Pokémon Trading Card Game is the video game adaptation of the tabletop trading card game, that spawned from the success of the original Pokemon series of games for Nintendo Gameboy. It was developed by HudsonSoft and published by Nintendo, making an appearance on UK shelves in the early December of 2000. The game has a vague story that revolves around a kid that wants to be the best Pokémon trading card game master, and like in previous instalments of games in the Pokémon franchise, you have a rival that has similar goals, (and in true Pokémon game fashion, your rival is also incredibly irritating).
You start off at the Mason laboratory where you are offered a choice of 3 decks, based on the 1st Generation starter Pokémon. I personally went with the Bulbasaur deck, which I now regret as I now own several Venasaur and Blastoise cards but I can't seem to get hold of a Charizard card which is a source of much frustration. With this deck, you travel around 'Trading Card Game Island' with the task of defeating the Club Masters, so you can obtain enough medals to duel the Grand Masters and obtain their legendary Pokemon Cards.
The game has a strong focus on deck creation, you obtain Booster packs of cards for defeating club members and you can use these cards to expand/modify your deck or construct a new deck entirely. TIP: As it is near impossible to defeat club members that have cards that are resistant to the elements of your own cards, I highly recommend you construct many decks so you can take advantage of elemental weaknesses of your opponents deck. The cards are based on the original three booster packs of the Pokémon TCG cards, however there are a few cards that can be obtained that are exclusive to the game
Personally I would say the story is very weak, however if you enjoyed the original Pokemon games, you will find a sense of nostalgia in the story as, at it's core, this game has the same formula of defeating gym leaders, obtaining badges and annihilating the Elite Four. I can forgive the weak storyline as it is a virtual trading card game, so the main focus of the game should be the trading card mechanics and deck building, and given how old the game is now, and the limitations of the Gameboy Colour, you can't expect a great deal from it.
As someone who used to play the physical card game as a kid and someone who also enjoys pixel art, I can say that the original artwork of the cards translates strangely well into pixel format, some of the cards look incredible. Even if you have no intention of playing this game I would suggest looking at some of the artwork because it is pretty impressive. A downside to how good the card art is, is that many areas in the game look terrible. The world map is not very detailed and locations in the game seem very empty and very boring.