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     " With a chart showing what types are strong or weak against each other (included in instructions) and opposable thumbs (yay, primates!!!) you can play this game. "

   Title: Pokemon Stadium

   Format: N64- Children’s Strategy

   Reviewing Monkey: Monkeymus Prime

   The Hype: Train your monsters and unleash them in Pokémon Stadium! Engage in heated Pokémon battles and watch the action from a ringside seat. Tons of features, including support for playing your Game Boy Pokémon game through your N64, make Stadium a must-have for all Pokémon fans! Import from Red, Blue or Yellow Pokémon with the included transfer pack.
   Now, if you haven’t heard of Pokemon, you have a serious issue with communication with the human race. The basis is you have monsters that you raise, and then pit them in combat against other trainer’s monsters. This game is all about the fighting, where the Game Boy game is about the training, capturing and raising of the beasts. It’s got 3-D graphics, music and an announcer doing play-by-play during the fight, plus some mini-games you can do for fun. I thought this game was a neat little ditty. It easily stands alone, although the real Pokemaniacs can use their Game Boy-bred Pokemon in the battles through the Transfer Pak that comes with the game. It’s quick to pick up and go with, as the mechanics are turn-based and don’t require quick reflexes, and plays like an in-depth game of rock, paper, scissors, where Electric attacks beat Water Pokemon, but is weak against Rock Pokemon, etc.

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: It’s real kick to see the Pokemon you’ve raised in full 3D glory. The Pokemon look great, well rounded and life like. Their battle animations are cool looking and fitting for the characters, and Pikachu is in full cute effect. My only complaint is that sometimes the animation jumps, as all animations in the game (battle, fainting, status ailments, entrance, etc) start from the "neutral" position assumed while the game is waiting for commands. So sometimes a Pokemon will jump from the "hit" animation and while staggering back, will jump to the neutral position to start the fainting animation. Also the various arenas are different and have their own personalities, but don’t really grab the eye. Minor gripes, but enough to cost a perfect score. 4 out of 5

   Sound: Keeping in mind this is on a cartridge, I was stunned by the amount of voice sampling on this. The announcer has a wide variety of things to say, and can sound quite energetic about things. Also, the Pokemon themselves sound like better versions of their Gameboy cries. If this was on a CD, then they could have had the Pokemon talk like they do on the cartoon, i.e. only in variations of their name ("Bulb, bulb, bulbasaur!"). But I am content with what’s here, and if you have Pokemon Yellow, a Pikachu from that game has different animations and speaks like the cartoon (Pika-CHUUUUU!!). The music is upbeat and peppy, and not terribly annoying. 5 out of 5

   Game Play: This game is amazingly simple. With a chart showing what types are strong or weak against each other (included in instructions) and opposable thumbs (yay, primates!!!) you can play this game. It’s a perfect translation of the battle system in the Gameboy game. I cannot stress how simple Stadium is to learn. 5 out of 5

   Level and Environment Designs: As stated before, the levels look interesting, and things are laid out well, but nothing you couldn’t bang out in your sleep. It’s all just battle arenas, and no crowds anywhere. 2 out of 5

   Multiplayer: This is an excellent multiplayer game. Setting aside battling your Pokemon against your friends, either one-on-one or in teams of two, there’s also a bunch of mini-games available to play. Some of them are button-mashers, some only use one button, but they’re all pretty fun. My friend’s favorite and mine is the Lickitung Sushi game. Also a point of interest is that this game is chick-friendly. Pokemon are cute, and girls like cute. Stadium doesn’t require quick reflexes or memorizing button combos. My girlfriend digs this game. She liked it enough that she got her own Gameboy cartridge so she could train her own Persian and Lickitung (her favorites). So beware, ladies, Pokemon is just as addicting to girls as it is to geeks and children. 5 out of 5

   Replayability: While you do play the same battles over and over again, beating different levels either unlocks different Pokemon for you to rent or gives you a rare Pokemon to use in your Gameboy game. Tediousness sets in fairly soon, but there is a goal to be worked towards, and catching `em all is the name of the game. 3 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       An addictive fun game. Expect to be snared by the insidious cuteness of Pokemon. The lower levels of this game can be played with no brain, however once you get into the higher levels, you will need to be awake. If you like the Game Boy game, you’ll love this. If you’ve never played, you will be assimilated.

   The Good: Lots of cheerful fun. Graphics are keen.

   The Bad: Lots of cheerful fun. Repetitive play may bore you.

   The Overall Ugly: It’s Pokemon. You love it, hate it or ignore it. But this is a good addition to the Pokemon gaming family.

   What it's Worth: (with Transfer Pak) $59.99, (without) $49.99

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