Are the Early Games Worth Playing Today?
Over the past five to ten years I must've seen that question asked a half-dozen times. "How are Red & Blue? Should I play them today?" "I found a copy of Red/Blue Version; should I get it?" "Should I get Silver Version or the remakes?" My answer is, & always will be, yes. You should play the originals; it's good to see where the series started. You need that experience; even if it turns out that you don't like it, it's important. You won't know if you do like it till you try it. If you get an early game, have trouble with it, & wind up finding it more frustrating than fun, you can always stop.
It's like asking if you should try an Atari game, or any other old game. You won't know if it'll be fun or not till you pick up a cartridge & a joystick & actually play a game. You won't catch a disease; you won't become chemicaly dependent on a game system, so try it! It's harmless & you might like it.
Now that that's out-of-the-way, I must note that these games are older. You need to know what to expect.
Pokemon Red & Blue are older games. Newer games tend to explain themselves, often holding players hands as they guide the player through difficult sections; older games expect you to experiment, to try things & make mistakes. If you want to enjoy the games, you must accept this. Some people may find the experimentation frustrating; others may enjoy the challenge.
Pokemon Red & Blue are not open world games, but they're not perfectly linier either. Players progress through a series of towns sepperated by maze-like paths, through fields, forests, mountains, & caves. I like mazes, so I enjoyed the games, but some people may find the maze-like paths frustrating.
In battles, Pokemon Red & Blue have a few moves, like Fire Spin, Wrap, & Bind, which prevent opponents from making another move for several turns. Most people found them frustrating, so they were changes the Gold & Silver. Over time I became used to the way the moves worked in Red & Blue, so I did not like the change.
In Pokemon Red & Blue, Psychic Pokemon have no real weaknesses. Rumor has it Ghost Pokemon were supposed to be strong against psychic-types, but someone reversed the games' type effectiveness by mistake. Even if true, the type alignment chart in the instruction manual noted that Ghost Pokemon were weak to Psychic types. What's that old programmer saying? "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"
I've heard some other moves don't work the way they were designed, but, again, the games were designed for experimentation. Players would learn what each move did by trying them. Without a description of the move, there was no obvious error. And that leads us to...
A lot of YouTubers & the like have made videos about the early Pokemon games, noting every glitch fans have discovered in 20+ years experimenting with Red & Blue. Strangely, I don't remember the games being that buggy...
I got Pokemon Blue about the same time my family got out first new cmputer, a Compaq running Windows 98. We had other computers, a Compaq running Windows 95 & an older PC-clone running DOS. These were gifts; used machines given to us by friends from church & my dad's workplace. They wound up in my room after we got the new PC. I had an Atari 2600, but it was a special machine my dad had to hook up. Most of my gaming was done on the PCs or my Game Boy. The PC games were fun, but they weren't stable. The Windows 95 PC regulary froze, threw illegal opperations, or crashed. The DOS PC was a bit more stable, but it also locked up regulary enough for Control+Alt+Delete to be burned into my memory. Game Boy Games didn't do that, not even Pokemon.
Pokemon Red & Blue's most obvious bugs require players to go through several steps. The games don't lock up or crash when a player opens a menu, clicks on an item, or takes a step. In normal situations they opperate normaly. That's more than I can say for PC games in the 90's. Shoot, that's more than I can say for PC games today.
I've heard Pokemon Red & Blue throw a lot of errors behind-the-scenes, but none of those errors are obvious, unless you're an obsessive fan trying to reverse engineer their favorite game to see what the programmers dummied-out. Fans have had 20+ years to examine the finialized games; GameFreak had 5 years to test the games while developing them. That's something most people don't point out when they say Pokemon Red/Blue were too buggy.
GameFreak might've been an inexperienced developer, but the games were complex, more complex than the average RPG, & they worked. You have to give them credit for that.
As far as I know, TRsRockin' was the first website to document Pokemon's glitches. (Other sites listed the Missingno code, but as a cheat code, not a glitch.) The webmaster, TR Rose, asked peopek to email her bugs they found, & she posted their emails. Most of these were variations on the Missingno glitch, item duplication & the like, tho she note a few other interesting things, like an invisible PC in one part of the game. As far as I know TR Rose didn't try most of the glitches herself; she merely documented what folks told her. One story involved someone's cartridge randomly broadcasting gameplay footage to the wrong TV whenever a certain show was on air. Before she shut the site down, TR Rose developed sections on other games, which also listed bugs people would send her.
Another website, Glitch City Labratories, took things to the next level. They tried to reverse engineer the Pokemon games, to see what the programmers left out. This went on till 2018, 2019, or 2020. A hacker, not associated wit the site, stold data from Nintendo, including source code & early builds for dozens of games. These included Pokemon games. Some of Glitch City Labratories' contributors tried to add the stolen data to Glitch City's database, so the webmasters shut the site down. They kept an archive of their work up tho, & the site's other members started a new website dedicated to discovering the mysteries of Pokemon, Glitch City Wiki.
And that brings up an interesting point: some of these bugs are fun to play around with. When I finished the main story, I tried a few of them. They provided a sort of post-game experience, something the games lacked.
Alright, I'll admit it; I used the Missingno glitch to get past the league. 100+ Lemonades, Max Revives, & Rare Candies are useful.