Flashback Review: Pokémon Gold & Silver

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Gold and Silver are the definitive Pokémon games. With 100 new Pokémon to catch and an excellent post-game, these classics are well-deserving of a rerelease.

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Pokémon Gold and Silver released during the height of Pokémania in the year 2000. After Pokémon Red and Blue’s explosive worldwide success, it was obviously going to be hard to meet such ridiculous expectations with the sequels, but Gold and Silver are now widely regarded as the best games in the series.

Credit: Nintendo

They begin like every other game in the franchise; you’re an aspiring Pokémon Trainer who is awarded a Pokédex and told to travel the land to “Catch ‘Em All”. It’s a simple premise and hardly ground-breaking, but it’s all that’s necessary to kick off a grand adventure. They aren’t just rehash of the original games though. Gold and Silver take place in the scenic Johto region and feature 100 new Pokémon to collect. They also introduce a massive list of new features which have become staples in the franchise today.

As well as the introduction of Dark and Steel type Pokémon, Gold and Silver are the first games in the franchise to feature a built-in clock that allows events to take place in real time. They’re also responsible for the introduction of Pokémon breeding, a complex system that now stands at the centre of the competitive battling scene. These are all features we’ve come to take for granted in the latest Pokémon games, but it’s ridiculous to consider how many beloved concepts were introduced here. While Red and Blue introduced the world to Pokémon, Gold and Silver cemented the franchise as a gaming staple.

Credit: Nintendo

Johto isn’t the only region you’ll be exploring either. While even the recently released Sun and Moon limit players to a single landmass, Gold and Silver stand out as the only games in the series to feature a second region to explore after the credits roll. It’s revealed that Johto is bordered by Kanto, the land where the original Pokémon games took place. With another eight Gym Badges to collect, it almost doubles the length of the game. It’s certainly a Mamoswine task.

The Game Boy Color’s limited power obviously means that Gold and Silver aren’t up to par with the latest 3DS Pokémon games graphically, but there’s some charm to the games pixelated sprites. The Johto region is vibrant and Kanto has been completely remade to take advantage of the new hardware. Gold and Silver‘s music isn’t technically superior to the Game Boy originals, but they feature some of the franchise’s most memorable tunes.

Game Freak listened to fan demand and rereleased the original Pokémon Red and Blue on the 3DS to mark the franchise’s 20th anniversary in 2016. However, this certainly wasn’t enough for the world’s wannabe Pokémon Masters and there was instant demand for these legendary sequels to receive the same treatment. It’s easy to why; Gold and Silver really are the definitive Pokémon games.

Pokémon Gold and Silver will be rereleased on the Nintendo 3DS eShop on September 22nd.

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Culture Editor, Pokémon Master, Time Lord and occasional History student. Just don't ask me anything about music.

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