1 to 4
March 28, 2001 (US)
Stadium 2 - Preview
Ever wonder what a battle between the latest Eevee evolution Espeon and the armored bug Heracross would really look like? Want to see the living palindrome Girafarig attack with both its heads? Can't live without seeing Slugma torch walking veggie Blissey? Good news, Pokemon fans! You no longer have to squint your eyes and stare at a Game Boy screen to see what these Pokemon will look like in battle. Pokemon Stadium GS is on its way.
- 251 Pokemon.
- 3D polygonal battle scenes with upgraded special effects.
- All-new gameplay modes, including new mini-games.
- Four-player battles.
- Compatible with Pokemon Blue/Red, Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal.
- Data exchange via the Transfer Pak.
- Built-in EEPROM for storing Pokemon and items on cart.
- Factor 5 Voice Compression.
Nintendo officially unveiled the sequel to the Game Boy Pokemon-compatible add-on pack at its annual Spaceworld expo in Tokyo, Japan, and it's looking good so far. Unlike in the predecessor, Pokemon Stadium (Pokemon Stadium 2 in Japan), players are no longer limited to the first 151 Pokemon. In case you haven't played the original, Pokemon Stadium enables owners of the Game Boy Pokemon games to upload their creatures to the N64 cartridge and use them in battle against other Pokemon players or the computer. While playing against human players is all about bragging rights, winning the different gameplay modes against the computer rewards players with rare Pokemon, like Eevee, Kabuto, or even the elusive Surfing Pikachu. These can in turn be transferred back to the Game Boy games. The whole link-up is made possible by the Transfer Pak, a Rumble Pak-like attachment with a Game Boy cartridge slot that was included with the original game. Whereas Pokemon Stadium interfaced only with Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow, this upgraded version of Pokemon Stadium 2 not only works with the first three games, but also the brand-new Pokemon Gold and Silver as well as Crystal. This means that you will be able to see every single one of Gold/Silver and Crystal's 251 Pokemon duke it out on your N64 in full 3D.
While you can still play Pokemon Stadium GS if you don't have the Game Boy games, keep in mind that the title was designed with "Pokemon transfer" in mind. Players can do battle using the game's built-in "Rental Pokemon", but it's all about seeing the creatures you captured and trained step into the limelight and beat the living daylights out of your friends' wretched monsters. Like in the original, battle commands are executed using the A, B and the C Buttons. A brings you to the attack selection screen, where you pick from your Pokemon's four featured attacks by pressing one of the C Buttons. For example, pressing C Up when using Jigglypuff triggers her song, C Down is a tackle, C Left is a fire ball attack, and so on. These attacks of course vary depending on which Pokemon you're using as well as its level of experience. In true RPG fashion, the monster type also has an impact on how much damage any given attack causes. For example, a grass Pokemon is weak against a fire Pokemon, fire attacks are strong against ice creatures, etc.
In addition to physical, hitpoint-depleting damage, some attacks can also cause lasting damage. If you've played Pokemon before -- or any other RPG for that matter -- you know what to expect. Poisoned Pokemon take damage every round, confused creatures attack themselves, whereas sleeping Pokemon can't attack until something awakens them. But since Stadium doesn't have a true quest mode like the Game Boy RPGs, these effects aren't lasting. All Pokemon are miraculously cured after the battles.
If one of your Pokemon is dangerously low on hitpoints (or it is being confronted by a type of Pokemon that can easily obliterate your monster type with one attack), players can hit the B button, forfeit their turn and switch it against another one. The only catch is that you need to pick your Pokemon team before you enter the battle arena -- so if you picked only Ground-type Pokemon and your opponent is bringing out the Water type Azurmarill, you're pretty much screwed.
If you've played Pokemon Stadium, then you already know what this latest incarnation looks like. Visually, the game is only slightly improved over its predecessor. However, there are a few new modes that should capture the interest of Pokemon fans, such as the "My Room" feature. Players compete to collect items that are then stored in each Pokemon's three-dimensional room. There is also a slew new mini-games, including a Pokemon counting game and a Sprint-style overhead racing game starring Donphan. You can also expect a return of the standard modes, including four brand-new cups, a tweaked Free Battle mode, an extended Gym Leader Castle and official Pokemon League tournaments.
Like its predecessor, this one's for Pokemon fans only. It all makes sense if you've got your own copy of Pokemon for Game Boy, but everyone else will probably find the turn-based battle action less than involving. We were able to check out an almost complete version of the game at Nintendo's Spaceworld Expo. The animation routines for the new Pokemon are flawless and just as engaging as the ones for the original 151 Pokemon. The "fainting" sequences are especially impressive, as no two are the same. Quite a feat for a game that stars more than 250 different creatures. On the effects side, Nintendo added a ton of new ripple, glow and shockwave effects, which are especially noticeable during the Pokeball sequences. In the end, though, this game is definitely just a deluxe version of the previous Pokemon Stadium. If that's all you're looking for, then this game delivers the goods.