🐳 29 years ago: The Elder Scrolls: Arena was released!

Pokémon Red Version

aka: Pocket Monsters: Aka, Pokémon Versione Rossa, Pokémon: Edición Roja, Pokémon: Edición Roja - ¡Hazte con todos!, Pokémon: Red Version - Gotta catch 'em all!, Pokémon: Rote Edition, Pokémon: Rote Version - Schnapp' sie Dir alle!, Pokémon: Version Rouge, Pokémon: Versione Rossa - Acchiappali tutti!

[ All ] [ Game Boy ] [ Nintendo 3DS ]

Critic Reviews 89% add missing review

Video Games ( )

Da jede der zwei Versionen nur 139 der 150 Pokémon enthält, muss man, um alle zu besitzen, eines Tages mit Freunden tauschen - ein ganz wichtiger Aspekt, der Pokémon so interessant und langlebig gestaltet. Technisch gibt‘s, bis auf nur einen Speicherslot, nichts zu meckern. Abgesehen von dem Übermaß an Kämpfen spielerisch brillant.

Nov 1999 · Game Boy

Computer and Video Games (CVG) ( )

Pokémon is great because it's so much fun. The adventure is pretty cool, it has a humorous hook like no other game. Trading is something you feel you just have to do, no matter how much you tell yourself at the beginning that it's not your bag. Battles are great at any time - more fun than Tetris, though perhaps not as straightforward. (...) How significant is Pokémon? It's right up there with Half-Life, GoldenEye, and Gran Turismo as one of the greatest games ever. And it's even better than that because you can take it with you wherever you go.

Nov 1999 · Game Boy · read review

IGN (10 out of 10)

Pokémon really is worthy of being one of the Game Boy system's greatest games ¿ it's not just a fad, a craze, or trend. If you don't have this game in your library, pick one up ¿ it doesn't matter if you pick Blue or Red, they're both the same game. You'll just have to make sure you've got a friend with the other version if you want to catch 'em all.

Jun 23rd, 1999 · Game Boy · read review

Total! (Germany) (1 out of 6)

Pokémon Rot und Pokémon Blau begeistern durch ein wahrlich süchtig machendes Gameplay. Es verbindet auf geniale Weise klassische Rollenspielelemente mit den menschlichen Urinstinkten des Sammelns und Tauschens. Die vielen Aktionsmöglichkeiten machen die Kämpfe sehr spannend, auch wenn die ständigen Angriffe bereits gefangener Pokémon-Arten in Dungeons mit der Zeit ein wenig nerven. Die grafische Gestaltung ist ansprechend gelungen, und das Aussehen der verschiedenen Pokémon hätte abwechslungsreicher nicht sein können. Zudem sind die Kampfaktionen größtenteils sehr schön in Szene gesetzt. Eingefleischte RPG-Fans werden die umfangreichen Kampfmöglichkeiten anderer Genrevertreter vermissen, in denen Ihr mit sämtlichen Party-Mitglieder zur selben Zeit in die Schlacht ziehen könnt. Dafür könnt Ihr bei Pokémon Rot und Pokémon Blau aus insgesamt 150 Charakteren wählen und habt nicht nur, wie bei Final Fantasy VI, lumpige 14 zur Verfügung.

Sep 1999 · Game Boy

Hey Poor Player ( )

Pokemon Red and Blue are both fantastic games, and I highly recommend anyone who did not start out playing the original generation do so now.

Feb 29th, 2016 · Game Boy · read review

64 Power / big.N / N Games ( )

Pokémon teilt die Menschheit: Entweder man liebt es, oder man hasst es. Dabei gibt es nur einen einzigen Grund, die Pokémon zu hassen. Sie sind sooooo süüüüß! Das Spiel an sich ist ein leicht zugängliches Rollenspiel, dessen Sammelelement einen enorm hohen Suchtfaktor hat. Da man jederzeit speichern kann, eignet sich Pokémon auch für zwischendurch - getreu dem Motto “Einen Kampf mach‘ ich noch, dann ist bestimmt Schluss!“ Wer sich von der niedlichen Aufmachung nicht abschrecken lässt, bekommt ein erstklassiges, extrem gut durchdachtes Spiel geboten, das auf Monate hinweg motiviert. Pokémon gehört einfach in jede gute Spielesammlung!

