Pokémon SoulSilver Version review
A Real Gem
• Long hours of gameplay.
• Decent, attractive graphics.
• Wi-Fi compatible.
• Makes good use of the touchscreen.
• Potentially uninteresting storyline.Summary:
After a couple of years playing through Pokémon Diamond, I was starting to drift away from the Pokémon series and never really considered getting back into it. Then, shortly after Pokémon SoulSilver (remake of Pokémon Silver) was released, I decided to out and buy the game. Ever since I have found myself playing the game practically everyday, enjoying every moment of it.
As soon as you pick up the game and start playing for the first time, you'll realize how truly stunning the graphics are. Every little detail is stunning: the buildings, the scenery, everything! It's also worth noting that the grass in which wild Pokémon are found does not have the same tiled effect as there was in the prior Pokémon games. Instead, it has a much more textured effect and looks better in general.
In terms of storyline, this game hasn't particularly changed. A silent protagonist is still used, who receives a starter Pokémon from the professor and then proceeds to go out collecting gym badges and defeating the Elite Four, eventually becoming the Pokémon Champion. To some Pokémon fans, this may be seen as a bit of a bore. Others however might appreciate the lack of change for a nostalgic feel, and newcomers to Pokémon may very well enjoy the plot having not experienced previous games in the Pokémon series.
The battling system remains highly similar to the battle style in previous generations. For those new to Pokémon, the aim is to beat the opposing Pokémon by whittling their HP (Hit Points) down to 0. Different attacking moves have different base power, while status moves generally have their own unique effect. Then there are move types vs. Pokémon types. A Grass type move vs. a Water type Pokémon for example would be an example of a super effective (deals more damage), whereas a type match-up such as Fire vs. Rock would be not very effective (deals less damage). Natures, abilities, characteristics etc. all come into the battling system as well. Now this battle system overall works well, as it always has done. It is simple enough for the younger generation to understand, while it can become a lot more complex for the more serious players who might want to, for example, battle against friends, or strangers via Wi-Fi. All-in-all, the battle system is highly adaptable and fun for just about anyone.
In comparison to the older games in the Pokémon series, this game has a considerably higher longevity. First off, there are not one, but two regions to explore. With this comes more Pokémo Trainers and Gym Leaders to battle. Second, the use of contests and "Gotta catch 'em all" (493 different Pokémon) means hours of entertainment. Wi-Fi also stands out as a nice feature - one previously unavailable to the original Pokémon Silver. This enables for Pokémon trading and battling with friends and strangers over the world, this being possible endless enjoyment.
A new device called a Pokéwalker comes with the game. The Pokéwalker acts as a pedometer, converting steps into EXP (Experience Points) which level up your Pokémon. Wild Pokémon and items can also be found with this device, each on different courses. These courses can be unlocked by reaching a certain amount of steps. This is nice as it allows the user to enjoy playing Pokémon while pursuing physical activity.
Other little features this game introduces includes the Key Item "Berry Pots". This allows you to keep track and monitor berries on-the-go, as opposed to travelling around the two regions having to pick individual berries. The Pokéathlon is another feature which makes full use of the touchscreen, and adds a different side of entertainment to the game. A final notable feature introduced is the fact that your party's lead Pokémon can follow you around, and is interactable too.
There are a few minor, yet somewhat annoying things I found within the game. One example being the fact that you have to use HMs (Hidden Machines) to effectively navigate through the Pokémon world. This means Pokémon/moveslots must be dedicated to use these HMs, hampering the in-game experience. Another small problem I found was not being able to fly directly from one region to the other. Instead, I'd have to stop off at a location in the middle of the two regions before flying again to reach the destination.
Producing a remake of one of the most revolutionary games brings high expectations, this game manages to pull it off in style!
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