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Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green review

Nintendo really know how to milk a franchise - this time they're taking you back to where it all began, says NGC

If you didn't know, Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green are remakes of the original Pokemon Red and Green, which came out over here as Pokemon Red and Blue respectively. Now we're not going to bore you with a long-winded explanation of what the games are about. There's no point as, like millions of other Nintendo gamers out there, you've probably played the originals to destruction. So it's only really worth pointing out any significant extras and differences - not that there are many.

On the face of it, these are nearly identical to their Game Boy predecessors, apart for the fact that visually, they've been revamped and pulled into line with the GBA's Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. The dialogue, the starting Pokemon, the towns, everything is the same. Pretty much. There are a number of tweaks worth noting. First, you now have the option to play as a girl or a boy, just as you have in every Pokemon game since Yellow, and there are genders for all the Pokemon, allowing for breeding - something that wasn't possible until Gold and Silver. The PokZdex has also been overhauled, offering more information and abilities as well as Training, and the games' Hidden Machines have been altered slightly, again bringing the games into line with Ruby and Sapphire.

Little tweaks and updates, then, really. When you start your adventure you'll be hard pushed to see any significant changes at all. The dialogue is, almost word for word, exactly how it was before - and we'd be lying if we didn't admit we felt the warming tingle of nostalgia sweep over us. It has been, after all, almost six years ago that we first sampled the English language versions of Red and Blue, and any game that you've invested countless hours in will hold a special place in your heart. But that said, we can't help feeling that this is update is a little on the cheap side.

In fairness, there is one major addition to the game. After beating the Cinnabar Gym, you're whisked off to a series of all-new islands. While they're not particularly big they're populated by the wild Johto Pokemon from Gold and Silver, giving you the opportunity to complete your collection for trade between Colosseum and Ruby and Sapphire. Then, of course, there's the free wireless adaptor - that lets you link GBAs together without a cable.

So the question remains, should you buy them? Well, the quality of the game remains intact. For the hardened Pokemon enthusiast, then yes, it's well worth it, and even if you played the originals to death, it's likely that you'll get plenty of enjoyment reliving your memories. And if by some slim chance the original games passed you by the first time, then this as an essential a purchase as it's always been.

Pokemon Red and Green are out now

More info

GenreRole Playing
Franchise namePokemon
UK franchise namePokemon
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating""