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I still remember getting my teal Game Boy Color and a copy of Pokemon Red for Christmas when I was 10. Looking back, it was my #1 Christmas present ever and I played it like a crazy person for weeks afterward. I actually couldn't wait for Christmas break to be over so I could return to school to trade and discuss with all of my friends who had the game. Looking back, it's easy to see that the game was a glitch, buggy, ugly mess, but at that time, it was the most complex game I had ever played.
A while later, as a reward for good grades, my parents bought me Pokemon Yellow. I was a huge fan of the anime and this game came close to allowing me to play it. It was everything I loved about Red, but cleaned up and with improved appearance. Being able to get all 3 starters, just like in the show, was extremely satisfying.
Eventually, sometime after Gold and Silver came out, I grew out Pokemon. Years later, while I was is in college, I bought a used Nintendo DS from my friend. It was the old style with a GBA slot, so I decided to look for some games to play when I discovered that FireRed and LeafGreen existed. I bought FireRed and it was a wonderful nostalgia trip for me. I highly, highly recommend it to fans of the original games who want something more recent. It's everything I love about the old games, but with the functional and graphical improvements of the newer generations present.
Overall, I think these games absolutely qualify as "classics." They're surprisingly deep RPGs behind a mask of cute children's characters. In my list of all time favorite games, the original Red/Blue/Yellow games are certainly in my top 10, maybe even top 5, with FireRed/LeafGreen as worthy and faithful remakes.
This review made me smile. It was positive and sweet, and it didn't put the game on a pedestal or bash the future games just because the reviewer feels nostalgia for it, like so many reviews of this kind feel obligated to do. Thumbs up!
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