Review by Shivan Reincarnated

Reviewed: 08/04/06

This game extends the golden age of Pokemon

Pokemon is now the second selling franchise of all time right behind Mario. And this is only because Mario had about a 10 year start. Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue were the first of these games. Pokemon Yellow soon followed with a loose connection to the popular T.V. show. Naturally, sequels had to of course follow. Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver were released simultaneously after much anticipation. The games were just as good as the originals and improved in many ways. The story starts as you, a boy OR girl who wants to become the Pokemon Master. You achieve this by going around and defeating eight gym leaders before squaring off against the Elite Four. You do this though Pokemon battles. As I’m sure you know, Pokemon are creatures that you must capture and train. After receiving your first Pokemon, you’ll eventually be engaged in a battle with a mysterious person. He ends up being your rival along the way. It isn’t quite as simple as just beating eight gym leaders. To get from town to town you’ll have to navigate through forests and caves battling trainers along the way. You’ll also need to stop Team Rocket, a sinister organization. You start off with a choice of three pokemon in this game. You’ll encounter new people and new events throughout the game making this game exciting at all times.

Pokemon is an RPG but not like Final Fantasy. You can have up to six Pokemon in your party. You can have more but they get stored in your PC. As you go from area to area you can go into grass or fish to encounter wild pokemon. These wild pokemon are cacheable. Each pokemon has the ability to use four different attacks. More on attacks later. Each pokemon has their own unique stats for HP, Attack, Defense, Speed, Special Attack and Special Defense. Yes in these games the Special stat was rightly cut into two categories. As you battle Trainers other Pokemon and wild pokemon your pokemon will gain levels and learn new abilities. Many pokemon even evolve into stronger Pokemon. There are 251 pokemon total in this game, that is 100 more than the previous games. Although to be quite honest, a lot of them are rather lame. But there are some really cool gems out of this new slew too. Most can be captured at various areas around the world. Some have to be fished up while others have to be traded for. The big difference between Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver is the fact that some pokemon are exclusive to only one version. Fortunately, you can trade between the three games. In addition to being able to trade, you can also battle your friends. Completing your Pokedex by catching all 251 pokemon is a common goal for most owners of these games.

Attacks are actually more complex than meets the eye. For starters, there are 17 different types of Pokemon. Grass, Water, Fire, Bug, Poison, Flying, Ground, Rock, Dragon, Psychic, Ice, Fighting, Ghost, Normal and Electric. The two new types that were added to this game were Steel and Dark. Each type has their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Fire does well against Grass, Water goes well against Fire, Grass does well against Water. Psychic does well against Fighting, Ice does good against Ground, Rock does good against Ice. Many pokemon even have dual types and can some can perform attacks that aren’t necessarily of their type (A water pokemon using a normal or ice move). In addition to being many types of attacks, the attacks are also divided into physical or special. Normal and Rock would be examples of psychical while fire and Psychic would be considered special. Not all moves are attack moves either. There are many supporting abilities like Recover which restores that particular pokemon’s life or Leer which would lower your opponents defense. In addition to moves that are simply used in battle there are several moves that can be used out of battle. Cut is used to chop down bushes. Fly is used to revisit towns you’ve been to. Teleport and Dig are used for escaping. Surf allows you to cross the water. Strength allows you to move boulders and Flash lightens up the area. Waterfall and Whirlpool allow you to… well, cross Waterfalls and Whirlpools. That reminds me, there are TMs and HMs in this game. There are 50 TMs and they are used to teach Pokemon abilities that they usually would not naturally learn. However, once they are used they are gone permanently. HMs have the same purpose but they can be used over and over again. They do not expire. As with most RPGs, there are also status effects that can be used against you but you can also use them to your advantage. There is poison, paralysis, burn, freeze, confusion and sleep. They are an integral part of the game but they make the game play all the better. Although in these early Pokemon games, sleep was broken but was fixed in this game. As was the annoying wrap/paralysis combo.

The graphics are of course improved but I still wasn’t in awe over them. That’s okay though, graphics don’t really affect this game in the slightest. Gold and Silver added a bunch of new features to the Pokemon games. There is now day and night. Some Pokemon only come out in Night. After you beat the Elite Four there is also a whole new world. As I’ve already mentioned, there is also 100 new pokemon. There are many new attacks and abilities. You can also breed your Pokemon to get abilities you couldn’t otherwise get or some exclusive “baby” pokemon. Psychic was no longer broken and this game is not a glitch haven compared to Red and Blue.

Storyline: 10/10
Game Play: 9/10
Sound/Music: 8/10
Graphics: 10/10
Difficulty/Replay Value: 10/10

Overall: 47/50 = 94% = 9

Pokemon was once a huge craze but due to some poor marketing, it became “uncool” and something that was viewed as “kiddy”. This is quite simply not true as Pokemon is actually a very well integrated RPG with some very deep game play. These games are much less complex than the later Pokemon games but that doesn’t discredit how deep this game is in any way. Pokemon is undoubtedly one of the best series out there. These two games only added to how deep the game play is. It would only get more advanced.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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