Review by Texticular
"10 years later, My Soul is now shining silver"
Ten years ago, Whether you were a teenager, or just a little boy or girl, you played Pokemon Gold or Pokemon Silver, and after you beat the game, you sat awe stuck at what you had played. Pokemon Silver and Gold are arguably the best two games out of the Pokemon series, and certainly the largest, allowing you to spread your adventure over two continents, the new Johto region which was where the story mainly took place, but after you were triumphant In Johto, you would return to the homeland of Pokemon, the Kanto region. This little twist, came as a shocking addition that pleased players. You would see the events unfolded two years after the crowning of the new Pokemon league champion...Red.
Fast forward now, ten years to present day, these two classic games were remade, into what is now known as Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver. And even after ten years of these two classics being lost in your game drawers, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that not only has the dynamics of Gold and Silver remained, but they have been vastly improved to feature a more modern twist to them. These addition include: The Pokeathalon, Internet connection, the return of the Global Trade Station and the battle frontier. And plenty other goodies that are sure to please any fan of the series.
We will first take a look at the core game play, and needless to say, if you have played a Pokemon game before, you should skip ahead down. For those of you who haven't, you are in for quite a treat. The dynamics of the Game play, are for the most part old and rehashed, but as the old saying goes: "If it's not broken, don't fix it". You are a mini person, standing a whopping four feet tall and six inches(4'6") on your own personal adventure through the world, your goal is to become a Pokemon master, and catch every Pokemon that you come across. In order to do this you will engage in Pokemon battles with either wild Pokemon, or other Pokemon trainers scattered across the world. You will enter a turn by turn base style of fighting, just like with any role playing game you will play. You will have a choice of a maximum of four or less attacks to choose from to inflict damage to an opponent. You will also have access to your own personal bag, carrying battle items, potions, Pokeballs(used to catch wild Pokemon). Your goal is to drain the health of enemy trainer's Pokemon, or to catch a Pokemon should be wild. Simple enough right?
The Plot to the game is no different then ten years ago, or any other Pokemon game for that matter. Your on an adventure to become a Pokemon master, and be crowned the new champion, of the Pokemon league. In order to do this, you must collect gym badges from gym leaders found in select towns. There are eight in each region you must collect in order to face the Elite Four. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong. Your also responsible for battling a evil crime syndicate known as Team Rocket, who is trying to take over the world. On top of saving Pokemon from them. You will also come across many side quests to help fill your time, and there are so many you are more likely to not even find half them. All of this will culminate though, because you will face the greatest trainer who ever lived, not to mention the strongest trainer in the series to date.
For those of who are looking for dynamic sounds that are rich and lush, as well as beautiful graphics, you will be let down. The sounds you will hear the Pokemon make, are recycled dating back as far as the Poke Red and Blue games, so you will more then likely hear the most annoying sounds ever. The graphics aren't terribly offer, they are decent for the DS system, but they don't perform up to the console's full potential, although the world is redone in a 3D sense, it still could have looked nicer.
The Internet also returns for the console, you have several online things you can do. You are able to go into a new addition of going to the Wifi Plaza were you will be able to play mini games with other people anywhere in the world at the same time. The battle frontier makes its return as well, this is the source for all, online Poke battle, although you will not be battling a trainer in real time, only their data that has been downloaded to your DS. If your interested in playing other trainers in real time, you will have to exchange friend codes with someone, this enables the ability to talk to the person during the battle. The Global Trade station also makes its return to the series as a way to trade your Pokemon online with anyone. They way this is set up is you can either search for a Pokemon you want, or offer to trade one. In order for a trade to commence, you must meet another person's criteria for a trade, such as a specific Pokemon, it's gender, it's level, etc. The same will also apply if you offer a Pokemon up for trade, you can select a Pokemon you want, and another person must meet your criteria.
What's new I'm sure your wondering. Well besides the Wifi-Plaza, we also see the addition of the Pokeathlon which is set up like a series of mini games based on event's you would find in the real world Olypmics. You can complete these event's so you can earn point which can be used to buy prizes. The Safari zone also is redone a little bit, you are now able to customize how it is set up, so you can vary to types of Pokemon you will run into while inside the Safari Zone. A decent return as well is the Pal Park that we saw in last generation's games. Although you will not be able to use Pal Park to import your Pokemon if you do not have an original DS, or DS lite. The DSi is not compatible due to it's lacking of a Game boy cartridge slot.
In closing, if you enjoy the Pokemon series, this is a must have, even if you only enjoyed the original Pokemon Gold and Silver. If you are new to the series, this is a great way to kick it off. Although not much is substantially different from the originals. It is a very well done remake that does a great job creating a fun experience as well as a giant replayability value to it. It is a nice filler to tide us over until the next Pokemon generation is released, if you own a Nintendo DS game system, then you would be foolish not to purchase this game. Though it is not the best game you will ever be playing, you will not be disappointed with it. It does more then an adequate of recreating that same amazement, joy, and magic that the original Pokemon Silver and Gold had created.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/20/10
Game Release: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (US, 03/14/10)
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