Review by Sakurafanboy
"HeartGold and SoulSilver - Reliving Memories, Making Fantastic New Ones!"
Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver have been released in Japan as of two days ago. Though information of these titles flooded the internet months prior. It features many unique things like Pokemon following you (Revived from Pokemon Yellow), PokeThlon, Pokemon Trainer Red, and more. Many Pokemon fans have been begging for these remakes since the days of FireRed and LeafGreen and GameFREAK has provided. Is it good enough though?
For most, they don't expect Pokemon games to have very much of a storyline at all. And for the most part HeartGold and SoulSilver don't. But there is backstory on Silver and Giovanni's pasts, the Notch-Eared Pichu, and even the Movie 09 Arceus. Its just backstories that really make the story richer and deeper. Sure, its not the best story but in terms of Pokemon games, its quite good. There are more backstories but I won't spoiler everything, people. Its definitely quite good from what we've seen so far. But these surprises may not be earth shattering but they are nice additions to what used to be a dry storyline. Sad part is most are unlocked only via outside events. But if you can get ahold of those Pokemon its worth it.
Its the same turn-based battle system as seen in all Pokemon titles, but that's because its what works. No need to fix what isn't broken, right? The Pokethlon runs smoothly and isn't too hard to get used to. Its a very welcome addition to the Pokemon franchise. I hope to see it carried into the 5th generation. I can't really talk much on gameplay though as it is mostly the same, fluid stuff as seen in prior games.
The graphics are simply amazing. The grass even looks more real than in D/P/Pt. And the Pokemon behind you is very well done, very clear on what each pokemon is and it adds a whole lot. There isn't really much flaw I've noticed in the graphics so from me it gets a perfect 10. All the animations are crisp too. Definitely a nice treat for your eyes.
Its got some replayability but eh..I'd almost pass, but some things are nice to go through again, but then you have to do a bunch of trading to save what pokemon you want. So I don't see many people restarting the games. But some things like the summoning of Lugia / Ho-oh, Suicune chase, etc. are nice to go through again as those are fun. But you have to really ask yourself if its worth losing some pokemon. Though that's why I recommend saving up for both. And keeping one as the "main game".
Extra features: 9/10
Rock Smash, Headbutt, PokeThlon...these are the 3 things that stick out to me personally. Rock Smash no longer is wasted, you can find items and Pokemon via this move on the field. It was always just to clear paths but now it can be a way to train and get free items. HeadButt is back. Not many approved of Honey Trees and now we go back to the fun of ramming a Rattata's head against a tree! =D All trees are headbuttable now, which is a definite improvement. Pokethlon is a new feature introduced in HeartGold and SoulSilver. It replaces the much hated Contests. In it you use your Pokemon in minigames like smashing bricks or hurdling snow. It is multiplayer but not sure on wifi. Its a good way to kill time.
Definitely should pick up one, if not both of these games. There's stuff I didn't cover (fearing passing the limit). There are things like the Safari Zone, Battle Frontier, WiFi, and other things that make it fun even post-game. Like gym rematches (And E4) to help you level up. Not to mention Pokethlon will keep you hooked. The Gym rematches go up to the low 70s so that's a nice challenge for all trainers. Sure the Battle Frontier may be the same as plat's but with no moves and such to use, its a fresh fight.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/15/09
Game Release: Pocket Monsters HeartGold (JP, 09/12/09)
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