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Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver review


Lee_Stricklin's review/breakdown of the best handheld games he's ever played.

Review Score:

After disappointing us with Ruby/Sapphire and later pissing us off with really bad remakes of Green and Red, many gamers (myself included) gave up on the Pokemon franchise and skipped the first part of generation 4. Well GameFreak announced remakes of Gold/Silver back in May last year and many of us having fond memories of the old days and dying for a piece of nostalgia started tracking the development. Through out it's development, most of the fans that were turned off on Gen 3 were convinced that these were going to be amazing games. Well they've been out for awhile now, and I'm over 50 hours into it and just like every fan speculated, these were the games we wanted. Everything all the way down to the box itself (which has a lot more than holo-foil presenting the game) is nothing short of epic and the Pokewalker included with the game is a really neat extra that is practical, capable of expanding the game, and for some of us, a fourth dose of nostalgia (some of you may remember the Pikachu 2 and it's Gold/Silver compatibility). Everybody who has played Yellow as well as anything from generation two, will get triple dose of nostalgia in their playthrough thanks to the game not being alien to it's original source (like Fire/Leaf were), your starter following you everywhere (just like Pikachu did in Yellow), and the GB Sounds you'll unlock when you get all 16 badges.

Brings all the features of the later Pokemon games (that sucked lol) into the very best games in the series. In addition to that, they subtley tweaked EVERYTHING and you now have more stuff to do (fighting one of the legendary birds is necessary and part of the story now) and you will often times have to do something a bit different than what you did ten years ago to progress the story. There are also new regions added that tremendously add to the game (the battle frontier is like three Celadon Cities put together, and Mt Silver is fucking huge now). It will take a LONG TIME for even a veteran Pokemon master to run out of stuff to do in these games. It should also be noted that EVERY SINGLE GENERATION 1 LEGENDARY FROM RED, GREEN, BLUE, AND YELLOW IS CATCHABLE IN THIS GAME.

New Regions, these added a TON of gameplay:
Route 48/47/Safari Zone (they made a new one this time)
Battle Frontier (GET UP AND FRAG!)
Cerulean Cave (yes, they brought it back)
Pal Park (this is where the old safari zone was)
Mt. Silver (it was expanded so much I had to list it)
Viridian Forest (it isn't chopped down this time)
Pokeathlon center (never messed with it, sounds kinda lame)
Global Terminal (not really a region, just an addition to Goldenrod where you trade Pokemon from all over the world)

Simply amazing. No better way to put it. Thanks to the new game's art style I will actually go on record and say this is one of the prettiest games I've played on any given platform.

In addition to an unlockable 8 bit soundtrack that was put together to sound close to what you heard in both generation 1 (yes, they remixed a faster Cerulean City into 8 bit) and 2, you also have an impressive soundtrack that is both old and new at the same time. While some of the earlier tracks don't exactly sound like the originals, the overwhelming majority of the game sounds like both an upgrade AND remix at the same time. Even cooler is the new soundtrack sounds like it was put together using samples similar to what you would hear on the better Sega developed Genesis 32X (the soundtrack has A LOT of resemblence to Knuckles Chaotix soundtrack in some areas which is very good), Mega CD (just called CD over here in America), and Saturn games and it sounds amazing as a result of it. Also in addition to the original 8 bit soundtrack, you also have an amazing sounding list of 8 bit remixes for tracks that weren't in the originals. The only complaints I have about the soundtrack is that the 8 bit soundtracks can't be played in any gym battle, Rocket fight, or rival battle and there are few spots that got screwed up in it (New Bark town sounds different than it should).

Bottom line:
Whether reliving a past experience (like almost every 18-25 year old with a DS) or experiencing it for the first time, I can honestly say that this is a huge improvement over the originals (which WERE the best handheld games I ever played) and a must play for any gamer. 9.7 out of 10.
These are the best remakes of any game I have played, and I've played literally over a thousand games in my life time. I really wish other developers (Looks at Epic games' Unreal and Unreal Tournament series) could properly remake their games.

Oh wait.

Silver, back in the days, took a huge bite out of my time.

These games are huge, and if you play them casually, it'll be next year before you finish em, far as I'm concerned.
[Image: di-712770583645.png]

I was a pokemon master nearly ten years ago and still have both the original Gold and SIlver. Encounter me on the playground and I would command my well-trained level 80 Meganium "Razer" to kill your level 96 Typhlosion. After playing Heart Gold and Soul Silver I can honestly say that they did the original classics justice and this didn't turn out like Fire Red and Leaf Green. Also just because you blaze through the originals, don't think your going to just fly through these. They extended the hell out of it and used every piece of real-estate that is in these games and even put in a few twists on some of the quests you do.

Oh wait.

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