Review by Junior_AIN

Reviewed: 06/02/17

One of the most sublime experiences in gaming, remade.

I remember like it happened yesterday, a cloudy day, a little rain might had poured, a special program about children with cancer on the TV, people going crazy on the streets because of the elections, but none of that really had my attention, the only thing I could think of was about the new Pokemon for the Game Boy Color. Oh yes, hundreds of hours down the toilet and I was up for more, I was up to waste a much bigger chunk of my life holding that tiny green electronic thingy with a screen. I asked my dad with apprehension: “Can we go over the store to buy the new Pokemon game”, a positive sign made me feel contained happiness; though not entirely, I still didn’t know if the game was actually out, by that time I had no internet to back me up, I was younger and all I had was the hope that the big bad company would rush things up to make a little boy even the slightest happier, I was naive. Inside the car me and my dad headed toward the store, the anticipation was killing me, memories of pictures seen as previews in magazines filled my mind, bound me to the strange feeling that the game I was most looking forward to in possibly ever would actually become a reality in like, an hour or two. Excitement. Strangely while going to the shopping center we encountered my mom and my sister, nothing wrong in going along, primary location still in mind and underway. Streets partially blocked, political rally going on, don’t care about that, I stare in awe with a horrific sight pictured in my mind, I’m about to purchase the new Pokemon, these poor souls won’t have the same luck, may the maker have mercy of their souls.

Reached the store, asked about the game, do they have it? Sure they do, which one will be Gold or Silver, no time to choose, I want both. Both it is. Arrived home, plugged the cartridge into the Game Boy Color, Silver is the game of choice, the adventure begins, one of the most complete and satisfying gaming experiences was about the commence, at the time I didn’t know that, but now I’m sure. This is recommended for anyone who likes Pokemon RPGs, and anyone who enjoys games should give this version of a masterpiece a chance, it’s Pokemon at its fullest and in its finest moment; though it’s very true that Pokemon Heart Gold/SoulSilver will have a special flavor for the fortunate souls who did experience Gold/Silver 10 years ago.

Folks, this is Pokemon, yes, Pokemon. At each release I see Pokemon looking less like Pokemon, the games are still amazing, but less and less the adventure, and primarily the new Pokemon designs, follow the basic standard set in 1995, it’s not anything carved in stone but becomes apparent if you’ve been accompanying the series closely during its existence. Not this game, this game is organic, full of enticing mysteries, with the best harvest of Pokemon available in its fullest and anywhere, the best maps, towns and quests Pokemon ever had. Everything inside this tiny cartridge is top-notch. Since it has become clear that this game is from top to bottom fan-service, each small bit of the original games were recreated with more modern graphics, the virtual space is a carbon copy except the more than welcome new skin, it looks gorgeous. The locations and people dispersed around are basically the same, some new locations have been inserted at some specific spots giving some new features and bonus for the players, but everything from the original games are in it. One of these new locations is the Pokeathlon Dome, with its entrance located in the National Park, anyone venturing inside would have numerous mini-games to participate with his Pokemon; the Pokemon also have a new set of stats for these mini-games, which are speed, power, skill, stamina and jump, each governs a type of mini-game which you can use to see what Pokemon are suitable for each competition, better suited Pokemon will yield better results. The Global Trading Station brings what it brought back in the Diamond/Pearl generation, and having the possibility to exchange Pokemon and battle through the internet in Johto is pretty sweet.

Some graphical additions include unique designs for chambers holding unique Pokemon like Lugia and Ho-oh, with even cutscenes before the battle; as well as cutscenes upon entering some specific locations–like the National Park, or caverns, showcasing the overall scenery of the place you just walked in. One touch dating back from Pokemon Yellow marks a come back, your Pokemon follows you outside battle, just like Pikachu used to do in Yellow, and any Pokemon will follow you as long as it leads the party, and have the aesthetics staying true to what it is, if it’s a Zubat, it will look like a Zubat, if it’s a shiny Zubat, it will look like a shiny Zubat, pretty nice; and if you interact with your Pokemon outside battle you may uncover some secrets. There’s the new Safari Zone taking place at Cianwood City and with a new system for finding Pokemon, the new system is good and centers upon having different scenarios each with a different set of Pokemon, you can choose which scenarios will be available before walking in. The game is quite more challenging too, the Elite Four have a rematch system, and Red is much trickier to beat than in Gold/Silver/Crystal. The Gym Leaders are pretty much the same, but now a rematch system was implanted for them as well, you can call them and plan a rematch, facing much stronger Pokemon. The number of Pokemon available is outstanding, just a few of them aren’t possible for catching in any version, and a few are version exclusives; even Legendary Pokemon are included, most of them.

Nintendo also holds events and give away certain unique Pokemon through the internet and Mystery Gift, what once was only for those attending physical events in the United States, Japan and a few places in Europe, is now about virtual events, the internet, and anywhere in the world at any time–right now, the moment I’m writing this, a Jirachi event is going on, I already got two of them, one for my Diamond game and one for my Soul Silver game, and Jirachi isn’t the only exclusivity about it, the Pokemon comes with the move Draco Meteor, which Jirachi doesn’t learn by any other method, so it’s not just about legendary uncatchable Pokemon, but also about Pokemon with unique moves and items. The events have a time limit though. Not to mention the included Pokewalker, which is a step counter that you store one of your Pokemon in it and go out for a stroll, each step you take the Pokemon receives one point of experience, making it possible to elevate a level of the Pokemon in the device, only one per stroll though; but you can also capture Pokemon and find items in this little thing using the Watts you collect from the steps you take. The Pokewalker can also be a source of happiness, since the Pokemon will enjoy quite a lot being taken out on a stroll. It brings a new dimension to the game, and the device is pretty good for catching some rare Pokemon or acquiring some hard-to-find item, though you’ll have to walk a lot to get them and unlock new courses in it.

There’s not much else to say about the remake, if you liked the original it’s an intimation to go to a store and buy it, if you’ve never played it you owe it to yourself and make up for the blasphemy of never playing one of the most sublime experiences in gaming, though it will never be able to recreate the feeling of playing it for the first time, it’s still an amazing opportunity to bring those memories back to your mind, practically a nostalgia injection directly into your veins, making you rejoice to the good old times of non-stop gaming and Pokemon addiction. You know if you need this game or not, and I can assure you that the new features hold the game pretty well for veterans, in fact, when you finish the game an option allows you to exchange the remade soundtrack with the classic soundtrack from Gold/Silver/Crystal, how cool is that? Something like that deserves the purchase in my book.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Pokemon SoulSilver Version (US, 03/14/10)

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