Pokémon Stadium Review: 5 Reasons To Buy

Pokémon Stadium

Pokémon Stadium Review: 5 Reasons To Buy

First released in 1999, Pokemon Stadium is a nostalgic experience for Pokemon fans of that era. The game was recently released on Nintendo Switch in April 2023 for players who own the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. While looking back on the title, the graphics or combat may turn fans off today, but the game still holds an engaging experience.

Today, we will give five reasons why Pokemon Stadium is still worth playing. Whether it’s on Nintendo Switch or the original N64, consider picking the game up next time you have that Pokemon itch.    

3D Graphics 

In today’s world, 3D graphics are a standard for many titles. Players take the complex design that goes into creating a three-dimensional character and world for granted. But this was the entire basis for the N64 console. While not the first 3D console, it ushered in a new age for video games and brought 3D games to the mainstream.

The first Pokemon game, Red/Green, was released in 1996, making it three years until fans saw their favorite Pokemon in 3D. While dated now, the graphics blew the minds of children worldwide. Going from 8-bit 2D graphics to complete 3D models was a massive leap in innovation.   

The game boasted terrific 3D graphics that brought the Pokemon to life in a way that had never been seen before. Pokemon Stadium set the foundation for the Pokemon games we see today. While playing on the Nintendo Switch, seeing how far the franchise has come with gym battles on stage with crowds is impressive. These battles are reminiscent of Pokemon Stadium.    

For any fan who enjoys the modern style of Pokemon games and loves to compete and win in battles, Pokemon Stadium is the perfect game. But it’s not just the 3D graphics that make this title stand out; it’s how they used those graphics.

Pokémon Stadium

Moves and Attacks 

As previously stated, it wasn’t only that the game features never-before-seen 3D graphics. The graphics only added to the movement and attacks of the Pokemon, making the game come alive. In previous Pokemon titles, battles were lackluster. Finding and catching new Pokemon or battling your way to becoming the Pokemon Champion was exciting, but what was the combat like?

The original games featured a wiggling screen for attacks and a quick flash of light that represented hitting the opposing Pokemon. Not very engaging. However, with the release of Pokemon Stadium, fans got to see full animations of how Pokemon used attacks.

Watching Charizard use “Fire Spin” with fire spewing out of his mouth and circling the opponent was unreal. Or watching as Pikachu’s would begin to light up and spark before raining down Thunderbolt. Players could see the force and power behind their attacks, which felt good.

Also, players could link their Game Boy with their N64 due to the game coming with Transfer Pak. This meant they could use their own Pokemon from Red, Blue, and Yellow in-game. While it was a product of its time, its attention to detail was incredible.


It may surprise some, but one of the best parts about Pokemon Stadium isn’t the combat. While it is a big selling point and a great feature of the game, the mini-games bring back a lot of fans. These mini-games aren’t anything big; most are a couple of minutes in length and revolve around well-known children’s games.

The best ones to try are Clefairy Says!, Sushi-Go-Round, and Dig! Dig! Dig!. Clefairy Says! is a rendition of Simon Says, with players mimicking the inputs and moves from the lead Clefairy. If you mess up a move, you will be punished by being hit on the head with a giant hammer. Plus, the Clefairies put on a dance sequence while performing the moves, making it one of the cutest. 

Sushi-Go-Round is a chaotic game with players running around a sushi restaurant as a Lickitung, eating various dishes for points. Each plate has a set amount of points depending on the food; the winner is whoever has the most points at the end.  

Lastly, Dig! Dig! Dig! features players as Sandshrew trying to dig a hole as fast as possible. While this one boils down to spamming two buttons repeatedly, it is a thrilling experience to battle your friends in. There are many more mini-games to enjoy, an honorable mention being Magikarp’s Splash, which has one of the funniest sound effects in the game.        

The mini-games are fantastic for players who want to play with their friends or family and have fun in what resembles Mario Party battles. 


There is no finer memory than walking into Viridian City or Pallet Town for the first time and hearing the catchy music. Pokemon Stadium brings back classic songs for its battle music while adding new ones of its own. The music for the main menu, mini-games, and battle sequences perfectly capture what this game is about. Pokemon Stadium was the peak of the franchise at the time, with epic music to accompany it. While the soundtrack alone isn’t enough to justify a purchase, consider its effect.

The best games aren’t good for just one reason but rather a collection of features. These small parts create engaging titles from gameplay to art style to controls and music. The absence of a soundtrack would make the game feel flat and uninspired. But Pokemon Stadium delivers on all fronts and makes for one of the best Pokemon titles.      

The Announcer 

This last reason may confuse those who haven’t played the game. During Pokemon Battles, an announcer will provide commentary on what is happening—critical hits, K.O’s, status effects, etc., will all be announced. What makes this one of the best parts of the game is how it perfectly captures comedy and seriousness.    

The announcer’s voice and catchphrases can sometimes be downright goofy and cheesy, providing a good laugh. But players who spend hours playing Pokemon Stadium will tell you there’s nothing better than hearing “It goes down after a long fight” or “Taken down with one hit!” signaling their win.

While this may be controversial among fans, as some don’t care for the voice acting, others wonder why it hasn’t been included in newer titles. With Pokemon games getting bigger than ever and created for new generation consoles, it’s a mystery as to why small features like voice acting don’t exist. If a game from 20 years ago can include announcers, why can’t Game Freak afford to put them in newer titles?  Regardless, the Pokemon Stadium announcer is a welcomed addition that adds a unique and memorable twist to the franchise. 


Overall, Pokemon Stadium is a must-play for Pokemon fans. It can be hard to find an N64 or cartridge of the original title, but getting Nintendo Switch Online is worth the asking price. Players will get an amazing title, and hundreds of others will come along with the subscription. Whether for nostalgia or a new Pokemon experience, playing Pokemon Stadium will be well worth the time and effort that goes into the 80 Trainer Battles.    

If not for fun, playing Pokemon Stadium will give you a glimpse of the past and appreciate how far the series has come. The title was ahead of its time and changed the franchise for the better, even if they weren’t the most popular. Playing a game, knowing that it was much more difficult to develop, creates a sense of value. There’s nothing more valuable than seeing Pokemon come to life for the first time.

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