Review by Vincentsdream
"Another great Pokemon game, but with flaws."
Pokemon, a series that just doesn't seem to give out, why? Because in all honesty it's a very entertaining series and I for one don't see this thing dying any time soon. Twelve years ago Pokemon Blue and Red hit the shores of the US, it instantly caused a hysteria for the series and that hysteria, although a bit less, has far from vanished. Two years after the original game was made, the sequel Gold and Silver was released. The games were thought amazing sequels and the series continued on from that. Following the trend set by "Pokemon: Fire Red & Leaf Green" Game Freak has once again remade one of the classic originals for the new area of gaming. "Pokemon: Heart Gold & Soul Silver." To say the least this game is, like any other Pokemon game, absolutely fun to play, and quite addicting at that. However, there are a few things out there that come off as lazy, but in the all the game is absolutely true to the Pokemon style and if you are a fan of any of the Pokemon games, you will want to buy this.
There isn't much to say for graphics when it comes to hand held games, they will never be as good as the more modern consoles but that doesn't mean their graphics are bad. "Heart Gold & Soul Silver" continue the trend of "Diamond, Pearl & Platinum" by introducing some 3D effects to the game, especially when it comes to the gyms. It's overall very impressive and adds a new layer of flavor to the game. On top of that, as this is a remake, the entire game has been redone introducing new sprites and the such. It's a very beautiful game, colorful and showing depth. On top of that the battle animations have been updated quite a bit since its origin game, the Pokemon move more freely and the newly created "move" animations are a spectacle to say the least.
Sound and Music: 9/10
The sound and music of this game is very similar in composition to every other Pokemon game out there, however with the DS's capabilities I can honestly say it's entertaining to listen to, and does not get one your nerves while you walk around and level up for hours. On top of the standard themes of the game; standard battle, Pokemon center, route themes, they introduce unique battle themes that mix things up, a very welcomed change. The sound of the Pokemon however is still very much the same basic sound, it is improved from its predecessor but you're still pretty much getting the random 8 bit sound, that isn't a complaint though. Game Freak also decided to add a "gift" if you defeat all Sixteen gyms, you unlock a item that allows you to listen to the original music in all its 8 bit "glory." Overall it's very good music and worthy of the series. Perfect background music, but nothing that you will want to purchase a sound track for or anything.
The story follow the very same flow of every Pokemon game, as much as I enjoy this story I would be doing you a disservice to give it a higher score simply because it is very "cliché" and has been used for every single game. Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean this isn't a good story, it's just mediocre at the worst. The story revolves around the player's character and his adventure into the Pokemon world. Like previous games you given a choice to pick one of three starter Pokemon, from there you begin your journey to prove yourself as a true Pokemon Master, at least of your area in the Pokemon World. Through the story you will take on Eight Gyms (Sixteen after Elite Four) and eventually progress to the elite four. However, Gold and Silver were the first games to introduce another plot to their overall story; this one focuses on Team Rocket and their attempts to rise up from the ashes left by their defeat in the previous game. I must say the side story, or main story for some people is not as engrossing as "Team Galactic" in Pokemon Diamond/Platinum/Pearl but I do find it a very good story. It was the first secondary plot introduced into the series as the first game simply focused on the trainer and his rise through the gyms and eventually Elite 4.
Now for the bad, I'm considering the translation to be a part of the story for easy purposes. This game has a tendency to just sound really bad. Through several conversations you will discover that at times the translation is just lazy, very lazy. One example would be "You got the Tm 21" it's just poorly written at times and seems very lazy. This isn't a issue at all for most, but for me it got really annoying.
Game play 10/10
Let's be honest, when it comes down to a Pokemon game it is all about the "Game Play" it's not about the music, or even the story, it's about playing the actual game. Battling with your Pokemon, trading with friends, collecting and with newer generations dressing them up and such. This game, like all others, delivers when it comes to Game Play. Like its original Predecessor, which introduced Pokemon Breeding, the game adds several features that allow you to really feel as if you are a part of this unique Pokemon world.
Like any standard Pokemon game when it comes down to how fun it is the main "affect" is the combat of the game. The combat is virtually the same from the first game; the only differences would be newer moves and different Pokemon "Type". What is different however is the appearance of combat, more advanced animations, better detailed music and graphics in general and of course more Pokemon. This game has to be one of the better Pokemon games in terms of Game Play, the main reason being that it opens up two worlds not just one. After going through the game proper you are allowed to visit the land of Kanto, the location of the first Pokemon game, and collected more Pokemon and on top of that partake in battling their gyms. This is in all honesty a great thing and something I wish had carried over the games preceding it (original silver). However it is to this day a Gold/Silver (now Soul Silver/Heart Gold) exclusive. That alone should make this game a must buy for any Pokemon Fan or first time Pokemon player.
The game does seem to move slower however, in fact you'll find that for a while the "levels" of the Pokemon don't seem to change much and simply hover in the 20-30 levels when you are well pass that, it also can be more difficult at times. Now if you are simply looking for a better version of Gold/Silver then this is very much it, on top of renovating the appearance of the game they added several things. One obvious thing added is the Safari Zone. For those who don't know what this place is, it is simply a location in the game where the player can catch several different types of Pokemon and usually at great ease. Several Pokemon not originally in Silver/Gold appear in this place, and some that have not been previously found in the wild also show up. For instance a wide variety of "Legendaries" is available in this game, legendaries being one of a kind Pokemon. On top of this they added several other things such as bug catching contests, or races.
Replay Value 10/10
Pokemon is really one of those games that can virtually be played over and over again, yes the story is all the same but the fact that you can have a different set of core Pokemon makes this game essentially something you can always pick up and start over. For that I give it a 10, that being said however I don't see someone erasing their save and starting over without owning another game...simply because you collect so many things it's hard to see it erased. One thing Pokemon has done constantly that should be changed is multiple saves, I see the reasoning for this because of the "starter" Pokemon, having more than one save would get rid of the "Rarity" of these Pokemon, but online trading already does that. But other than that, this game has massive replay value.
Final Score 8/10
With a majority of the game being amazing there really isn't a lot to complain about, the most annoying was poor translation but that can be looked over for the most part. This really is a fun game that any Pokemon fan should purchase and if you've yet to play a Pokemon game, this is the one to try. It seems to have the most, and be the longest of the available games. I highly suggest this DS game for anyone!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/22/10
Game Release: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (US, 03/14/10)
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