Review by X-Naut

"Good as Gold! (and in some ways better!)"

Pokemon are fascinating creatures that run wild in this alternate universe. Pokemon are basically like animals, except they can execute different types of powers, like fire, electricity, and telekinesis! Pokemon can also be captured by people known as Pokemon trainers! These trainers raise their Pokemon to be both friends and fighters! Trainers hold tournaments for Pokemon battles to see who is the top trainer! A trainer's goal is to become a Pokemon Master, something which has no clear definition other than the most powerful trainer. Trainers also try to catch as many Pokemon as they can, hence the catch phrase, "Gotta catch 'em all!" When children in the Pokemon world turn 10 years old, they become eligible to be Pokemon trainers!

Wild Pokemon are found in tall grass. They appear at random, and once you run into one, you'll immediately go into battle. Whichever Pokemon is at the front of your team (this can be changed at any time outside of battle) will start the battle. Each Pokemon has certain attacks they can use. The attacks do more or less damage than normal if the opponent is a certain type of Pokemon. For example, a Cyndaquil can use Ember, a fire attack which can burn enemies. This will do double the damage against a grass type like Chikorita, but only half the damage to a water Pokemon like Wooper. Once you whittle down an enemy Pokemon's HP, they faint. But if it's a wild Pokemon, you can throw a PokeBall at them to catch them. This works easier with the less HP that the Pokemon has. Once you capture a Pokemon, you can put it on your team and battle with it. You can have up to 6 Pokemon on your team at a time. If you can fit any more Pokemon on your team, all captured Pokemon will be sent to your PC, where you can swap which Pokemon you want or don't want on your team. Pokemon Gold/Silver has 251 Pokemon total.

The thing that sets Gold/Silver apart from the other versions is the day/night feature. The game has an internal clock built into it, and the sceneray changes from day to night. Different Pokemon can be only be caught at certain times of day, and certain events only occur at certain times! You'll also get calls from trainers you've battled over your PokeGear, who ask you for a rematch!

If a trainer spots you, you'll immediately go into battle with him/her. They can have from 1 to 6 enemies on their team. The first trainer to take down all of the other trainer's Pokemon is the victor. Trainer battles are relatively easy, it's the gym battles that you'll have to worry about. They're good for experience, though. After you defeat them, your Pokemon will earn experience and you will receive money, which you can use to buy items from stores that can heal your Pokemon in battle.

After a Pokemon gets a certain amount of experience points, they gain a level. If a Pokemon gains enough levels (depends on which Pokemon it is), it will evolve into a more powerful form! They also tend to be larger and more ferocious-looking. A fully-evolved Feraligatr is much larger and fiercer-looking than its first stage, Totodile. Also, Pokemon don't just evolve from leveling up. If exposed to certain evolution stones, they might also evolve! For example, a Sunkern will only evolve into a Sunflora if you give it a Sun Stone! If you want to catch 'em all, you're going have to evolve different Pokemon in addition to catching them.

If you have friends to play with, you'll get good use of the link cable. With the cable, you can battle your friends' Pokemon! But even better yet is the trading system! Don't have the money for Silver but have a friend who has it, or vice versa? This is where trading comes in handy. You'll also need to trade Pokemon from the previous versions if you want to catch 'em all. Unfortunately, the trading process is rather time-consuming.

Graphics in this game have received an upgrade from Pokemon's earlier days of black and white. Though it's not too much different than in Red/Blue, the visuals are much easier on your eyes. Attacks also look pretty decent. It's nothing mind-blowing, though, even for the Game Boy Color.

Each Pokemon has their own special ''cry'', or sound they make when they enter a battle. Most of them are fairly short, while some can get a little annoying. No, they're not their actual voices, just sounds. As for the music, it falls into the ''average'' category as well. Nothing too special, but nothing horrid.

The Pokemon games have always been very addictive (the RPGs in particular), and the first two started that tradition. Catching all 251 Pokemon should take you a while, especially since both versions, the previous versions, and a link cable are required to do so. Battling with others over the link cable with friends should also add some nice replay value to the game.

Rent or buy?
The score should give you your answer.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/07/04


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