Review by Eltain
Gotta Catch 'em All! ...Okay, maybe not.
I've been waiting for Pokemon SoulSilver for quite some time now and was quite excited to hear that they had remade the original Johto region (Pokemon Silver Version for the Gameboy Colour). There are many expanded areas that are really quite fun to look through, it was an enjoyable experience. Although there were certain areas that I can't fail to mention, which were quite a let down. I should also state that I am writing this review in more of a comparison to the original game rather than an entirely new review as it would be difficult to do considering that I grew up around the first games. However, someone completely new to Pokemon can understand this review.
[Gameplay ~ 9/10]
The gameplay is similar to any other Pokemon game, you walk through a large map progressively going from town to town from a birds eye view. You start off with one of three Pokemon and battle with it as it evolves and grows to like you. The battle sequences are now done by touching the bottom screen and selecting what you'd like to do (Like in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum), alternatively, you can use the D-Pad and A+B buttons like you did in the previous versions to select your moves. You progress through the game, passing through grass to find and capture wild Pokemon with special capsules called 'Poke Balls' to ultimately build a team consisting of your favourite Pokemon. There is not much else to do with gameplay other than riding a bike, pressing the B button to run and teaching your Pokemon special moves to move across water, move boulders or light up dark caves. It's very simple. There is also an added area where you can enter your Pokemon in the 'Pokeathlon' - a vicinity where your Pokemon compete in minigames based on their skill. The final new major feature is that the first Pokemon in your party now follows you around like Pikachu did in the original Yellow Version, fun!
[Graphics ~ 10/10]
The graphics are well improved from previous games and uses the same 3D Engine that D/P did. The thing that makes it so intriguing is to revisit Johto in these settings after all these years. It's really quite stunning to see how everything has blossomed from the 16-Bit screen when most of us were just 8 years old. If you're new to the series, then it may not seem like anything too special, and I suppose that only someone who woke up on Christmas morning in 2001 to find a Pokemon Gold Version packed in some wrapping can truly enjoy and appreciate what Game Freak has done. The battle scenes are very impressive to watch as Charizard scorches his foe with Flamethrower. I thought the graphics were brilliantly refined.
[Audio ~ 10/10]
The Audio was spectacular, as a Pokemon fan it was so great to hear the remastered versions of the melodies that once made me so energetic. The music ranges anywhere between the soft familiar sound of New Bark Town to the amazing theme of Lance when you know that you're about to be owned, all melodies are appropriate placed in the game according to its predecessor. There have been footsteps added in which change as you switch between ground surfaces. Not much else has changed with the Audio.
[Replayability ~ 8/10]
The whole 'Gotta Catch 'em All' thing kind of becomes an issue that you're trying to deal with rather than something that you're excited about after all these years. If you're new to Pokemon, replayability is fine for you, 10/10, go knock yourself out. But it's become repetitive. We have about 490 Pokemon to catch in SoulSilver now, something tells me that's not gonna happen. If you have the stamina then it is definitely something you should try. It's rewarding to connect online, and battle other people, and trade with your friends. Pokemon doesn't really end, it sort of becomes a device you carry around with you and relate to your friends with... like a 7 year old carrying Yu-Gi-Oh cards (except you're hardcore) after you finish the game. However, I found that after I beat the shallow story of this remake, there really wasn't much to do and it all just came to a stop. You're just left in the open expecting more to happen.
[Story ~ 6/10]
I'm gonna relate the story to the replayability. You start off as a character whom you can name, although according to the manga his name is Gold. You have a Rival (who again, according to the manga, his name is Silver) that you must compete against throughout the game. Professor Elm gives you a Pokedex and assigns you to the task of recording data of Pokemon from all around Johto. You must do this on your quest to become a Pokemon master, aiming to collect all 8 of the Gym Badges by defeating exceptionally strong opponents so you can enter into the Pokemon League and become the Champion. On your way, the evil Team Rocket are back from disbanding three years ago, and doing all sorts of bad things which you must stop for the ethics and morals of Pokemon. ... It's a nice, simple story. Except we've heard it for the last 12 years. -____-" Mario and Zelda can get away with it, but there's something that Pokemon really falls short of when they recycle their stories over and over again. Again, this will be very fun to you if you haven't played a previous game before, but there's not many people who haven't. I'm also giving the story a 6 because there was nothing to do after you entirely finish the game. Pokemon FireRed did a great job with the Sevii Islands, I had a lot of fun going through them and there were significant differences. However, SoulSilver is virtually exactly the same as G/S/C with its story. There's no new end-game content which was an extreme disappointment.
Apart from the mentioned flaws, SoulSilver was a great remake. However, it was nothing more than a remake, apart from some added people, next generation Pokemon and a Safari Zone/Pokeathlon. There's not much else that I can name which differs from the original. Nevertheless, it's worth your money to buy. I'd recommend it for all casual gamers and Pokemon fans, it is well worth your money.
P.S. The reason I didn't mention the Pokewalker is because it's a piece of junk, throw it out or give it to your 4 year old nephew.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (AU, 03/25/10)
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