Pokemon SoulSilver Version

03/22/2010 at 5:50 AM | Posted in Nintendo DS | 1 Comment
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Pokemon SoulSilver Version Review

This is a remake that I have been waiting for for quite some time. It seems I’ve been waiting a long time for a lot of things lately. HA! To think, some people say I’m impatient. Many Pokemon fans had high hopes for Gold and Silver remakes when FireRed and LeafGreen came out and I was one of those people. I remember when I bought Pokemon Silver and thinking back to it now, it’s so nostalgic. Enough with the sappy stuff, it’s review time, how exciting.

Pokemon SoulSilver is an Adventure/RPG for the Nintendo DS. It was made by Game Freak and was released on March 14th, 2010. I will warn you ahead of time, this review will be slightly abridged, only focusing on the newer things SoulSilver has to offer given the nature of Pokemon games. Also, I will be saying SoulSilver but naturally, you can just fill that in with “HeartGold and SoulSilver”

Story

SoulSilver’s story is pretty much already well known even if you haven’t played the original. You find yourself in New Bark Town where you get your first Pokemon and decide to go off on an adventure to become the champion of Johto. The story for all the Pokemon games (obviously with the exception of Pokemon Ranger, Mysterious Dungeon, etc.) is practically the same with a few twists or differences that make it unique to each title. Let’s get on to the newer and better things this title has to offer.

Score – 8.5

Gameplay

First I would like to mention the peripheral that is being packaged with HeartGold and SoulSilver. Dubbed the “Pokewalker”, it’s basically a pedometer. You transfer a Pokemon to the Pokewalker and walk around with it with the Pokemon gaining experience points for the steps you walk. While a Pokemon can only gain 1 level each time you take it for a stroll the features don’t stop there. As you walk you gain “Watts” these watts are mainly used to unlock new routes. Why new routes? Well, let me explain another feature, as you collect watts you can spend them on things like a Dowsing Machine to find items that appear on the particular route you’ve chosen or you can spend them on a Pokemon Radar that allows you to find and potentially catch Pokemon native to that route. I think the Pokewalker is really great and I think it was really well thought out. Naturally it’s also a great incentive to be a little more active.

Next, I’d like to mention a few of the newer in-game features that set SoulSilver apart from past games. First off, almost every gym has been redesigned with new puzzles for you to figure out. Another addition is the Pokeathlon. The Pokeathalon is a series of minigames you can play. You enter your Pokemon in these events and control them via stylus. It’s a fair amount of fun and it can be pretty challenging. Apricorns make a return in this game but now you can combine a few Apricorns and blend them to make juice. This juice will raise some of your Pokemon’s Pokeathlon stats. Also you now have access to the Berry Pots. You can plant and grow berries right from the convenience of your own bag! This means only being able to grow 4 berry trees at a time, but the convenience is amazing.

Another prominent feature about SoulSilver is the ability to walk with your Pokemon. No not with the Pokewalker, but in the game itself. The first Pokemon in your party will walk alongside you, which in turn, raises its Happiness. They will also occasionally find things. You can compare this feature to Amity Square in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. You can talk to them whenever to see how they are feeling given a certain context or environment. I found that the little things like this, really made the game shine.

You would think it would be a no brainer for the DS, but Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum were released and the Pokemon Box system was still controlled by the face and directional buttons. But now, you manage your PC boxes with the touch screen and it has never been easier. It was such a breath of fresh air, and I can imagine, a highly requested feature. Like-wise your Bag is a bit more touch screen oriented, scratch that, the entire game is a bit more touch screen oriented and I can honestly say, these are all improvements.

Score – 9

Graphics

Naturally, the graphics of SoulSilver are a big boost from those of Silver. There’s lots of 3D, the in battle effects are great, the colors are vibrant and character models look great, as well as the Pokemon art. There are a few other details about SoulSilver that I really feel are worth mentioning. These aren’t awe-inspiring things, but they don’t have to be. They really just bring something great to the Pokemon table. The sound of your footsteps, whether on pavement or grass, the sound of waves on the beach or the trickling of water at a pond. The sound of fans blowing in the wind. The use of some more impressive 3D effects. All of these things show that the handheld Pokemon games are really evolving into something great.

Score – 8.5

Final Note

I was really impressed with SoulSilver as I thought I would be. The improvements and extras really make this remake something special and not just a rehash of old material. This game should tide me over for now, but I really can’t wait for the Generation V games to be released.

Overall Rating

FullFullFullFullHalf

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1 Comment »

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  1. I enjoyed your review and completely agree with your last paragraph. It really does add a lot more to the game.


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