Pokémon Crystal Clear

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Pokémon Crystal Clear
Protagonist: You
Genre: RPG
Monster Collecting
Platforms: Game Boy Color
Release Date: June 2019
Developer: ShockSlayer
Publisher: ShockSlayer
Franchise: Pokémon (romhack)


Pokémon Crystal Clear is a romhack of Pokémon Crystal, a game originally developed by Game Freak. While Crystal Clear does share a lot of similarities to Crystal, it mainly stands out for its vast open-world design.

Why It Rocks

Note: A lot of the reasons why Pokémon Crystal rocks also apply to this romhack. The following list is either features that were not included in Crystal or improvements on features included in Crystal.

  1. There are 30 options for a starter Pokémon in Crystal Clear, including the original starters for both the Kanto and Johto regions.
  2. From the beginning of the game, trainer customization is vast, and you can choose from a variety of trainer classes and even color combinations. You can even be a grunt in Team Rocket if you so choose.
  3. You can choose to start your journey in either Kanto or Johto, and can get to explore either region freely while crossing regions.
  4. You can explore the entirety of both regions and cross over across regions without the need of any HMs. However, you can still use HMs for optional exploration to find various items and Pokémon. No specific badges are required for the use of HMs.
  5. Each Pokémon has a personalized miniature sprite as opposed to generic miniature sprites when displayed in menus. These sprites are even properly colored for shiny Pokémon.
  6. Pokémon can show their DVs on the menu screen, and along with them, their Hidden Power type and power.
  7. You can catch literally every single Pokémon in the first two generations. You can buy an unlimited number of all evolution items, and an NPC known as the Tradeback Guy can help you evolve Pokémon that require trading to evolve, such as Kadabra into Alakazam, Haunter into Gengar, or Scyther into Scizor. This effectively means that you can have a 100% complete Pokédex without trading or special events. You can even find Mew and Celebi, two mythicals that are normally event-exclusive.
  8. There are a few unique NPCs with interesting teams. In fact, these NPCs can comprise the Elite Four and Champion battles.
  9. The gyms scale based on how many badges you have. If you have no badges, then the NPCs and Gym Leader would only use low-level pre-evolved Pokémon, regardless of which gym you challenge. On the flipside, if you have many badges, then any gym you challenge will have high-level fully-evolved Pokémon. NPCs outside of gyms also have their teams scale to how many badges you have. This ensures that you will have a somewhat consistent challenge all-around, without battles feeling way too easy or way too difficult, and without a boatload of grinding.
  10. Areas were added in this game, including a complete overhaul of Cinnabar Island and an inclusion of New Cinnabar, or the reinstatement of the Safari Zone, though the mechanics of the Safari Zone of the first generation are still unused in favor of normal wild battle mechanics.
  11. In addition, some existing NPCs, such as Mr. Fuji, Eusine, and Blaine were all given more backstory and dialogue.
  12. The entire game's ROM file can be placed on a physical cartridge and played on a real Game Boy Color as opposed to just an emulator. In fact, an NPC in the game references this and explicitly prefers physical hardware.
  13. You can buy various items to decorate your room, and you can make it look good with GBC graphics.
  14. There is a new music menu which allows you to choose from a variety of music tracks to be played in certain scenarios, such as wild battles, trainer battles, and gym battles. These include GBC mixes of other songs from the franchise and songs from entirely separate sources.\
  15. You can Fly to any location you want, whether you visited that location or not. You can also freely Fly between the Kanto and Johto regions.
  16. There are various quality-of-life improvements that allow for easier teambuilding, item obtention, and navigation.

Bad Qualities

  1. All of the mechanics from the original Crystal were kept here, as this is a romhack. This includes Pokémon storage, no abilities, and limited items.
  2. When you have a trainer's phone number, they still call any time. This issue was not remedied.
  3. There is no rival and no criminal organization in this game whatsoever, effectively stripping it of any overarching story. While getting badges, fighting the Elite Four, meeting NPCs, and exploring the region in general are all fun, they do not make a story. In addition, so much of this is optional.

Trivia

  1. The real life Kanto and Kansai regions in Japan are neighbors just like the Johto and Kanto regions in the games.
  2. Pokémon Gold and Silver were originally meant to be the last games in the Pokémon franchise.