The original Pokémon games are out on the 3DS eShop tonight for $9.99, and while they largely offer the same experience, there are some differences between them, too.

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Each version has exclusive Pokémon which you can only capture within that game. The whole idea is to get players trading monsters with each other, which should be easier this time around, given that you can use wifi to connect with other people. Bye, cable links!

Here’s a breakdown of what critters you can find in each version.

Pictured above for Pokémon Red: Ekans, Arbok, Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, Mankey, Primeape, Growlithe, Arcanine, Scyther, Electabuzz.

Pictured above for Pokémon Blue: Sandshrew, Sandslash, Vulpix, Ninetails, Meowth, Persian, Bellsprout, Weepinbell, Victreebel, Magmar, Pinsir.

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Which designs do you like better?

Pokémon Yellow is a bit different. Instead of choosing an initial starter, you get Pikachu to join you on your adventure, just like in the anime show. Pikachu can follow you around, and it’s real cute:

Actually, you can check in with Pikachu every once in a while, to see how it’s feeling. This is a special little quirk you can’t experience in Red or Blue:

Over the course of the game, you can however obtain all three original starters in Yellow, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. Additionally, In Yellow, your rival will also train an Eeevee into either a Jolteon, Flareon, or Vaporeon, depending on how well you do in-game. Also, Yellow’s sprite set is slightly better than those in Red and Blue. Finally, Pokémon Yellow does have a slighty different roster of Pokémon you can encounter. According to Serebii, Pokémon Yellow does not have Weedle, Kakuna, Beedrill, Ekans, Arbok, Raichu, Meowth, Persian, Koffing, Weezing, Jynx, Electabuzz, or Magmar. Naturally, you can still trade and get these Pokémon via other people.

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Also worth noting that some of you may not have to choose between versions at all. There is after all a special edition 3DS which comes packaged with both Red and Blue, if that’s more your bag.

Personally, I think Pokémon Red has the better selection of version-exclusive Pokémon, but I also recognize that neither Red or Blue feels quite as special as Pokémon Yellow. If you’re looking for a closer connection with Pikachu specifically, or if you can’t decide between the three starters, Yellow might be the way to go. Anecdotally, I’ve found Red to be more popular than either of the other versions, so if you want to be a contrarian, Blue is a good pick.

And there you have it! Which game(s) will you be picking up, any why?


Contact the author at patricia@kotaku.com.