Nov 1999 · Game Boy

Nintendojo (9.8 out of 10)

This is a good game, which is worth a purchase, though you may have heard of it, and don't wanna get sucked into darkness, but follow the crowd, man! If you're not sure, there's no shame in renting, just that there isn't a file transfer or anything, and you only get one file at a time, which can be a pain. Of course, you'll be too busy playing to let anyone else touch the Game Boy. This has proven to result in the condition known as Game Boy thumb. Add hours upon hours at your own risk. Most of which is in the battles, which should go at least twice as fast, but don't. Oh well. Still a fun game.

Aug 16th, 2004 · Game Boy · read review

Consoles Plus (95 out of 100)

Un concept novateur, une réalisation soignée... que dire de plus ? Incontournable.

Nov 1999 · Game Boy · read review

Portable Review (38 out of 40)

Pokémon is one of the most replayable games of all time, bar none. Smash Bros.? Halo? The Sims? Bwahaha, they pale in comparison. 151 Pokémon? Making the most awesome team and kicking your friends' cans around? It may not have as much to do as later games, but there was so much awesome stuff. Overall, Pokémon Red and Blue are one of the best games on the Game Boy handheld, and easily the best pure RPGs for it. It may have been made obsolete, but it's still great for nostalgia's sake.

Jun 8th, 2007 · Game Boy · read review

VicioJuegos.com / uVeJuegos.com (93 out of 100)

Pokémon Rojo/Azul significó un antes y un después en aquella época por sus increíbles gráficos, por sus grandes dosis de diversión y por las horas y horas que te pasabas frente a la máquina portátil. Además, tenía un planteamiento de juego tan fresco e innovador que consiguió cautivar a muchísimos jugadores que hoy siguen fielmente la inmensa serie de animación. En definitiva, un imprescindible con mayúsculas que no puede faltar en vuestra colección.

May 6th, 2008 · Game Boy · read review

Link Cable Gaming (9.2 out of 10)

Pokémon (Red/Blue) is highly regarded and fondly remembered as one of the best games on the Game Boy and the beginning of one of gaming’s most iconic franchises. The endless hours of gameplay that many gamers around the world are fondly remembered and its influence in the gaming industry is still felt 20 years later. It brings new players and veteran gamers alike together for an epic portable adventure that took hours upon hours to complete as well as creating a world where all of us could live out the dream of becoming the greatest Pokémon Master. It might feel a bit outdated, but the game has provided smiles to fans young and old for the last 20 years, and here is to another 20 years of Pokémon.

May 9th, 2016 · Game Boy · read review

Super Play (Sweden) (92 out of 100)

Det som är lite snyd med spelet är att det iblan känns lite enformigt. Man måste hela tiden göra samma sak och att fånga ett monster går nästan alltid till på samma sätt. Dessutom är det tråkigt att man inte kan välja att ha en tjej som tränare. Konstigt att inte Nintendo har tänkt på det eftersom de hoppas på att även tjejer ska vilja spela Pokémon. Det är dock en detalj som inte påverkar det originella spelupplägget. För när man väl har börjat att spela ger man inte upp förrän man har fångat alla monster.

Oct 1999 · Game Boy

Game Critics (9 out of 10)

I was totally engrossed in the complex dynamics of the Pokémon microcosm. While the game on the outside is visually primitive (sporting 8-bit sprite-based graphics), the gameplay inside is fully realized and rich in depth. There is an endless amount of specifics to be learned and remembered about the 150-plus Pokémon and the world in which they reside. Fortunately, the game's intelligent execution doesn't allow too much to be thrown at the player at once. The adventure proceeds progressively, allowing the player to naturally absorb the game in its entirety. What stands out most about the design is the amount of freedom and customization given to the user. It allows players to essentially fight, train, and develop favored Pokémon while discarding and trading others. This is what makes the game truly engrossing. Pokémon stands as a testament to those who believe in gameplay over graphics; a 2D oasis in a 3D desert of video games.

Jun 24th, 1999 · Game Boy · read review

Nintendo Life ( )

Many thought Pokémon was a fad a decade ago, but the past decade has proven that Pokémon is unquestionably here to stay. Each and every installment in the main series is so well crafted that each has managed to improve on its predecessor, but that's not to say the original isn't worthy of investigation today. While this first iteration may not live up to the more recent fourth generation, it’s still an amazing Game Boy title and one of the best RPGs ever created.

