Pokémon Stadium (Nintendo 64) Review

By Ross Morley 19.08.2003

Review for Pokémon Stadium on Nintendo 64

Love it or not, there is no turning away from the fact that Pokemon was a phenomena. Children gathered in their masses, swarming across school playgrounds, seeking out that one card they most desire. The cartoon, to be fair, did seem better than many other kids programmes that show up these days. And then of course there were the fantastic Game Boy games, versions red and blue being the most famous. With the success of these titles, the N64 Pokemon games were as sure to become reality as we can rely on David Dickinson to never stop blurting out 'Cheap as chips!' in that charmingly happy but daft manner.

Pokemon Stadium caused a stir amongst the younger generations when it was announced. The Game Boy games were all well and good, but what some people most wanted to see was the monsters battling it out in full 3D, with wonderful detail on their bodies, having been animated superbly. The fans certainly got this and much more.

Now Pokemon Stadium obviously gets a lot out of its license. Not only was it guaranteed to sell well, but it also had some brilliantly designed creatures to work with, that if brought to life well, had the ability to look amazing when in action and thus draw people into the battles. It seemed to work. Kids gathered around the Pokemon Stadium game screen in shops in a similar way that shards of iron are attracted to a magnet. Being released in the heart of the Pokemon craze, it was becoming obvious that Nintendo were destined to make even more millions out of this incredible franchise.

But how well did Ninty do with a title that had so much going for it? The Game Boy turn based battles worked very well, and Nintendo took the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach.

The essential game modes are as follows. First, you have the Gym Leader Castle. Completing this will reward you with a hard to find Pokemon to add to your collection. Stadium mode has four different cups to work through, while there is also an arena where you can set up your own battles however you wish. In the latter, playing against friends becomes an option. Up to four players can compete (two a side) and its good fun as you anticipate your opponents next move. The most innovative mode though is the kids club. If you can stand the sight of the cuter breeds of Pokemon you'll be rewarded with some top class mini game action. Some are perhaps a little too simple, but playing it on hyper mode always makes it a tough challenge. You can tell they're made by Nintendo too, they have that sort of addictive edge to them. A fun way to take a break from the strategic battles.

Screenshot for Pokémon Stadium on Nintendo 64

As we've said, Stadium rightfully uses the Game Boy battle system. And what a system it is. If you know anything about Pokemon you'll know how it works, but for those few who don't, let us briefly explain. Attacks from your Pokemon may not only inflict certain amounts of damage depending on the types of both Pokemon and how well they fayre in the four areas which judges how strong they are (attack, defense and special power, and speed), but they may also cause certain effects, such as paralysis and confusion. And then you have to take into account that changing Pokemon will cause you to miss a go, the Pokemon you change to may not have enough hit points to beat the enemy, that Pokemon may or may not wake up before its too late... it all comes together to make a very clever game. Without this, the Pokemon games would be nowhere in terms of quality. Pokemon Stadium is able to bring out the best in it, with it's beautiful 3D models, special effects and range of options.

We know how many people out there despise Pokemon, but the videogames require skill and thought and have the Nintendo magic all about them. Pokemon Stadium's concept meant it would never reach the heights of greatness that the Game Boy titles did, but anyone who loves the Pokemon games or strategy games in general should definitely purchase this.

Screenshot for Pokémon Stadium on Nintendo 64

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

So, to summarize, all you anti Pokemon people out there should have learned this: Pokemon didn't just make a large pile of cash for Nintendo, some of the games really do deserve to be remembered.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (8 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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