This is where it all began (unless you were in Japan, where this was based on an upgraded version of the original) . This was before Oak couldn’t tell if you were a boy or a girl though he couldn’t remember his own grandson’s name. Before Fairies, before Dark and Steel. This is Pokemon Generation 1.
This is a game that reading the instruction book (because it was back when those were a thing) is needed as you are thrown into it. Oh you get little bits here and there, but not really enough if you hadn’t read the booklet.
After attempting to run into some tall grass you are dragged away by a strange old man (don’t worry, perfectly innocent).He’s going to give you a magical creature to beat the living crap out of other magical creatures… that’s about it: – head out, beat up gyms, get stronger, stumble on the work of the mafia ( they’re not up to much, just basic crimes not the super villainy you get later on in the franchise). And finally take down the Pokemon League and beat your rival who has been annoying you the entire game and create countless Creepypastas that continue to this day.
As you see, plot wise it’s rather basic. You don’t really get much, if any, character development, but then it didn’t need one, completing the story was only part of the game. There are 150 (151 if you got lucky) Pokemon to get and you might not even have a third of that by the time you finish the story. BUT even that isn’t the full part of the game, because you can’t even get all those in 1 game.
Pokemon Red was released alongside Pokemon Blue, and some Pokemon only appear in one version. Some times you are given a choice of which Pokemon you want and you don’t get the ones you didn’t choose (in fact that’s the first thing you do). Why? So you interact with friends. You trade with friends and FIGHT.
You beat the game. Ok ,now make the best team you can to beat up your friends’ teams.
BUT here’s one of the problems with Gen One. It’s terribly imbalanced. Remember that Dark type I mentioned? That was introduced because they messed up. Psychic types were broken. They had no weakness worth mentioning. Ghosts which were meant to be strong against them had no real attack. Same with bugs, also the special stat, covered attack and defense from non physical attacks. All psychic Pokemon had very high stat in special.
It’s also got one of the most famous bugs (computer errors, not Pokemon) in the history of games (go look up MissingNo).
Check this out if you want to see where it all began, otherwise… get the remakes, or Sun and Moon, the formula hasn’t changed much, but then it hasn’t needed to: – just refined.