I’ve known about this rom hack for awhile now. Since I’m a good way through the original anime now I figured it was a good time to try it out and see how faithful it is. I will say I am very impressed with this game. It uses the same graphics and engine as Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen. I’m only in the middle of the Viridian Forest so far. Everything is completely redesigned. I’m in aww of the more animesque Pallet Town and larger Viridian City. My Pokemon instincts were trying to take me through the Viridian Forest the same route in the games, which doesn’t exist. I stumbled through it, but that was a good thing.
I started out just like Ash Ketchum. I stayed up late watching TV and ended up going to get my first Pokemon in my pajamas because I was so late. The only criticism I have so far is I never felt a connection with Pikachu. It hits the same beats as the first two episodes of the anime, only in the span of 5-10 minutes. I ran into my sparrow, had to deal with an unwieldy Pikachu, and ended up shielding my new buddy from danger. I admit seeing Ho-Oh’s large sprite flying by was mesmerizing, the highlight of the opening bit. Unlike the episode it never shows how Pikachu feels. Heck it doesn’t even follow you outside your ball. It’s a shame since that’s the main glue of the anime.
I made it to Virdian City, fought Team Rocket off, and got yelled by Misty (who does not actually follow you around constantly). I realized in Viridian Forest I was not limited to only Pokemon Ash had in the anime. I was free to catch anyone. I ran into a Pidgeotto and caught it like Ash, but passed on Caterpie. I hope to give Pidgeotto lots of use to make up for it’s lack of anime appearances. It’s also here I learned there is a beautiful day to night cycle. I ended my journey today fighting the Samurai. Naturally he’s much easier to take in this type of media. I look forward to discovering what my own interpretation of Ash’s journey becomes.