Author Topic: Pokemon Yellow (SNT)/Lei Dian Huang Bi Ka Qiu Chuan Shuo  (Read 1123 times)

KingPepe

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 693
    • View Profile
Pokemon Yellow (SNT)/Lei Dian Huang Bi Ka Qiu Chuan Shuo
« on: August 17, 2014, 11:03:08 AM »


Shenzhen Nanjing Technology is not the kind of  bootleg developer (or publisher) that's generally associated with quality. While they're known for porting RPGs from newer consoles, a lot of them generally don't turn out well. Of course, they're considered to be much better than the company Waixing, who were doing similar things at the time. Yet, SNT's RPGs either horribly unbalanced and will usually reuse assets from earlier games. One of their more notable contributions was a backport of Final Fantasy VII to the NES. From a technical standpoint, it is impressive but the general SNT balance issues holds it back from being actually good.

It's other notable contribution is a game called Lightning Emperor Pikachu's Legend but it's also commonly referred to as Pokemon Yellow. (Due to the fact that it uses the storyline from the original Yellow game.) As a port, it's a strange mix of Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen and Pokemon Yellow while using assets from other games. This game is generally said to be SNT's only good/noteworthy game. Is this SNT's true crowning achievement or is it just like the rest of their RPG ports? Let's see...

Graphics – 8/10
The graphics were ported from Fire Red/Leaf Green, Yellow, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, Pokemon Gold/Silver and the GBC Harvest Moon game. The strange thing is despite the graphics coming from so many games, they all blend together well (with a minor exception) including the GBC Harvest Moon graphics.

The overworld mainly uses graphics from FireRed/LeafGreen which was probably the best choice. The original overworld graphics from Pokemon Yellow were rather simplistic which worked fine on the Game Boy's screen but in the case of Waixing's Pokemon Red (which was their own Pokemon Yellow port), it feels a bit empty and repetitive on a screen much bigger. FireRed/LeafGreen had much more detailed graphics even when squashed down into 3 colors and it looks much better on a bigger screen. SNT even went far enough to the point where the player and even the NPC are rendered in two palettes to make it more colorful although it's done in a way where half of the sprite has one palette and the other half has a different one. This kind of makes the trainer and some NPCs look like they were wearing gloves. The NPC trainers themselves have a bit of a flaw however. In the original game, every trainer type has a specific overworld sprite which allows you to easily label which NPC it is once you battle him/her. In this port, NPC trainers can use any sprite. I've seen what look like black belt trainers on the overworld that turn out to be youngsters or psychics instead. You can't even rely on the NPC's gender; some NPC trainers may use a girl sprite but will turn out to be a Youngster or a Hiker instead. It makes identifying them harder and because of this, you can't prepare your team.

The battle screens and menus were done pretty well. Due to how small the original battle screens were, SNT enlarged the battle window to a point where it's not taking up the whole screen (which would've made the battle window look more empty) and put a border around it which makes it look rather nice. They did something similar to the menus as well and kept with the Pikachu theme. With the exception of the R/S/E legendaries that do make it in, all of the Pokemon use their sprites from Gold/Silver and will even play a 2-sprite animation using sprites from both games. Most of the Pokemon themselves look accurate; there's some minor hiccups either due to the NES palette limits or SNT deciding not to make as many palettes as possible but...there's no excuse for poor Fearow and Hitmonlee here:

As for the R/S/E legendaries themselves...well, Kyogre looks fine here for the most part:

As for Groudon and Rayquaza...:

They weren't treated as nicely as you could probably tell. The graphics for the attacks are a mixed bag; Some don't have an animation at all (Tickle, Sword Dance) while others have an animation that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. (Bite has what looks like two gears crushing the opponent in between and Encore just has sparkles surrounding the player)

There's also some rather strange glitches and inconsistencies. Sometimes when an NPC walks around, you might notice the NPC will be turning in some cases. Cerulean Cave feels like a graphical mess in some areas; the ladders use a totally different style that looks way off, the water in Mewtwo's room meshes with the land tiles in a poor way, you can see Mewtwo's area if you're just on the third basement floor if you stay near the far left and there's one area where it's possible you can walk off a bridge, walk around on land and then walk back onto the bridge without a problem. Another weird inconsistency is the map layouts for the Pewter City Museum and Silph Co. If you never played Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, these may not seem like much but if you did, these might look awfully familiar:

For the most part, the graphics look pretty good. SNT decided to make up for the use of a bigger screen in a lot of places and were able to downsize the more detailed FR/LG sprites correctly. There are some inconsistencies and glitches but you probably won't notice them for the most part.

