These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Janine is laughably easy, since her Pokémon's levels are all in the 30s range when the Elite Four was in the 40s.
The Kanto Gym Leaders in general aren't particularly difficult because their team levels are about the same as the Elite Four; it's not until Blaine that you encounter a Pokémon (his Rapidash) at Lv. 50, the level of Lance's strongest Dragonite that you would've had to beat to get into Kanto. Blue's team averts this by taking a large level jump (his strongest Pokémon being at Lv. 58) and not using any one type, and the remakes made sure that all the Gym Leaders are as strong as, if not stronger than, Lance's team.
Consider how often you, anyone you know, or anyone you've seen play these games have ever picked Chikorita. Many Pokémon in the games are weak to Typhlosion's Fire-type attacks (notably being the best counter to the new Steel type as their Special Defense is never as good as their Defense, which is generally high enough to tank their other two physical weaknesses to Fighting and Ground), while Feraligatr quickly gets a powerful STAB move in Surf right before the 4th badge. Meganium, sadly, struggles to damage most of the gyms and the largely Poison-oriented Team Rocket, won't get any better STAB move than Razor Leaf (which has been nerfed from Gen I to stop constantly getting critical hits) for most of the game, has the most restricted movepool and worst offensive stats among the three starters, and its cutesy design is generally regarded as less cool-looking than the more ferocious designs of Typhlosion and Feraligatr.
Competitively, this generation is (in)famous for how stall tactics ruled the Metagame, to the point of being dominate strategy. Snorlax was also used on the majority of teams due to being theMighty Glacier, making it one of the best abusers of the new moves Curse and Belly Drum.
Disappointing Last Level: It's cool to revisit Kanto, but most of the trainers and Gym Leaders are around or even below the levels of the Elite Four, and will get swept away by your Champion team. There's also not a lot to do aside from beating the Gym Leaders, fixing the Power Plant and defeating Red.
Jasmine is a pretty popular Gym Leader, even getting a cameo in Gen 4. It helps that she's the only one of the three new female Gym Leaders who doesn't get obnoxious about losing.
Even Better Sequel: When released, Gold and Silver were highly praised by gamers and critics alike for being an overall better game than the originals. They introduced a number of mechanics that would become staples to the franchise as a whole: breeding, holding items, Day/Night cycles, hour-based schedules, protagonists of both sexesnote only in Crystal, special Poké Balls, rematches with trainers previously fought, and friendship evolution.
These games introduced roaming Legendaries, Pokémon that randomly move across the region. Should you, by chance, find one, they will run from the battle at the first opportunity. This basically forces you to spend several hours trying to find them so you can slowly whittle down their health before they run off, taking great care not to knock them out, and eventually try to catch them. Remember that as Legendaries, they have the lowest catch rate possible, and you will only get one chance to toss a ball before they run off. Having something with Mean Look will stop them from fleeing, but all three of them have Roar to make you run away instead.
Super Rod only being available post-game. Not so bad in Gen II due to a large selection of Water Pokémon and you still can get Old/Good Rods. From Gen IV onwards this is justified that Super Rod is used to fish for Mons not native to the region, but at least lesser fishing rods can still be obtained beforehand. It wasn't until Gen V that fishing is off-limits period until you defeat the Elite Four which doesn't help that Water Pokémon is a minority in Unova. Those who wanted to use Water-types there but hate the Oshawott line will not be pleased.
Why does Red go away after you beat him? He whited/blacked out and ran to the nearest Pokémon Center, just like in his games.
How can you tell that your rival has genuinely changed? Well, by the time of your last battle with him he has a Crobat, which only evolve from Golbat through having friendship with the trainer.
The rival turning over a new leaf is made clearer in the remakes. In it, he offers to return the stolen Pokémon to Professor Elm, only for Elm to let him keep it after seeing the fondness the Pokémon has for him.
The change in gender determination listed under Game-Favored Gender (based on behavior, not physical strength) reflects growing understanding of the differences between sex (biologically based) and gender (social expectations of behavior tied to either sex). It also reflects how for some species, the females would be larger and physically stronger on average, such as Ariados. It's simpler to standardize sex determination as independent from the Attack stat than to have a different formula for each species.
