Retro Recap

Retro Recap: Pokémon Stadium

More of a spin-off title rather than a stand-alone game, yet we can’t ignore the commercial successes of a game like this. This week’s Retro Recap is of course, Pokémon Stadium!

Everyone seemed to have access to Pokémon Stadium one way or another, be it a copy of their own or a friend who you like just that little bit more because he let you play. Either way, virtually everyone has played Stadium one way or another, showing off your battle prowess.

The real talent lay in winning with the rental Pokémon that was supplied by the game. You had to question the choice of moves that were placed upon these rentals, which made the challenge all the more intense, especially when you had to face your friends’ rare candy-induced level 100 party. The ability to transfer your ‘mon’s from Red, Blue and Yellow (and Green in Japan) was a great addition and allowed you to see the masterpiece of your (mostly) hard work in fully 3-dimensional glory. Brought a tear to the eye, didn’t it?

Battle Image

The standard game mode of Stadium is that of a gym leader challenge. Similar to the handheld version, the objective is to defeat them all through a series of cups. The Pokémon that are available can either be transferred from the Gameboy game via the Transfer Pak, or can be “rented out” from the game itself. Earlier rounds don’t really pose much of a threat, however, the later stages poses a lot more strategy than just using Dragonite’s Outrage time and time again.

Even after the initial victory, Mewtwo becomes available to fight in a 6-on-1 brawl. Talk about thinking highly of yourself. If you’re one of those Pokémon Master type players, you would have defeated Mewtwo and be on your merry way. Except that wasn’t the case now was it. A super hard mode is unlocked and difficulty level cranks way up. A serious strategy is required to win the second time around. This one wasn’t for the faint-hearted…

Try these fun facts on for size:

  • The Pokémon Stadium we all came to know was actually a sequel. The first instalment was only released in Japan and contained 42 of the 151 Pokémon to battle with.
  • Trading a Pikachu from Yellow allows it to say its name, rather than the conventional cry heard from a
  • Also, using this Pikachu to beat the final round of the game lets it learn Surf


Of course, Pokémon Stadium wasn’t quite itself without those lovable mini-games. Funnily enough, this was one of my most played modes in Stadium, especially as a party piece.

It took some serious skill to be to do well in the Magikarp Splash minigame and to always be able to judge to distance to the golden Diglett in the Ekans toss wasn’t exactly a walk in the Safari Zone. How many directions could you remember for Clefairy? For a game that was essentially a console version of the handhelds battle system, it stood up pretty well, not only providing a challenging experience, but also dishing out the fun with friends too.

Did you ever have Stadium as a child and still own a copy? Or were you the type of person who went round their friend’s house frequently to play? Let us know in the comments section below!

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