Well I've spent about a good week and a half trying to complete the Johto region so, here goes my review on one of the most hyped games for the DS ...outside of Mario... Zelda... and Professor Layton. This review may contain spoilers.
Pokemon: Heart Gold Version, Pokémon: Soul Silver version (Reviewed)
Wi-Fi? Yes. Wireless? Yes
Price: Around Ł30-40, $40-50
I could really make this review quite short, but as there's a lot of stuff to cover, I will start off with the story. You're either a boy or girl, travelling the regions of Johto, collecting the Gym Badges, and becoming the best Pokemon Trainer. It's been the same for the past 10 years, so it shouldn't take a veteran days to clear that up. However, unlike the rivals in Gen 3 and 4 who were friendly, this game features a pretty ruthless rival called Silver. He peeks into the lab and steals a Pokemon under Professor Elm's nose, and tries to claim to be the best Pokemon trainer, and for some time until you show him he isn't, he'll be a pain in the butt. He won't try to stop you achieving it, but he doesn't seem to like you and other trainers bettering him either.
METRONOME ON A DIFFERENT SCALE
Now that we have covered the storyline, I could say that the game is exactly the same as the Gold Silver and Crystal games, and you can be right about it. However, there are a lot of differences in this game. First of all, you cannot customise your bedroom which was one of the best things in the series to do, going up to people and getting new toys every day until you got all of the gifts, and also, unlike the originals, there is a much more streamlined menu. Instead of just using the DS buttons to navigate, you can now if you wish use the Stylus to open up menus or go through a page of text. You can't move your character using this method, but since you can now trade using the Stylus, it takes mere seconds to do, rather than up to a minute for those playing on the 4th gen games, Diamond Pearl and Platinum.
Also it is worth pointing out that a lot more content has been added to this game, notably the Pokéathlon, a Athletics course designed for Pokemon of all levels, the Safari Zone finally makes its long-awaited return, with players allowed free-roam of the park, attempting to catch Pokémon with 30 Safari Balls, and content of additional areas from Red, Blue And Yellow. You can catch Mewtwo, the three legendary birds, and even some of the Hoenn legendaries as well! Also don't forget that the Crystal content is intact in Johto, meaning you only have to catch two of the dogs roaming around in Johto and Kanto, while Suicine is interactable.
Also, you can have a laugh and check how your Pokémon is, by looking at it, and talking to it. The best ones are either when they're getting Dizzy, or has given you a good or better trust, since they can act very randomly at times. Finally, one of the best inclusions is allowing yourself to take a Pokemon of any level down one of the many unlockable Pokéwalker courses. At first you only get two, but once you accumulate enough watts (providing you don't go mad on Pikachus) you can unlock more courses, eventually giving you unobtainable (by that I mean Spiritomb) Pokemon otherwise.
TWO AREAS IS BETTER THAN ONE, FOR DITTO
Did I Mention Kanto? This is what made the original game even better, when you could complete the game, then you realise there's ANOTHER continent to go to! I won't spoil much of it, but those who have played the originals will remember going through the old areas meeting similar or different gym leaders, as well as talking to the Professor in his original town! Not to mention you can now get almost all of the 493 Pokémon without having to go to any events!
On the Battle fronts, everything is the exact tried and tested formula from all of the series, so those looking for a few different moves may be surprised, as some Pokémon learn new moves either via the move tutor or training in the Johto and Kanto regions.
I would have given it full marks, however, there are three things that stop it from being the best games in the series. First, I mentioned about the lack of bedroom gifts in these games, but the games are nearly the same game as it was 10 years ago. Those looking for a complete overhaul will be disappointed. But worst of all are the random, and I quote: RANDOM Encounters. This seems okay on paper, but when you sometimes can walk around having next to no encounters, just to suddenly get one every 7 or so steps is extremely annoying, and the worst part is these so-called wild Pokémon don't even give you anywhere NEAR as much experience as you would until you get to two areas in the game, and that is disappointing, especially since the Gym and Trainer battles provide a good challenge, and reward to boot.
LUGIA BELIEVE IT!
All in all, these games are a faithful remake of the originals on the Game Boy Color, however, it should be time to probably revolutionise some of the series' core mechanics. Now we know that Pokémon White and Black Versions
are coming out, you'd better catch and train them all before the new appearances come out of hiding!
9.5/10 - Excellent (An excellent game which is held back by short grasps. Still, these are games that without fail, you must buy). read