Why did Route 23 just disappear, even in the remakes? Remember those wild Larvitar very close by in Mt. Silver? They have to eat a whole mountain to grow.
Why the American version of Gold and Silver swapped the Phanpynote found in Japanese Gold and all versions of Heart Gold and Teddiursanote found in Japanese Silver and all versions of Soul Silver lines so that Phanpy is in American Silver and Teddiursa in American Gold? Look at their regular palettes. Phanpy and Donphan have grey skin while Teddiursa and Ursaring have golden-brown fur and yellowish markings.
Feraligatr is a big one, moreso than any other starter. The entire game can be turned into a giant Curb-Stomp Battle with its surprisingly good movepool for this generation (Ice Punch trivializes both the rival and the last gym). Worse, the only two gyms out of 16 that this Pokémon has a disadvantage at are in the post-game and relatively easy. That One Boss, Whitney, has no way of countering a well-raised Water-type, let alone Feraligatr. It can solo the entire Elite Four with its HUGE movepool and fast and strong attacks for this generation, curbstomping EVEN THE CHAMPION (Hello, Ice Punch). This Pokémon alone is the reason some found this gen easy, and it is even a common criticism of Gen II's balancing issues in the wake of some Hype Backlash. Even in the remakes, with better balancing, it is still one tough Mon to best.
Typhlosion is no slouch in the remakes. Fast, access to a lot of strong fire-type moves early on, benefits more from sunlight, and packs the absolutely devastating Eruption, which will likely one-shot anything within five levels. It helps that, like Feraligatr, plenty of gyms have a weakness to it, no less than 4 out of 16, compared to Feraligatr's 2 out of 16. (The only three which are resistant are the final gym (fair enough), and the two post-game ones. Although, it is much less this than Feraligatr was in the originals thanks to much better competitive balance, keeping it from being absolutely broken.
Goddamned Boss: Koga's Muk will use Minimize to make it more likely to avoid hits, all while healing itself with its held item. And it can take a hit, too. His Crobat can also do the same thing with Double Team.
Genius Programming: In development, the game filled up the entire cartridge despite only being half-finished. Satoru Iwata, now the president of Nintendo, singlehandedly did some very heavy compression to save the project from being released as an Obvious Beta. When he was done, there was enough space in the cartridge to include all of Kanto. To summarize, thanks to the current CEO of Nintendo, this game has twice as big a setting region-wise as every other Pokémon game released until the remakes.
Due to a oversight on Game Freak's part, Rest (the user falls asleep to recover HP) can be used through Sleep Talk (a move which randomly uses one of the user's other three moves while asleep). This is just one reason why the second generation had a very stall-heavy metagame. This was rectified in later games, except it still does this in the remake.
A glitch causes Present to use a different damage formula, making it do a lot more (or less) damage than intended based off of various factors.
If a Marrowak with an Attack stat of 256 or higher uses Swords Dance while holding a Thick Club, the Attack stat will roll over to 1 because of an oversight. Fixed in Stadium 2 and Crystal.
If Belly Drum (maximizes the user's Attack at the cost of half of their max HP) is used by a Pokémon with 50% HP or less, the game will tell you the attack failed but still will give a boost of +2. This is because the game treats Belly Drum as using Swords Dance 12 times but doesn't check the HP value of the user on the first instance.
The cloning trick, coupled with the ability to hold items. Allowing you to get up to five of the same item (and/or Mons) at once, and notably to get all three starters as much as you want (the fact that they don't show up in the Pokédex until you breed one being a small price to pay).
The Celebi Egg Glitch. It involves breeding two Sneasel that have the same moveset with Beat Up as the THIRD move (it doesn't have to be Sneasel, but Beat Up is its Signature Move in Gen II), getting a 'bad clone' from the above trick, and five worthless Pokémon. It works because Celebi and Beat Up share the same index number, and its not just Celebi you can get, it's just that Celebi is one of THE most unobtainable Pokémon of them all. For example, using Splash will get you...Mewtwo. This trick can also be used to get held items by using the fourth move, which shares index numbers with items.
