Pokémon Yellow Version, Game Boy Color

Pokémon Yellow (aka Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition) is a remake of Pokémon Red/Blue/Green that was released for the Game Boy Colour in 1998.

It of course uses the colour capabilities of the GBC, but has a few significant changes over the original version(s), like – for example – the opening screen (obviously being all about Pikachu – probably the most distinct and well-liked Pokémon of all time), and the fact that, instead of choosing between three different Pokémon at the beginning of the game, as happened in Red/Blue/Green, you get given a Pikachu and it walks alongside you, rather than going inside a Pokéball.

Another change has been to the placement of the wild Pokémon encounters. Anyone who’s played Pokémon Red or Blue, then played this straight afterwards, will notice that the Pokémon you encounter when walking in the tall grass are mostly different. This is not true in all cases, but the majority have been moved around so that you encounter Pokémon different to the ones you’d encounter in the original games. Plus: there also seem to be Pokémon available in this that I didn’t see when playing Pokémon Red.

Enhancements in Pokémon Yellow include: better-drawn Pokémon graphics in places (Geodude and Magikarp, for example, both look different in this), and occasionally your Pikachu will have cute, animated reaction graphics to certain scenes.

Disappointments in Pokémon Yellow include: the majority of the graphics haven’t been re-coloured, they’ve been colourised, meaning: that the original monochrome graphics have simply had their halftones and blacks replaced by certain colours, rather than having extra colours drawn-in to create more depth. Anyone who understands how pixel graphics work will understand what I mean by that, and those who don’t probably won’t, but it was immediately noticeable to me. The only place where the extra colours of the Game Boy Color have been used to full effect is on the title screen. Which is a little disappointing. This kind of makes Pokémon Yellow look like a black and white game, but with colour. It certainly doesn’t look like a game developed natively for the Game Boy Color, but as a quick and cheap conversion.

That said: Pokémon Yellow is still a very good game; it’s just not the first real colour Pokémon game. It’s a half-measure. The first real colour Pokémon game would come later, with Pokémon Gold Version. Take a look at the graphics in Gold and compare them to this. There’s no comparison.

Remakes of Pokémon Yellow, called Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, were released for the Nintendo Switch in 2018, on the 20th anniversary of Pokémon Yellow‘s release in Japan.

More: Pokémon Yellow Version on Wikipedia

4 thoughts on “Pokémon Yellow Version, Game Boy Color”

  1. If I remember the Pokemon that appear in Yellow were a mix of those that appeared in Blue/Red, but still not the full range, so it was a different enough range that it’d provide new choices, but you’d still need to trade from Red/Blue to get the full range.

    I remember one kid having this at school, and I was really cold on it at the time. In my kid head, it was just Pokemon Blue, but with the TV show plot crammed into it, and it didn’t really fit for me. It just felt like Blue/Red with minimal changes to warrant a full release and price tag. Wound up saving my pennies and went straight for Gold, never looked back.

    Liked by 1 person

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