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North American "Player's Choice" box art
Pokémon Stadium (ポケモンスタジアム2 Pokemon Sutajiamu Tsū?, lit. "Pokemon Stadium 2")[nb 1], is a strategy video game developed by Nintendo EAD with the assistance of Creatures and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It was released on April 30, 1999 in Japan, February 29, 2000 in North America, and April 7, 2000 in Europe.
The original Pocket Monsters' Stadium was released in Japan on August 1, 1998. This version featured only 42 Pokémon available for battle, instead of the full 151 Pokémon from the Game Boy versions. The remaining Pokémon were viewable in a Pokédex, but the models lacked the required animations for battle. This version was not released outside of Japan, and as such the numbering of the subsequent 2 is ahead of the North America releases.
The later Pocket Monsters' Stadium 2 was originally intended for the Nintendo 64DD format, but as the Nintendo 64DD was a commercial failure, it was transferred to cartridge format. The first game had met criticism for its difficulty, and in the sequel, the AI was toned down to make it easier for average players to beat. It was eventually released as Pokémon Stadium throughout North America and Europe. This version features all 151 original Pokémon from the original Game Boy games. The North American version of this game featured support for transferring Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow via the N64 Transfer Pak. The North American version could also be purchased in a bundle that included the game with Transfer Pak, a Nintendo 64 with a gray controller, a second purple controller, the Pokémon Stadium Official Strategy Guide by Prima Games, and a "Cool Porygon" trading card.
Pokémon Stadium does not have a storyline. Progress in the game can only be made by winning "Cups" in the Stadium and completing the Gym Leader Castle. When all Cups have been won and the Gym Leader Castle completed, Mewtwo will appear in the sky over the Stadium. Defeating Mewtwo will unlock the much harder Round 2, in which the player must re-challenge the Stadium, Gym Leader Castle, and Mewtwo, in order to complete the game.
Pokémon tournaments take place in the Stadium. There are four Cups to participate in. Players choose a team of six Pokémon, in any combination of pregenerated rental Pokémon and Pokémon imported from a Game Boy cartridge. Each round consists of eight three-on-three battles, and the Poké and Prime Cups consist of four rounds, named after Poké Balls (Poké Ball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball, Master Ball), that must be cleared to win that Cup.
- Pika Cup: Battle using Pokémon from levels 15 to 20. Any Pokémon who are able to be evolved are so.
- Petit Cup: Battle using Basic Pokémon from levels 25 to 30 who are unevolved. All Pokémon must be shorter that 6'8" of height and less than 44 pounds of weight to qualify.
- Poké Cup: Battle using Pokémon from levels 50 to 55 (described in-game as 'the official Pokémon stadium cup').
- Prime Cup: Battle using Pokémon of any level. All opponents' Pokémon are at level 100.
Gym Leader Castle
The player can challenge the eight Kanto Gym Leaders from the Game Boy games, as well as the Elite Four and the Champion (Rival). However, one must defeat three trainers before battling a Gym Leader. Each time the player defeats the Elite Four, one of eight randomly selected prize Pokémon will be awarded, which can be transferred to the player's Pokémon Red, Blue, or Yellow game using the Transfer Pak. The prize Pokémon are any one random species of a Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Eevee, Kabuto, and Omanyte.
After clearing all stadium modes and the Gym Leader Castle, you'll unlock the final battle against Mewtwo.
R-2 also known as Round 2, Second Quest, or Master Quest is the second play-through of all solo challenges. R-2 mode replays the stadium modes and Gym Leader Castle with even much greater challenges and stronger trainers. After clearing all challenges, you'll battle Mewtwo again with its DVs and EVs maxed out.
Pokémon Stadium has many features aside from the main battling sequence, such as mini-games and a Game Boy player on the Nintendo 64.
In Free Battle mode, players may conduct practice battles. Players can select rules from any of the tournament cups, or use modified rules. Up to four players may participate, using any combination of rental Pokémon and those imported from cartridges plugged into a Transfer Pak.
At the GB Tower, the player can play Pokémon Red, Blue, or Yellow on the Nintendo 64. Winning tournament cups in the Stadium will eventually unlock Doduo Mode (double speed) and Dodrio Mode (triple speed).
Victory Palace contains statues of Pokémon who have beaten the Elite Four in Gym Leader Castle or completed the highest round of a tournament in the Stadium.
Battle Now! is a battle arena for a quick battle with one or two players where each opponent has a pre-selected team of Pokémon.
In an Event Battle, two players with Transfer Paks plugged in can use Pokémon from their Game Boy games and battle with custom rules.
Gallery is where you can snap photos of your Pokémon to be printed at a Pokémon Snap Station.
The Pokémon Lab is only accessible if a Game Boy cartridge is plugged into the Transfer Pak. If the game is saved in a Pokémon Center, the player may access the PC and can arrange boxed Pokémon and items. The Lab also features an interactive Pokédex and a machine for trading between two cartridges connected by Transfer Pak. Players cannot, however, transfer rental Pokémon from Pokémon Stadium. Certain Pokémon, such as Mew, could only be obtained at a Nintendo promotional event using a Transfer Pak; a rental Mew could be obtained in an event, but, as previously stated, cannot be transferred to Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow.
Kids Club is an area where nine Pokémon themed mini-games can be played, either as stand-alone games or as part of a tournament. One to four human players may participate, with the remaining players controlled by the computer. A higher difficulty level could be obtained by beating the CPUs five times in a row on hard difficulty.
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The game received mostly positive reviews, citing that it 'made a nice change to the format' and the ability to transfer Pokémon from the handheld game was a well-respected feature, with game reviewers saying it 'added to the game′s initial enjoyment, seeing your hardened monsters in full 3D brings a tear of pride to your eye'.
- "Pokemon Stadium for Nintendo 64 - Pokemon Stadium Nintendo 64 Game - Pokemon Stadium Nintendo 64 Video Game". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- "Pokémon Stadium | Nintendo 64 | Games". Nintendo. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
- Pokemon Stadium for Nintendo 64 - GameRankings
- ニンテンドウ64 - ポケモンスタジアム2. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.27. 30 June 2006.
- Pokemon Stadium Review, Pokemon Stadium Nintendo 64 Review - GameSpot.com
- "Games, reviews, previews, nieuws, tips, video's en trailers - IGN Benelux". Ign64.ign.com. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
- Pokémon Stadium at Nintendo.com
- Official Pocket Monsters' Stadium website (Japanese)
- Official Pocket Monsters' Stadium 2 website (Japanese)