Growing the Beard: Many people agree that this is when the Pokémon game franchise became really good in terms of playability, and to this day it's still the generation with the highest Gamerankings score along with Generation I (and is widely believed to be superior than Gen I). To be fair, reviews for the earlier games are taken from a much smaller pool than the newer games, but even among the newer games HeartGold and SoulSilver are the best-reviewed (along with Pokémon Black and White ), since they took everything that made the original Gold and Silver so good and added all sorts of extras, including the Pokéwalker.
Little did anyone at the time know that anotherItsuki with psychic powers would become a popular character in nerd culture a few years down the line. The Psychic-type is known as the Esper-type in Japan and Korea.
Route 34 is the route containing the second daycare in the series, which may not seem like much, but now it also introduces the concept of breeding. (Kanto's daycare south of Cerulean City only held one Pokémon at a time and also was only useful for raising levels. In the remakes of the first generation, breeding isn't available until the Elite Four is defeated and at a completely different daycare.)
One of the working titles for Crystal was Pokémon X.
In the Rocket Hideout, at one point you're attacked by two grunts who claim that you cannot take on them both at once. Come next generation, and you have "double battles", with the protagonist routinely taking on two trainers at the same time.
Hype Backlash: A little, in response to constant praise as the series' Magnum Opus. Though the new mechanics are warmly embraced, some people view Johto itself as a mere extension of Kanto with Pokémon generally rarer and weaker than similar Gen I Pokémon. Such people often have a better opinion of Gen 3 for its distinct region and more prominent new Pokémon when others criticize it for its isolation from the older regions.
It's Easy, so It Sucks: One of the few common complaints towards Gen II is the bad level curve. Whitney's Miltank and Morty's Gengar, the two bosses considered the hardest in the game, are difficult simply because they are fully-evolved Pokémon with high stats at a fairly early point in the game and even then can be beaten with a Geodude/Gravelernote Whitney's Miltank is walled hard and dies to Selfdestruct in one hit while Morty's ghosts don't have Levitate in Gen II therefore can be one-shotted by Magnitude. After Ecruteak, the next three gyms can be fought in any order, and the trainers' levels at this point were skewed down a little too much to compensate. Kanto also suffers from this when the levels of the trainers are still nowhere near adequate to justify having to fight Lance's level 50 Dragonite to come to the region, but this is fixed in the remakes.
It Was His Sled: You can revisit the Kanto region after you beat the Elite Four, and at the very end of the game, you fight the True Final Boss, who is none other than Red, the PC from the first generation games. Both were very shocking twists in their day, but nowadays they're common knowledge. See Late-Arrival Spoiler.
Dunsparce has a freaking 1% encounter rate in the Dark Cave outside of swarms. It stats are nothing to write home about either.
Sneasel and Delibird's stats are terrible and they are uncommon in the lower grounds of Ice Path. It gets worse for the former in Gold and Silver, as it can only be found at the final dungeon of the game.
While Misdreavus' stats are not as bad as Delibird's, it can only be encountered in the final dungeon of the game, so there is little to no point to use it.
Ledyba can only be found on a few routes in the morning, and only in Silver. Even as Ledian, its stats (aside from Special Defense) are pretty bad.
Marill is a very uncommon encounter within the depths of the dark Mt. Mortar. Neither it or its evolution are particularly great in battle.
Karen's line, "Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites," is used in the fandom as a creed against things ranging from “Stop Having Fun” Guys, Tournament Play in general or just anything related to Smogon.
My Name Is ???note The main rival is initially introduced with an unknown name, hence the question marks, because the player gets to decide his name later. Since a good chunk of the gamers were kids, chances are they choose ??? as his actual name.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: It's common knowledge that people hate Zubat. They're annoying, they're everywhere, and they have an extremely mediocre evolution in the form of Golbat. But Gen II gave it Crobat, which is much stronger, and much, much, much faster. Sure, it's still annoying as hell, but thanks to Gold and Silver, it became a very viable choice for a good Poison type in your team.
Joey, the first trainer you fight after The Rival, will call you up to brag about his Rattata, a mediocre Com Mon. Constantly. You can rematch him later for an HP Up each time, but you'll probably be happier if you just never give him your phone number.
Whitney because of her difficulty and the fact that she throws a tantrum instead of giving you the Plain Badge. This is later referenced in the remake, as her Miltank has the ability Scrappy.
