Review by neonreaper

"Repetitive yet charming, I think I missed the boat with Pokemon"

I never got into Pokemon during it's first burst onto the scene. I watched the cartoons a bit, as I was at the college age where everyone semi-ironically watches cartoons to relax. I think I got my dad a giant plushie Pikachu as a "get well" gift when he was recovering from cancer, as he watched the show to relax as well. There was always something upbeat and easy to digest about the show, if college kids and adults could watch it, I can see how it became so popular among younger people.

I didn't spend much time with handhelds when the games came out, not until the waning days of the GBA SP did I get back into handheld gaming, so I never had the experience with Pokemon. This continued until Soul Silver and Heart Gold came out, and I had a long business trip ahead of me and wanted something to relax with back at the hotel, and on the plane rides. I gave Soul Silver a shot.

Almost immediately it becomes clear that the came wants to push a positive attitude at the player. While some other characters seem aggressive, selfish and competitive, the main characters are all pleasant and helpful and seem to be full of good intent. You don't really need to worry about deceptive natures from the people. The game becomes an adventure RPG game, and also a giant collect-a-thon for some people, as well as a competitive PvP setup for others. You run around, battling pokemon, collecting them, training them, and using them to defeat enemies along the way, though the term "enemy" isn't quite accurate.

I found the battles to be repetitive, the random encounter battles tedious after a certain point, and the overall sense of the game just didn't draw me in. Battles just don't have much going for them at the earlier levels, and so you either power level and rock everything, or you try to breeze through the game and some battles have a little challenge, though the easiest and best solution is just to get levels.

There's no real feeling of reward for beating the game and the battle system is a bit too dull to be rewarding in and of itself. The real thrill comes from collecting pokemon, enjoying the pokemon world, and training pokemon to engage in PvP. None of it really drew me in, but I do think it would have been awesome back when these games first came out.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/27/11

Game Release: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (US, 03/14/10)


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