Apr 28th, 2009 · Game Boy · read review

Cubed3 (9 out of 10)

The original Game Boy's finest moment, almost cooked to perfection, with the raw sides being grilled to flawlessness in the sequels on the Game Boy Colour. If you think this game is for kids, play it and guess again; it fits into the Nintendo philosophy of 'anybody can play', and everybody should play this. Impeccable.

Mar 17th, 2006 · Game Boy · read review

Player One (89 out of 100)

Pokémon Game Boy est une véritable réussite. En plus d'être ultra fun, sa durée de vie impressionnante fait de lui une valeur sûre pour cette année. Un jeu à ne pas manquer.

Oct 1999 · Game Boy · read review

GameSpot (8.8 out of 10)

Under its cuddly exterior, Pokemon is a serious and unique RPG with lots of depth and excellent multiplayer extensions. As an RPG, the game is accessible enough for newcomers to the genre to enjoy, but it will entertain hard-core fans as well. It's easily one of the best Game Boy games to date.

Feb 9th, 2001 · Game Boy · read review

Mega Fun (88 out of 100)

Pokémon ist wirklich der Hit. Selten hat mich ein Spiel so lange vor Nintendos Hosenmatz gefesselt. Meine kleinen Zöglinge sind mir schon so ans Herz gewachsen, dass mir jeder Schlag, den die kleinen Monster abbekommen‚ fast schon selbst schmerzt. Habt ihr einige Auszeichnungen in den Arenen bekommen, macht das Kämpfen mit den neuen Fähigkeiten besonders viel Spaß. Auch der Kampf mittels Link-Kabel fordert euer Können immer wieder aufs Neue. Wer hierbei seine Monster nicht besonders stark trainiert hat, wird schnell mit einer beschämenden Niederlage enttäuscht werden. Auch wenn die eigentliche Schwarzweiß-Grafik nicht sehr ansprechend wirkt, bietet Pokémon doch tage-, wenn nicht sogar wochenlangen Spielspaß. Vor allem Game-Boy-Besitzer mit Sehnsucht nach einem abwechslungsreichen Rollenspiel können hier bedenkenlos zugreifen.

Nov 1999 · Game Boy

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (8 out of 10)

However linear its progression is, few RPGs, let alone ones over a decade old on first generation portable hardware, provide such a bevy of ways to achieve your final goal. Each time through the journey you learn more, you combine old and new ways of party building, you find new and entertaining approaches on your way to victory. Yes, take a step back and Pokemon reveals itself as a very simple design and a very easy game to finish.

Nov 26th, 2008 · Game Boy · read review

Just RPG (73 out of 100)

However, you need all this additional play, because in addition to being short, the game is overly easy. Although you have many options to customize a team, the Red and Blue version don't make you use any of them. More than once I've been able to muscle my way through the entire game with a single Pokemon, and indeed it was actually easier than doing so with a full team of six. It doesn't cost the game much addictiveness, but it definitely caused me to think less of it.

Apr 3rd, 2003 · Game Boy · read review

Nintendo Power Magazine (7.2 out of 10)

If you're looking for a new epic experience with the twist of trading and collecting, Pokémon is the only game in town. The actual game play isn't as challenging as some RPGs, and the themes may come across as fairly young. Good for young adventurers and collectors. Serious role players may want to look elsewhere.

Oct 1998 · Game Boy

Gamekult (7 out of 10)

Pokémon ne souffre que de deux défauts : une réalisation technique déjà en retard au moment de sa sortie et qui a depuis encore un peu vieillie, et un système de jeu diablement répétitif. Le titre ressemble beaucoup trop à ces Dungeon RPG dont les japonais sont si friands, à ces successions de couloirs et de monstres qu'un personnage faible doit parcourir en tout sens pour monter en puissance... Le principe est connu mais se révèle ici particulièrement accrocheur, indépendamment de toute campagne marketing.

Oct 15th, 2000 · Game Boy · read review

Legendra ( )

La fraîcheur du jeu est toujours présente malgré une certaine répétitivité et une traduction française qui laisse à désirer.

