Hey You, Pikachu!
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Hey You, Pikachu! Was originally known as Pikachu VRS (Pikachu Genki Dechu ["Pikachu is Feeling Fine"]) when it was released in Japan in late 1998. This game has a feature that no other game has on the
Nintendo 64, a voice recognition System. Using a microphone, that looks like one found on a pilot or a broadcaster, when you say something that Pikachu recognizes, like "cute", he will giggle and want to play ball with you. But for example if you say stupid, he will get mad and run off, and you have to find him again. The microphone plugs into a control slot. At the time it was released it stood at the forefront of console games with basing gameplay around voice recognition technology. As usual Nintendo was willing to try something different, and what better way was there to do it than with its famed Pokemon license. More specifically with the most famous Pokemon named Pikachu.
Fully interactive voice recognition
Mount microphone onto your controller
Tell Pikachu what to do
Play games with Pikachu
Collect items and "friend" points
This game is more of less an advanced virtual pet. As you jump into the game it's clear that it has been designed for children. It shows a picture of your mother calling, "It's morning. Time to get up!" To which you reply, "?That's Mom's voice." If you've somehow been led to believe that this was Nintendo's version of Seaman this is the portion of the review where you say, "Ah yes, now I fully grasp I may not enjoy this game very much if I'm over the age of ten."
The story begins as Mom reminds you that you have a test with Professor Oak today. She hands you your trusty "PokeHelper" -- a handheld device that reads your feelings and conveys them to Pokemon-- and you're on your way to meet the Professor. When you meet the Professor he presents you to a Pokemon and tells you to talk to him until he notices you. During this process you are introduced to the control scheme which basically consists of pressing the Z-button and talking into the microphone. When you say something it floats through the air in the form of a bubble and pops as it hits Pikachu in the head. So, as for the test you basically bombard Pikachu with "Hey you! Come over here!" bubbles until he recognizes you. In a sense, the test is simply earning his trust, which just happens to be as simple as yammering into the microphone until he greets you. Even if you start saying words such as evil, suffering, destruction, sorrow, pain, etc, Professor Oak will still tell you, "You passed the test! Amazing! Even a wild Pokemon can tell you that you're good-hearted!"
So, as you can tell voice recognition is very primitive and often very limited. Of course, as mentioned before, this is geared for the younger crowd. As the game progresses Pikachu does learn new phrases. Each morning you wake up and take Pikachu out to a new part of the surrounding areas. It may be the fishing hole, a garden, or forest and each place has its own purpose. At the fishing hole you'll be able to teach Pikachu to fish. He casts his line in the water and you tell him when to "reel it in." In Hey You, Pikachu all the words that are important are highlighted in a certain color. Words that Pikachu knows are always a dark pink color. To make things even easier, Professor Oak is always by your side giving you guidance.
There's a lot of on-screen help too. In your PokeHelper you can keep track of the days you've spent with Pikachu, the number of times you've spoken to it, and how many Pika Points you've earned. Pika Points basically are a numerical representation of how well your friendship with Pikachu has developed. Also, when Pikachu wants to speak with you two dialogue signs appear on the sides of your screen to let you know that it's interested in sparking up a conversation. There are two other meters on the screen that measure Pikachu's happiness and electricity level. To get Pikachu to do the things you want it to do you have to keep it happy, and its happiness is measured by a pink "liquid" surrounding a heart icon. Further, a few things actually call on the power of Pikachu's thunderbolt. To monitor this there's a lightning icon on the screen. Much like a battery it will run out if you use it unsparingly. Fortunately, it automatically recharges.