Sound – 4/10
SNT's sound engine can be a hit or a miss for people; either you'll dislike it or don't mind. Some tracks like their Final Fantasy VII title screen music actually sounds decent. The music in this game is ported from Ruby/Sapphire for some strange reason. A lot of it sounds off either in tempo and/or notes-wise compared to the original. Interesting enough, one of the square channels in the Slateport City rendition was supposed to hit really high notes at a certain point of the song but it glitches a bit and plays low notes instead. Generally, I can stand SNT's music but I was never the biggest fan of Pokemon's music (I never despised it and while I can say the music from Pokemon is good, I don't have a lot of favorite tracks either.) and SNT's sound engine doesn't exactly mesh well with it, especially when it's not composed properly which can make it obnoxious sometimes. I generally find myself turning off the music occasionally while playing. I will give it this though, I do like the track that plays during the trainer battles. I always find myself enjoying SNT's music more when they use the percussion quite a bit in a track and this no exception.

The SFX isn't anything noteworthy; there's less SFX here than in any Pokemon game (although on the plus side, it doesn't beep at you when the Pokemon is low on health) but the SFX used here is usually quiet and doesn't stick out. They're usually low buzzes or metallic bloops that don't stick out and don't add a lot to the game.

I'll be honest, you could make an argument that you're not losing much with the music off. Except for one track, the music and sound effects don't do an awful lot for me here. For some people, they could say the whole soundtrack sounds bad for the most part. To me, it's all right but sometimes I get the need to turn the sound off .

Controls – 10/10
It's kind of hard to judge the controls on an RPG game since you're not doing complex tasks. You move at a rather decent pace, possibly even faster than the walk speed in the original games. For some that are used to FireRed/LeafGreen, the lack of a Bicycle and maybe even running shoes might be a problem however. The menu navigation works fine; the only issue I've noticed is that if you try scrolling through the items really fast, there's a noticeable lag in the controls but you have to be smashing the D-Pad so fast for that. Basically, the controls are fine for this and there isn't much else to say about it.

Gameplay – 8/10
There's quite a bit to talk about so I'll have to split this into several sections:

Kanto and the Storyline
Like I said, it follows through the storyline from Yellow so while this also based on Fire Red/Leaf Green, don't expect the Sevii Islands to show up. You basically go through Kanto the same way, defeating all of the gym leaders in the same order and then fight the Elite Four. One slight change is that due to the department store being removed, you need to get a cup of tea from an NPC for the Saffron City security guards; this was taken from FireRed/LeafGreen and it basically makes up for the loss of the vending machines. You also might've noticed you can't name your player (who goes by Ash Ketchum's Chinese name here) or your rival as well. However, unlike most bootleg games, there's actually post-game content. You can still visit the Cerulean Cave and catch Mewtwo but SNT adds more to this; Lorelei (one of the Elite Four memebers) gives you a ticket to visit Navel Rock (one of the original Sevii Islands that you could only go to through an event) that allows you to catch the missing Pokemon (the ones that involved you making a choice between two of them, Aerodactyl, and Lapras) as well as the Gold/Silver generation legendary birds. After this, you can fight the Elite Four a 2nd time (where they have a stronger team and Jessie and James are the champion), fight one of the developers in a building in Celadon City where he has Level 100 legendaries and get Mew from him if you have almost all the Pokemon. Basically, SNT cared enough here to let you catch them all and get a 100%. (well, there is one exception to this which I shall explain later)

The world is left mainly intact but there's quite a few layout changes. I've mentioned earlier about the  Pewter City Museum and Silph Co. but even other areas like the S.S. Anne and the caves had changed layouts and are generally much simpler in design. There are some layout glitches like I mentioned; one example I've noticed is Route 10 (east of Vermilion City) where there's a patch of grass that appears to be solid and can't be walked on for some reason. The only area that truly got cut was Cycling Road and this was most likely due to the fact you can't get a Bicycle. Also a lot of the buildings have been changed or removed and a few NPCs have been altered; some of these like the Game Corner prize building (to make things better, you can't even talk to the woman) or the Cycling Shop still remain but with their original purpose removed. One obvious problem is Celadon City; the department building was turned into Celadon Mansion and there's no shop to replace it so you would need to run back to Lavender Town to grab items. There's even NPCs that appear to give out items but you don't seem to receive them. For example: One lady in the Celadon Mansion supposedly hands out a Silk Scarf but it doesn't end up in your backpack. Also some gym leaders don't hand out TMs for some reason; most notably Brock, who appears to be handing you TM34 and describes how to use them but you don't even have it.

