Over time, the Pokémon Company has released many different games, including main series and spin-off titles such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. The franchise has also developed an active fan base, with the community actively building their own ROMs and fan games to fill the endless demand for new Pokémon titles.
One such game is Pokémon Radical Red. A direct remaster of the classic Pokémon Fire Red on the Gameboy Advance. Radical Red seeks to push ROM-based hacks' boundaries and is considered one of the best.
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Pokémon Radical Red is a ROM hack of the original Pokémon Fire Red. The Pokémon Company released Pokémon Fire Red alongside Leaf Green in 2004 as a direct remaster of the classic Pokémon Red and Green on the original Gameboy.
Unlike Fire Red, Radical Red does not remake the game but rather remasters it. The ROM hack tweaks and fine-tunes gameplay elements from Fire Red while adding a few quality of life features.
As a result, the story present in the original game goes untouched, with Radical Red keeping the same story as the initial games.
Thus, when starting the game, don't expect a new story. The ROM hack remasters the original games adding new features that improve the gameplay mechanics of the first games. Thus, the game is merely a love letter to Fire Red and its fans.
As mentioned, Radical Red does not add any new story to the game. Instead, it improves the original Fire Red through a range of quality of life features and enhanced gameplay tweaks. More specifically, the game adds a randomizer feature, which randomizes everything in the game, including Pokémon, abilities and difficulty.
Unlike the current main series games, Radical Red adds difficulty levels to the game for the first time, adding challenge to the game. The game also adds other gameplay elements such as new Pokémon abilities, swapping these abilities and even EV training areas.
Radical Red also goes one step further, adding previously unobtainable Pokémon to the game, including legendaries such as Latios.
Here is a complete list of added features:
As highlighted above, Radical Red adds a ton of new gameplay features to Pokémon Fire Red. Standout features include Randomization and increased difficulty levels. Difficulty levels have been long-requested by fans.
Adding the element to the game adds a considerable challenge that fans of the series crave. Although the game can be brutally challenging, Radical Red scratches the itch of challenging gameplay that fans of the series have wanted for a long time.
Similarly, the new Pokémon and the ability to re-battle gym leaders further adds replayability and depth to a game beloved by fans. The game's meta has also been changed with new EV training areas, new swappable abilities, and brand new stats.
Thus, from a competitive player standpoint, this game is a dream. Radical Red revamps Fire Red's competitive meta in a unique, fresh and exciting way.
All in all, Pokémon Radical Red is one of the best ROM hacks out there. The game does not try to do anything fancy by reimagining the flawless story of the original but adds new gameplay features that elevate the game and its current mechanics.
Radical Red stands out. It adds the right amount of uniqueness but not too much, satisfying both casual fans of the game and hardcore competitive fans without breaking what we love most about the original games. As they say, don't fix what isn't broken, the game does a perfect job of doing that in a new and refreshing way.
Overall, Pokémon Radical Red is one of the best Pokémon ROM hacks available and should be played by any franchise fan. For more Pokémon-related stories and hacks in general, subscribe to our newsletter below.
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