Pokemon is not just big, it’s old. And the Pokemon creators had a really great idea at one point. Instead of just making a slippery slope of new games (that could easily become increasingly worse) why not just remake the old titles?
As I said before, I came in on Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire versions, so I didn’t know much about Pokemon Red/Blue or Pokemon Gold/Silver. Well now I’ve got a better idea, because I’ve played the remakes!
Pokemon Fire Red/Leaf Green Versions (2004 Gameboy Advanced)
Kicking off the remakes was Fire Red/Leaf Green and it wasn’t that great. Or at least that’s what I heard from people. I liked it, but I never actually played Red/Blue — and the game got player’s choice. I’m guessing the way this one stacks up is: if you have the originals, they’re better, if you don’t, enjoy these remakes, they’re just fine!
I personally enjoyed being able to finally explore the Kanto region (especially with running now developed.) But the main question of a remake is always, “What’s added?” And for Fire Red/Leaf Green, not much. That might be part of why it wasn’t as appreciated as a remake. The only notable addition (besides the sound and graphics update, and running) are the various number islands, where the generation 2 and 3 Pokemon can be found. The islands are alright, but they don’t really add much other than means to dither away your time after beating the game.
Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver Versions (2010 Nintendo DS)
This was the better remake, and I’d like to say I saw this one coming. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, as Fire Red/Leaf Green was still in the minds of people playing Diamond/Pearl, and then you bump into one of the gym leaders from Gold/Silver. Fireworks went off inside my head at that point. I knew a remake of Gold/Silver was on its way — and boy did it turn out great!
Going from the Gameboy Color to the Nintendo 3DS gave this remake an even greater ‘prettiness’ boost than Fire Red/Leaf Green could ever provide, and all the new features blend seamlessly into the remake of the experimental first sequel. There’s the Pokeathelon to compete in, running no longer requires constant button holding, and so many other things.
It was great to be able to look back and look forward in Pokemon history. A lot of strength from this game comes from its source material, but the updates only make it stronger. This game, by far, gives you the most to do after ‘beating’ the game. You unlock the entire Kanto region, and can fight all the gym leaders. In fact, you can dial up any gym leader (Kanto or Johto) and challenge them again. This gives this game a sense of almost non-stop fun, there’s always more to do.
Another really interesting feature was the Pokewalker. It was one of those gimmicks Nintendo came out with to get more nerds off the couch. The Pokewalker was a pedometer that could upload a Pokemon from your game and give them experience based on step count. While the experience amounted to something, it never seemed enough. What was really handy was the ability to catch new Pokemon and get items while on the walk. The only downside is losing your Pokewalker, as each game only syncs with one Pokewalker.
Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Versions (November 2014 Nintendo 3DS)
Not yet out, Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire was only announced last week; and I’d like to say that I called this one as well. Pokemon X/Y had all sorts of hikers constantly telling you about their distant region (one such you can see up to) and I forget who, but I think there was a cameo from someone in Ruby/Sapphire. Out of all the remakes, this one has me so excited I could scream. As I’ve said, Ruby/Sapphire were my first, so they have a major nostalgic value to me. But then I also know already how great of an experience it was. So when they announce their updating and expanding that experience, why, I go ecstatic! You’ll have to beat me to the store to get this one!
Well, thank you all for enjoying Pokemon Week! There is so much I didn’t even get to, and I could still go on about many of the things I did. I love Pokemon, even through all it’s ups and downs, and I’m glad I got to share my love of these games. And of course, all those other wonderful games I got to write about too! Once again, thank you all!
Photos via: Nintendo