When I was a li'l tyke, everyone had Pokemon cards. So much so, that they got banned in various schools because kids kept trading them. My school was one of them. That didn't stop us from trading them on the bus though. Everyone had Pokemon cards! Even me, someone who wasn't that much into videogames at the time.
I had gotten my hands on a big binder 'o Pokemon cards, because I wanted to be the cool kid on the bus. I had a lot, but one of the older kids in the back had more than me. I talked to him one day with the purpose of trading to get some pretty looking cards... I was a little kid so I didn't really understand the concepts of trading. So, this dude pulls out his massive binder of cards and asks me if I wanted to trade my binder for his. I thought this was a good deal! I treasured those cards for years prior, until I had gotten older. When showing my newer friends the cards I had, and they told me the news... Every single card there, was fake.
FRIEND used BAD NEWS, it was super effective...
Anyway, that concludes my brief story on how I got into Pokemon many many years ago. Surprisingly (not) that story wasn't anything special. Everyone and their grandmother is into Pokemon, so I really hope you weren't expecting something cool n interesting other than Little kid see cool monster want play!
I've decided to make a shrine dedicated to everything Pokemon! Whether that be games I've played, favorites, collections, or my personal thoughts. This shrine is mainly to appreciate the series and it's huge influence on my life.
Pokemon Crystal was my first mainline Pokemon game, but not the very first Pokemon game I played. Crystal was recommended to me by a close pal who told me it was the best game in the series. I couldn't agree more. Ever since this, I have yet to play a game that I could deem worthy of the best Pokemon game.
About Crystal -
Crystal was the second generation of Pokemon games and it was released on the Gameboy Color. A neat li'l handheld system which played in 8-bits. Which isn't much at all compared to todays standards, but back in 1990 this was revolutionary. Especially for one of the first handheld consoles ever released. The Gameboy Color was the second version of the Gameboy system, and as the name states, it was IN COLOR. A first at the time. Even with the hardware limits of this bulky system (4 audio channels, 4 colors per sprite) the Gameboy was the worlds first dive into handheld gaming. I'll save talkin' about these systems for another shrine, because this is a Pokemon shrine. So, what about Crystal makes it the best Pokemon game in my opinion?
Why Crystal is the most impressive Pokemon game -
To explain how this is the best game, I should probably begin with how impressive it was. With the hardware limits of the Gameboy Color, the developers had to work around them to make a game that was PLAYABLE. Pokemon was the first game to introduce the save feature for handheld videogames because it was so large and explorable, compared to other games at the time like Mario and Kirby. (Note that I'm talking about the Gameboy system as a whole, because the GBC had no differences from the original Gameboy other than the color feature)
With the limitations of the early systems, game developers were able to put more time and effort into the content of the game rather than how it looks and plays. No one liked the original few Pokemon games for the graphics, because compared to today, those graphics are nothing but blocky figures barely resembling a landscape. I'm rambling, but my general point is because of this systems limitations, the developers had to put more time into building this world full of Pokemon. People needed to be hooked by its interesting features, monsters, and story. That being said, why does this make it the BEST Pokemon game?
Why Crystal is the best Pokemon game -
I'm going to sum it up in a few sentences and get straight to the point. Crystal is the best Pokemon game because of the region, Johto. That's it. The region. Not the graphics, not the characters, the region.
The region was interesting. I have HOURS in this game and most of it was just exploring the region. Found a new HM? Started from home and traveled on foot throughout the entire region to find new hidden passageways. Even if it was just to find a TM or a Great Ball, it felt super satisfying to uncover a new area. And this game has loads, and loads, and loads of hidden areas and special Pokemon to catch in those hidden areas. After beating the Elite Four, there's an entire other portion of the map to explore post-game! Which was just Kanto from the first generation games. It still felt really nice to explore that other section of the map and learn things about the Kanto region that happened after the events of the first game.
There's also a lot of optional content not relevant to the main storyline at all, which is really the nail in the coffin on why Johto is the best region. Don't get me started on The Ruins Of Alph. Those puzzles and Unown were such an interesting addition to the Pokedex and lore in general. Even to this day, those ruins still hold secrets.
One of my personal favorite reasons why Crystal is the best Pokemon game, has got to be the music. I personally care way too much about videogame music than I should, and a game's music can make or break it for me.
Most music in modern Pokemon games are only slapped in there last minute. No thought goes into the composure of it and it all sounds the same. But, with Crystal? Each town in Johto has its own memorable music. All of the music, depite being composed with only 3 audio channels and 1 noise channel, have so much love and care put into them. And it shows. Each song captures the feel of the town perfectly. Each town has a significant reason to why it sounds like that, rather than "it sounds cool, so let's include it in the game."
Lavender Town's music was changed from the first game because of the events that happened after the ending of the first game. It was NOT changed to please people because it "sounded creepy." There was a significant story-driven reason to why the music changed, and it fit perfectly.
In conclusion The developers of Pokemon Crystal put so much time, effort, and care into this game. They knew they'd have to impress people with the actual content of this fictional world rather than with flashy graphics. Around the time the GBC came out, the N69 already existed. And that console had 3d graphics, in color. And what did the GBC have? Pixels. and a 4 colors per pallete. Yet, the Gameboy's Pokemon entries are some of the most memorable Pokemon games even to this very date. Crystal was a STAPLE to the Pokemon series, and introduced countless fan favorite Pokemon and mechanics. Kanto is important, of course, but the introduction of Johto was what began the importance of having regions in each new Pokemon game to come.
Under construction because I have no motivation to write for a while again lol...