Similar to Whitney, Clair was disliked due to her difficulty, her self-centered personality, and the fact that she refused to give the player the badge until after they found an item.note In Crystal, instead, players have to take a test by Clair's grandfather about their personality and if passed they will be rewarded with the Rising Badge and a Dratini, with all questions answered right the Dratini will know Extremespeed!
Friendship-based evolutions. Instead of just slogging through the Elite Four a few times with an experience share to evolve a Pokémon, you need to use them and do things that increase friendship points, such as spending money on very expensive vitamins, frequent barbers in Goldenrod City or using them in battle a lot without them fainting. This is especially difficult with Eevee when you're trying to get Espeon/Umbreon, due to being a weak Pokemon with a limited movepool if you wanted to attempt the latter.
Roaming legendaries, detailed above.
The Pokégear could be used to record trainers' numbers, allowing for rematches and useful information... but most of the time, the trainers simply called you to tell you about irrelevant personal news like failing to capture a Pidgey. And you had to listen to the stupid message. The phone calls being random, infrequent and beyond your control make matters much worse. The remakes at least offer you the chance to ignore the call by picking something else on the menu or entering a different area.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Karen's speech, "Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites. You know what's important." At first glance, it may be seen as a Broken Aesop, as players whose favorites happen to be powerful may take offense. However, this is not the case - Karen isn't saying "never use powerful pokémon", but "never choose a pokémon BECAUSE it is powerful, choose your favourites instead".
Zig-zagged with Whitney, her evil milk-drinking Miltank can throw you in loop if you don't know what to expect. Even more painfully, it can hit through Ghost-types in HeartGold/SoulSilver. Averted/downplayed, however, if you did the in-game trade for a female Machop in the Goldenrod Dept Store or train a Geodude high enough level to learn Selfdestruct, which greatly reduces the effectiveness of Miltank's movesets. Also helps that with all that gimmick, none of Whitney's Pokémon knows a move that counters their type weakness.
Morty throws out a Gengar, a very powerful Pokémon by that point in the game (the only Gengar back in Gen I was used by a member of the Elite Four, for reference) that loves trapping your Pokémon to be put to sleep before hitting them with Dream Eater, a very powerful move that steals HP. Even worse in the remakes where the Physical/Special split allows it to use Shadow Ball properly.
Clair's Kingdra isn't very nice to fight either. It has only one weakness (Dragon, which you likely don't have at this point) and hits hard with Hydro Pump and Dragon Pulse. And after you've survived that harrowing experience, she doesn't give you the bloody badge!
Red, the highest leveled trainer in any game to date. Especially his Snorlax, which loves to spam Rest, if you aren't packing a good fighting-type move.
The Lavender Town music. It's a peaceful town after the Pokémon Tower was converted into a radio tower, so it sounds much chirpier than the original. Despite the in-story reason for it sounding happy, people still are divided on whether it's good or not.
Speaking of Lavender Town, the Pokémon Tower graveyard being converted into a radio tower was widely thought to be in poor taste. The graves were relocated to a new site, but seriously.
The lower levels compared to the previous generation have also been met with frustration from players. By the point of the last Gym, you're still fighting lv.30s, leading to many tedious hours of Level Grinding necessary if you hope to stand a chance against Lance and his trio of Dragonite.
Most Dark-types flat-out sucked at their jobs at dealing with Psychics since all Dark moves were considered Special Attacks yet they were all Physical Attackers. The only reason Tyranitar was any good at killing them when it only had a mediocre Special Attack of 95 was because it was bulky, had a stupid good movepool, and Psychic-types didn't have any moves that could kill it before it could kill them with a STAB Crunch or Pursuit.
Tough Act to Follow: Generation 2 improved GREATLY from the first games, and despite Generation 3 and the D/P/Pt games being more advanced with extra features, they suffer from this trope. The remakes, on the other hand, may have came close, if not equal, to the originals.
Ugly Cute: Snubbull and Granbull. Dunsparce as well, being a weird snake... thing.
Bugsy is a guy, folks. This is lampshaded during his appearance in the Pokémon Special manga, in which Gold (Ethan's counterpart in that manga) mistakes him for a girl until Bugsy points out that he's a guy. Doesn't help that his team in the remakes is all female, and that he's referred to as female in an official strategy guide.
Many gamers also confused Silver for a girl in the early days thanks to his shoulder-length red hair. In his original battle sprite, his jacket could also be mistaken for a Little Black Dress.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The battle graphics have some truly beautiful color cycling and sprite distortion effects, otherwise unheard of in an 8 bit game. Not even sprite animations in Emerald could match the dynamic animation in Crystal.
Jasmine is remarkably put-upon in-game; she's quite embarrassed when you find her at the all-you-can-eat diner, and Erika seems out to make her look foolish during the latter's off-time.
Blaine. His entire island of Cinnabar was burned down by a volcano, and he had to move his Gym to a small cave in one of the Seafoam Islands all alone. Alleviated in HGSS though, as he now has trainers under his stead and the cave is retrofitted.
The final Rocket Grunt.
YMMVs in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
Accidental Innuendo: Any time Kurt gives you the custom Poké Balls, due to most of them having innuendo-ish names. "Kurt gave you the Friend Balls!" "Kurt gave you the Heavy Balls!" "Kurt gave you the Love Balls!"
Despite being a Bonus Boss, Giovanni only has four Pokémon ranging from Level 40 to 46—if you got past the Elite Four, and you almost certainly have by the time you get to him, you'll have no trouble at all.
Mewtwo is surprisingly not very hard to deal with due to its moveset at Level 70. Half of the time it'll waste turns with Power Swap and Guard Swap (steals your Status Buffs, but if you're trying to catch it, you're not going to Swords Dance) and its only offensive move is Psycho Cut, which runs off its weaker Attack stat.
Base Breaker: Lyra. Mostly for replacing Kris. Although she did receive a noticeable spike in popularity once fans realized she dressed like a Mariocosplayer.
Game Breaker: If you trade a certain Movie Arceus from a DPPt save to this game as soon as possible, you can get the legendary Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina of your choice and with your OT before the first Gym.
It's the Same, so It Sucks: Some fans are not pleased that several Johto Pokemon such as Larvitar, Houndour, Misdreavus and Murkrow are still restricted to the post-game just like in the original GSC.
Jerkass Woobie: Silver, after details concerning his childhood come to light.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Lyra, especially in Japan. Some of the more popular ships include Lyra/Silver, Lyra/Ethan, Lyra/Lance, Lyra/Eusine, Lyra/Morty, Lyra/Petrel and Lyra/Proton.
Memetic Badass: Red already was in the original games, but his appearance in this game takes it Up to Eleven. Just look at some of his fanart, it screams badass.
Sabrina's new look and endearing interactions with the player divebombed her into this territory especially for those who find her appearance in the first three generations intimidating due to depictions of her in the anime and Pokémon Special.
Karen's improved redesign gets a lot of attention on how sexy she is. Her expression in her Vs. portrait and official art compounds this very well.
Scrappy Mechanic: While phonecalls can be ignored and there are no longer limits on how many numbers you can store in the Pokégear, those numbers cannot be deleted period. Other glaring issues with the Pokégear such as low calling rate for NPCs that matter are carried over from the originals too.
So Cool It's Awesome: Gold and Silver were already well-loved by the fanbase, but the remakes took them and added all sorts of new features and enhancements and made them even better (to most fans, anyway).
Not everyone was fond of the remixed music (particularly the themes for Lavender Town and Goldenrod City), but thankfully Game Freak provided an option in the games that switched everything to the classic eight-bit tunes.
Voltorb Flip replacing the slots, and more importantly, removing the ability to buy coins. What's even more infuriating is that the Game Corner was the same as usual in the Japanese version. The Voltorb Flip was essentially a Pokémon-themed Minesweeper except with lots of bullshit and a very low reward rate that gave you coins at a slow trickle, making that Porygon (9999 Coins!) and those super-expensive TMs (+10,000 Coins!!) seem much, much more farther away.
Lack of room decoration.
Inverted with the Pokégear system of trainer rematches. Nobody was happy to see this come back, especially with the much simpler Vs. Seeker from the Gen 1 remakes and the Gen 4 games.
Discussed by the Game Freak President in the Celadon Condominiums in Kanto.
"We are remaking an old game, but this is quite a challenge. Old fans would not want us to mess with their good memories... but there is no point in just redoing the same thing, right?"