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Greetings PokeNerds and welcome to Straight Outta Kanto – your brand new number one Irish Nerd Blog for all the latest news, reviews, rumours, nostalgia, nonsense and occasionally… more!

Today we are going to discuss a game that, I freely admit, I still have not completed – yet: Pokemon Trading Card Game for Nintendo Gameboy Colour.

As I was browsing through the Nintendo eShop a few weeks back I discovered that for five human dollars (are dollarydoos) you could download a wee digital version the Pokemon TCG for Gameboy Colour game. This thrilled me immeasurably as this was one game for the original Gameboy Colour this GenWunner never got to play for first time around.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game in general I am relatively new to. Like I said, this Nintendo game by-passed me as a child, and the actual cards – believe it or not – weren’t as big in my school as they were in others so apart from receiving the odd token packet of cards at Christmas from the odd (and odd) uncle, the anime and manga held much more appeal to me than a side-game I knew little of.

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, in 2015 I discovered PokeCon Dublin. There I met all my current friends and finally Came Out of the Nerd Closest. Finally I had my eyes opened to the fact that I no longer had to keep my childhood Pokemon obsession secret, because there were many, many other people who shared the same passion for Pokemon as I did – and a lot of them were a heck of a lot older than I was – no more shame, hooray!

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During that glorious first wave of fandom (as it were) in 2015 I discovered the physical Pokemon Trading Card game. I was walking past my local Toymaster and saw their Pokemon Card themed window display  and well, the rest (and my credit card) is history…

That summer I first collected the cards, dug out my old “token” cards from the 90’s, bought more and more and more cards, eventually had my good friend and S.O.K interviewee Mike Culligan actually teach me how to play the card game in real life.

I… enjoy the collecting I think more than the battling and appreciating the artwork rather than that technical mechanics of the game, but give me the wrong ten year old with a crappy deck and I can still show them who the boss is…!

The old games of the Pokemon series that I don’t have or missed out on first time around always hold a sort of rose tinted romanticism about them, like this very game. Once I learned to play the card game I was determined to find a physical copy of the Nintendo version, to no prevail! The one copy I did buy second hand that summer was utterly banjaxed and completely put me off buying another copy…

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However! Thanks to the glorious power of the internetables I now own a digital copy of the game  and was able at last to relive a little of my lost(ish) childhood!

So, call a spade a spade. This game was clearly some class of a cash-in based on the insane popularity of the actual cards – one of many cash-in side-games that have peppered the Pokemon franchise through-out its history. (But we won’t get in to that today…!)

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In the game you play a cool young guy who lives in a place the resembles one of those old Super Mario world maps. The token Pokemon professor is Professor Mason and he has given you the task of “travelling” (also known as clicking your character around this tiny map) to various Pokemon Card Clubs (a bit like Pokemon Gyms) duelling the trainers there with your Pokemon cards (just like in a regular Pokemon Card battle) until you unlock the club Master (Gym Leader!)

You do this eight times until you defeat all eight Pokemon Club Masters and are then entitled to face the four Grand Masters (Elite Four) and hopefully obtain the coveted Legendary Cards.

All the eight Pokemon Club Masters are Type based ie: Fire, Grass, Water, Electric etc and you literally just endlessly duel at random until you manage to defeat them.

There is also the Pokedex based element of “Gotta Collect ’em All!” as you acrue more cards through out the game.

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Each time you succeed in your duel with a Pokemon trainer you receive a booster pack (just like in real life) and are then able to expand and edit your own card deck based on the available boosters and hopefully build stronger and stronger decks. This takes a long while to do and the actual game play itself for the parts of the game that I have completed are entirely luck based. You can go against a club Master and get a hand with one Caterpie and the opposition can come at you with five super-strong high level Tauros and Charizard cards.

This random “out of your control” element of the game makes for, in my opinion, a slow, frustrating and monotonous advance through the game. From a nostalgia point of view it’s great to see all the old cards again, see the artwork (the trainer with all the promo Piakchu cards is a particular delight) and get insight into what booster packs of yore was like, but I just don’t know if I have the patience to complete this game!

Eight year old me would have had little else to do with my time but complete this game, however adult me twenty years on has been spoiled rotten by more attention grabbing softer games with easier wins.

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That being said, it is a fun game, the animation is RetroGlorious and the soundtrack is dripping with charming and nostalgic ooze and I will one day complete it and it’s a nifty addition to any collector’s collection.

According to Wikipedia there was a Pokemon Trading Card Game 2: Here Comes the Great Team Rocket! available solely as a Japanese release and the original game was apparently banned in Saudi Arabia because of the use of stars on the Pokemon Cards and the star’s connection to Israel… Makes… Sense!?

For curiosity’s sake I’d love to get a nose at that Team Rocket sequel to the game, but I better finish the first one first…!

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There we have it nerdlings! Keep watching the skeys, I mean skies!

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

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One thought on “Nostalgia Nerd: Pokemon Trading Card Game for Nintendo Gameboy (1998) [Straight Outta Kanto]

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