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Preview: Pokémon Stadium 2
 

Screens

Too... cute...
Pichu vs. Pichu

Now where did I put that mousetrap...
A blue mouse waving


A green thing flying

I think the yellow thing has a hangover..
A heated face-off

SCRAM
Vermicious Knid?

whee!
Muhaha


Media
Screenshots
Pikachu and friends return for another stadium free-for-all, and now there's four-player support, improved battle modes, and many more Pokémon available.
Platform: Nintendo 64
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Rated E

Despite the Nintendo 64's current slide towards obsolescence, a few good games are still on the horizon for the aging system, one of which features everyone's favorite battling beasties. This game, of course, is Pokémon Stadium 2, released in Japan as Pokémon Gold & Silver 2. The game boasts a slew of tasty new features, and fans(obsessed and otherwise) will be sure to love what Nintendo has in store for them with this latest entry into a series that continues to show no signs of slowing down in its popularity.

Pokémon Stadium 2is all about throwing Pokémon up against one another in all their 3-D glory. As such, the game has no plot to speak of. What it lacks in story, it makes up for in sheer gameplay; the game allows for all 251 Pokémon found in Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Yellow, and Pokémon Crystal to be transfered to the game through use of the aptly named Transfer Pak, and then they can be pitted against either the computer or a friend. All this takes place in bright, colorful 3-D, making it, if nothing else, a graphically worthwhile experience.

The emphasis in Pokémon Stadium 2 is definitely on facing off against friends; while the game does allow for "Rental Pokémon" to be used, if a player doesn't own any of the GameBoy titles, none of the options made available by the Transfer Pak are available, so players who don't own any of the previous Pokémon games might want to consider that before buying the game. That said, however, Pokémon Stadium 2does have a number of stand-alone features. For one, there are a number of mini-games to keep players occupied, including the "My Room" game, which allows players to compete for items to furnish the Pokémon's 3-D rooms, an overhead racing game, and a number of new battle modes. There are also a few rare Pokémon that can be found in the game and then transferred back to the GameBoy titles; Surfing Pikachu, Eevee, and Kabuto can all be obtained by defeating the computer.

Visually, Pokémon Stadium 2 isn't much advanced over its predecessor; other than a few minor tweaks, the game looks essentially the same as the original Pokémon Stadium. That said, the first game does not offer the new mini-games or battle modes, and the expanded roster of Pokémon that are available make it a worthwhile purchase for avid Pokémaniacs.

The battle modes in Pokémon Stadium 2 are many and varied. The controls are the same as the original, and all the rules also remain constant. Fire Pokéon do well against Plant Pokémon, Ice Pokémon melt in the face of fire attacks, and all the various elemental combinations that are fairly consistent throughout the RPG world apply here. As in most Pokémon titles, the player is able to select several Pokémon before a battle, and if one grows weak, another may be substituted in its place. This does, however, cost a turn.

A number of different battle modes also exist. There are four standard battle modes, a free battle mode in which players can face off against their friends, an updated Gym Leader Castle, and two Pokémon League Tournaments. Additionally, it is now possible for four players to take part in battles. Each of these modes offers different rewards and different objectives for playing; the Gym Leader Castle mode involves battles against elite Pokémon trainers, and the Pokémon League Tournaments are self-explanatory. Once again, having Pokémon from the GameBoy titles is critical; without a well-trained monster to throw up against others, chances for success are made much slimmer, and the rewards(bragging rights, mostly) more scanty.

Pokémon Stadium 2 is set for a North American release on March 26th. Featuring nearly every Pokémon in existence, a wide array of battle modes, four-player support, colorful graphics, and the ability to transfer Pokémon from other games, this is one fans of the series will be sure to want. Check out RPGamer's Pokémon Stadium 2 coverage for more information about this title.

by Andrew Long


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