First Impressions: Pokémon Trading Card Game!

Like I said I would do, I spent the last 3 days playing Pokémon Trading Card Game for the Game Boy Color for the first time! Here are my impressions of the game, day by day.

Day 1:

I started playing the game after buying it several years ago at a flea market and then never playing it! It took me a few tries to even get the cartridge to work in my Game Boy Advance SP, which concerned me a little bit. I was gonna be pissed if I bought the game in bad working condition! It’s not like I could return the game because 1. it’s been years since I bought it and 2. the flea market I bought it from doesn’t even exist anymore!

Anyway! When it finally started working, I was greeted by a cheerful title screen that made me excited to start playing.

Let’s get started!

I started a new game and put my name in. My avatar did not change, so I suspected I was a boy. This was confirmed when Dr. Mason (some so-called trading card expert who really just seemed like a sarcastic asshole) told some dude named Sam to do a practice duel “with him.” Meaning me. I’m NOT a boy! Oh well.

Before the duel, I read through a shitload of rules that I half understood. Dr. Mason orchestrated my every move, but it did help me understand the game a little better.

Here’s a few screenshots of my very first duel. Go me!

After I won, I got to choose my deck. Of course, I chose the Squirtle & Friends deck. Squirtle 4eva!! 😉

I “wrote in my diary,” which means I saved, then quit the game. Aannndd…. once I turned the game back on, my file wasn’t there. Fuck the shitty save batteries in these old games!!

Day 2:

Despite the fact that my lousy game didn’t save, I decided to give it another go. I played through what I did yesterday- played a practice duel, chose the Squirtle & Friends deck- then I explored Dr. Mason’s laboratory a bit. I used the computer to check my e-mail and found that Dr. Mason sent me a booster pack- how nice of him!

Hopefully there’s some good cards in there!

Afterwards, I spent some time running around the lab, talking to everyone. Most of the guys in there were talking about shit I have absolutely no clue about (such as building and modifying decks), but oh well. One guy, Aaron, wanted to challenge me, so I took him up on his offer.

What a long battle! I had to knock out four of his Pokémon, and it seemed like it took forever. I won, though, and I got a bunch of energy cards as a prize.

Since the battles are lengthy, I decided to call it quits for the night. I saved, and when I exited the game, I got excited because my game was still there!

Will my game stay saved this time?!

…then I turned the Game Boy off and back on. Do you think my game was still there? NOPE! FUCK YOU!

Day 3

I decided to give this game one more go, even though I knew my efforts were futile. I went through all the same shit AGAIN, then decided to do a little exploring outside the lab.

Apparently, there are 8 different Pokémon clubs. You can win medals in each of the clubs, then you can face off against some legendary card master or some bullshit like that (it was explained to me 3 times, I just stopped listening!). Yippee!

Hmm, which Club to choose?

Well, since I picked Squirtle & Friends as my first deck, I visited the Water Club. There, I ran into some little shit named Ronald, who basically told me I would never be up to his skill level. I would have punched him if I could!

This kid is a loser!

Anyway. The Water Club has a very relaxing atmosphere, complete with an indoor swimming pool!

What a nice little place! I tried to jump in the pool, but the game wouldn’t let me.

I challenged a girl named Amanda, and I kicked her ass. I received a couple booster packs as a prize. In one of them was the Flame Pokémon Moltres, which is pretty cool.

Um, I also got this… lovely looking booster card. They say it’s a “pluspower” card, but it looks suspiciously phallic to me! 😉 It probably doesn’t help that I have a very dirty mind as it is!

“Pluspower” you say? 

Haha! After all that excitement, I ran around and talked to a few other people, then quit my game. 


It’s a shame that the game battery is toast in this game, because I actually quite enjoyed it. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s actually pretty fun. I feel like it would probably take A LOT of time to build a deck strong enough to win the entire game, but it would be fun to work towards. You never know, I may end up downloading this game on Virtual Console!