The interesting thing is that HMs can be replaced in this port and aren't even required to be taught in order to be used! You basically use an HM's function by accessing the HM option on the pause menu and using whichever one you desire (Although some like Cut could be done by pressing A on the tree or in Strength's case, are activated once you have the HM) which some Pokemon players might find it as a relief. The only noticeable thing with any HMs is Surf; instead of being able to surf into any body of water, you need to find a staircase or bridge leading into it in order to use it.

The Pokemon
The way you can find Pokemon in this game is mostly similar to Fire Red/Leaf Green although some Pokemon were relocated to their Yellow locations. (Tangela hangs out at the Safari Zone and Abras are found at Route 5) A lot of wild Pokemon that you couldn't find in Yellow can actually be found in the same locations. (although Koffing is in the Rock Tunnel and Meowth is at Route 12) However, the lack of in-game trades have placed those Pokemon elsewhere but to make things weirder, Pokemon like Farfetch'd and Lickitung don't even use their Yellow locations. (Lickitung just happens to be swimming around Cinnibar Island by the way) As I mentioned before, the Game Corner prize room doesn't function so Porygon just happens to be relocated to Cerulean Cave. However, some Pokemon like Lapras, Aerodactyl and Chansey appear to have been relocated for no given reason. Also to make matters worse, some Pokemon can only be encountered once and never to be found again so you better have Pokeballs with you at all times! As I said, it is possible to catch them all and for some reason (and you might've picked up on this as I was talking about the game), SNT even included Gold/Silver legendaries (excluding Celebi) for you to catch as well! However, I did say there was an exception earlier and that was with the R/S/E legendary weather trio (Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza); the final trainer you battle with the level 100 legendary Pokemon uses those three and when he checks your Pokemon, they're not required to be caught in order to get Mew. There's no other hint in the game as to where they are so it kind of implies they might be unobatinable.

On a more minor note, Pikachu doesn't follow you around like in Yellow and can even be evolved into Raichu! Of course, this means there's no friendship factor involved in this game and Bulbasaur's requirement is to simply beat the Cerulean City gym.

Battling and Leveling Up
The battling mechanics are based off of Fire Red/Leaf Green's but cut back a bit. First off, there's no abilities, natures, IVs or EVs so every Pokemon remains the same and they're all vulnerable to everything but other than that, all of the Pokemon appear to retain their original base stats and most of their moves. One interesting thing is that after every battle, you can pick up items or even TMs which is an interesting feature. (FireRed/LeafGreen had an ability known as Pickup that was similar to this which may or may not have been the inspiration) The types that were introduced in Gen II still remain here so Pokemon like Magneton still retain their steel typing and Bite still has its dark type.

The moves that the Pokemon learn are sort of a strange area. Their level-up movesets appear to be based off of Gold/Silver although quite a few moves replaced. Some are understandable as several of them rely on certain mechanics left out (Double battles, genders, friendship), some moves belong to certain Gen II and Gen III Pokemon only, some of them were a bit more complicated to implement but then there are some which don't have an apparent reason. (Slash and Spike Cannon for example) Some movesets appear to be altered despite the original move existing! In some cases this can be good (Machoke gets Rock Slide) but there are others where it's just not understandable. (Sandshrew, Mankey and Paras losing Scratch for Tickle, forcing them to be defenseless when caught.)

The TM/HM movelist is based off of FireRed/LeafGreen although the last 9 TMs (also Rock Smash's and Waterfall's HMs are gone although this might be due to the fact that the Sevii Islands that require those don't appear here) are missing and the others receiving changes, either because the original move was removed or no apparent reason. (Harden taking Flamethrower's TM spot). The compatibility of these moves with Pokemon have changed for the better (Pokemon like Charizard, Blastoise or Scyther being able to learn Recover) or for worse (Clefable being unable to learn any special attack TMs). The strange thing is there are some cases where a Pokemon can't learn a TM despite knowing the move during level-up. (Hitmonlee is unable to learn Recover through TM but can learn it by level up) It's quite amusing to see a Pokemon learn a move that shouldn't know though. (So how can an Arbok use Focus Punch?)

