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Pokemon Heart Gold Review - Nintendo DS

Pokemon Heart Gold Review

Posted by Thomas Worthington at Sun, Mar 14 2010 05:40:03 CDT 3041 views

Are you ready to catch them all over again?

For a series now boasting 493 critters spanning numerous titles and each one going on to sell millions of units in just weeks, love it or not, Pokémon never fails to draw us in time and time again. If the idea of another Pokémon adventure was enough to get you listing off your next Pokémon party then the fact that these are remakes of two highly regarded Pokémon sequels Gold and Silver should be super effective but can these remakes of a decade old sequels give us a reason to catch them all over again?

Ten years on and Heart Gold and Soul Silver bring the Gameboy Color experience onto the Nintendo DS in style; adding all the bells and whistles of the last two installments. If you haven’t played Pokémon since Red and Blue then you’ll see an array of new features that purists will no doubt be familiar with.

The visual upgrade is a perfect example of this transition. The 3D engine introduced in Diamond and Pearl and improved battle sprites would be welcome improvements if we hadn’t already seen them done in Diamond and Pearl years ago. Even the battle animations are identical to those seen in the last Pokémon game. It doesn’t stop Heart Gold and Soul Silver from looking good; the regions you explore are colorful, vibrant and make impressive use of the 3D engine but there’s definitely room for improvement.

All the additions of the sequels are here too; the choice to pick the gender of your trainer, two on two battles, the berry gathering functions and even some old ones which will now be explained in depth.

The real time night and day changes from the original Gold and Silver are back allowing different events to occur depending on what time of the day or night you choose to play. The option to allow a Pokémon to walk along side you rather than caged in a Pokeball pioneered in Pokémon Yellow has also been included.

Why now? Well Gold and Silver’s plot has a recurring theme of friendship running alongside the story that whilst appearing to have very little effect to the core gameplay makes a rather monotonous tale a little easier to digest. It’s also appears to be another reason for the phone application on the Pokegear to make a rather irritating return. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the phone was a neat idea but half of the trainers you battle ask for your number and will call you regularly with the most trivial matters like whether they knocked the stuffing out of an Ekans or not.

Another generous feature is the touch screen which serves as your menu allowing you to access anything within just a couple of taps. It’s more convenient but it’s a shame that they have yet to implement touch screen controls for moving our character. If you don’t go choose to play face buttons only then you’ll be swapping back and forth between thumbs and stylus. Thankfully the auto run and ability to assign two items to your touch screen such as the Bike are welcome improvements.

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