Nick DeMarco

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: ‘Pokémon Stadium’ is super effective N64 fun, even for non-Pokémon fans

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: ‘Pokémon Stadium’ is super effective N64 fun, even for non-Pokémon fans
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

I’m often asked at my store if, value wise, there are any constants in the world of retro video games and, without hesitation, the first franchise that comes to mind is Pokémon.

Over the years, Pokémon games from various consoles and handhelds have remained steady in value, with some on the rise, but never have I come across a Pokémon title that has held no value. Whether you’re a diehard fan or someone who just doesn’t get the hysteria around it, there’s no denying its importance in pop culture.

Following the recent announcement that a live orchestra will be performing “Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions” at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, Dec. 2, we wrap up our month of Nintendo 64 games with a look at “Pokémon Stadium,” so choose your Pokémon wisely as we hit the arena!

“Pokémon Stadium” (N64)


“Pokémon Stadium” is often cited as one of the most well-rounded games on the Nintendo 64, and it begins with a soundtrack that truly encompasses what this phenomenon means for its fans. With music that is both upbeat and intense when necessary, it also carries the more regal, classic vibe that the feeling of being a Pokémon trainer carries in games, television, and movies.

Additionally, there is a variety here that is a nice blend of sounds for any N64 gamer. While the sound effects can get annoying after a time, I never found myself so miffed that I wanted to stop playing the game.


One could say that, at times, the graphics look grainy or blurry, though I found the majority of the game to have some of the smoothest looking graphics on the console, with a frame rate that doesn’t slow down in the battles. The colors in this game truly bring the cartoon to the home console, with bright, vibrant hues that truly capture the essence of each Pokémon.

I do wish the arenas and mini games were a bit more detailed in design, but that’s a small gripe, as the game is packaged well with some stellar artwork from some talented programmers.


I found both the mini games and the battles equally enjoyable, and this is coming from a guy who didn’t grow up as a Pokémon fan, nor am I one at this current moment. I can respect why this franchise is so popular and so important to many people. This is why “Pokémon Stadium” is brought up in the same conversation as the Nintendo 64 – the console was dubbed “The Fun Machine,” and “Pokémon Stadium” is a perfect example of what kind of fun Nintendo 64 owners were having back in the day.


“Pokémon Stadium” was the first of two “love letters” to the fans of Pokémon and, along with its sequel, “Pokémon Snap,” and “Hey You, Pikachu,” it showcases the strong presence and solid relationship between Nintendo and those behind this beloved franchise. In a way, the N64 was a dream team for some gamers, and on that team, front and center, is “Pokémon Stadium.”

At the highly affordable price of just $12 right now, “Pokémon Stadium” is a fun catch that belongs in any Nintendo 64 collection, regardless of where you stand on the Pokémon fandom scale.

Well, that does it for me. I hope you enjoyed this review. As Halloween marks the end of October, we are celebrating the whole month with some entries from the acclaimed Castlevania franchise, so I’ll see you then, right here on Turn to Channel 3! Game on!

Tune in to NEPA Scene’s gaming column, Turn to Channel 3, every Thursday for new perspectives on retro gaming as well as fresh twists on the classics. All ratings for Turn to Channel 3 are based on a scale of 1-10.