Pokemon Red Version
Nintendo
Nintendo 3DS/Game Boy
Pokémon_box_art_-_Red_Version
2016 is Pokemon’s 20th anniversary.  As such, Nintendo is pulling out all the stops for a year full of new games, giveaways, and other special events.  One of the first is a rerelease of the original gameboy Pokemon titles as downloads for the 3DS.
I played the original Pokemon Yellow as a teenager when it was originally released, admiring the rather deep strategic RPG gameplay beneath the cartoonish aesthetic.  This new version retains the style and the feel of the original on 3DS.  Like other Virtual Console releases, this is a pixel-perfect rendition, and the game looks great on the New 3DS XL screen.  Unlike other game boy rereleases, Pokemon retains its multiplayer capabilities.  Players can trade monsters and fight with their friends using local wireless in place of the Game Boy link cable.  This system is limited to players in the same room, and is functionally identical to its 90’s link-cable counterpart.
Pokemon is an early and easily the most popular entry in the ‘collectable monster’ sub-genre of RPGs.  Players take the role of a boy traveling across a large island to collect and raise Pokemon, monstrous animals that can be trained to fight.  Along the way, they assist a scientist working to classify the creatures, constantly foil a criminal organization, and battle all comers in hopes of being the best there ever was.
The strategic aspect of the game is basically a more complicated version of rock papers scissors.  Each monster has an elemental type, and its attacks are weaker or stronger against other types.  Fire is strong against Grass and weak against Water, for example.  Player raise their monsters with a fairly simple leveling system, but can teach certain moves to their team members to give them an advantage.  The game strikes a nice balance of being simple enough for a child to learn with deeper enough strategy for more experienced players.
Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow are currently available for 3DS from the Nintendo eshop.  While they don’t boast the dazzling 3D graphics of more recent entries, they are sure to delight nostalgic fans.

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