Sep 16th, 2007 · Game Boy · read review

Player Reviews

The Spark that started the Fire...
by Lawnmower Man (148)

The Good
Pokemon Red and Blue (both came out at the same time and both are identical) are proverbial sparks that started the Pokemon craze-- which became one of the biggest fads of the 20th century. So with all the history surrounding this title, one has to wonder if the game has been hyped by history or it still remains a great game. Needless to say, Pokemon Red and Blue remain just good as they once were.

The game uses a good mix of open world exploration and Turn based combat. In the exploration sections you get explore fair size towns which all have plenty of useful things to you. There are plenty of people to talk to and plenty of in game characters to trade with for one of a kind monsters. The combat is arguably the best part of the whole game. Battles last a healthy amount of time and are very involving. Attacks range from standard commands to special attacks and elemental attacks which can have different effects on each character. Every Pokemon can be useful when trained, although it is best to evolve them into their more powerful forms.

The Bad
Pokemon's flaws mostly come from convenience issues. You can't save in the middle of a battle which can result in frustration when you need to go to a meeting or something to that nature.

Whenever gamers lose a battle, you lose half your money and have restart at the last Pokemon Center you were at. This can be an extremely big problem for when you're in a cave and loose because then you have to start all the way over again.

Although you can play the game as much as you want, there is only one story and once you beat it there are no more objectives. After beating a trainer in battle, you can't face them again and although this is not a problem at first it can become bothersome when you start to run out. Even after beating the Elite Four even they don't advance their Pokemon's levels or change the order of them so after beating the game once there isn't much left to do except battle your friends (Pokemon's biggest perk).

The Bottom Line
Despite Pokemon's age and linear story, Pokemon Red (Blue is the exact same game with some different Pokemon) is an enjoyable adventure game well worth picking up. If you've played it before its well worth a second go and if you haven't played the older games give them a try because they are worth the effort.

Jun 22nd, 2008 · Game Boy

One of my first gaming experiences.
by Spag (70)

The Good
Pokèmon Red takes place in Kanto. When I was younger, we used to live on an island outside the southern coast of Norway, and everyone played the first Pokèmon games for the Game Boy. When the batteries went out, we pretended that the island was Kanto and made teams and acted as Pokèmon trainers on an adventure to catch all the Pokèmon in the world. Not unlike how it's like in the game, and we would rather stay in when the batteries arrived.

That was the kind of influence the Pokèmon games had on me and my friends at that time. We were practically obsessed for a long time, because we thought it was great, really great. It's really a fantastic game to play for younger children, because there are so many individuals, both human and Pokèmon, and everyone sort of had their own favourite at all time. During that period, most of the dialogues and storyline of the games was irrelevant, mostly because we understood little or nothing of it. All the numbers and stats and all that I know about today wasn't at all considered when we played, maybe because we only played for the Pokèmon and what we had seen on TV, not for the tactical and strategical aspects of the game. Though, I remember me being the first one to notice that that "Leer" or "Growl" actually did something even though it didn't perform actual damage like "Hyper Beam" or "Surf".

The game itself is really a lot more complex than people might even think of. When I got introduced to some websites I realized there are lots and lots of different, hidden numbers in the game that all affect your Pokèmon and your party. I learned what the stats really meant and how move combinations could give a battle a complete turnover. For example, weather changing moves like "Sunny Day" does a lot more than just boosting fire-type moves, it affects the "Synthesis", "Solarbeam" and other time-dependent recovery moves, as well as canceling all other weather effects, preventing freezing and halving power of water-type attacks. There are Determined Values, which are values affecting your Pokèmon's stats, given out when caught, Gender Values, special values deciding whether your Pokèmon is a male or female, Happiness values and experience. Of course, there is also a complex breeding system, allowing different Pokèmon to obtain rare moves and abilities. When it comes to the team of six you should always have, there are tons of different Pokèmon styles and battle roles you can focus on, all depending on the Pokèmon's moves, stats, items and types. A toxi-trapper, for instance, is a Pokèmon with good defenses knowing a trapping move - "Mean Look", for example - and toxic, which drains health slowly. On the contrary, you have the Special Sweeper, which uses Special attacks to inflict as much damage as possible. Here speed and Special Attack are key stats, as well as a Special type, gaining the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB). All of these factors say that the game is a complex RPG with a lot of good stuff to grant, giving you hundreds of hours of RPG-ing, should you not become too tired.