Overall, the actual gameplay is very simplistic, and rightly so as this isn't meant to entertain adults. There's even a portion in this voice-driven title that features hide-and-seek, which ends up being equivalent to peek-a-boo. Unfortunately the simplistic gameplay is threatened by the awful controls. Everything is viewed from a first-person perspective via a horrible camera system. You use the control stick to turn your head and walk, but it ends up feeling like you're in slow motion. Young children and adults alike will have a hard time keeping up with Pikachu who runs all over the place. Now, Nintendo tried to remedy this somewhat by making the camera automatically lock onto Pikachu sometimes, but you just end up walking backwards. It's almost worse. When coupled with the poor voice recognition it can be very frustrating. In one level you have to put together a stew, and to do that you must collect the ingredients and give them to Pikachu. So after you wander around the area slowly and sloppily because of the terrible control, you have to tell Pikachu it's okay to call Magnemite. However, Pikachu often misinterprets "okay to call Magnemite" with "eat the food item and sabotage the game." In the end navigating and seriously playing Hey You, Pikachu! will prove very tasking for children.
This title is based around a very first generation engine. All the textures are very low resolution and the draw distance is weak. There's a lot of pop-up to be found no matter where you go. The only thing that really looks good is Pikachu's lighting bolt. On the plus side the game is very colorful which should please plenty of drooling kids. And, the one exceptional thing about the game is the animation. Pikachu has a limited vocabulary, to say the least, so it's forced to communicate through its expressions. You'll see Pika get frustrated, happy, sleepy, angry, confused, and everything in between. The animation is very smooth as well, which is a trademark for Nintendo games. This is one area that is very pleasing. It really brings Pikachu to life. Without the animation, the title would probably fail miserably.
Within this new Pokemon offering lies a whole library of happy-go-lucky circus-esque tunes. It works out okay as Hey You, Pikachu! is meant to seem cartoony, but anyone taking note of the music is bound to get annoyed. Parents be warned, you'll want to keep the volume low. The music is set on a looping track so you only hear about 10 seconds of original music per level. The sound effects are also mediocre and sometimes uncomfortably fake. Where the development team did go right in the sound department is character voice. All the Pokemon say their names just like they do on the cartoon show. Pikachu in particular says "Pik-a-chuuuu", "Pik-a", "Piiiiii-kaaa", and so on. There's probably over 20 different ways in which this little critter says its own name. When set in motion on top of the awesome animation the end result is great. You can really understand how Pikachu is feeling.
Hint: Deep In Ochre Woods: Hidden area:
Look at the hills in Ochre in the Deep in Ochre Wood section. Approach the hill that appears to be slightly different and walk through it to find hidden items.
Hint: Deep In Ochre Woods: Togepi Egg:
When in Deep in Ochre Woods, go to the cave at the edge of the woods. Command Pikachu to come to you -- you may also need to tell him to look. He will look in the cave and find a Togepi Egg. Abra will come down and take the Egg. Visit Abras shop and the Egg will be there. Visit often enough and the Egg will hatch.
Hint: Field Trip Part 2: Hidden area: Approach the largest tree. Command Pikachu to come to you and you will be able to enter the tree and get to Abrass hop.
Hint: Field Trip Part 2:
Watering Jug upgrade:
In Field Trip Part 2, you can buy a watering jug that can be used thirty times instead of the watering can that can only be used three times.
Hint: Pikachus Daring Days: Pirates Sword:
Go to Pikachus Daring Days and select Cobalt Island (The Treasure Hunt, Part 2). Go to the other side of the island and look around. Eventually, you will find a path leading up to a pirate fort. Try to keep Pikachu from finding the treasure chest. Using view mode, tell Pikachu to "Thunderbolt" the cannon facing away from the treasure chest. A loud blast will ring out. When the smoke clears, you will notice that all the chests will be unearthed, allowing you to simply follow the directions on the signs. If you did not open the chest inside the fort, opening it now will give you a pirate’s sword.
Hint: Pikachus Daring Days: Canon:
Go to Cobalt. Go up the ramp to the fort. Point to the cannon and say "Cannon". Pikachu will walk up to the cannon. When he stops, tell him to do a Thunder Bolt attack. Pikachu will salute you, and then shock the cannon. The cannon will fire, and Pikachu will fall over startled. Look around – all the treasure chests in the level will be unburied.
