• Pokémon Card GB2: Great Rocket-Dan Sanjō!


  • Board & Card


  • Nintendo


  • Nintendo

Release Date:

  • March 28, 2001 (Japan)

On Wikipedia:


  • Game Boy Color

Patch Release Date:

  • June 15, 2012 (as "Pokémon Trading Card Game 2")

I greatly enjoyed Pokémon Trading Card Game, a Game Boy game based after a card game based after a Game Boy game and I had long been aware of its sequel, which never officially made it out of Japan. This is an expanded and edited version of what I wrote back in 2019.

I mentioned this game in the review of the first game, but sometime early in 2019 I did finish the sequel, which was fan-translated but not especially polished (the backs of the cards are from the Japanese game, there's some problems with spacing, and inconsistent with the admittedly strange names from the original game, like "Pappy" and "Lad"). The game is fun, I suppose, and the Game Boy Color-only features does add back a lot of color depth artwork that was lost in the first game, but the problems of the first game still rear their head.

The AI is still terrible and its apparent more than ever that the coin flips aren't actually random and pre-determined at the beginning of the game; it's not RNG on the fly, something games have done since almost the beginning. The game has some major pacing problems (you go from an extended and annoying prologue sequence with not enough cards to quickly knocking out the last bosses), though the game tries to shake things up with special battles (no trainer cards in the deck, must have at least one Pidgey, all fire energies, no retreats allowed) in the end. It all adds up to what should be a post-game expansion pack, but isn't. (You can't import cards or even deck layouts). The credits have far too many programmers for what is basically number-crunching during battles, and even ends with a "To Be Continued", indicating a third game was supposed to be made, probably focusing on the "Neo" cards. It's disappointing in a way, but the card game ran itself into the ground with gimmick mechanics and overpowered cards, while there's not much room to build on in terms of the core card game mechanics.

Gosh, I wonder what type of deck this weirdo will use.

There are a few things I didn't mention, for one, I should've mentioned where to get the patch (though for legal reasons I can't tell you where to get the ROM), nor did I mention the plot. Basically "Great Rocket" (equivalent to the main game's Team Rocket) takes over and steals everyone's cards, so you have to go through the original island and then to the Rocket Island and fight more bosses. It's got better graphics for the card art (that's what I meant "adds more depth", meant "color depth"). It still doesn't do the original artwork justice but it's nice. The big, fundamental problem with the game is that the game still feels like an expansion pack to the original game and not a full game itself, yet is completely incompatible with the previous game. While the cartridge-based system of the Game Boy means that the only way to do that would be some sort of pass-through cartridge like Sonic & Knuckles for the Sega Genesis (or for a Game Boy example, third party peripherals like the GameShark), but the portable nature of the Game Boy would make the system that much more fragile. And that's the rub—as an expansion pack, it would be a wonderful addition to the Game Boy game (especially if it allowed the original to be played with enhanced graphics or the new playable female character, Mint) while adding the post-game the original game sorely needed...but as a separate game it sort of falls flat.


Screenshot under "Game Info" from Romhacking.net.