Flashback Friday: Pokemon Crystal

Double Jump Kris MiiThe first month of the year is almost over! How are you all doing with your resolutions? Keeping up with them, or were they more of a week-long thing?

I’m hoping to keep up more with gaming news, perhaps venturing out further with more online games to try to reach out to more players and friends. Still, there’s something to be said about the older games, such as Pokemon Crystal.

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Hey, Pokemon Crystal was released on the 3DS Virtual Console today!

While I started playing Pokemon from the first generation games, it was the second generation where I really started to comprehend the story, the game mechanics, and the characters. I started understanding the types strengths and weaknesses and actually strategizing the battles rather than just tossing my over-leveled Pikachu at everyone, which had been my go-to plan in Pokemon Yellow.

Pokemon Crystal originally came out in North American in July 2001, and it received good reviews, even if the reviews were lower than what Gold and Silver had received. The most criticism Crystal had gained was how it was too similar to Gold and Silver, with critics claiming there weren’t any notably new aspects to the game to make it a “must buy.”

Crystal did, however, update plenty of aesthetic changes, such as updated graphics, animating Pokemon sprites at the beginning of battles, and the ability to play as a girl. The story line surrounding Suicune was more involved as well, along with other changes to the wild Pokemon that are available for the protagonist to catch.

I’m very excited to be going back to Johto with the Crystal version. It’s the Pokemon game that I have the most fond memories of, and it’ll be interesting to dive back into the old-school Pokemon games!

Have you ever played Pokemon Crystal? Are you downloading the Virtual Console version?

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Old Saves and Memories

Double Jump Kris MiiAs many of you know, Rachel is doing a run-through with all generations of the Pokemon games in preparation for Pokemon Sun and Moon coming out this November. She had just reviewed Pokemon Blue last week. Have you guys played the original first generation games?

 

With Rachel playing through the Pokemon games in anticipation for Sun and Moon, she is planning on playing the second generation games this month. In order to do that, she needs the games all prepped and ready to play.

She asked me if I wanted to join her on this venture, and I mentioned I would probably continue my HeartGold or SoulSilver versions. Rachel jokingly claimed that was cheating, as she plans on starting over with the oldest versions. My response?

“I’m pretty sure my games are so old the save mechanism doesn’t work anymore.”

This prompted the two of us to scour through our GameBoy Color games. While Rachel still has her GameBoy Color and GameBoy Advance handhelds, mine were unfortunately lost when our basement flooded eons ago from a storm. I still have my GameBoy Advance SP, however, and it was with that handheld that I tried to turn on my Crystal cartridge, my favorite version of the Johto region.

It didn’t work.

“Here,” Rachel said as she got her own SP, “try it with my GameBoy Advance.”

Thus we snowballed into a state not unlike headless chickens. For the next few minutes, all you could hear from us were statements and questions like:

  • “Where’s the power button on this?”
  • “Ohmigod, the screen is so DARK! There’s no backlight!”
  • “Wait, which way do we put in the game?”
  • “Why isn’t it working?!”
  • “Oh, look, the new game option is here. Maybe I hadn’t started it yet–Nope, the save function is just dead.”

It was kind of hilarious how inept we were at remembering how to use the older handhelds, despite growing up with them.

Thinking on it now, the first and second generation of those games are fifteen to twenty years old by now, and its been ten years since the fourth generation games have come out. How long do those internal game batteries last…?

Have you ever lost a beloved game due to its outdated mechanics and cartridges?