Hint: Pikachus Daring Days: World record Pokemon:
Go to any of the fishing places with a Lucky Hook. Keep fishing and at some point you will catch a world record Pokemon. When you catch every Pokemon, (does not have to be a world record), Professor Oak will tell you that you can catch a Squirtle.
Hint: Pikachus Discovery Days: Bow:
At the beginning, go to Pikachus Discovery Days. Go to any level and say "Fierce Diety". Pikachu will bow down at you.
Hint: Pikachus Discovery Days: Swirling eyes:
On the Pikachus Discovery Days place menu, hold Analog-stick down and Pikachus eyes will swirl.
Hint: Pokemon Picnic levels: Extra points and secret areas:
There are secret areas in all Pokemon Picnic levels. They are all in the same place. Find the odd spot in a wall. Go in it (and if you cannot see, turn up the color). There will be a magnet and a few bolts there in Pokemon Picnic 1. Pick the mud for more Pika Points. In Pokemon Picnic 2 and 3, there will be a Golden Apple. Pick it up for 500 Pika Points.
Hint: Pokemon Picnic 3: Lucky Hook:
In Pokemon Picnic 3 you can buy the Lucky Hook from Abras shop. Pikachu needs to be nearby to enter the shop. Once you leave you cannot reenter until the next day.
Hint: Pokemon Picnic Part 3: Trumpet:
Go to Abras Shop. If you have already obtained the Lucky Hook, eventually the Trumpet will be at the shop. It costsP1, 200. After buying it, the Trumpet will be in your room next to the stereo.
Hint: Pokemon Picnic Part 3: Flying Acorn:
Go to Abras Shop. If you have already obtained both the Lucky Hook and the Trumpet, the Flying Acorn will be at this hop. After buying it, the Flying Acorn will be in your toolbox. Use it to knock things off of trees.
Hint: Pokemon Picnic 3: Better Water Pokemon:
Play in Pokemon Picnic 3 and go to Abras shop. Buy the Lucky Hook, and then go fishing anywhere. Some of the different Pokemon you can catch include the following.
Hint: Treasure Hunt Part 2: Special gems:
Find the ramp that leads to the pirate fort. When you get there, find the treasure chest in the center of the fort and get Pikachu to open it. You should find one of many valuable gems. They include ruby (P500), sapphire (P10, 000), and topaz (P20, 000).If you cannot find the chest, it will appear the next time.
Hint: Unlock Daring Days:
Make sure that everything except the Piñata Party does not have a cloud over them. Then, break at least two piñatas at the Piñata Party. You will get the Harmonica. Then, you will go to camp overnight. A Haunter will appear. Tell Pikachu to Thunderbolt it. The next day, Pikachu will play the Harmonica again. A Lapras will carry both of you to Cobalt Island. Once there, you will go on a treasure hunt with Pikachu. The next day, Professor Oak will call you. He will introduce you to two new modes: Pikachu mode and View mode. Professor Oak will explain them. The next day, Professor Oak will introduce you to Daring Days.
Hint: Returning to Daring Days:
When you unlock Daring Days and complete Professor Oaks special training, you can go back to it. Go to the "Daring Days" page and say "Professor Oaks Special Training". Sometimes Pikachu will be mistaken and go to another place instead, so it may take a few attempts.
