Review by Dragon9

Reviewed: 01/15/03 | Updated: 04/20/03

Sadly, just another remake (but with those inevitable bonus features)

Yep, here's another one. Every remake of a game or game series generally includes some bonus features in it that supposedly make the game some-what better. However, I didn't notice much of a change in Pokemon Crystal from Pokemon Gold/Silver. Read on to find out what those bonus features are, and how they make the game different, and/or more enjoyable.
Controls: 8/10:
I thought that the controls were pretty easy to use, and all of the Pokemon GameBoy series of games had good controls. But, as the GameBoy Color has four buttons and the directional arrows, what else would you expect? ^_^
Game Play: 10/10:
Same tried-and-true system of the Pokemon series, with a few new bells and whistles introduced by Gold and Silver. The battle system is arranged very well, the new backpack used to separate and store items is quite handy, and the new radio is quite charming and innovative! The 'gotta catch 'em all' aspect is still alive and well, and still includes Gold and Silver's new addition of more Pokemon. Now there are 250 (actually, 251, if you include the hidden Pokemon Celebi, which you can only acquire through the use of a GameShark or Nintendo promotional event). Some, you must get only by trading with your friends that have the Gold and Silver versions. The game play is highly enjoyable, and if it weren't for this element of Pokemon, I don't think that the games would have done as well. In addition, you can battle and trade Pokemon with a friend if they have a Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, or Crystal game pak, and a link cable. This adds much fun and allows for a little replayability.
Graphics: 7/10:
Same as Gold/Silver...Pokemon Red and Blue's graphics were either...mostly red or blue. But, Yellow actually had different colors! Then, Gold and Silver had a wide palette of colors, which also looked smoother than Yellow's. Pokemon Crystal didn't add much more, except the addition of a sign saying what route you're on or city you're in, which pops up when you enter that route or city, and the addition of the choice of a girl or boy character when you begin playing Pokemon Crystal.
Story: 6/10:
A compelling story has never been a strong point of the Pokemon series, but there's not too much you can do as far as story goes on a GameBoy Color...^_^ Anyhow, the story is a bit better than that of Gold and Silver; it revolves around a mystery concerning the Legendary Pokemon Suicune (which, is my personal favorite out of Entei, Raikou, and Suicune), and is a step up from Gold and Silver's bland storyline. Still, it's nothing to shout about.
Challenge: 8/10:
Just as challenging as Pokemon Gold and Silver, and if you decide to go to the Battle Tower, then it's even more challenging! Plus, if you have Pokemon Stadium 2 and a Transfer Pak, you can have your Pokemon from Pokemon Crystal battle on Pokemon Stadium 2!
Sound: 6/10:
Most of the Pokemon sounds for attacks are still just as choppy-sounding as they were in Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow. There are slight improvements though.
Music: 7/10:
Pretty much the same as Gold and Silver. Most of the tunes are pretty catchy, such as Olivine City, near the trinket shop outside of the Moon Cave, and some other places.
More than the usual RPG. As I'll say again and again, RPGs usually have little or no replayablity, unless you wish to relive the story again by starting a new game, or trying to complete side-quests and level up your characters. Sure, you can continue to trade and battle Pokemon, but the fun of it wears off quickly. However, you can continue to level up your Pokemon, if you wish, and try to catch any that you missed.
Buy or Rent?:
Actually, GameBoy Color games aren't generally rentable...With the release of the GameBoy Advance, most Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and GameBoy Color games are rapidly lowering in price, so you probably will be able to find this at a reasonable price. If you already have Pokemon Gold and/or Silver, there isn't much need to get this, except for those bonus features, like having a girl main character, some changed Pokemon moves, a different storyline, that Battle Tower, and the new radio station. Although this may sound like a lot of bonus features, they don't dramatically change the game. There's still the same amount of Pokemon, the story is centered on Suicune now, but it isn't that great of a story, and the new radio game just makes it far too easy to acquire Rare Candies, used to increase the level of your Pokemon. The Battle Tower is fun though. If you've never played Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, or Silver, getting this would be a good idea since it includes the best of all of them, and then some. If you like RPGs already, then you'll also like this one too.
Final Score: 6/10
Yes, the Pokemon craze is now over. Many shun the fact that they even ever liked Pokemon at all, merely because of the fact that it's popularity has died down by a ferocious degree (emphasis on ferocious, if you didn't notice already). However, all members of the Pokemon series (except for Pokemon Snap) are highly innovative and I salute their prosperity, although it lasted shorter than it should have. Even Hey You! Pikachu was innovative, for it's voice activated technology, but it was far too easy, and the technology should have been introduced to other games, whether they should be on the Nintendo 64 or the Nintendo GameCube. I truly hope that Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire will do justice to the Pokemon name. However, it is of my opinion that there should have been games for the other Legendary Dog Pokemon, Entei and Raikou!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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