Retro Monday – “Pokémon Trading Card Game” (GameBoy Colour)

Well I’m back at least…

I have to admit that I am making this rather late in the day as other articles go. That being that I’m only starting this on the Monday morning rather than the Saturday because I arrived home from some time off on what can be called Saturday but can only really be clarified as a Sunday. This just means that this and videos will have a bit of a delay. Or by the time your reading this already have the delay and your reading this on a Tuesday or something.

Title: “Pokémon Trading Card Game

Developer: Hudson Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

Released: 1998 (JPN) 2000 (EU/NA)

Pokemon is a series that has moved on without me. When I first started “Pokemon Blue” all those years ago in my kiddie years, I liked the adventure and the catching of all the Pokemon. It was a time when I had friends, or at least ones that existed on a physical plain of existence, and a time when they all had it because playing Pokemon was more addictive than nicotine flavoured heroin. I had Blue, my sister had Red and then Yellow came out and a few people, and my sister, got that so it possible to get all 151. At least 150 and cheat like all ass to get a Mew. But as more versions and more pokemon were added, getting that 100% started getting more elusive. Getting the 100% was the only reason why I kept going. Now at my age, no one I know has or plays Pokemon anymore, or lives on a physical plain of existence relative to me, and hanging too much around children is something I’ve been told is a social faux pas. Especially with with my deep voice, beard and thousand yard stare. So I haven’t played any new version since Crystal from 2001.

Playing the trading card game followed the same pattern. I like collecting but I like having all of them or I feel dead in side so it was never something I latched on too that strongly. At the start it was ok because, like the main game, there was only 151 pokemon. But after a few special edition packs and more pokemon were added, the ‘if I can’t have all it’s not worth it‘ clause in my head kicked in and I left it just like the main game.

Pokémon Trading Card Game” is like a time capsule. It’s like the new pokemon and new editions (after the first three) never existed. But it has the flaws of main series for the same reasons.

The game follows the physical card game. You are a card collector in a Pokemon like society where there is only pokemon and those who aren’t part of the system or just don’t like pokemon are fired into the sun or something. I always thought that was tempting fate. At one point there was a Pokemon like society, during the aforementioned kiddie years, but now it all just seems silly.

Your task is to collect the Legendary Cards. The idea of just being the best like the main game is sort of mute because when you beat what is the Elite Four in card collector form you get the 4 legendary cards as well as Campion title. It just means that after you get the Champion title you fall into a ‘catch ’em all‘ mentality but like the main games, you can only do that if you have friends or live in Pokemon like society. Which both don’t exist or are highly improbable until the cat mutates the ability to get in the house via the window with me getting up and chase and shoot fire up the local bat’s arse.

Like the main games, you can trade cards with other players via the Game Boy connecting cable and the inferred beam thing. What comes with the trading system is the ‘Card Pop!‘ system. When you trade, you can ‘Card Pop!‘ which generates a random card for both traders. But, and its a big but as I can feel the on set of my ‘if I can’t have all it’s not worth it‘ mentality, there are cards that can only be gained by poping with people. And what twists even harder is that you can only pop with people once and only once. This on the whole can be bad if say, the game is more than a decade old and your playing on a system that is just as old and not supported by anyone. It just means that you become locked out of ever getting some cards. It may only be 2 cards but those 2 cards means that you will never get all the cards. Rubbing random chance against it on the base level is jus dick-ish.

Again like the main game, you battle gym leaders who specialize in particular pokemon types.There are 8 gyms in total with 8 badges. Once you get all the badges you can fight the 4 masters and then your rival. Who is ony set up as your rival as you both have the same objective. At least with the main series, you rival was Gary and he was Oak’s nephew. You rival in this one is just bloke who acts like a knob and appears some times surprize battle your never ready for.

The nature of the trading card game falls on having a deck that is strong against who ever you are fighting (like a having a water deck if your fighting a fire collector) and having an all-rounder deck when you fight the last 5. It just means that the hardest bit starts out being when your rival appears for no reason and fight you with a deck you’re not ready for because all you’ve done is try to walk out of a gym.

Pokémon Trading Card Game” is exactly like the main, early pokemon games. All the things that made the mains one good are there but then so are the bad things. At least if you want to have this nice time capsule of pokemon history you don’t have to invest in a Game Boy Colour or something that plays it. You can get the game on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. Or you can skip the whole playing with old cards and just play the game online via Pokemon.Com.

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