Pokémon Stadium Review – Definitive 50 N64 Game #31

The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games

The N64 controller featured a unique port that allowed a number of accessories to be plugged right into it. Best known among these are the Rumble Pak and Memory Pak, but Pokémon Stadium also gave us the Transfer Pak. This allowed certain N64 games to interact with GameBoy and GameBoy Color cartridges.

Pokémon Stadium allows you to free your pocket monsters from the bonds of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and battle with them in glorious 3D.

Of the N64’s various Pokémon spinoffs, the title that tied most directly to the GameBoy games was Pokémon Stadium. Functioning as more of a bundle of companion applications than a game in its own right, Stadium allows players to perform the types of Poké battles they would be doing on their GameBoys right on their televisions.

Pokémon Stadium’s main mode is the titular Stadium area. This is where you can use either your Pokémon or provided rental Pokémon to battle in a series of cups across several difficulties. It’s fun for anyone really invested in Pokémon strategy, but maybe a bit tedious otherwise.

Of course, you can also take on your friends directly in some of the game’s other modes. Again, with either your own monsters or rentals. No doubt a serious draw for competitive Poké masters.

At Stadium’s Gym Leader Castle, players can take on the Kanto region’s gym leaders and elite four. The best part is, every time you beat this mode, you win one random Pokémon from a pool of eight. The classic starters as well as other sought-after pocket monsters like Eevee are available here to take back into your GameBoy game.

Pokémon Stadium also allows you to play the original games on your television. Still in classic GameBoy graphics, mind you. Lacking a Super GameBoy or GameBoy Player equivalent of its own, Pokémon Stadium provides a rare opportunity to play Nintendo handheld games on your TV through the N64, just only the Pokémon ones.

Stadium’s emulator also allows you to play through the classic games at 2x or 3x speed, a welcome addition considering the old games’ slow pace.

Several other handy features included in Pokémon Stadium are found at the game’s Pokémon Lab, where you can arrange your many Pokémon and items, browse your Pokédex, and trade with another player (provided you have another Transfer Pak available).

For just a little something extra, Pokémon Stadium also includes a stack of mini games! The game’s Kids Club area features 9 Mario Party-esque games, with Sushi-Go-Round featuring Lickitung being the standout.

Pokémon Stadium was followed by a direct sequel on the N64 which expanded compatibility to Gold, Silver, and Crystal, in addition to the original Pokémon titles. The concept was continued on the GameCube with Colosseum and Gale of Darkness.

Let me know what you think of Pokémon Stadium and the Definitive 50 in the comments section below. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe. Check back next week for entry #30 on the Definitive 50 N64 games.