The ending can be triggered by getting an Oddish to evolve to Gloom in Spring Leaf 3. You do not have to have all items collected, or fish caught. However, you may need to get all the items in the toolbox (lower half) and win some kind of prize in every other level. After Oddish evolves, you will wakeup the next day. Professor Oak will tell you to ask Pikachu to buy a telescope all by him; you are to follow him without being discovered by him (holding a cardboard box). The trip starts in Spring Leaf 3, and then goes to Spring Leaf 1 and Spring Leaf 2into Abras Shop. Along the way Pikachu says "Hi" to his friends (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle). Pikachu buys the Telescope and gives it to you in the front yard, then looks into the night sky. While still in intermission mode, the next morning arrives and Professor Oak claims he has very important news and he needs to tell you in Viridian Edge. When you get there, Pikachu’s on the other side of the spiked vines and gives you the Beach ball again. Professor Oak tells you that you and Pikachu are very close friends and as such you must do what is best for him -- he is a Wild Pokemon and must return to the Wild to be with his own kind. You must say "Good-Bye". When you do there is hesitation and you must do it again. Pikachu then meets up with other Pikachus, wave’s good-bye, and runs off. You then head home in the front yard, look at the pond, and have flashback thinking about Pikachu. The same happens in the garden (though the garden is empty). In the bedroom, you go to bed as the view changes to the small bedroom window (over the stereo). The screen gets white and an open book appears while music plays. On the right side of the book are scrolling credits while the left side displays a drawing of the front porch with Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander. Pikachu approaches them and dances. A drawing of a field appears with Pikachu standing there. A bunch of Oddish run by followed by a big Oddish, etc. The screen goes to the Nintendo 64 icon spinning as if you just turned the game on and returns to the start screen. Started the game from there and Pikachu will still be sleeping on the bed, and the telescope is now on the bookshelf.
After you complete the game and get the telescope, at random times your mom will tell Pikachu to run an errand (shopping for different things).
Go to Pikachus Daring Days, Cobalt Island, or A Treasure Hunt Part 2 and head for the wooden fort in the middle of the island. Walk around it until you find a ramp. Go up the ramp to find a staircase. Go up the staircase to a treasure chest. Do the same thing you do with all the other chests to find a sapphire inside, worth 10,000 pika points. Note: you can only get the sapphire once.
Hint: Make Pikachu dizzy:
Go to the Pikachus Discover, Play, or Daring Days map and press the Analog-stick in any direction. You should see circles in Pikachus eyes.
Hint: Make Pikachu mad:
Say "Electric X X X".
Hint: Easy fishing:
Wait until the fish gets near the rock. Then say "Pull harder" to Pikachu.
Hint: Fishing for flags:
After you have fished in all the fishing areas, beat your best fishing day score for one of them. You will get a fishing flag as a gift. There are three flags. When you get one, it will be on the wall near the table.
Hint: Getting items from trees:
If you need to get something out of a tree, the Flying Acorn is not the best choice. Instead, take out the Megaphone and talk to the item. It will fall easily. Do not let Pikachu get the item or Megaphone. If he does, the Ball will also work.
Hint: Pikachus attacks:
If you want Pikachu to do an attack, say one of the following: "Thundershock", "Thunderbolt”, or "Thunder". Saying "Thunder Wave" or "Thunderpunch" will only confuse Pikachu, because he is only used to three attacks.
Hint: Play Pokemon quiz at any time:
If you want to play Pokemon quiz, but Pikachu wants to go outside, say "Quiz Time". Pikachu will nod its head and start the Pokemon quiz. Note: Pikachu must be looking at you.
Hint: Shadow game:
If you play the naming quiz enough times, you will unlock the Shadow game, where you have to guess the Pokemon by its silhouette.
Hint: Megaphone game:
Soon after you unlock Daring Days, Pikachu will runoff to Viridian Forest Edge. You will receive a message from Professor Oak. He will give you the Megaphone and you will automatically go to Viridian Forest Edge. Pikachu will be there. The Megaphone only shoots in a straight line. Once you get Pikachu back, you will keep the Megaphone. After awhile, Pikachu will be at it again. It will be a repeating process.
Once you have the "You’re like Family" rank, stay in your room. Pikachu will get bored, will walk to your stereo, then turn it on. It will play a song from one of your adventures.
Hint: Burned trumpet:
When you buy the trumpet, take it outdoors and play it about 30 to 35 times. Pikachu will shock it. After that, he does go to Abras shop it will be all black as if a Thunder Attack has hit it.
Hint: Quickly disappearing items:
If you find an item that you do not need, or are taking things out (such as finding the ingredients in Ochre), pick up the item, throw it, and before it touches the floor, press B to view the description. Then, press A to exit, and once the item touches the floor, it will disappear.