Pokémon Gold and Silver
Nintendo £29.99 Gameboy Out Now
Don't be misled into thinking that these games are just for kids. Oh no! We grown ups can (and do) enjoy them just as much!! Not only are these games great fun but Nintendo have added brilliant new features and improved the original game design no end. Without a doubt many people bought Gameboys just to be able to play Pokémon.
The aim of the game is to explore all the varied locations, discover and hopefully capture every single Pokémon there is to find in the version that you are playing. Most importantly of all though, Nintendo want you to have FUN. Your character is a young boy determined to become a Pokémon master and it is your task to guide him through all of his adventures.
Not only can you find an additional 100 new Pokémon to try to catch, but to make that task more challenging, Nintendo have added a real time strategy element to the Gold and Silver cartridges. When you first load your game, you will be asked to enter the day, hour and minute and it will even change according to daylight savings! Just ask your Mom. This has an effect on when you can catch Pokémon because different Pokémon will appear at different times of the day, Morn, Day or Nite. So remember to revisit places at these different times if you want to catch all the Pokémon.
Another way that this feature arises is that special events are held on certain days of the week - and you'll be able to get all sorts of goodies, such as TM's and even Pokémon. But only on specific days. You have to plan ahead. You'll find yourself thinking about the game and planning future strategies even when you're NOT playing it.
In the previous Pokémon games you can hold a maximum of 20 items and you would find yourself running back to a Poké centre just to put some more items into storage, however one of Nintendos new features is your Poké pack. It has four separate pockets which should meet all your storage needs. Great. But remember - don't store all those TM's and rare candy - use them to get the best out of your captured Pokémon. One of the really clever tricks with this pack though, is that you can bind an item that you use regularly to the select button on the Gameboy. This is fantastic when you want to go riding around on your bike or if you want to fish along a stretch of water.
Nintendos third new addition is the PokéGear. To access this press the start button on the Gameboy and select it from the menu. The PokéGear consists of 4 extremely useful functions, a watch, a town map, a mobile phone and a radio. You can check the time and your current location. The mobile allows you to contact anyone so long as you have their number and of course you receive calls as well. The radio is a vast source of information about Pokémon. Tune into Professor Oak's talk show.
The Poké centre has some new features, the Trade Centre, the Colosseum (these were available in Red, Blue and Yellow via the Cable Club)and the Time Capsule. These features are to be used with a universal link cable. Go to the Trade Centre to trade with other Gold or Silver versions or have a battle at the Colosseum. To trade with the previous Red, Blue and Yellow versions, you must do so at the Time Capsule. And you will need to do this if you want to fulfill the object of this game to catch all 251 Pokémon!
You can even save money in Gold and Silver by sending some of your money home to your Mom, instead of losing it to a stronger trainer! This allows your Mom to buy things for you.
So far I've highlighted some of the new features to be found in Gold and Silver, but there are differences, namely the Pokémon themselves. There are 10 Pokémon missing from Gold and the same for Silver and there are 19 missing from them both, which is why you need to collect all the different versions of the Pokémon games.
Gold and Silver, as the rest of the range of Pokémon, is completely text based. Text speed can be altered from Slow, Mid to Fast and unlike some other games, there is an obvious difference between the speeds selected. But you have to change this when you first switch on the Gameboy. There is music and sound effects in the game but not being able to hear them doesn't take any enjoyment out of the game. Thanks to the visuals added into the battle scenes (which are off by default), some of the attacks have spectacular graphics. The colour is great and helps to bring the playing environment to life. If you don't have a Gameboy colour, don't worry - you just won't see the gameplay in colour, the graphics are still well defined and enjoyable to watch.
There are many more features in Gold and Silver, such as breeding your Pokémon as well as TM's and HM's now having a one word description of them instead of just a number, for example HM05-Flash. When you need to Cut a tree, stand in front of it press the A button and a suitable Pokémon will be suggested to you. You can also use your Pokémon to Cut a square of grass down in front of you. The only problem with that approach is that you'll never level up your Pokémon, if you avoid all battles.
One last thing to mention must be the manual that comes with the game. It is excellent. The basic features of Gold and Silver are fully explained; the clock, your pack, the Pokégear and the Pokédex. As well as introducing you to the cast of characters you will meet on your journey. It shows you how to battle trainers and catch wild Pokémon plus much more. It's there to get you started, so use it.
Gold and Silver are extremely enjoyable and not difficult to learn how to play. The skill comes in being able to fully develop the Pokémon that you catch to defeat all your opponents. I highly recommend this game for the young and old alike.
Overall Game Rating: 9.8/10 Buy this game now!!!
Quality of text: 10/10 Excellent - it doesn't get any better than this.
Graphics: 10/10 Stunning - these are the best graphics you'll see on a Gameboy or Gameboy Colour.
Interface: 9/10 Vastly improved from previous versions of Pokémon games.
Gameplay:10/10 Sensational. The game is twice the size of other versions. After Johoto, you return to Pallett town to catch more Pokémon. The only problem is that the 'quick 5 minutes' play turns into a quick half hour play without any strain at all.