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Pokémon Gold / Silver - Review

Golden?
By: Roku

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 4
   Interaction 3
   Originality 2
   Story 2
   Music & Sound 3
   Visuals 4
   Challenge Easy
   Completion Time 20-100 hours  
Overall
4

There are special shiny Pokemon now too
There are special shiny Pokemon now too
Title
Pokémon Gold / Silver appeared as the first real sequel to the original Pokemon. Featuring 100 new Pokemon, a new area, and a few modifications, GS is a slight improvement over the original. Though much of it remains the same as the original, it is still quite enjoyable and the backwards compatibility is a welcome addition. Once again, GS follows a boy who travels from town to town in order to gather the badges he needs to challenge the Elite Four and become the greatest Pokemon trainer.

The battle system found in GS is very similar to the one found in the original. It is deceptively simple and has many strategic opportunities despite being rarely tested in the main game. Players create a party of six Pokemon balancing elements, power, and abilities to create a unstoppable team. Each Pokemon can learn a maximum of four attacks so it is important to choose wisely. Pokemon go in order of their speed, but they can also be switched at will at the cost of a turn. The largest addition to battle is the ability to equip items. These assist strategy even further.

GS retains the difficulty or lack thereof that Red/Blue had. Few opponents pose much of a threat and most bosses leave themselves wide open for elemental exploitation. None are really high enough level to challenge the player to use much strategy either. The are a few powerful high-level bosses, but neither pose a significant challenge either. A large number of healing items are also easy to obtain and make even the most powerful enemies easy to defeat.

The menus of the original Pokemon have been further improved upon slightly as there are now a number of pockets which help seperate items into categories to save time. While it's still far from perfect, it's better than in the original. The localization is also rather good. Despite a much larger amount of dialog, GS features few noticeable errors.

Though GS is more original than Yellow, it is still too similar to the original. The only real differences in battle, aside from a few new techniques and the split of special to special attack and defense, are the addition of equipment and two elements: dark and steel. The story is very similar to the original, though it takes place in a new area. There are 100 new Pokemon, though many of them are related to those found in Red/Blue. Overall, it is slightly lacking in originality.

GS features a story very similar if not exactly like the story that took place in the original. The player travels, gathers badges, and fights those who use Pokemon for evil. There isn't much more to the story than that, so it's very poor overall. The only thing that helps make up for this is the extra half of the game that can be unlocked.


Few can survive the wrath of a rare Pokemon
Few can survive the wrath of a rare Pokemon
Defeating the Elite Four alone will probably take a player no more than twenty hours if they avoid training an unnecessary amount of Pokemon. If the player wishes to train all 251 Pokemon or face the true champion, it's likely to take much longer. GS is an excellent game for spending a lot of time on and it can take one hundred hours easily to complete most of the extras.

GS's music is very to similar to that featured in the original with few improvements. It even features a lot of the music that existed in Red/Blue. While about half of the music is good, the other half still becomes quite repetitive after a while. The sound effects are a bit better though, featuring small voice clips of each Pokemon's battlecry.

Visuals are probably the area that GS improves the most in. Backgrounds have been improved and are now in full color. Each Pokemon sprite seems to have been given quite a bit more detail too. The rest of the visuals are the same for the most part, but overall the game still looks great.

Though GS is very similar to Red/Blue, it is still different enough to justify a purchase. The small boost to the battle system is welcome and offers many new strategic opportunities. Once again, the focus of Pokemon is on battles rather than the underdeveloped storyline. For this purpose, especially how good it is in multiplayer, I recommend it to those who enjoyed the first Pokemon especially, though most people who have someone to play with will likely enjoy this game as well.

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