The concept of Pokèmon is perhaps the most astounding I have ever seen. I believe this game covers the better part of the Pokèmon triumph, steering away from the childish TV-series in being childish, but keeping the foundation from the original idea. Everything that I have mentioned is what I think is great about this game, really exceptional. Viva la Pokèmon Red!

The Bad
As I mentioned earlier, I played this game a lot when I was younger, something that perhaps triggered my love for these games. The fact that I don't play Pokèmon Red now, but FireRed should tell you two things:

  • First of all, this game is BAD when it comes to graphics. It is not something that will at all satisfy even the most humble gamer today, only perhaps hard-core fans. The sounds sucks equally. There is a reason to why I don't play this anymore, and there you got it.
  • Pokèmon Red is really the foundation of the Pokèmon RPGs, and even though there have been made several changes to the followers gameplay-wise, it's really built on the same thing. The sound of this game, though really bad, is something I won't miss because of the great recapture in the newer generations. Stinking graphics, bad noise, lacks things that I consider important today, this game really is the beginning, and all great things has to start somewhere. Compared to the first games of other groups that I like, this game doesn't blow at all. But when it comes to the love of Pokèmon, the fun of playing games, why should you buy an old and "ugly" game when there is a follower based on the same things, only updated, upgraded, with more Pokèmon and really just superb? Of course, another reason I don't like this game is the lack of Pokèmon. If you have the newest generations, you'll be able to link and have much more fun and be totally ready for the approach of Diamond/Pearl (The new Pokèmon games scheduled for release spring 2007). To sum up, buy FireRed!

    **The Bottom Line**
    You probably won't have any good buying this game today, but you should, however, be aware of it since it started the best game Universe of all time. Compared to any other Pokèmon game, this game one blew, but the fact that I wouldn't be playing the others if it wasn't for this one makes me want to take back what I just said. It's an
  • A+
    and a
  • C-
    at the same time, I guess!
    Gotta catch 'em all!
  • Sep 30th, 2006 · Game Boy

    Too tedious to play
    by Asinine (1003)

    The Good
    Later entries in the Pokemon franchise would add an insane number of Pokemon to the series which might seem like a logical step to make, but making steps of 150 pokemon at a time is a bit insane, isn't it? I believe this was the first Pokemon game and it keeps things nice and tidy with a maximum of 150 pocket monsters that are gradually introduced as you play the game.

    The original cast was also much more interesting than some of their later kin, having both an interesting and charming design while also having a little secret. Every Pokemon has something special you see and while it is given away in the Pokedex tool, it's still a good way to flesh out the characters a little more (seeing as how there is no dialog with your pets).

    The actual fights are pretty well done and require a certain degree of tactics while not going so far as to alienate younger players. As you fight you level up your monsters which increases their statistics and damage output, but you'll also need to keep an eye on your item stockpile and the elements of the enemies you are fighting. To summarize it: an expansion on the classic turn-based combat-system.

    The game really comes alive for me during the Lavender Town sequence because damn does it explode there. Lavender Town is perhaps a perfect example of a child-friendly game reaching out to an older audience by putting in subtle elements kids will likely overlook. It's creepy, but not to the point it will make children cry. The second the music starts playing you simply know you have entered somewhere special and you may also notice the low population and that this is the only town with a f*cking graveyard in it. It's food for though too: How often do trainers realize that their lifestyle is pushing their Pokemon too far?

    I'll get back at the world design later, but for now it will suffice to say that it's at least glitch free. I played Zelda: The Fallen Sage and it was rich with programming errors that allowed me to dick around places I wasn't supposed to go and shatter the immersion completely, but here that doesn't happen as much. I know for a fact there are some glitches that you can trigger, but I didn't run into any without specifically trying to, which to me means everything is okay.

    The Bad
    The further back you go in hardware history the more you notice that video games had to abide to limitations. While there were always game rising above their limitations, it doesn't always work out that well and Pokemon is another example of the latter. Quite often signs would say something along the line of "Well, we don't have color in this game, but if we had this town would look more blue", of course more IC, but it comes over that way nonetheless. A total of 150 creatures is also staggering of course, but some of the sprites when fighting look horrendous and when a Pokemon appears outside of a battle they don't look the way they do on the picture (heck, multiple Pokemon share the same sprite outside of combat).

