Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver

The remake of the most popular versions of Pokemon, will this new installment make fans cry from joy or heartbreak?


Pokemon has had the same story from the get go, this doesn't really change in this remake. You are a young trainer who has just acquired their very first Pokemon, and are tasked with retrieving a very important egg from a friend of Prof. Elm name Mr. Pokemon. Upon receiving the egg, you find out that someone has broken into Elm's lab and stolen one of the starter Pokemon (and what a coincidence it's the one that's strong against the one you picked).

You run into the unnamed rival, battle him, and are then told to fill up the Pokedex, beat the Elite Four and just be super awesome. But there's an issue, Team Rocket has returned. After being disbanded 3 years ago after Giovanni lost to a snot nosed brat (who, as we know, is the player from FireRed/LeafGreen/Red/Blue/Yellow) and you must stop them.... again.


The graphics haven't received much of an overhaul, but this isn't bad, as Pokemon has looked just fine for several years. I enjoy the simple, yet well made pixel art. Buildings have a slight 3D effect when approaching from the side, and the people, Pokemon and effects are all very well done.


The controls have remained mostly the same, one this you can do is register two items instead of one (not sure if this was a feature in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum), these items are conveniently placed on the touch screen so you don't have to open your bag to fish them out.


This remake has some of the best music of all the Pokemon games. At first, it's nothing special, but when you arrive in Kanto, the music turns into a sorta techno beat, and it's good (I HATE techno so the fact that I like this is amazing). Battle music ranges from Wild encounters, Trainer encounters, Rival encounters, Gym Leader encounters, Elite Four encounters, Champion encounter, Legenadary encounters (and some have their own unique theme) and the encounter with Red (the player from the FireRed/LeafGreen/Red/Blue/Yellow).


Besides the things many of us already know (after defeating the Elite Four, the player can play through Kanto, fighting Brock, Misty and other Kanto Gym Leaders) HG/SS offers a few new changes. The most prominent being that the Pokemon in the top left slot will always be following you, much like Pikachu did in Yellow version.

There is also a Safari Zone in Johto this time around (which was not included due to the Glitch City in Red, Blue and Yellow versions) and the player can manipulate which fields show up in the zone (swamp, grasslands, water, rock, etc) allowing more control over which Pokemon appear.

If you bought the game new, you also received a device called a PokeWalker. This device acts as a pedometer that you can transfer a Pokemon onto and take with you. After a certain amount of steps, you receive a "watt" (or charges), these charges can be used to battle and catch wild (and sometimes rare) Pokemon and find items with the Dowsing Machine, you can also send and receive gifts from others.

If you enjoy friendly completions, you can become a PokeAthlete  in the Pokeathlon Dome. This is a series of events that test your Pokemons' skills (speed, stamina, skill, power and jumping abilities, these can be looked up under each Pokemons' information). There are many events like the Circle Push (sorta like sumo wrestling), Hurdle Dash (like at the Olympics) and several others. Winning (and losing) earns you points which you can spend on items (such as Stones, Apricots, Nuggets and more).


This is a game that fans of the series should absolutely pick up. It's all the good things about Pokemon and none of the bad. If you have even enjoyed a single episode or game, you MUST get this game. This is one of my most enjoyed games of all time.



- Great music pieces
- Great looking game
- Can enjoy both Kanto and Johto
- Fun having your Pokemon walk with you
- PokeWalker is a nice toy


- It eventually ends