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Pokémon Go! Go!:






Story by EAGB's Val and Eric

We couldn't believe our eyes. It was a new Pokémon game. Upon closer inspection, however, the tell tale signs of a pirated cart soon became apparent. There weren't any Nintendo or Gamefreak trademarks, nor were there any English instruction on the packaging. Everything printed on the box was in Chinese. The literal translation of the title even made us laugh. It said "Monster Go!Go!Go!", and we couldn't help but snigger at the insane title that the Pirates had used.

Probably a Chinese version of Pokémon Red or Blue we thought, but the salesman was adamant that it was a totally new platform game. We still couldn't believe it, as there is no news anywhere of Nintendo ever developing a GB Pokémon platform game. This time, it was the salesman who laughed, as he popped the cart into a Color Game Boy and showed us the opening screens from the game.

To say that we were totally freaked-out would be an understatement. Our eyes popped, and our tongues did an Ally McBeal. There he was, Pikachu, jumping daintily around the screen catching electric rods as Meowth and Bellsprout tried desperately to deter his efforts. Better still, the game was using a Super Game Boy palette that was exceptionally colorful. The animation too, was well programed, and Pikachu looked exactly like Pikachu and moved exactly as you would expect an electric rat to move.

With bated breath, we paid the money and bought the game. We wanted to buy more, but unfortunately, it was the last one left. Seems that nearly every Pokémon fan in Singapore had bought a copy. Feeling an elation that can hardly be described, we brought the game home and settled down for a serious bout of Monster Go!Go!Go!

We were still skeptical about the game after playing for nearly an hour. It was truly a new Pokémon Platform game that was fun and enjoyable, but somehow, I felt as though I had played the exact same game before but with different characters. Val, ever, analytical, decided that we do a ROM check.

Using our trusty GB Xchanger, we downloaded the ROM to our computer and ran some tests using the GBList utility from Marat Fayzullin. The first thing we did was to check who had developed the game. Lo and behold, it was Infogrames! Suddenly, everything clicked into place, and I realized why Monster Go!Go!Go! seemed so familiar. Monster Go!Go!Go! was actually Infograme's Smurf 3!

In essence, Monster Go!Go!Go! is a reincarnation of Smurf 3, but with added Color Game Boy and Super Game Boy support. All the Pirates did was to remove the Smurfs and add some Pokémon. They also made some cosmetic changes to the background scenery and character sprites, but everything else, like the platform levels and game mechanics remain the same.

Although we don't know much about game programing, we must admit that the Pirates did put some effort into the construction of Monster Go!Go!Go! The game played well, the controls were excellent and the animations were amusing. Moreover, the novelty of seeing our favorite Pokemon characters like Pikachu and Meowth in the totally alien setting of a platform game, made it even more enjoyable.

Pokémon starved as we are, we are hesitant to condemn Monster Go!Go!Go! despite the fact that it is illegal. We had a hell of a time playing it, and we enjoyed it tremendously, and hopefully Nintendo will take the cue and produce an official Pokémon Platform game. Until that happens, Monster Go!Go!Go! will remain in our Color Game Boy.


Part 2


Story by EAGB's Ben Kosmina

On my trip to Singapore, I went sightseeing, and as you'd probably guess, saw many various pirate carts and multi carts for the GameBoy. However, what caught my eye was the 'US' version of 'Pocket Monsters Go! Go!'. It seems that due to demand for the cart, the pirates created a new version of the game, with US style packaging and English instructions. (As you may remember, the previous instructions were in Chinese).

Yes, things have changed in this newer version of Pocket Monsters Go! Go!. Although nothing has changed in the game's programming (except the header, which has changed from 'Smurf's Nightmare' to 'Pocket Monster'), the cart and packaging have endured plenty of cosmetic changes.

The cart is an extremely good duplicate of the real Nintendo carts. It has everything from Nintendo Game Boy markings to a little sticker with a Goomba on the back where the screw is to prevent you from opening it. The pirates even went to a lot of trouble with the front label, putting Nintendo's logo and seal of quality as well as a rating with the ESRB. It even has its own Game Code (DMG-GO-USA).

As well as producing an excellent copy of the cartridge, the pirates went to a lot of trouble producing an accurate copy of the US style boxes. Once again, the pirates have put Nintendo's logo and seal of quality, as well as the ESRB's 'Everyone' rating. It also has the GameBoy Color holographic strip down the side. 'Pocket Monsters Go! Go!' has even got a great cover picture!

The back of the box once again contains Nintendo's seal of quality (which the pirates seem to be very proud of), along with Nintendo's fine print (i.e. 'This official seal is your assurance that Nintendo has approved the quality of this product...' and 'Made in Japan, Licensed by Nintendo...' etc.). The game's description is merely a cut-and-paste job of Pokemon Red's description, while the screen shots are that of a hacked Kirby's Dreamland 2 with Pikachu as Kirby. Oddly, that is not what the game plays like.

The US version of 'Pocket Monsters Go! Go!' is a pirate's milestone, because it is the first pirated Game Boy game to have the cardboard game holder. (All previous games have had the old plastic game holders.) The English manual's dimensions are also pretty accurate, and there is no noticeable fuzziness or misprinting of the manual. If it weren't for the fact that it was missing the Game Boy information, the plastic slip that the new games come in and standard advertising material, I would swear that this game wasn't pirated. But then again, I'm no pro when it comes to spotting pirates.

It's pretty interesting that the pirates have gone to so much trouble to create a US version of 'Pocket Monsters Go! Go!'. It must have proved to be so popular if that was the case. It just confirms what we already know: "We want more games starring those cute monsters! (Actually, a Pokemon platform game would be nice...)" Nintendo, are you listening?

Screenshots:


These screens were from the game manual, and do not depict the awesome pre-programmed palette for the Color Game Boy. On the Color Game Boy, Pikachu is a lovely yellow.