After the great success of Red, Blue and Yellow being re-released on the Nintendo 3DS virtual console last year, it was inevitable that Gold and Silver would make an appearance at some point. Thankfully, this has now become a reality and it is finally available to have in your pocket once again. Whilst Heart Gold and Soul Silver are excellent remakes of Gold and Silver, there are still many people that want to be able to play the game in its original form once again.
This isn’t as simple as searching for your old game cartridge or going online to pick a copy up. Due to the real time clock that the game used, it drained the battery on it over time. Since the game originally came out in 2001, the chances of the original battery still having any charge in it is slim to none. There are fixes available as shown on YouTube, but you need to know your way around a soldering iron, as well as being prepared for the fact that you might still end up wrecking your game. Given that Pokémon Gold and Silver on 3DS VC is really cheap, it makes sense to buy it on this instead. It is also available for 2DS.
Gameplay wise, nothing has changed much from the Red and Blue. There is the option to breed Pokémon now, although even 16 years on, it still feels a bit strange leaving two of them at a hotel and, well, you know.
The biggest overhaul to the series is to the graphics and UI itself. Unlike in Red and Blue where the pallet was red or blue if you played it on the Gameboy Color, in Gold and Silver the game is in proper colour. This is a really nice addition and makes the whole map seem more vibrant. Of course, the original Pokémon (along with the 100 new critters) have also been redrawn.
One of the really nice touches in G/S is that you can actively see how many experience points are needed for your Pokémon to reach the next level. This is a lot better than having to drill deep into the stats menu for them.
In terms of story, you’re no longer in Kanto but rather Johto. You’re given your starter monster from Prof Elm and your task (as with the last game) is to collect the 8 gym badges in the Johto area and become the Champion of the Pokémon after defeating the Elite 4. Team Rocket have also returned in the game, minus Giovanni. After they’ve been squashed and you become the Champion, you’re given the right to freely travel to Kanto where the original games took place. Heading back there felt weird at the time since it looked a lot better as well as the music being updated. As with in Johto, you’re able to battle the gym leaders in Kanto, with the leader of the Viridian City Gym being someone very familiar to those that played the originals. Likewise, once you’ve beaten them all you’re able to travel to Mt Silver to meet someone else that should be more than a bit familiar to you.
There’s a secret in there…
In the case of Pokémon Red and Blue, Mew was the secret Pokémon everyone wanted. This time around, it’s Celebi instead. Back on the Gameboy, for those that couldn’t make the secret events, it was more than possible to get Celebi by way of using a cheat device such as a Gameshark or Xploder. Since that isn’t an option on the 3DS, the only other way to do it is to utilise a few glitches in the game which are a bit more indepth than the original Mew glitch. There are also reports that it can corrupt your save data so take this into account before doing it. However, if you purchase the game before Septembr 2018, you’ll get Celebi in the game which is a nice bonus.
This time around, there aren’t a trio of Legendary birds in Johto, with instead there being two. These are Ho-Oh and also Lugia. Both of them are accessible in the game, so all you need to worry about it making sure you have enough Ultra Balls to catch them. You’ll also want to make sure you have a way to put them to sleep or paralyze them. Additionally, there are three more legendary Pokémon in the form of Raikou, Entei and Suicune. As you’d expect, you only get one shot at these so make sure your effort counts!
A nice little addition is that after defeating some trainers, you can swap numbers with them. Not only will they randomly phone you up, but they can also give useful bits of information about certain Pokémon. Linked to this is the day/night cycle alluded to above. Certain Pokemon are only available at certain times of the day. This is actually a pretty smart way to breathe new life into the game by making sure you play it at different times of the day. Of course, this can be manipulated by changing the clock on your 3DS.