Video Game Review: Pokémon Gold and Silver

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Game Freak

Platform: 3DS eShop (Originally Released on Game Boy Color)

ESRB Rating: E

My Rating: *****/5

After almost 17 years since their initial release on the Game Boy Color, the video games “Pokémon Gold and Silver” have been given a re-release on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Following the success of last year’s Virtual Console reissue of “Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow,” these games arguably perfected the formula for the series and became the standard for all future installments.

Building on the premise established by the previous games, these entries see you play as a young man exploring the Johto region and capturing the Pokémon that inhabit it. The games introduced 100 additional species in their initial release, building on the 151 previous monsters from the original games. There are also a host of new gyms to do battle in, as well as a new rival with an unfriendly demeanor, scowling face and long red hair.

The games also introduced many features that would become commonplace in future installments. The graphics have a more expansive color pallette than before, having been developed with the Game Boy Color in mind. There is also a cycle that changes from day to night based on the in-game clock, with certain events and Pokémon only being accessible at night. There are even new Pokémon types of dark and steel, which significantly changed how the battle mechanics were handled from that day forward. Even though there have been many advancements in the games since their initial release in 2000, make no mistake: these games remain a test of ability for both newcomers and true believers alike. They cemented the model of being easy to pick up and play, but tough to truly master.

Even after all these years, the success of the eShop release of these games proves that “Pokémon Gold and Silver” have managed to earn their place in Nintendo’s wheelhouse of other time-tested series such as “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda” and “Metroid.” With plans for further games in the near future (talk persists of a Virtual Console re-release of “Pokémon Crystal”), it’s an ideal way for fans to relive their favorite adventures or people who’ve missed the original releases to play them for the first time. It’s a whole new world we live in, it’s a whole new way to see. It’s a whole new place with a brand new attitude but you still gotta catch ‘em all to be the best that you can be.

Review by Steven Pryor