Nintendo is continuing the attack on my Wallet with not only the launch of Mario Kart 8 DLC pack 1 with another eshop drop. With a 3DS port of Pokemon The Trading Card game for the GameBoy color with their Virtual Console series.
I have said it before, but I do not know if it is Nintendo and Pokemon have started putting proper effort in their marketing with this console generation or if it is just because I am old enough now to start paying attention and picking up in the companies tricks.
I doubt that it was a coincidence that this Virtual Console port was announced only a few days after the Mario Kart 8 DLC went live and a week before the next major Pokemon title gets released. As of right now the only way to buy the DLC is to purchase eShop gift cards in stores or added set amounts through the online store. So naturally instead of buying the ten dollar increment gift card to just cover the price of the MK8 dlc cost, I bought the 20$ gift card for both the DLC and this game.
I knew this was going to happen eventually, with Nintendo’s habit to re-release older games for their newer platform, it was eventually going to happen that I would see, and buy a virtual console game based purely on nostalgia. I remember playing the digital version of the Pokemon trading card game on my GameBoy Color but the kicker is that I could not remember if it was any good. I remember playing it and I remember an overall net positive experience but I could not tell you if it was because of the gameplay or because it had Pokemon in it.
I have only clocked in an hour or two of game play between buying the game and writing but I feel I have experienced enough to confidently write a mini-review on the game.
Upon replaying the game the entire experience feels a tad off from the usual Pokemon games and Pokemon spin offs. This Pokemon game takes place in Generation I, with no mention of Dark, Steel, or Fairy types in the game, and the plot is almost comical. The plot has the same overall plot of the classic pokemon game, you are a nameless kid that sets out to “ be the very best//Like no one ever was” by going around and challenging the eight club masters (gym leaders) to prove your worth. But something is lost when you are trying to be the best at a card game, after the main game had you do battle with ‘real’ monsters.
Besides that complaint the only other minor one I have is that the over world runs like a poor man’s Pokemon ROM hack, using the same assets but not quite getting everything right. I have no screenshots from my game but you can see from the official eShop trailer with the camera panning and how all the enemies that you still have to challenge constantly runs in place.
Although, for a GameBoy Color game, it is still impressive that they were able to cram the entire card game rules and mechanics into the game cartridge, while still adding the cards I used to have in my physical deck when played ages ago. After all these years I still remembered how to play the card game without the introduction tutorial and the game was overall still fun, even if I was smacked by the RNG in a few matches even when I was fighting against the gyms when I was suppose to have a type advantage.
If you have the money it is a nice buy to bind you over for the lead up of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’ release later this week. For now I, and I assume many other Pokemon fans, will have to settle for this fourteen year old edition of digital trading card game until Android users have the option to download and play Hearthstone, the more recent version of the Pokemon card game, or any other Pokemon games currently on the Apple app market.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays