Reviews: Pokemon Gold And Silver
A great game- if you ignore the one massive flaw
I'm a massive Pokémon fan, and back In the day Gold was my favourite. I mean, sure, I only really used my starter to blow through the game, but I loved it. Beautiful music, awesome region, cool pokemon. Years later, HGSS come out. I try actually playing the game through with a full team. Welcome to hell. No matter what do you, no matter how much you grind, you WILL be underleveled. The level curve is so DAMN messed up, largely because of the inclusion of Kanto. You fight every trainer, fight wilds as often as possible, and it's still impossible to keep up. I used to love EVERYTHING about this game, but it's now my least favourite Pokémon game, and eclipsed by RSE, DPP, BW, XY as well as the original RBY. The region is actually pretty cool, at least, and going back to Kanto is nostalgic. Not to mention there are some great new Pokémon. (Tyranitar, Espeon, Umbreon, Skarmory) That almost make up for the level curve. But in the end they don't, because playing this game just frustrates me to no end and makes me want to stop playing it. If you wanna pick up a Pokeymans game, pick any of the others and avoid this one. I'm confused on whether I still love this game or not.
Generation II review
The direct sequels to Gen I, Gold and Silver, followed by Crystal. Later Gen IV had the remakes Heart Gold and Soul Silver. Setting: The Johto region, which has a theme of tradition (myths about Ho-oh and Lugia, most old-fashioned looking region, starters are mono-type). Kanto becomes accessible halfway through the game. Story: The game takes place 3 years after Gen I. The journey to defeat the Pokémon League remains the same. Once again, you fight Team Rocket, who are desperate to bring back their boss Giovanni after he supposedly disbanded the team and fled when Red beat him in a Gym battle. After becoming the champion, you make your way through Kanto, defeating the original 8 Gyms before ultimately fighting the original PC, Red, in Mt. Silver. Pokémon: Gen II brought 100 new Pokémon. Some were evolutions (ex. Steelix to Onix) or baby forms (ex. Pichu to Pikachu) of Gen I Pokémon. Unfortunately, I must put my nostalgia aside and admit that most of the brand new Pokémon, while having good designs, were terrible, both harder to find and much weaker than several Gen I Pokémon. Even the starters are probably the worst in the series after Gen V, particularly Meganium. Several were redeemed when Gen IV evolved them. Verdict: Gen II is considered by many as the peak of the series, especially the remakes. Not hard to see why; great music, two regions, many Pokémon available, and several improvements and additions to the mechanics from Gen I. However, I believe that Gen II's greatest downfall is what many hold it on a pedestal for: Kanto. As stated before, most of the Gen I Pokémon are far superior to Gen II's. Furthermore, the inclusion of Kanto led to Johto's levels being kicked down (the first Gym Leader's ace is at Lv. 9, compared to Lv. 14 that it would usually be). Kanto itself had bad level distribution (fixed in HGSS) that made fighting through trainers a chore. and its wild Mons were mostly no stronger than in Gen I, making them difficult to catch up to your team. Still, Gen II is a wonderful experience that no Pokefan should miss. 9/10 Don't miss my Gen III review!
A Delicious Concoction, Spread too Damn Thin
Having been on this wild ride since its beginning, I distinctly remember the announcement that a second generation of Pokemon games were coming out. That reignited my interest in the series, and two years later, I was finally able to acquire a Pokemon Silver. I have a lot of good memories playing it... discovering all the new Pokemon, formulating new battle strategies with the new types and attachable items, heading back to the old lands of the first Pokemon games... But even my young and enraptured self noticed certain glaring problems that still exist in the recently released remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver. My main gripe about the game is that everything seems spread far too thin, which is probably a consequence of including both the regions of Johto and Kanto as places you can travel to. The routes between cities are noticeably populated with a far lesser density of trainers than those of Pokemon Red and Blue. The cities in Gold and Silver suffer from the same problem, as well as the sense that there's less unique elements (like Goldenrod's radio tower or Blackthorn's dragon den) which make them stand out from one another. And of course, nearly everything that made the towns of Kanto unique has been wiped away, making it feel particularly empty. Pandering to fans is fine, but there's little of what made Kanto so memorable in Gold and Silver. Pacing is another problem and the one that frustrates me the most. Red and Blue had a progression of stronger and stronger trainers that, although a bit of a mess in the middle portion of the game, didn't encourage grinding to a ridiculous degree. In Gold and Silver, you'll be simultaneously underwhelmed and overwhelmed, as you'll mow right on through most of your opponents only to find that you tend to be underprepared for the Elite 4, the battle with Red, and some gym leaders. Perhaps this has to do with the reduced number of trainers in each route to fight. Whatever the reason, prepare to do a lot of grinding in Pokemon Gold and Silver. The remakes largely address my first issue by introducing a number of new people and places and reinstating old ones, while also making each settlement visually unique. It continues, however, to have pacing issues, which could have been largely averted with Generation III's Vs. Seeker. These are fun games with an unfortunate amount of downtime.
Heartgold and Soulsilver
Pokemon is a very Long running series,with four main pairs of games and a new one on the way, each has featured improvements and new Pokemon, moves and items, the most recently released of these is the pair of Heartgold and Soulsilver. The games are remakes of the well known and very popular Gold and Silver (Generally considered the best of the series), everything from the originals is preserved (With some minor exceptions like the Berserk Gene that couldn't be ported without cutting compatibility with Diamond and Pearl, and we all know how that ended up last time). Of course, this doesn't mean the developers settled for a straight port with updated graphics, many of the updates from Diamond and Pearl are retained, including the 242 new pokemon added between the 2nd and 4th generations, all the new Items and even the VS. Recorder. Heartgold and Soulsilver have brought new ideas to the table as well, the most significant is likely the fact that your Pokemon now follow you, this adds dramatically to the atmosphere, you can get almost all of the Pokemon (Excluding certain Starters and Legendaries and, randomly, Rotom and the Glameow, Drifloon and Stunky lines) . The game's main quest is a decent length with 16 Badges to collect over the usual 8, the difficulty has been upped a decent amount since Diamond, Pearl and Platinum (Note: These observations were gathered from a playthrough using Chikorita and it's evolved forms, depending on your starter, the difficulty may vary) and has been upped dramatically since Gold and Silver. The soundtrack is well remixed too, and the developers even prepared for the Fan Dumb by letting you switch to the old soundtrack using a late game Item. Black and White are on the way and they definately look promising, but in the meanwhile, I recommend that fans of Pokemon, Light-hearted RP Gs or people with an interest in the series looking for a starting point pick up this game. Its fun, long lasting and after finishing the game and catching em' all, you can spend a lot of time building the perfect team. This is currently the best game in the series, combining the best of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum and Gold, Silver and Crystal, along with an all new flavour of it's own in ways.