Review by Dark33

"Actually a pretty good Pokemon game"

If you haven’t heard of Pokemon by now, you must be living on another planet. Anyway, Gold/Silver is the latest installment in the series. This game is actually the best of the series so far, but it still misses the mark and ends up as a merely average game. Although there are times it can be fun, just as often, it can be tedious and boring. No matter what anyone or I say about it, this game will still sell millions of copies. Please don’t call me a Pokemon hater. I have truly played these games from a non-bias point of view and tried to like them. I played Pokemon Blue before it became such a phenomenon. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like these games. Okay anyway…

Graphics: 77/100
Way better than Red/Blue. More details are present in the graphics, although the characters still need work. They won’t knock you back on your seat, but these are pretty good graphics for the good old Game Boy Color. There definitely are better, but these graphics get the job done. The battle animation is improved from the first games, but it still needs some improvement. Several moves look excellent but no effort is present on many others. Luckily, this game isn’t about animation, it’s about being an RPG.

Overall: Very good graphics, but poor battle animation.

Control: 80/100
A great feature is that you can assign an important item to the select button, like the bike, for quick access. This is a really cool improvement, so that you don’t have to go all the way to the item menu. The menus are easy to navigate, and your character moves fine. However, before you get the bike, your character moves way too slowly. This is a problem because you don’t get the bike until you’re fairly well into the game. Luckily, when you get it, you move at good speed. Oh, and by the way, the battle menus are very easy to navigate. You can also switch around placement of items and moves, which is always a good thing.

Overall: Menus are easy to move through, character control is fine, but he moves too slowly.

Plot: 20/100
Exactly the same as the first game. To become the best Pokemon trainer in all the land. It’s too bad that there aren’t any twists and turns so that it could be more interesting. It would have helped the game be a lot less boring.

Sound: 50/100
The sound itself is basic, and much of the music is really annoying. The sound is improved, as moves sound differently, and there overall are many more sounds than in Blue/Red. Also, a few of the themes sound pretty good actually, which brings this score up to a 50.

Gameplay: 55/100
Alright. I’ll start by complaining about the number of characters (Pokemon) that can battle at one time. One-on-one. That’s it. In most RPG’s you get at least 3 characters to fight with at once, but not here. A huge flaw, I must say, and one that severely limits the fun and game itself. Fighting turn-based battles one-on-one is extremely boring. Nintendo could improve the Pokemon series by a lot by making battles at least three on three. This would add so much more strategy and challenge to this game, as picking a good team that works together would be extremely crucial. Moreover, wild Pokemon mercilessly attack you every 5 steps when in a cave or a grassy field which is extremely annoying and tedious. This was a problem in the original game too, and it hasn’t been eliminated. Building up your characters takes lots of time and patience. One good point is the number of Pokemon in this game, 250 in all. This relieves some of the tediousness (is that even a word?). But battles get extremely repetitive quickly. You don’t earn money fighting wild Pokemon, instead you must earn it in trainer battles. Bad idea. You can only fight each trainer once, unless you get his/her phone number and he/she calls for a rematch. Some of your gear is pretty cool, like the radio and the phone. Having TMs that teach your Pokemon different moves is a pretty good idea though. However, your Pokemon can only learn up to 4 moves at a time. This should have been extended to at least 5. If you want a new one, you’ll have to delete an old one. Another complaint is that a lot of the Pokemon are useless. Why bother catching them? They are simply not as strong as others, and when you are finally able to get them, far into the game, their use will have disappeared. Finally, I’ll end on a good note. This game involves a lot of strategy, especially for the younger audience, so this might be an okay game to pick up for them. But if you’re older, this game is too easy.

Replay Value: Average
About the only thing you’d want to replay this game for is collecting all 250 monsters. That’s why I brought the score up to a medium

Challenge: Below Average
This may take a while to beat, but don’t expect too much of a challenge. It’s pretty likely that you’ll play the game without being defeated once. Although the Elite Four are pretty tough the first time

Strong Points:
Lots of monsters to collect
Good graphics and play control
The quest itself is pretty good

Weak Points:
Too easy
One-on-one battles
Battles are tedious
Too many random battles

Overall: 57/100
This is a slightly above average RPG. That’s it. If you like collecting games, you might want to give Gold/Silver a look. If you want a solid RPG you can take on the road, instead look more closely at Dragon Warrior 1+2. Lacking challenge and interesting things to do, the Pokemon series is in need of a radical improvement that could save the series from total mediocrity. Luckily, the ideas in this game are pretty original and creative, and the series definitely has potential to eventually be pretty good. Unfortunately, it’s not there yet, but overall, this game is a step in the right direction. What is now needed, is something to make it interesting.

Rounded to Fit GameFaqs score: 6/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/09/01, Updated 03/09/01

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