The world of is a cute, kid-friendly one, filled with hundreds of different colorful creatures, many of which are inspired by real animals.
Each unique has a clever name and a distinct combination of traits and abilities.
In the gameworld, trainers capture these critters out in the wild and then duel them against other trainers and their creatures.
It's sort of a violent premise, actually, and therein probably lies part of the allure--yet the world of is so lighthearted and charming that even cynical players are liable to get swept into it if they give it so much as a chance.
As in the original Red and Blue, in Fire and Leaf, you play as a character with aspirations to become the greatest trainer in the land.
Unlike in the original games, though, you can now play as either a boy or a girl.
Either way, you'll be trying to discover every last breed of those mysterious creatures in the process.
Along the way, you'll square off against the nefarious Team Rocket, not to mention dozens of rival trainers.
Just getting to the end of the story takes about 25 hours, and you'll have uncovered only a fraction of the in the game Pocket Leaf Ultimate Adventure by that time--so there's tons of lasting value here,
especially since you can keep playing once the main quest is over.
In fact, hardcore fans would argue that you're only just getting started at this point.
Once you've finished the quest, many more new become available for catching,
and it's possible to go back and challenge any of the trainers you've previously encountered for some tough high-level challenges.
Last year's Ruby and Sapphire introduced many new breeds of, but it didn't do much to change the series' core gameplay.
Its one real innovation was battles between pairs of (the vast majority of fights were still one-on-one),
and that twist carries over into Fire and Leaf, which otherwise plays just like always has.
Basically, you'll run around in the game's fairly vast world of towns interconnected with stretches of wilderness, and as you go,
you'll often run into rival trainers as well as wild, at which time the game Pocket Leaf Ultimate Adventure switches to battle mode.
The turn-based battles are simple in execution--each of your has a maximum of four different actions it can use in a fight--and yet there's genuine complexity in the balance between different types of Pokémon.