With Pokémon Purple and Crimson, the 9th generation of the pocket monster series was released and brought an open world with it for the first time. I have now extensively tested the former for the following review.

Many thanks to Nintendo for providing the review code.

The history of Pokemon Crimson:

At the beginning of Pokémon Crimson, of course, you start again as a newly arrived child, which is supposed to go to the Grape Academy in the Paldea region. Before you can even leave your house, the director of the academy will visit you and let you walk with the three starters of the region, named Felori, Krokel and Kwaks, to make your choice easier. Once you have chosen a starter, Head Girl Nemila wants to challenge you to your first fight. Once this is done, you suddenly hear a scream and find what appears to be an injured Pokémon. This is powerful, but can only use its abilities to a limited extent. When you come to a lighthouse, you get to know Pepper, who knows the Pokémon, it’s called Miraidon, but doesn’t seem to like it and gives you the Pokéball from it. Then you can finally go to the Grape Academy, where this year’s school project will be announced. This is the so-called treasure hunt, in which the students should visit the region and find their very own treasure. You have three different ways to do this.

There is the path of the champion, in which you first face the arena leaders in the classic way, in order to finally be able to compete in the Pokémon league against the top four and the champion in order to receive the champion rank yourself. Then there is the Path of Legends, in which you help Pepper to find and fight giant ruler Pokémon in order to obtain secret spices that will gradually restore Miraidon’s powers. Last but not least, there is the Path of the Stars, in which you will be asked to enter the bases of the so-called Team Star in order to defeat the bosses there and thus initiate the dissolution of the team. If you alternate between the individual paths regularly, the game offers a successful variety. While the story of Path One may not be very brilliant, each Gym Leader has their own unique personality, making them distinct from one another. In contrast, the stories of Team Star and Pepper build more on an emotional strength. As all of this unfolds, you will also get to know Miraidon better and better. The journey also brings you closer to it, which also shows a lot of its personality. All of these stories come together at the end and form a meaningful conclusion.

Explore, Fight, Capture:

As mentioned above, Pokémon Crimson and Crimson let you explore an open world for the first time. In theory, you even have the option of being completely free to choose where you go first. In theory, I have to say that the opponents and Pokémon in the individual areas have fixed levels. As a result, it can sometimes happen that you accidentally move from an area with an average level of 20 to an area with an average level of 40 and are completely exhausted. Of course, this can seem challenging, but in the end you are completely overleveled for other areas. A level adjustment or something similar would have been better here, since it somewhat destroys the idea of free exploration. Regardless of that, I have to say that I liked the open world, except for the technical problems, more on that below. There is something new to discover everywhere, whether people, Pokémon or objects. This always inspires you to explore every corner of the world. Obtaining a Secret Spice will teach Miraidon a new technique. It can then either slide, swim or jump higher. These abilities are reminiscent of Legendary Arceus, but here they’re not split between different Pokémon, making movement much smoother.

Of course, a new generation also brings new Pokémon. As always, it introduces a few more and a few less successful Pokémon. There are 104 of them, joined by 296 well-known monsters. But it is already known that new Pokémon will be added. For example, Charizard comes from 02.-04. and December 16-18, 2022 in so-called Terra Raids, while it cannot normally be caught in the games. With the Terra Raids you can compete with up to 3 players against a so-called terra crystallized Pokémon. Through terracrystallization it is possible for the critters to gain other types, whereby attacks of the same type are then even more strengthened. This fact as well as completely new type combinations bring more dynamics and thus new impetus to the fights. Speaking of battles, while the Gym Leaders and the Ruler Pokemon in the correct order are fairly easy, the battles against the Team Star leader are more challenging. They don’t just fight you with Pokémon, but also with their huge car itself. Catching the Pokémon also seems very easy at first, but later it’s a lot more difficult for them to stay in their ball.

In addition to fighting and exploring, you can also camp. While you can play with your Pokémon, you can also create sandwiches. Through the different ingredients of these, you get different bonuses, which, for example, increases the encounter rate of Shinys.

The World and Sound of Pokémon Crimson:

The Pokemon and characters look really nicely detailed. While you can really see the fur on some of them, Tannza, for example, looks very rustic. But in addition to the beautiful elements of the game, there is unfortunately also a somewhat less beautiful point. The world is usually not designed very lovingly, with a few exceptions. Many contours are very blurred and shadows like to jump back and forth. The world also often seems very empty, but this can be changed by simply staying a little longer in the respective area. Because then more and more Pokémon will gradually spawn and make Paldea look all the more alive. For example, if you see a crown juvenile running around with a group of its pre-developments Sesokitz, you’ll be amazed at how atmospheric the game can be.

So while the world of Pokémon Crimson is a bit of a double-edged sword, the music is all the more compelling. As you travel through the different areas, the tracks always change according to the area. But not only the music in the exploration changes with area changes, the combat music also changes. A real highlight for me was the battle theme, which runs in battle with Team Star members, which is very energetic. But I found the music against the top four and the champ a bit unspectacular. But mostly the tracks were really convincing as usual.

The technical details:

Pokémon Crimson ran without any crashes during my test. However, there were always slight stutters. In addition, there are the already mentioned long spawn times for Pokémon and the late pop-up of many people and objects. When fighting Pokémon on a slope, it can happen that the camera lets you look under the world. Most of the time I played the game in single player mode, where I was actually completely spared any major problems. In the multiplayer mode, however, you immediately noticed that it was a lot jerky. The controls of the game are quite simple, but also accurate.

Pokémon Crimson Multiplayer:

I would also like to briefly mention the multiplayer mode that Pokémon Crimson offers you. You can explore the world together with up to 3 players. Unfortunately, the mode doesn’t really offer you much more than exploring. You can fight together in raids or make sandwiches, but otherwise the multiplayer mode isn’t good for much. Personally, I would have preferred it if Crimson players had the opportunity to visit Crimson (and vice versa) to get the version-exclusive Pokemon that are otherwise only available through trade. This could have stimulated the common urge to explore.


With an open world, the Pokemon Crimson and Crimson editions have taken a bold step, which I personally consider successful, apart from the technical problems. The world invites you to explore and the 3 story strands also complement each other in a meaningful way, so that there is no boredom when you take turns completing them. The music, as usual from Pokémon, is of a good standard. If the opponents would now adapt to their own level and the multiplayer mode would be used more sensibly, the games would perfectly reflect the feeling of free exploration.

Our Rating

7.9 Good

Pokémon Crimson and Crimson can score in many ways. Both the story and the gameplay, the music and the variety are there. In principle, the world, despite its sometimes monotonous look, invites you to explore thanks to the Pokémon that are alive when things are going well, but unfortunately these aspects are somewhat marred by the technical problems. However, at least for me, these only appeared in the multiplayer mode, which unfortunately I personally don't think was really successful. If the technical problems can be overcome, fans as well as newcomers can expect a successful adventure.

  • Graphics 6.5
  • Story 7.5
  • Gameplay 8
  • Sound 9
  • Variety 8.5
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0
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Hi, this is Tobias. I'm currently studying and I like to spend my free time cooking and gaming. I prefer games with a good story, long-term motivation or a couch co-op mode.

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