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Which holiday game will you play the most?

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Game Profile
Nintendo 64
HAL Laboratory
GENRE: Strategy
PLAYERS:   1-4
March 06, 2000
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More in this Series
 Written by Jonathan Nicklas  on July 25, 2000

Review: Are you a Pokemon Master?

Yet another Pokemon game that strays away from the 3-D role-playing game we really want. Pokemon Stadium is the second game of the Pokemon franchise to hit the Nintendo 64, Pokemon Snap being the first. Well, let us just continue on...

The visuals are easily the most appealing part of Pokemon Stadium. All of the Pocket Monsters, 151 to be exact, look excellently crafted, all the textures are very smooth and what you would expect. You'll also notice each of the Pokemon's different facial animations. The level designs are adequate; all of them contain a flat battlefield. The backgrounds have a bland look though. On the bright side, the attacks being performed are very well done, but the Pokemon have no body contact. So you won't see a Pokemon connecting with his skull bash or anything like that.

The audio of Pokemon Stadium was a disappointment. All of the cries of the Pokemon are practically just the same as the GameBoy versions. There are no trademark cries whatsoever. However, there are some quality sound effects of attacks, like thunder, water gun, etc. The announcer in this game is average at bests. There are many repeated phrases, but he does have some excitement in his voice.

Unfortunately for this title's gameplay, if you've played the Pokemon Blue/Red on the GameBoy, you've played Pokemon Stadium. I thought you could navigate your Pokemon around battlefields with the analog, but it's just attacking Pokemon back and forth, and both Pokemon just stay still. Although, it's not as bad as it sounds. In Pokemon Stadium, there are also many modes, including competing in various tournaments, defeating trainer after trainer, photographing your Pokemon (again), and a few miniature games that prove to be surprisingly fun.

Pokemon Stadium features lots of challenges, and hidden Pokemon. There is also multiplayer that allows 2 characters to combat, and miniature games that allows up to 4 characters to square off. You'll also find all 151 Pokemon, and yes, even Mew. There is also Transfer Pak support that enables you to upload Pokemon to your Pokemon Stadium cartridge. Alas, Pokemon Stadium also comes bundled with a Transfer Pak, some might even buy it only for this reason.

The replay is the most disappointing part of Pokemon Stadium. After you've completed everything, and I know Pokemon addicts will very quickly, there's not much to make you come back. There's probably as much replay in Pokemon Stadium as found in Pokemon Snap. Of course, at first, Pokemon Stadium is very addictive, but if you're not a fan of Pokemon, the reign of fun will end quickly.

Bottom Line
Regardless of what I say, I know any Pokemon fanatic will buy it. Pokemon Stadium is not exactly what I'm looking for; I'd prefer a 3-D adventure any day. But give this one a rental.

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