File size: 38.7MB
Console: Nintendo DS (NDS)
Genre: Role Playing
It is without a doubt, the Pokémon HeartGold ROM and SoulSilver are some of the most coveted games the franchise has to offer. Online stores are selling these games for nearly double what they originally sold for. And even the reproduction cards on eBay go for around $20 to $25.
These ROMs are consistently near the top, if not the highest ranked Pokemon games in the series, but why is that? Sure, nostalgia factors can totally apply here. The original versions on the Gameboy Color are the second most sold Pokemon games of all time, so it makes sense that these are up there. But at the same time, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are sold almost 2 million copies more than HeartGold and SoulSilver did.
There has to be some concrete evidence as to why it's better. There are so many ways to analyze a claim this big, but let's start with the aesthetic aspects of the game.
Before we take a look at the insides of the game let's check out the packaging it comes in. The first thing that catches your eye is the boxes. Sure, the case is super bulky, but they both look so good.
Unlike the other games, where the background is usually a patterned or a solid background, these games have depictions of the Bell Tower and the Whirl Islands for each cover. If you're lucky to buy these games new, they came at a cardboard box, which was meant to hold some special things, but was also a little throwback to the old cardboard boxes that they used to come in.
The other very obvious new thing is the pokewalker that comes in the box. This is a pokéball shaped pedometer that essentially allowed you to walk around with your Pokemon outside of the game and obtain rewards like special items and new Pokemon if you walk for a specific distance. It was really innovative for its time and the package only cost five dollars more than the previous titles which definitely made the player happier.
But we're not here to talk about the outside, so let's take a look on the inside. The first and most obvious thing is the graphical upgrade. Since these games came out a decade after Gold and Silver were much newer and stronger hardware, which means they can not only look better, but feel better as well.
The routes and cities are extremely vibrant in comparison to the previous installments. Mainly because they were limited in terms of the Gameboy's color palette. Places like the Bell Tower and Goldenrod City are filled with life, which is really what most people expect out of a remake.
And while visuals are nice, audio is just as important to the experience. All the tracks from Gold, Silver and Crystal were remastered with additional tracks thrown in for special events, new locations and areas that had duplicated music.
If you still missed that classic experience, Game Freak made so you can obtain an item that allows you to change a majority of the games audio to the original 8-bit music once you collect all sixteen badges.
With the obvious changes out of the way though, let's jump into the game. When you start the game, you're able to choose between being a boy or girl, which was something that was available in Crystal but wasn't available when Gold and Silver released. This is probably one of the larger requests, and it would have been weird to not include it, considering every game after the originals continue this option.
Once you get past the introduction sequences, all the small additions keep stacking up. The most glaring change is the fact that your Start menu is now at the bottom of your screen as well as a lot of other things that we'll get into.
Because the Nintendo DS's main attraction is the additional touch screen, Game Freak made a lot of the game manageable by only using the bottom half of the console. You can move your pokemon, choose attacks in battle and change all your options without pressing a single button. Helpful? Not in most situations, but it makes use of the primary feature that console, which was a really nice addition.
You can also now visually see how many badges you have, which was oddly only partly true in the previous games as you could only see your badges that you earn in Johto. This avoids the confusion of seeing you only have 13 badges, but have absolutely no clue which ones you still need.
Now let's take a look at the other new things that were added into the games. One of the most interesting features, that you get right at the start of the game, is that Pokemon now follow you in the overworld the same way they did in Pokemon Yellow ROM. This not only gives the ROM a special kind of charm, but it shows how much thought was put into the game, considering that they needed to make additional sprites for all 493 Pokemon. Special forms like Rotom, Unknown, Bernie and Deoxys and includes shiny variants for all of those as well. To this day this is one of the highest requested pieces of content to be put in any of the new Pokemon games. It's in the Let's Go series, so there's a strong chance that it's here to stay.
Another cool feature is the run button on your touchscreen, when you press it, it automatically runs for you, so you don't have to hold the B button for hours. Although it's something that you get used to doing if you play the game for a long time, having the option to rest your hand is such a great feature.
When we're looking at the bottom screen we have access to another feature - registered items. Until these games released you were limited to having only one key item available for use and if you want to register another you had to override the other thing you had registered.
In these games, however, they not only made it possible for you to have two key items registered at once, but they added buttons on the bottom screen where you can press to activate it faster. We're definitely a lot more spoiled now with the amount that we can register. Before it's time, it was actually quite a big stepping stone in progressing towards a more fluid experience for the player.
Attention! To play this game you need to download an emulator for the console. To find a complete list of all emulators click on the appropriate menu link in the website header.