(Nintendo/Game Freak, December 10, 2000)

Nintendo was resting on a huge gold mine after those original twin Pokemon games on the old Black and White Gameboy made a gigantic splash in the North American market in the late 90's. Nintendo even scored big with their innovative (yet still very limited) franchise spin-off called Pokemon Snap plus who could forget the two Pokemon Stadium games as well, all for the Nintendo 64. It was clear if Nintendo was going release any game for their N64 system that it would have to be something unique and special. Here we have 'Hey You Pikachu', a game that is so innovative that the game even gives you a free microphone kit packed in the box. How cool is that? With this new microphone you have the ability to really talk and interact with the popular Pokemon character, Pikachu. Sounds good so far doesn't it?

You play the role of a 10 year old boy who has just been summoned by none other than Pokemon expert, Professor Oak for training. The Professor gives you the chance to find your own very own Pikachu creature. If you don't know what a Pikachu is then it's a cute little yellow mouse type animal with the ability to use electricity as a defensive attack. To get the Pikachu's attention you must actually talk to the little yellow guy and hopefully the two of you will become friends. The main problem here is that the Pikachu creature you have to talk to here is very stubborn and you won't have very much control over him (or is it her? I don't know) either. If you don't say the right thing or you don't it loud enough or the Pikachu just doesn't understand you then he will ignore you altogether and do his own thing. This happens all too often and way more than what I would have liked.

If you're a fan of the original Pokemon Role Playing Games then this title is going to bore you to death. For all the hours that I played this I never got into a battle with rival trainers and their Pokemon, I can't collect them all so there are no bagging rights if you find 151 Pokemon, and my Pikachu here can't gain any levels either. It's like a Pokemon game with the life sucked out of it!

Although this Pokemon game was released late in 2000, this game doesn't look too hot any more. The colours are very bland for one thing and the textures are at least a couple years behind what we have usually seen that year anyway. The characters are cute and easily recognizable but I was just expecting more from this title because the game play was a little linear and that usually means that the designers would have more time to create a better looking game.

For a game that requires you to talk your way through the game, the actual game itself has a lot of text oppose to digital voices here. Sure you can hear the Pokemon talk in the game but they just mostly say they're own name over and over again. Did Nintendo and Gamefreak run into some memory problems or are they just getting lazy? C'mon, other N64 games like Conker's Bad Fur Day and Star Fox 64 have tons of voices so you can't blame it on the hardware. Either way the game suffers for it.

"Bbboorring! BBbrorringg!" What sounds like an innovative idea for a game turns into an exercise of tedious teaching of a cute yellow rat. I feel so stupid talking into the mic that comes with this so called game and if that wasn't bad enough the Pikachu creature doesn't respond 60 to 80 percent of the time it seems. Add to the fact that the game is really slow paced and doesn't even look that great (come on, the N64 can do better than this). I let some other little StarSoldiers play this and they didn't like it either even though this game is clearly targeted for younger children. Maybe other kids will like this but I doubt it. Hey You Pikachu feels too much more like work and less like a challenging and engaging video game. The microphone accessory was a original concept and all but Nintendo waited far too long to bring this over to the North American audience because Seaman for the Dreamcast was actually released over here before this game was and there was far more that a player could do in Seaman than in Hey You Pikachu. This was the first and last N64 microphone on the Nintendo 64 and with good reason. Definitely a weak attempt to milk a popular franchise for all it's worth and because of that this game should be called F U Pikachu!



*N64 Microphone needed to play
*Battery back up game

overall rating: 14/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 4/10
sound: 3/10
gameplay: 0/10
replay: 1/10

(Ryan Genno) 2004

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