    The biggest problem to most people however will likely be the grinding: The act where a player is forced to sit down and spend a long time repeating the same action in order to advance through the story. You can hold six monsters at a time and every time you go to a new gym the game will send tougher enemies in your direction, this means that you need to make sure that all six of your fighters are on par with whatever the game send at you. Nothing is more frustrating than been faced by a ground-type monster and realizing your only water Pokemon is twelve levels behind. This meant large chunks of the game were spend in a patch of grass, running back and forth and healing up at the Pokemon Center between every three fights.

    Because of this boring cycle of Gym>train>travel>Gym I quickly grew bored of Pokemon after the third gym. I went to Lavender Town of course, but once there I realized at the top of the tower that I actually needed an item from a nearby town with another gym in it and that is where I just shrugged the whole business. There are some moments where you do something else, quite a lot in fact, but it always boils down to the same thing. Because of this Pokemon can't remain interesting to anybody above the age of eight.

    My first Pokemon game was also a huge disappointment, it must have been eleven years ago, but I haven't forgotten about it. Everybody in the 90's was a big fan the anime and when a game arrived in town everybody started dreaming about becoming a legendary Pokemon trainer. The problem is that the game never reaches the quality of the show, not even the newer episodes that I think are absolute sh*t. While you meet some of the iconic characters they never travel with you or even go on adventure with you, Brock and Misty both just kinda disappear from the story after you found them. Things looked up when I had to go on a boat because in the series this was a big Titanic reference, but all you do is get an ability you need and the boat just sails off. Nothing epic, no storylines, just go back to your grinding.

    Those are my biggest points of criticism, but I have some smaller complaints: First of all, the bag has this downright awful system. I suppose it's kinda like in Resident Evil 4 where your bag actually has a bottom and you can't just stuff everything in it, but there is no info on how much you can put in your bag. It also doesn't say when it's full, so if you find an item in the wild, but it turns out your bags are full than too bad for you. It also doesn't help that abilities aren't named nor do you know which ones are useful, so you got a whole bag full of TM's hoping that one day an NPC will say you need that specific ability.

    You also run into other trainers in the wilderness and of course they don't hesitate to challenge you for a little fight. The good thing about these fights is that owned Pokemon give more experience than their wild relatives, so you are of course going to want to fight them instead of random enemies. However, once a fight is won you can't challenge them again and they just kinda stand there, clogging up the map with needless sprites.

    The game design is so simple that it's almost insulting, you don't even need to be a game-design student to notice this. Anybody who has spend three days with RPG Maker can describe how almost this entire game is constructed. There is also a limit on how you can blame on "Well, it's an old game after all". Sometimes the design is even odd or inconsistent, like when very long houses pop up with no doors or other entry/exit points. The game also has some very contrived ways to make the game linear, such as an old man very early on that won't let you explore the world any further because he hasn't had his coffee yet (which he will drink when you beat the local gymleader).

    The Bottom Line
    Pokemon as a game is only really interesting for children who follow the series and anybody else is just going to be a bit weirded out when they see this mess. One of the reasons that this game simply can't be good is because its entire foundation is based on the gameplay mechanic of grinding. If you pick that mechanic as a start of your game you're already heading completely in the wrong direction and if you add even more repetition to the game, as well as world design that a twelve year old could handle, then I simply don't have a lot of nice things to say.

    I know for a fact that kids can forgive this game for its fault and maybe if you are a very nostalgic person you can still play this too, but anybody else will just end up with a cartridge somewhere in the back of their closet. The kind of game your mother finds twelve years later. If you want to play good games on your gameboy than there are a lot of good side-scrollers out there as well as Link's Awakening and other, less horrible games.

    Jan 28th, 2012 · Game Boy

    Plus 80 player ratings without reviews

    Contributors to this Entry

    Critic reviews added by Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Evil Ryu, Alsy, Big John WV, ALEX ST-AMOUR, Parf, eradix, GAMEBOY COLOR!, Lain Crowley, Wizo.