Product Type: Nintendo Gameboy games
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Pokemon Gold/Silver - an honest review
Pokémon Gold and Silver (GB)
Member Name: Blerk
Pokémon Gold and Silver (GB)
Date: 17/07/01, updated on 17/07/01 (96 review reads)
Advantages: Cute, Fun, Addictive
Disadvantages: Over-cute, Lack of depth, Repetitive
Pokemon - love them or hate them, you just don't seem to be able to avoid the endless streams of merchandise and infinite early morning repeats of the cartoon! Nintendo scored its biggest ever hit with the original Pokemon Red and Blue on Gameboy, so the sequel was (as you can probably imagine) hugely anticipated by a large number of fans. And they're not going to be disappointed, but what about the rest of us 'casual' Pokemon fans? What about the people who like great games but aren't too bothered whether they feature Pikachu and friends or not? Well, I fall into that category, so here's my opinion.
Mention you're playing Pokemon to anyone and you can draw some very strange looks if you're 28 years old. I know. I've been there. But the thing with the game is that it's not just for kids. The premise is fairly childish, there's little in the way of violence and it's so over-cute that you could almost throw up, but at the end of the day there's a fun little game in here which anyone of any age can enjoy providing they put aside their prejudices for just a little while.
The basic premise is much the same as in the original games. Take control of a wannabe Pokemon trainer and guide him on an adventure around the world, collecting, training and battling his Pokemon until he's got one of every breed. The game plays much like a standard old-school RPG, with "almost overhead" graphics switching to full-screen turn-based battles when you run into another trainer or a wild Pokemon. Your kid must train his Pokemon up by fighting other trainers and capture wild beasts to improve his collection. This can be browsed at will so that you can see where your holes are and guess what you need to collect next.
And that's pretty much it. There are several short quests you can attempt in order to progress, and a number of badges to be earned from the various Pokemon gyms dotted about the land
scape. Towns and villages offer you the opportunity to heal your injured Pokemon and to buy items to help your fights. As your team gets stronger they often learn new, more powerful skills and occasionally evolve into a much stronger creature. It's not long before you realise you're having great fun.
But unfortunately it doesn't last as long as you'd like it to. After a while the gameplay becomes very repetitive - the quests aren't diverting or different enough, there's no real storyline and the random battles can become incredibly irritating. If you're trying to catch a particular beast it's very annoying when you first have to battle 20 other creatures which you already own, only to lose the one you wanted and have to start all over again. Although you'll be completely addicted for a while, there's just not enough depth to keep you going until the end of the game - certainly not to a point where you have collected all 250 Pokemon. Or maybe that's just me?
The kids seem to love this, but for the rest of us I'd advise caution. You'll certainly get a good couple of weeks of fun out of this, but the long-term appeal is somewhat lacking. The graphics are nice and the sound is okay (if a little beepy), but that's not the real point here. What we really need is a proper Pokemon RPG with a real storyline, but I'm guessing that's probably going to alienate the younger audience and will therefore never be...
If you like your RPG's light and fluffy then this might be for you. If you're after a long-term challenge then I'd probably advise against it... And if you've already got Red, Blue or Yellow then it's not really worth the extra outlay as it's almost identical. Delete as applicable! :-)
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