The original Pokemon titles had already taken the world by storm and cemented the Game Boy back as the number one handheld for a second generation when the sequel arrived in 2000. As sequels go this is one of the most ambitious follow-up RPGs ever devised. Doubling the content of the original and improving upon its predecessor in every conceivable way.
When considering how best to approach the multiple releases of the Pokemon franchise we made the decision to review each generation as a whole, with a focus on the ‘special’ version of the game usually released last with additional tweaks and features. In the case of the original Pokemon generation of titles (‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ respectively, with ‘Green’ included if your Japanese) this would be Pokemon Yellow.
There’s two ways you can experience this game, through the pixel-perfect retro grade lens of the DS or in stunning high definition redrawn artwork on the Playstation 3 (a port later used for the X-Box 360, PC and mobile devices). Both are excellent, but how does a series like Might and Magic make the jump from epic fantasy RPGs to puzzle hybrid?
There probably isn’t a single gamer among our readership who hasn’t played at least one Final Fantasy title (if it was Final Fantasy XIII then I feel so sorry for you and you probably never touched the franchise again, trust me you’re missing out). With that in mind I wanted to space out reviews for role playing’s flagship brand between other less well known or revered titles. Final Fantasy IV is the starting point for all things Final Fantasy on this site because it holds a special connection to both myself and my younger brother and we played it through together, me invested in the story of Cecil the Dark Knight who had to become a Paladin, whilst he was totally behind Kain, the Dragoon who he felt should have got the girl. Neither of us came away disappointed. Today you can purchase Final Fantasy IV on almost any game device in multiple ports and I’m going to briefly touch on the After Years in this review too since I’m going to review it from a modern standpoint.