Game Title: Pokemon Gold / Pokemon Silver
Developer: Game Freak
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Download: 130 Blocks
Availability: Digital Download
From the moment gamers were able to enjoy the nostalgia of the original Pokemon trilogy on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems with full Pokemon Bank support to transfer their Mewtwos, Charizards, and Articunos over to Pokemon Sun and Moon, there was one question on their minds: When will Gold, Silver, and Crystal get Virtual Console re-releases?
Nintendo answered that question earlier this year when they announced a slew of new Pokemon releases. While the Nintendo Switch got Pokken Tournament DX, the 3DS Family of Systems got news of the Silver and Gold Virtual Console re-releases and they are here.
So, here is my retro review of Pokemon Gold and Silver for the Nintendo 3DS!
Silver and Gold take place not that long after the events of Red and Blue in the region/continent of Johto. You play an upcoming young Pokemon Trainer, whom embarks on their own journey to become a Champion, while encountering a strange rival who steals Pokemon and the return of the nefarious Team Rocket.
The story is pretty light, since this was still in the Game Boy era, but the story is interesting enough to keep you entertained outside of catching and training all of the Pokemon available to you.
Silver and Gold were not very different from Red and Blue, so you will be exploring this large overworld, doing random encounters with wild Pokemon in turn-based RPG fashion, and going through Gym Leader boss fights on your trip towards the Johto Pokemon League. Typical Pokemon formula that isn’t even that different in today’s world.
Of course, the big new feature introduced in Silver and Gold was the clock feature. The game lets you set its time and will show daylight or night time, depending on what time you play the game. This was also shown in the fact that different Pokemon appear in the same areas whether it is day or night, plus the Dark and Psychic Eevee evolutions being dictated on what time of day the Pokemon is evolved.
Apart from that, it is the same song and dance as Red and Blue. You catch Pokemon. Train and level them and let them evolve and become stronger to help you conquer all of the Trainer, Gym, and Team Rocket battles you will inevitably take part in over the course of the game.
Like with Red, Blue, and Yellow, the game supports local multiplayer for trading and fighting, and is promised to receive Pokemon Bank support, so you can transfer your shiny new Lugia and Ho-Oh over to Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, or Ultra Moon.
As I explained in my review of Heart Gold and Soul Silver, Generation 2 is a generation packed with content. Beat the game, and then you unlock the entire Kanto region, filled with its own set of Gym Leaders to fight. Over the course of the game, I easily spent 20+ hours just doing the main quest and the post-game region.
The main problem here is that Soul Silver and Heart Gold can be played on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, which have that much MORE content than the vanilla Gold and Silver. This wasn’t an issue for Red Blue, and Yellow because their remakes aren’t available on the 3DS, the GBA games Fire Red and Leaf Green. Going from Soul Silver to vanilla Silver is a very awkward and strange feeling.
There is very little to discuss with controls. This was originally a Game Boy Color game, before triggers were a thing on handhelds. It only had a D-Pad, A, B, Start, and Select buttons. So you can imagine the simplicity of this game’s controls.
You can move around with the D-Pad or Circle Pad. A is confirm and B is cancel, and the X and Y are also buttons for these features. Really, this is extremely simple because of it being a GBC game.
Visually, the game looks colorful with its character models. Silver and Gold was not that different from Yellow, but the colors were more “correct”. Instead of a shade of color over an entire model, many Pokemon in Generation 2 were colored more accurately with many more colors and details. For a GBC Pokemon game, they look good.
Unlike the port of RBY, Gold and Silver also do not keep the strange flashing that I noticed in Red and Yellow. Whether this is due to better optimization or with the actual game for Generation 1, it is nice to see it optimized a little better.
In conclusion, Pokemon Gold and Silver bring the nostalgia of the original Generation 2 to the 3DS, just in time for you to collect all the Johto Pokemon you want for Ultra Sun and Moon next month. The game, itself, is packed with tons of content, but if you have played Heart Gold / Soul Silver recently, you may be scratching your head, wondering why they didn't just add Bank support for those games.