Pokemon. This word alone has spread enough chaos throughout Japan and America, and it is growing larger with the release of Pokemon Gold/Silver! What more can I say when the Game Boy gets to see the true and awesome sequel to the million selling Pokemon! Pokemon Gold/Silver is out in Japan and is already selling faster than Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. Heck, it's sales figure just toppled Final Fantasy VIII to 2nd position, making Pokemon Gold/Silver the number 1 selling game in Japan. Shortages of the game have even seen the prices of the cartridges getting hiked way up to US$150! The prices get even higher on the black market!
This time, the game is in full color so players get to see all their Pokemon in color! The beginning of the game is typical; you start off leaving Wakaba Town, saying your good-byes to mom and of course getting one of the three new Pokemon from Dr. Utsugi. Hinoarashi a Fire Pokemon, Waninko a Water Pokemon and Chikorita, a Plant Pokemon. There are all together 251 Pokemon to collect in Gold/Silver; 151 from the first game and 100 new, including pre-evolved forms of favorite Pokemon and, of course, new evolutions of existing Pokemon, like the evolved form of an Onix that looks really cool! The Pokemon also come in male or female versions, and mating them at the farm will net you a pre-evolved version of the parent Pokemons, so mating two Pikachus will get you a Pichu, which looks sickeningly cute. Included are two new Pokemon types, Dark and Steel. Special versions of several Pokemon also turn up, different colors and stats are what to expect, not to mention you have only one chance of ever catching them unless you had saved beforehand, in which case you have all the chances in the world. Our favorite evolution Pokemon, Eevee also has two new forms, a Psychic and a Dark version, cool!
There is also more to expect! Different artwork of the Pokemon can be seen in Gold/Silver. Certain Pokemon have different poses depending on which version the player is playing! Of course there are also different Pokemon available only in one version or the other, so trading is a must. If you don't want to trade than maybe you should wait longer for Nintendo to release a Gold/Silver version of Pokemon Yellow, maybe they'll call it Pokemon Platinum… yeah, wishful thinking. The game also includes a real-time feature, simply meaning that time passes just like in real life and certain Pokemon appear only at certain times of the day. Maybe the Dark-type Pokemon are nocturnal, I ain't telling. But I guess the best feature in the game is definitely the Pokegear! With it, you can check the time, look at the overworld map, make and receive phone calls and listen to the radio. Radio stations vary, examples are Professor Oak's Pokemon Channel, a music channel and a Lucky Channel which lets you win prizes! You can also exchange phone numbers with trainers you have fought in the game and they'll eventually call you for a rematch!
The backpack is also really useful, allowing you to sort out items, TMs, Pokeballs and other items in different sections, making it easier to find what you want and also make your inventory tidier and not like the disastrous mess in the first game. Pokemon can also equip items and use them automatically in battle when the need arises and it's really trouble saving! It gets more fun if you have a Game Boy Printer; with it you can print out your Pokemon's data. What's more, there is a photographer who will offer to take pictures of your Pokemon and let you print them out!
Can you trade with previous versions of Pokemon? Of course you can! About halfway through the game, the Time Capsule will be fixed and the only requirement is that you have only Pokemon in the first game in your active party when you activate the Time Capsule. The Time Capsule, Vs Room and Trade Center are all at the new second floor of the Pokemon Center. The slot machines are back and of course you can still fish for your Water Pokemon!
The graphics in the game are awesome for a Game Boy Color game and all the colors are in the right place and tones; trees and grass are different shades of green to distinguish them and all your favorite Pokemon are in their correct colors. The controls are fluid and smooth and the music and sounds are your typical Pokemon fare. Well, now that I think of it, the controls are all simple to learn and really make controlling your character a breeze.
Sounds ranging from Pokemon attacks both old and new make this game even better. Electric fizzing sounds of Electric attacks to burning sounds of Fire attacks. The music is top notch, for a Game Boy game and a bit addictive, don't blame anyone when you spend the next few days humming tunes from the game everywhere you go! I was kind of hoping there were Pokemon call sounds, but that would be asking for too much.
The game also boasts a host of new attacks and TMs for your Pokemon! Command awesome new attacks that will make choosing which skills to keep and which to forget a bit more unbearable. Experimenting on these new attacks will really eat up your game time and it's fun to boot! Overall, this game will cause Game Boy Colors to sell really fast and not to mention further the Pokemon craze. If you can't wait for over a year for the English version, you can always play the Japanese version, well, that is if you can get your hands on one for cheap. Not to mention that the third Pokemon Movie is about to be released in Japan and is called Pocket Monsters, Legend of the Unknown Tower featuring the Pokemon Entei which is one of the new Pokemon in Gold/Silver. I guess Pokemon fever is going to soar higher this year.