As I’m sure you probably already know, Nintendo has released the original trio of Pokémon RPGs on the 3DS Virtual Console, as part of the Pokémon 20th anniversary. This is, of course, a huge deal for Pokémon fans (myself included) since it’s something we’ve been clamoring for. So, now that ports of Red, Blue, and Yellow are available on new hardware, you’re probably wondering whether they’re worth downloading.
Well, I’m happy to report that these VC titles are definitely worth your time. So grab your Squirtle Squad shades as I explain why you should once again return to the Kanto region.
The most obvious reason anyone would want to replay any of these games is for the nostalgic trip, but there are more significant reasons why you should splurge on at least one of these gems without feeling too bad. First, they’re only $9.99 each–which is a great deal considering that these are some of the best RPGs ever made. For those that haven’t played them before, each game includes at least 15 hours of gameplay, which is plenty of content for the amount of clams you’re shelling out. Plus, there’s the fact that you’ll be playing it on the Nintendo 3DS. Being able to play them on new hardware is a lot more convenient than having to lug around a Game Boy/Game Boy Color. Since they’re also straight ports, the gameplay that made so many fall in love with the series is still intact. Sure, some of the menu system feels outdated (shuffling through items is a headache), but the meat of the gameplay has aged like fine Pokéwhine.
The eShop releases also have several visual options available to fit the 3DS screen. The standard option makes the action a bit larger to fit the height of the handheld’s screen while not distorting the resolution too much. If you’re more about getting the full authentic experience, you can switch to the original resolution. It will, unfortunately, look a bit too small, but it does include a Game Boy/Color boarder, which gives it more of that vintage feel. There’s also an option to change the tint of the screen to green on Red/Blue, so really, you can play these titles your way.
That’s not all though, wirelessly trading and battling with local friends is incredibly simple and only a couple of button presses away. Gone are the days of needing that pesky link cable to move around first generation monsters. Hopefully online trades are also eventually introduced to the package, though that seems highly unlikely.
I’ve also confirmed that the abundant glitches present in the original releases are still included in these versions. That means Rare Candies and Master Balls galore. Even Mew is catchable if you know how to break the game a bit–which still happens to be loads of fun.
One of the downsides to these ports is that one of our favorite features from the Virtual Console, Restore Points, are disabled. This means you won’t be able to save at any point you’d like, which is something all the other Virtual Console games allow. It’s a precautionary measure by Nintendo to prevent players from finding a way of duplicating Pokémon. It makes sense to exclude this tool, but it’s still a bummer.
Now, there’s also a practical reason to nab one of these bad boys– you’ll be able to transfer pocket monsters from these versions to Pokémon Sun and Moon using the Pokémon Bank. It’s a great way of getting a leg up on catching ’em all when the newest installments launch.
But, unfortunately, the Bank functionality doesn’t extend any further than that. It’s odd that you can’t use the app to transport your monsters between Red/Blue/Yellow on one 3DS. Each game has its own exclusive Pokémon, so it would have been great to buy all three versions and move the exclusive critters between games on the same hardware. Alas, you’ll just have to find a couple of friends willing to trade with you in order to complete the Pokédex.
Now, to discuss which of the three you should buy (if you’re not down to spend the $30 required to download all three). If we take nostalgia out of the equation (Pokémon Red will always be my favorite), Yellow is definitely the way to go. Other than including the surfing Pikachu mini-game (yes, the electric rat can hit the waves), it’s the only one that actually acknowledges the anime. You’re also able to get all three starter Pokémon without having to trade with friends. There’s even more color in this version. The Special Pikachu Edition gives you the most shock for your buck.
These titles are definitely worth purchasing and not just for a walk down nostalgia lane. These are great ports, with enough included to make any one of them a worthwhile purchase for both new and established fans. You can’t beat the $10 price tag.
Craving more Pokémon? Don’t forget to check the rest of our coverage! Did you guys buy any of these games? Did you buy all three? Whats your experience been like so far? Let us know in the comments below!
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Featured Image Credit: bureika
All other Images Credited to: Nintendo, Game Freak