Now here's the major flaw of the game and evidence that SNT still can't quite grasp the concept of balance: leveling up. At first it appears fine but from 31 and up, EXP becomes much harder to gain and will have to force you to grind at certain points; even more compared to the original games. Compared to their original games, the EXP limit for some reason much higher. To make matters worse, some fully evolved Pokemon will only give out 100 EXP when you defeat them in battle and it kind of limits your training areas in some cases. By the time you fight Koga, your highest leveled Pokemon is most likely at Level 35 since there's no other decent area to train at.

The trainers for the most part have remained from Pokemon Yellow without much differences. (although some may have been cut) The only noticeable changes I've seen were Lt. Surge having a Magnemite and a Voltorb added to his team and there's two karate masters (who appear as Sages from Gold/Silver) in the Fighting Dojo; both having their own Hitmon Pokemon, a few fighting types and Scyther/Electabuzz for some reason but nothing I would say is completely out of the ordinary or affects the game largely. Some of the newer stuff such as the Elite Four being buffed up on the 2nd  visit isn't exactly cheap although like I said, the final trainer in Celadon has legendaries that are at Level 100 but even if you're Pokemon are underleveled, he's not entirely hard either if you're prepared.

Conclusion - 7.8/10
Basically, it's Pokemon Yellow for the NES...or Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen for the NES...screw it, it's Pokemon for the NES and it works...by Shenzhen Nanjing Technology of all developers! Yeah, there's some notable flaws but this is probably the closest thing you'll get to having Pokemon for the NES. I would definitely give it a try. (although if you haven't played Pokemon before and don't know Chinese, I wouldn't entirely recommend it.)

It's a real shame that SNT hasn't produced another game as good as this. It feels like they actually had potential to make a decent game but after this, they never bothered. Maybe it was a result of the in-house development team getting screwed over by the publisher? Who knows...


Koh1fds

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Pokemon Yellow (SNT)/Lei Dian Huang Bi Ka Qiu Chuan Shuo
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 02:12:41 PM »
This game have some more flaws. 1). I could be wrong, but it seems like enemy's Pokemons don't have any A.I. They use moves completely at random. 2). In first two cities NPC walk a little bit (patrolling small areas), in all other cities NPC standing still. 3). Not only trainer's overworld sprites doesn't match with battling sprites, but some times you may encounter invisible trainers. I think developers made that all overworld sprites match with battling, but then a giant glitch happens and all overworld sprites become a mess. For example at the end of the S.S. Anne stands regular guy, but in an ordinary house in Vermilion City stands a captain.
Also music can sound different on real Famiclones.
Bad English
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 02:15:14 PM by Koh1fds »

KingPepe

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 693
    • View Profile
Pokemon Yellow (SNT)/Lei Dian Huang Bi Ka Qiu Chuan Shuo
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 01:21:30 PM »
1) Some of them that generally use potions do know to use them when their Pokemon is at low health but yeah, the AI is rather random for the most part. Then again, I can't really say the AI in the original Pokemon games were completely smart and it doesn't really matter for NPC trainers unless like your Pokemon are actually under leveled.
2) I don't feel that's necessarily a major flaw; it is a slight loss in detail but I don't think it makes much of a difference.
3)
Quote:
 
In the original game, every trainer type has a specific overworld sprite which allows you to easily label which NPC it is once you battle him/her. In this port, NPC trainers can use any sprite. I've seen what look like black belt trainers on the overworld that turn out to be Youngsters or Psychics instead. You can't even rely on the NPC's gender; some NPC trainers may use a girl sprite but will turn out to be a Youngster or a Hiker instead. [/quote]
I believe you missed this? :P Also from what I recall, I don't remember any "invisible trainers".

Koh1fds

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Pokemon Yellow (SNT)/Lei Dian Huang Bi Ka Qiu Chuan Shuo
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 10:20:54 AM »
KingPepe
Oct 2 2014, 01:21:30 PM
I don't remember any "invisible trainers".[/quote]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01vl2bKJxwA
I mean, that "trainer's overworld sprites doesn't match with battling sprites" can be a glitch. And invisible trainers can be a part of the same glitch. Maybe this is innacurate mapper emulation.