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Pokémon Stadium (Nintendo 64)

72
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Lawnmower Man (140)
Written on  :  Jun 24, 2008
Rating  :  2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars

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Summary

Fight other Pokemon... IN 3-D!

The Good

Pokemon Stadium's biggest advantage comes from the use of the Original Pokemon Gameboy games (Red, Blue, and Yellow). The only series of games to use the Nintendo 64 Transfer Pack, players can upload their Pokemon data from their Game Boy game for 3-D battles. Players can also trade Pokemon if they have 2 Transfer Packs, and a Game Boy feature allows Players to play their Pokemon game on their TV if they sold their Game Boy years ago.

The battles themselves are pretty unique and at least attempt a few unique things. During battles you have all of your attacks mapped to the C-Buttons. This mechanic ensures that no one can immediately see what attack you chose and helps to keep battles more fair. You can view your attacks by holding the R Button and if you've memorized your attacks you don't have to hold the R Button and you can keep them a secret from your opponent. Also during a battle you can choose to quit in case you're getting beat really bad.

There are also side missions in the game to help you stay interested for a little while. There's a mini game section with a few decent games, some of which are pretty fun to play (especially with friends). There is a Battle Stadium where you can fight trainers in different leagues, which come with their own rules. There is even a Gym Leader Road where you face the Gym Leaders from the Pokemon Games and where you can collect badges.

The graphical spotlight goes to the Pokemon themselves in this game. Each Pokemon looks fantastic (for N64 Standards) and every single one is made to scale which makes for epic screen engulfing battles (you haven't seen anything until you've seen an Onix (28 feet tall) stare down a Caterpie (less then a foot tall) ).

The Bad

Outside of Game Boy battles, there is pretty much nothing else to this Pokemon game. Every event revolves around using your imported Game Boy Pokemon, so if you never bought one you are screwed.

The Transfer Pack is also a faulty device. It takes several resets to get the game to register the Pack (sometimes the Pack requires you to blow air into the controller to get it to work-- D%$# dust particles) and on special occasions, the Pack Connection will FAIL during a battle and effectively end your game.

Using the game to play the Game Boy feature is also a borderline waste of time. It takes a nice long load time to get the Game Boy feature started (a load screen on an N64 game is usually a bad sign) and the game has to buffer every few steps you take. The only two useful purposes for this feature is if you do not have a Game Boy (a Game Boy Advance goes for $20-- which I still recommend over this feature) and to save at a Pokemon Center.

That's another problem with this game, its fixation on Pokemon Centers. The first thing you see on the Transfer Pack Screen (if the game registers) is often times "THIS GAME WAS NOT SAVED AT A POKEMON CENTER". This starts to become a problem when over half the features in the game require you to save at one, which requires you to start up the Game Boy feature, wait for it to start, then get to a Pokemon Center, save your game, and get back out to the game. It is a process that never needed to exist and only serves to annoy gamers to no end.

Also unlike other Game Boy games, you can not use items during battles. What this means is that if your Pokemon is poisoned, paralyzed, asleep, or in any way is unable to move, you are ROYALLY screwed. During most battles (except the Two Player Free Battle) you can only carry 3 of your 6 Pokemon, which makes battles short and ruins the sole reason why spent hours building your dream team. Also during battles, there is a bigger delay between commands then in the Game Boy games due to the battle animations.

The Bottom Line

This game should have been renamed "Pokemon 3-D Battle Simulator", which is really the only reason you should have bought this game to begin with. For Pokemon gamers who want to battle their friends in 3-D this the way to go, as the Game Boy support for this game is very generous. If you do not have the original Game Boy games then this game will just translate into an Endless-Battle-Sim-With-No-Rewards-or-Incentive-To-Keep-Going kind of game. Overall, if you have the Game Boy games it could be some fun for you but if you don't there is no reason to buy this game.