Pokemon Trading Card Game 2 (english translation) Review by: EX PalenThe last Pokemon TCG video game... sadly
In the late 90s, the craze for the Trading Card Games started, with Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic The Gathering leading the revolution that not long after would sweep the world. A ton of animes, mangas and collectible card games were released in the following years, as well as video games inspired in them or creating their own new concept. Even famous sagas like Dragon Ball have attempted to create a TCG of their own, demonstrating the big potential these games have.
Seeing this great potential, Nintendo boarded the ship of the TCGs. Their bet was a TCG revolving around Pokemon, in a time where the first generation was still fresh and the anime started airing. Even though it had these two hard competitors, the TCG managed to become a strong bet in the Pokemon merchandising even to this day, with an ever expanding car pool as new generations of Pokemon land.
This second version, however, never saw the light outside Japan. What you have here is the best attempt at an English translation of said game.
Nothing to be surprised about. It keeps the level of graphics seen in the main games of the time, and the in-battle animations are very developed for its time. The only flaw is that the cards are missing a little bit of details. If Nintendo bothers to give the cards different colors according to their type, why does the game ignore said colors? The rating could have been much higher without this error.
Probably the worst aspect in the game. I’ve played other games even in the preceding Game Boy that had a better quality sound. The music sounds canned, and the in-game sounds could be of a better quality too. Even then, the rating has to be positive for the huge pool of sounds the game offers and the varied soundtrack. Wouldn’t be fair if I ignored these two facts.
Has someone ever played a TCG that isn’t addictive? Be it opening up to try all available strategies, to collect all cards or whatever goal you have in mind, you keep playing over and over to achieve it.
Much like in the main games, an evil group plans on taking over the world by using Pokemon. You must travel around the “region”, or I shall better say the island, and defeat the “Gym Leaders” to get stronger and reinforce your deck to fight and defeat said evil group.
In my opinion, a little tweak to it could have been done to make the story somewhat unique and different from other games. For example, in Digimon Digital Card Battle, a new boss was created to make the game’s storyline unique while at the same time repeating many things from the first two anime series. Couldn’t we get something like this in this game and not making simply a port of Gold, Silver and Yellow but changing Pokemon for cards that represent them?
It’s not as deep as the main games, lacking many unnecessary fights needed to level up your Pokemon, as they now are mere cards. Since all you need is battle certain opponents and keep expanding your card pool, there is no need for routes from location to location, wild Pokemon to battle or anything, it’s basically the leaders and the evil team to battle, leaving room for little more. I don’t understand how this game lacked more depth when it was released after Gold and Silver.
The game’s rules aren’t that difficult to learn, but playing can be such a pain. It’s not as easy as in the main games to exploit the weaknesses of the opponents, as in this game some types are combined under the same symbol: Normal, Flying and Dragon all share the same symbol, as do Fighting and Ground, Water and Ice, Grass and Poison and Psychic and Ghost. This means that a deck focusing on the Green symbol can include both Grass and Poison Pokemon, which work entirely different in-game. Not to mention that the legendary Pokemon cards don’t even have a weakness to start with, making it even harder to beat them.
Not a bad attempt to a card game, based on how recent the Pokemon phenomenon was back then, the second generation having barely seen the light of day. Sadly, this game was never ported outside Japan, and to this date, remains the last ever Pokemon TCG video game released, even though the TCG is still running.
-Loyal to the TCG. Other games, like in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, have attempted to tweak the game’s original rules in several occasions. It’s nice to see this game remained loyal to the rules used in real life. A set of rules that is still in use, as the game has only expanded the card pool and variety but left the rules untouched, something that not even Yu-Gi-Oh! can claim.
-Card pool. Having a card pool of over 400 cards back then was on par with any contemporary Yu-Gi-Oh! Game, a franchise that solely focuses on its TCG, and that has a very interesting meaning.
-Canned sound. Really, really annoying. Try Kirby’s Dream Land 2 for the Game Boy, and you will see, and hear, how the sound is of far much better quality. And we’re not only talking about a somewhat older system, we’re talking about a game six years older than this one, and that’s a huge gap.
-Unoriginal storyline. Even more if you consider the evil group still calls itself similar to Team Rocket. Nothing in this storyline is actually unique to the game, everything is just a name change of sorts.