Goomba Stomp’s Hall of Fame is reserved for only those Nintendo titles that can be called absolute classics. Chosen by the crew of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast, these bite-sized capsule reviews reflect what we’ve discussed on the podcast over the past six months. Look for more entries every 25 episodes we record.
Developer Game Freak captured something amazing when they first introduced the world to Pokemon. Pokemon first arrived outside of Japan in the form of Pokemon Red Version and Pokemon Blue Version for the original Game Boy in 1998. While the series has beautifully evolved over time, Blue and Red already had the magic formula which would ensure Pokemon would survive twenty years and beyond. At its core, the game is a turn-based role-playing game, but one nuanced with layers of strategy centered around phenomenally designed monsters called Pokemon, their attacks, their types, and their all around strengths. The game can be about finding a perfectly balanced team but leaves incredible amounts of room for players to play exactly how they want and with their favorite Pokemon. On a much deeper level, Pokemon is a game that demonstrates to the player perfectly what it is to be human. The game encourages growth and development, makes it all too easy to become attached to Pokemon, pushes each player to be the best they can possibly be, and of course to catch ‘em all, building a game around some of the most fundamental human instincts. On top of these things, gorgeous, memorable music, brilliant overall design, and perhaps the most enthralling game world ever conceived ensure that Pokemon Red and Blue will always be one of the best and best loved games of all time. (Tim Maison)