Today’s Retro Review will mark our 100th review for the site and we wanted to pick a title that was truly a special one for gaming. A title that brought, even more, success and fandom to an already successful franchise as well as to bring this series to new heights after its release. This, of course, is no other than Pokémon (Gold/Silver), two titles that are praised as the best Pokémon games in all of the franchise. So lets take a look back and see why Pokémon (Gold/Silver) should and is considered the best Pokémon game of all time.
Like any Pokémon game, you set your adventure off with choosing a starter Pokémon and are off to travel the world to catch em’ all and take on the very best in the Pokémon world. Pokémon (Gold/Silver) is no different, but how it goes about introducing players to the new region of Johto is. A Pokémon Egg, leads to a break in at Professor Elm’s lab, a fierce Pokémon battle ensues and an adventure truly begins.
The story still lives out to be one of the better ones from the Pokémon series of games as it brings in more human elements and a deep narrative rather than just being a trainer that has to simply battle through Gym Leaders and catch Pokémon. This was the evolution that was needed in the Pokémon franchise and we have yet to see it this level of change in the game that have come since.
The game also featured a massive collection of side quests and mini-games that are still better than most of the recent titles. With the Unknown Caves, timed specific Pokémon appearances, and countless secret areas made it easy to get side-tracked in its expansive world. Not to mention the game brought a day and night cycle that made it so that certain Pokémon would appear only during the day and or night, which made many late night playthroughs to try and capture elusive Pokémon at certain times.
Pokémon (Gold/Silver) is most notable for not only providing an expansive Johto region but also by having a full fledged out Kanto map as well, with their own Gym Leaders and side stories to boot. This felt like a special thank you for playing the game and gave players, even more, hours of playtime, which is ridiculous to think, giving that the Johto region takes up roughly 30 to 40 hours to complete alone. With returning Gym Leaders, new Pokémon to capture and one of the gaming’s most iconic fights on top of Mt. Silver, Pokémon (Gold/Silver) was and still is the most complete Pokémon game to date.
At the time, it was hard to compete with Pokémon (Gold/Silver) in terms of graphics, as it boasted a full-color palate for its landscapes and its Pokémon battles. Seeing full-fledged Pokémon battles in color seemed like a minor upgrade, but it truly made the battles feel real and lively, especially for the younger crowd. On top of that, it’s 8-bit soundtrack, while limited to its time, also brought the battles and scenes feel that much more intense.
The game truly catered to its audience and for those who invested time in playing. With 251 Pokémon to collect, and many secrets to uncover, anyone who played Pokémon (Gold/Silver) from start to finish would tell you that they spent hundreds of hours trying to catch em’ all. Pokémon (Gold/Silver) legacy lives on which many sequels that followed over the year’s, as well as a DS remake in Pokémon (Heart Gold/Soul Silver) which took everything that the original game did on the GBC and make it ten times better, which is hard to think of since the first iteration of the game, is so well crafted.
Pokémon (Gold/Silver) was an experience like no other. It brought the Pokémon franchise to a new level with its massive world to explore, new gyms, Pokémon and even deeper lore that had players playing for hours on end. Pokémon (Gold/Silver) remains the pinnacle for all Pokémon games, even after its release way back in 1999. The Pokémon franchise has been on top of the gaming world, but it would not be where it is now if it wasn’t for Pokémon (Gold/Silver) and how it revolutionized the pocket monster series to greater heights.