an Onix, which would snuff the life out of your puny Charmander, Rattatas, and Pidgeys. Similar deal with the gym in Cerulean, though your flying pokemon would actually have a shot against the horrifically overpowered Starmie. However, Fire Red’s new Charmander had a “Metal Claw” ability, which would be super effective against rock pokemon. This, and the reality that Charmander would be the best for middle and rest of the game, led me to once again pick Charmander.

If you’ve played any of the previous games, the rest of the game is pretty by the book. There’s no real pressure to train a full squad of high level pokemon, because by endgame (Elite 4), you can choose to go out and catch the legendary bird pokemon, Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres. Using these to supplement your starter pokemon and whatever other workhorse(s) you used to get to the Elite 4, you’ll do just fine.

This is the biggest flaw in the game to me; by the end of the game, I had 3 high level pokemon that I had leveled my self (Charizard, Vaporeon, and Scyther), with two others tagging along in my party for the ride (and the HM’s). As Charizard and Scyther were both hovering around level 50 and Vaporeon was riding along at 61, I probably could’ve tried out the Elite 4, but realistically, there was no chance I’d win. So really, I was forced to head out to Cinnabar Island to talk to Bill, who took me to 1 Island. After a few missions, I was able to head to Mt. Ember and waste a ton of Ultra Balls to catch Moltres. Then I headed to the Power Plant to catch Zapdos. Finally, I went to the Seafoam Islands and nabbed an Articuno. Net time to catch all 3 (who all come at level 50)? About 30 minutes. Then I was able to fight the Elite 4 with Charizard, Vaporeon, Scyther, Articuno, and Zapdos. This breaks the balance of the game, really. I easily toppled the Elite 4 and Gary, ending the game.

While this isn’t really the end (there’s Mew Two to catch, etc.), I was unable to finish-finish it, as my save file became corrupted.

Overall, I felt that the “end” of the game was a bit of a downer to me, because for the most part, the game was really rewarding. I was able to kill a ton of time playing the game, and I loved most of it. I’d have loved to tackle the rest of the game, but these things happen.

Yeah, so this post sucked. But I did crank out ~700 words about Pokemon Fire Red.

March 7, 2009 - Posted by | games

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