"Pokemon in general has given me the best times of my life, but G/S has given me the best."

In early 1999, I was fortunate enough to purchase Pokemon Red and Blue for Gameboy, as well as a Gameboy Color. I played them profusely, and even got into the TV show, which also provided hours upon hours of entertainment. I then joined the UBB at Bulbagarden.com(which is now been overrun by hackers and spammers), and became one of the most respected members.

I then heard about the upcoming Pokemon G/S that was to be released in Japan soon. Having loved the original, I started reading reviews of the import version: Pokemon G/S might be the greatest RPG for any system, ever. The ability to do so many more things than in R/B/Y captivated me like nothing else, and also the improved battle engine was said to be sweeter than a warhead. Upon release, I was the third person at my local Best Buy to purchase Pokemon Gold, having raced several other kids of lower age to the display and grabbing the first copy, then bookin' over to the checkout. When I finally played the game, I was amazed.

Gameplay - 10/10

The first thing you notice about Pokemon G/S is the battle engine. Everything suddenly seems so much faster than R/B/Y's engine, and allowes almost total control over the battle.

The game works like this. Your job is to assemble a team of six Pokemon, moving them up and down the list depending on their importance. They are happier when on the top of the list, but sad when they are on the bottom(literally. they won't do what you tell them to if they aren't happy). The Pokemon on the top is the one that is sent out into battle automaticly. If a Pokemon is knocked out, you are given the option of what Pokemon to send out next.

The engine is incredible; the best I've ever played. The screen shows a back view of your Pokemon, and a front view of the opponent's Pokemon. You choose an attack from the attack list(there can only be 4 attacks on the list at one time), and your Pokemon will attack the opponent, showing dazzling animations, such as blurring out the opponent's picture, or sending pipes of water flying out at the enemy.

You can also attach items and use them as well, by going to the ''pack'' screen, available directly on the menu. Things like Potions heal damaged Pokemon, and things like Mystic Scales alter attack power durring battle. You can make a Pokemon hold an item and use it whenever it deems it necessary.

When you're not kicking nurrotic little Pikachu's asses into next week, you're walking around, buying things, healing your Pokemon, challenging people to battles, and mainly talking. Walking is nor too slow or too fast, making the experience all the more enjoyable. A bicycle can be purchased(but it ain't cheap!) to move at 10 times walking speed, and can also be hotkeyed to the select button, allowing you to change from walking to cycling quickly and easily.

Plot - 9/10

The plot is simple. 3 years ago, a boy named Ash ventured out of Kanto(the world of the original Pokemon games) and defeated the evil ''Team Rocket'', a corparation hellbent on using Pokemon for evil, and forced them to disband. He defeated his arch-rival(and ironicly his next door neighbor) to become the greatest world's greatest Pokemon Master.

Now, in the neigboring country of Johto, a boy named Gold wants to follow in his footsteps. he gets a Pokemon from the world-renowned Prof. Elm, and embarks on his action-packed quest. His goal is to defeat the 8 gym leaders in Johto, and then go to Kanto and defeat the 8 gym leaders there as well. He must then go to Indigo Plateau and challenge the Elite 4 to battle. If he succeeds in defeating them, he moves onto the leader of the Elite 4, and becomes a hall of famer. Then, in the climactic final battle, he must defeat Ash, the greatest Pokemon Master in the world, and become the greatest Pokemon Trainer of all time. Woo Hoo!

Graphics - 10/10

Remember: this is GAMEBOY COLOR. The graphics will only equal to the NES. Thats all I can say about that. I'd suggest going to Gamespot.com and looking at the screenshots that they have compiled.

Overall - 10/10

Pokemon Gold and Silver set the standered for all RPG's, and in my mind, surpassed the level set by the Final Fantasy series. It may not be as good as Chrono Trigger, but its still the greatest RPG ever to come out on a handheld system, and maybe even, any system ever.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/14/01, Updated 12/14/01


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