It’s finally come, the new Pokemon games HeartGold and SoulSilver. Are they really worth all the hype they’re getting? Sure it’s been a while since the last release of a true Pokemon game, and people were getting antsy, but the graphics are only minimally improved, and the sound is the same quality you’d find on a Game Boy.
Aside from those minor setbacks, the creators of Pokemon have outdone themselves. We can once again be sucked into the addictive world, as these remakes of the old Pokemon games Gold and Silver bring us back to where we began. There’s even a great addition of a Pokewalker, a little device you clip onto your belt or pocket that counts your steps and acts as a mini Pokemon game. It’s too bad you need a very small screwdriver to attach the part that connects it to your belt, and the battery only lasts about 100,000 steps (according to the manual). It’s a great little gadget, and a fun addition to the Pokemon collection. With decision maker wheel you can have a lot more fun throughout the game. You can learn about different gameplays and how you can effectively and quickly increase your level in the game.
The pricing on this Pokemon game, as well as all other Pokemon games when they first came out, was ridiculous. $40 was a bit much for my wallet but I still pre-ordered it, caught up in all the excitement. However, the gameplay is not different from other Pokemon games, and you will get more bang for your buck if you wait for the price to drop a bit. Especially if you’re going to be buying a pricey game guide to go along with, as that runs about $20, and the additional Pokedex + Post game guide can run yet another $20-30, and it isn’t even to be released until June.
*The sound needs more improving, I’m tired of feeling like I’m playing on a game boy with the sound quality.
*You can’t control your character with the stylus. This would make it much easier on the hands and neck while playing.
*Pokewalker battery has a short lifespan.
*You need a special screwdriver to attach the clip onto the Pokewalker so you can wear it on your belt or pants pocket.
*You can’t use a different Pokedex, the Pokemon level up and learn different moves at different levels. This means if you really have to know, you have to buy the official Pokedex for HeartGold and SoulSilver.
*Two regions to explore: Johto and Kanto, instead of the normal one region.
*There are not only 8 gym leaders in this game, but 16!
*Advanced stylus-controlled menu functions.
*Less lag during battle scenes. They are noticeably faster than any previous Pokemon game currently available.
*Online battling is a great addition.
*Pokeathlon mini games are an addicting addition to the game, and I have spent the vast majority of my time playing them.
Great, but do they really have to split up the game and post-game scenarios? I don’t want to spend $40 to buy both guides, even though in the long run I know I’ll buy them both. The first guide is well detailed and colorful, with easy to find references and lists. There’s even a walkthrough checklist so you know what to do next if you’re stuck. As usual there is a detailed view of the first 8 gym leaders, including their Pokemon and levels. There are also handy little references as to what Pokemon can be found in the area you’re at in the game. Can you catch them all? Maybe not, but this guide sure can help a lot!
Overall, the games are good, but don’t rush out and spend $80 on the game and guides. Wait for the prices to drop, or even to come in used at your local game store. All-in-all, I guess we really still “gotta catch ’em all!”