Pokemon Stadium

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Well as you guys and gals all know I am Pokemon fan and have been for a very long time, played all the Gameboy/Gameboy colour games etc. But I remember so well is actually a title for N64 console, Pokemon Stadium and I remember my Dad buying me this game, and included the transfer pak as well so you can even play your own copies of Red/Blue etc on the big home screen through this game. Which are fairly simplistic RPGs, but I know what I don’t play them for: storyline, sound and graphics. It’s all about the fun of collection, character upgrades and,  but most importantly, battles.

What I loved most about this game is the fact you get to see it on the big screen and see actual 3D pokemon!

The turn-based fighting is handled in the classic RPG style, just as the Game Boy versions of  the Pokemon games were. Before a round, each combatant picks the attack he’s going to go with or decides if he’s going to recall his current Pokemon in favour of another and working out strategies, to find out what attacks are super effective or don’t work. Each Pokemon and its attacks are given types which are used to determine a certain Pokemon’s strengths and weaknesses, which is the main part of the battling process both in this game and the Game Boy versions.

In the game’s Stadium Mode, one player competes in 80 different battles, divided into four tournaments. Beat the Stadium Mode and you’re in for a bonus battle against the ultimate Pokémon- Mewtwo, as well as a the secret mode it  gives you 80 brand-new, and  tough battles to face. There is no way you can beat the secret mode without having trained your own, strong Pokémon.  You also battle against all the gym leaders that appeared in the Pokémon Game Boy games and win up to eight semi-rare/rare Pokémon that you can add to your Game Boy party and Pokedex!

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Besides the tournament fighting, there are some small collection of minigames, which I find really fun and refreshing change from all the battling, and also if you have 2 controllers you can place against or together against the CPU. Mini games consist of racing a rattata or eating the most food as lickitung.  Most of the minigames do  involve hitting A over and over again but you have to have perfect timings with pressing button, to be declared the winner. Also of note is a mode that actually lets you put your Game Boy Pokemon carts (limited to Red, Blue, and Yellow) into the transfer pak and play them on your television. This is great for saving batteries and limiting your eyestrain. Also, the sticker-printing mode from Pokemon Snap has been carried over to Stadium. You can put any Pokemon in any of the arena backgrounds and snap away, then take the cart to a participating Blockbuster Video and print out little Pokemon stickers.

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The Pokemon look great  in 3D and maybe even better looking than they do in Pokemon Snap. The fighting animation could be a little better but still an improvement from the Game Boy versions,  it does  stick to standard RPG conventions, meaning that when attacking, the Pokemon will merely step forward and execute its attack, then the opposing Pokemon will go into an attacked animation, would have been nice to probably seen them get a little dirty after and attack, and maybe when the Pokemon gets weaker the Pokemon actually shows this etc. The effects for projectile and other magic-style attacks are done well, its ace to see bubblebeam or even surf looks great and fills the whole battle arena. An announcer gives the play-by-play, but his speech is very limited, and you’ll be hearing the same few phrases repeatedly which can get very repetitive to listen to.

If you’ve grown attached to the Pokemon team you’re raising on the Game Boy, or you’re playing the heck out of the Game Boy version and you’re tired of playing on the little screen, Pokemon Stadium is worth owning. In this game though there isn’t really a storyline like taking on Team Rocket, which okay it might have added a little bit more depth but this is trying to steer away from this, and make you, your own character and you doing the Pokemon stadium yourself not as Ash etc. Pokemon Stadium, is all about the battling which is a huge part of the games anyway, its nice to just focus on battling.

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Pokemon Stadium, presented a great first step in linking a handheld and a gaming console for a more complete gaming experience. I really enjoyed the game and still play now on and off as its game you can just pick up, and you don’t feel lost. I think it was a great game for its time and the Pokemon were 3D which is what I always wanted.

Rating -8/10



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