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 Afringe Home / Reviews / Pokémon Crystal 08/28/2014 
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INFO FILE
Title:
Pokémon Crystal
Format:
Came Boy Color
Production:
Game Freaks
Nintendo
Comments:
Basically a clone of the Gold and Silver.
Overall Rating:
85%

Animefringe Reviews:
Pokémon Crystal
By Ridwan Khan


The popular Pokémon series continues with Crystal, the sister title to Gold and Silver. As such, Crystal is very similar to both titles. However, all three titles are certainly refined versions of Pokémon Blue, Red, and Yellow. Anyone familiar with Pokémon will be at home in the latest batch of games, but excited with the score of new features.

Gold, Silver, and Crystal bump up the number of Pokémon to a staggering 251. Of these new Pokémon, some are interesting (like Lugia or Maril) and some are cute (like the pre-evolutionary forms of Jigglypuff, Pikachu, and Electabuzz; Igglybuff, Pichu, and Elekid respectively). However, many seem rather uninspired, like Quagsire. Even the starter Pokémon, Cyndaquil, Totodile, and Chikorita don't have the same charm as Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. Also introduced are new elements. In the Pokémon games, every Pokémon has one or two elements that determine their strength or weaknesses. Pikachu, for example, is an electric Pokémon, which means it is strong against water Pokémon, but weak against plant and rock Pokémon. Many new Pokémon have the element metal, including the evolved forms of Fearow, Onyx, and Scyther. Other Pokémon have been refined as evil, including Gloom. Further refining the element system, some have been weakened, like Psychic, which was unstoppable in the Blue, Red, and Yellow games.

Another aspect new to Gold, Silver, and Crystal is the ability of Pokémon to hold items in battle. Berries, for example, can be held by a Pokémon and used to cure status ailments or to get energy when needed. Other items affect stats, including those that make Pokémon stronger, make it evolve faster, or not evolve at all. On the subject of "it" and pronouns concerning Pokémon themselves, gender is introduced to the game. Previously, only the pokémon Nidoran was distinguished as male or female. Now, all Pokémon are one or the other. This is needed because in these newest games, Pokémon can be bred together. In fact, some Pokémon can only be found through breeding (Elekid can only be caught by breeding Electabuzz and Jynx, for example). Not all combinations produce new Pokémon. However, breeding together two different kinds of Pokémon can produce one with moves of another. Breeding together a Meowth and a Wartortle might produce a Meowth that can use Water Gun or a Wartortle that can use Payday. When you breed Pokémon you lose the parents, but you get the child Pokémon. To me, it begs the question, if Tauros is a bull Pokémon and Miltank is a cow, shouldn't there only be male Tauros and female Miltank?

There are also several smaller additions to the game. New kinds of Pokéballs are added that help you catch quick or high level Pokémon. The item menu is better organized, with separate screens for Pokéballs and other items. Also, the game can keep track of the time and days of the week and thus has a day/night and week cycle. Some Pokémon can only be caught at night (like the owl Pokémon, Hoothoot) and some events are only accessible on particular days of the week. In each of the different games, different Pokémon inhabit the land, so the only way to catch all 251 is to buy different versions of the game. The game also features a cell phone that lets Prof. Oak, your Mom, or lets other trainers call you. There are also new types of trainers and new gyms in the land of Johto. After traveling through the land and defeating the final challenge, the games add immense replay value by letting you travel Kanto, the land of the original Pokémon games, letting you even fight Ash (or Red, as he's called in the games).

These additions made the Silver and Gold games a new experience. Crystal adds a few new features to the mix. However, the most exciting feature of the game was not present in the U.S. version. In Japan, cell phones are ubiquitous; Crystal was able to use the Gameboy's cell phone technology to trade Pokémon with others. However, as the phones aren't as widespread this side of the Pacific, especially among Pokémon's target audience, the feature (unrelated to the in-game cell phone) was scrapped for the game's American release.

One of the most noticeable changes to Crystal is the ability to choose the gender of your trainer. As you start the game, you can choose to be female or male. As a girl, some of the guy trainers you meet will hit on you (in a cute Pokémon way, of course). Also, this makes for an added complication, as many Pokémon will get along best with a trainer of the same sex. Thus, if you were a female trainer, it would be in your best interest to catch female Pokémon. If the Pokémon are sounding more funky in Crystal, it's because they are. A new stat is also added, that of how much the Pokémon respects you. The more you visit Pokémon centers and the more you lose in battles, the lower the stat gets. In Crystal, you have to keep the Pokémon happy in addition to battling.

Also added to Crystal is the ability to catch the legendary Pokémon Celebi. Similar to Mew and Mewtwo in the original Pokémon games, Celebi is a rare Pokémon of great power. In Gold and Silver you are unable to catch the elusive Pokémon. Enemy Pokémon are now animated in Crystal as well. In all the previous Pokémon games, you fought static pictures of Pokémon. Now, the Pokémon move. Pidgey, for instance, flaps its wings. The animations are simple, but they add a bit of visual flair.

Crystal is a solid game and an obvious choice for anyone who hasn't played Gold or Silver, and it offers many hours of entertainment. If you already have either of the other games though, then your best bet would be to wait for the Pokémon game being developed for the Gameboy Advance.

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