Thursday, 15 November 2012

Game Review: Pokemon Gold (Heartgold)

Title: Pokemon Gold/ Pokemon HeartGold
Release Date: 2000/2010
Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy Colour/Nintendo DS

Fantastic handheld graphics for the time.

Yeah, they actually made them better.

So, am I actually going to talk about both of the games in this one review? Yes.  Why?  Because they're the exact same game and I don't see any point in doing two separate posts for them, that's why.

Yes, at the heart of it both Gold and HeartGold are the same game with the same characters and the same storyline.  So what's so great about them?  Well the general consensus among Pokemon fans is that generation two (aka, Johto) took all the elements of the first generation (Kanto) and made it bigger and better.  And a lot less buggy which is always a good thing.

The news that Red and Blue were getting updated re-releases had the fans immediate approval.  The news that Gold and Silver were getting updated re-releases had the fans spontaneously combust with excitement.  Well no, not really but you get my point.  The fans were practically lining up for these games, especially since they included elements from Yellow - You could have your favourite Pokemon walk behind you! And Crystal - The whole Eusine sub-plot related to Suicune

It seems that the Johto games were so well received because of elements that linked them with Red and Blue, namely the inclusion of Team Rocket and the ability to revisit the Kanto region and catch the old favourites. HeartGold and SoulSilver do manage to make even this better than before. In the originals you couldn't catch what many considered the most powerful Pokemon (and to be fair, he was) Mewtwo but the remakes made it possible to not only catch him but also to catch the legendary bird trio (Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos) making it even easier to actually complete the pokedex.

As with all of the Pokemon games, the plot is very simple and typical of turn-based RPGs. You start as a ten year old boy (or girl, in the remakes) and are charged with the task of travelling around, catching Pokemon so you can battle gym leaders, collect badges and eventually defeat the Elite Four to become the champion. Throw in several side quests and an organisation that wants to use Pokemon for evil and you've got a game that takes around twenty-thirty hours to complete.

And then there's the post-game. If you're a competitive person then the likelihood is that you'll want to 'catch 'em all" so you'll need a lot of patience and a few friends before you can claim 100% completion.

A Pokemon game can take a long time to fully complete, so you can easily go back years later (provided you don't fall foul of the internal battery running low in the old game boy colour games) and pick up where you left off.

It's fun, it's simple and it's a good way to relax. Just watch out for those damn Zubats.

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