Ever since the release of the first handheld Pokémon games in 1996, the series has only ever gone from strength-to-strength.

The games were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. Released on the GameBoy, Red and Blue were the originals in the series. Red was granted a makeover eight years later in 2004 as Fire Red, along with a remake of Blue but under a new title that reflected the original Japanese release, Leaf Green.

I didn’t play Fire Red until a few years ago, and having now played it, there are a few reasons why I think the remakes are actually better than the originals (ducks for cover). I have a feeling this may not be a popular opinion but I will explain the reasoning behind it via three points.

  1. Better Graphics


    The graphical upgrade that Game Freak made with Fire Red really brought this generation of Pokémon into the 21st century. Long gone are the vaguely shaded colours (or lack thereof) from the original generation. The way the players now interact with the world around them and the Pokémon with which they travel is displayed in a whole new and more engaging way. Being able to see the green of the trees, the blue of the sea and the plethora of colours that the Pokémon of the world come in enhances ever single aspect of the game. It may seem vain to judge a game on its aesthetics but in this case it really makes the difference.

  2. Running shoes


    For anyone that ever played Pokémon Red and Blue you know that for how wonderful a game it was it was seriously lacking in certain areas, and the speed and flow of the game was most definitely one of them. Game Freak obviously knew the flaws that were in the originals; no one could blame them or the game for the way it was back in the day as there was only so much they could do with the engines and tools they had at their disposal. But Game Freak, being the professionals that they are, knew these issues and not only acknowledged them but also put in place a counter-measure to rectify this. Running shoes may well be the most important change made to these games.

  3. Additional Islands


    In addition to all the other changes they made in the main game, Gmaefreak also introduced a post game which allowed the players to continue their Pokémon journey in a brand new region, taking us outside of Kanto. The additional islands and the story that came with them were huge nods to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire as the main mission on the new islands is a fetch mission.

Overall the remakes are fully rounded improvement on the originals, and for anyone wanting to get a feel for the first games in the series I would very much advise that you give these a bash first.