The Pokemon craze continues with Pokemon Stadium, the second Pokemon game for the Nintendo 64. Pokemon Stadium provides nothing significantly new other than being able to see all 150 of the original Pokemon battle in three-dimensional graphics.
The fighting game play is fundamentally the same as the fighting that takes place within the Game Boy role playing series.
Pokemon Stadium does not allow you to fight in non-RPG style; you can’t perform powers with button combinations in the vein of Super Smash Bros. or Street Fighter. The result is a fairly bland experience.
Battles don’t seem any more exciting in 3-D, and I wasn’t impressed (nor put off) by the character animations. The obligatory set of mini-games has been thrown in to sweeten the pot, but bells and whistles don’t change my overall opinion in this case.
Any Pokemon fan already knows that the Transfer Pak (included with game) allows you to transfer your Game Boy Pokemon (with the levels and powers obtained during play on Game Boy) into the Nintendo 64 for use in Pokemon Stadium.
Two neat additional features are the ability to exchange Pokemon with friends, sans Game Boy, as well as the ability to play your Pokemon Game Boy games on the Nintendo 64 through the Transfer Pak.
Unfortunately, you can’t play other Game Boy games on the Nintendo 64, except Mario Golf (and possibly the upcoming Perfect Dark). You can exchange data between the N64 and GB versions as well.
I can’t understand why Nintendo did not make the Transfer Pak capable of playing all Game Boy games. Surely the technology is there (Super Game Boy accomplished the same effect for the Super NES) and would not have added terribly to the cost.
If Nintendo is planning to release a Super Game Boy for the N64, they may be cleverly committing highway robbery for not consolidating the inter-system technology into one product.
Of course, it’s probably way too late in the game to release such a product since the Nintendo 64 is on its way out. Pokemon Stadium doesn’t do anything to convince me otherwise; however, the next Zelda should prove to be the system’s perfect swan song.