Review by spaz102
Basically, they released it too late. Still good though.
Every time a new pokemon game comes out, it is expected that it will have at least a few improvements over its predecessors. Fire Red and Leaf Green were huge over their first generation versions; adding the new improved mechanics, colour, and so on. Then Emerald was released, which took all the features from that generation, added a few, and left players with something great to enjoy for the remainder of the gba's lifetime. These new remakes should do the same; bring an old game into the new mechanics, add the niceties we already have in the core games of the generation, and maybe experiment with some minor additions. Here I will express my opinion of how well those goals are accomplished.
It's a pokemon game. As such, I will compare it to other pokemon games (pokemon platinum to be specific, as it was the latest game until now) rather than the rest of the video game world. The first thing I noticed, is that there's no poketch. That wonderful, useful poketch - the reason generation IV is on the ds and not any other gameboy - is gone. It has been replaced by what can only be described as a persistent start menu. The touch pad now serves to save you a single button press when you want to use another repel. There's a radio, with all kinds of features, but it doesn't go on the touch screen. There's a portable berry pot, a dowsing machine, and the map/cellphone from the pokegear... But they don't go on the touch screen. (Well the dowsing machine does, but only until the screen changes) As such, I must regard the interface as a rather severe downgrade from previous games. Some of the other differences seem just as ridiculous. Elemental stones are nearly impossible to get, for no real reason. The game corner removed the option to just -buy- coins, thus forcing the player to grind away at a luck-based (although admittedly well made, with much room for strategic play) minigame for hours, just to get one of several much needed tms. Pokemon which evolve by location are impossible to get without trading. Well, mostly; Rotom gets his bunch of appliances.
On the upside, the new gold and silver have some of the toughest trainer battles in pokemon history. It isn't all that much, but it means a lot that offline players have something to do too. Speaking of which, the new safari zone is amazing, and the great battle frontier is present. Instead of a different kind of battle in other games' pokemon contests, HGSS have the pokethlon, which is mostly a hefty collection of simple but fun minigames. I'd call that a good improvement.
Does the good outweigh the bad? I'd say not after you beat the game, as everything you want to do in the endgame is simply better to do in platinum.
It's a pokemon game. If you've played any pokemon game before, you know exactly how the entire story will go. If this is the only aspect you look for in a game, you're better off elsewhere.
They did really well here. Players have access to remixed or classic versions of pretty much any song from the first two generations. Lots of rival trainers have their own theme songs, and all of the music is quite high quality. As for graphics, they are about as good as the rest of generation IV, which are really quite good for a handheld console. The only minor disappointment I has was that the sprites are the same as D/P/Pl, where the original gold and silver each had their own unique set of sprites.
Replay Value: 5/10 (9/10 if you don't have D/P/Pl)
Compared to platinum, HGSS have no advantages except for a few higher level trainer battles. As most of the replay value, at least for myself, comes from breeding, collecting, and competing with pokemon, there's really no reason to prefer this over the other generation IV games. If this is the only pokemon game you have, however, there is a lot to do for a long time.
Final Score: 7/10 (9/10 if you don't own D/P/Pl)
If you play pokemon games for the adventure, for the journey of catching pokemon and beating the elite four, this is a simply amazing game. The features missing from the rest of generation IV will hardly ever effect you, and you will have a great time with the quality and amount of content this game has to offer. If you play pokemon games for the endgame, namely filling out the pokedex, collecting shinies, or competetive battling, you are better off buying platinum and then maybe HGSS if you don't want to trade for the uncatchable pokemon. If you are looking for a nostalgic replay of your old favorite pokemon game, then this game was made specifically for you, and you will love every second of it. If this game was released before its generation's third core game, it would be great (This is what happened with Fire/Leaf, where they were released between Ruby/Sapphire and Emerald). Unfortunately, HGSS came after platinum, and can't really compete with a core game.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (US, 03/14/10)
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