I Was Feeling A Little Retro…

I was in the mood for some older games this evening, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to play. So I grabbed my Game Boy Advance SP and my box containing my Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, and settled myself on the couch with my bearded dragon!  He loves to hang out! Anyway… I was poking through the games and trying to decide what I wanted to play…

Hmm…Klustar…haven’t played that in forever…Pokemon Blue…Kirby’s Dream Land…Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater…wait! Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater? Where did that game come from?!

Where did you come from, little cartridge?

I honestly had a few moments where I could not remember buying this game. I have hundreds of games, but no trouble remembering what I have- remember, gaming is a hobby I take seriously!! Nevertheless, I actually got up from my comfy spot on the couch and looked at my game list to see if I had actually recorded my purchase. I did. Wow, did I feel like a dummy! Then I suddenly remembered- this was a flea market purchase I had made a couple years back. Saw it for 99 cents, scooped it up, brought it home, and apparently forgot about it. Eager to start playing, I fired my Game Boy Advance SP up. (I still have my original Game Boy and Game Boy Color, by the way. I just prefer the GBA SP because it is BACKLIT!)

Hello,title screen!

There are a couple different modes to choose from: Half Pipe Mode, Tournament Mode, and 1-on-1 vs. CPU mode. I choose Tournament Mode because, well, it looked like the most fun.

Ready, Set, GO! Wait…how do you go?!?!

I couldn’t even figure out how to start! Pressing A just caused me to jump erratically, and B must have been the brakes. I pitifully rolled forward while my CPU opponents sailed past me.

Look, I jumped! Or something…

I started and restarted a few times, but it was clear to me that I had no clue what the fuck was even going on. That annoyed me, and I tried a couple more times, but even when I would pick up something that I assume was money or a random videotape, I would inevitably crash into something and be indisposed for way too long. Frustrated, I decided to try the Half Pipe Mode instead.



This was a little more fun! The whole goal is to land as many tricks as you can, and gather as many points as you can, within the time limit. That’s it! I tried out each of the pipes just for funsies. Too bad the game doesn’t save your high score or anything!

All right… even though I had fun on Half Pipe Mode, I had to figure out Tournament Mode. It was annoying me! The first stage was pathetic, but by the end of the second stage, something magical happened… I was starting to understand the bizarre controls! Go me! I figured out how to speed up (better late than never), and I was landing tricks like a seasoned pro. At least, I think I was… every time I did a trick, it would simply take me to the cheesy still shot of a random dude on a skateboard with the name of my trick and number of points on it. Then it would load the game back! Super weird. Anyway, I wasn’t in first place, but I wasn’t sucking either. Until…

Are you sure this isn’t Pokemon??

This weird ass forest appeared out of nowhere in stage 3! This looks like a forest from Pokemon or something! I had no clue it was even coming, SO I HIT IT HEAD ON. My skater bailed, then attempted to recover… problem is, the skater is in constant forward motion. I needed to go LEFT to get away from the PokeForest, so I spent about 25 seconds grinding said forest AS SLOWLY AS I POSSIBLY COULD. It was such a dumb moment, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Things weren’t looking good for me on the next stage either. Stage 4 is like some hellish industrial park with weird pipes and random puddles of water that my skater seemed drawn to like flies are drawn to shit!


Apparently most of this stuff is here for you to grind, but my timing was so off for most of the stage, I just smushed my face into everything and slowly crossed the finish line. I’m surprised they didn’t disqualify me!

Something rad happened on stage 5, though. I became a machine! I skated super fast, I busted out a bunch of tricks, and I collected money and videotapes like it was going out of style. Most importantly….

Miracles can happen!

That’s right! I crossed that finish line FIRST! I was pretty damn proud of myself.

…then the award ceremony happened. And I was in 4th place, aka dead last. My character didn’t even stand at the podium- he hid behind a tree and hung his head in shame. Oh, Bucky Lasek, I’m sorry I let you down!

After that disappointment, I decided I’d had enough Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for the night. The Playstation version of this game is amazing, by the way. I used to play it for HOURS. This Game Boy Color version though… yeah, it’s not my favorite. Now that I’ve got a hang of the controls more, it might be worth a replay someday. I might as well play it more- the flea market I got this game at is now closed, so I’ll never get my 99 cents back!