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3DS

North America

Pokemon Silver (3DS) Review

by Bryan Rose - October 2, 2017, 2:18 pm PDT
Total comments: 5

8

Name a game with better post-game content.

When you are designated to be the follow up to one of the most influential video games in history, Pokemon Silver had a lot to accomplish upon its release 18 years ago. It had to make what was great about its predecessors - catching them all - worth the time to do all over again. Silver did its job well, refining the original game’s positives and making it one of the best RPGs on the Game Boy. And although it shows signs of aging, travelling around Johto years later is still a great experience.

Taking place three years after the events of Red and Blue, Pokemon Silver casts you as a new youngster ready to venture out in the brand new Johto region and take the Pokemon League Challenge by beating the eight gym leaders. You’ll come across brand new Pokemon, each creative in its own design, with new types to play around with (Dark and Steel) as well as new moves and a revamped attack/defense system that gives you new ways to battle and strategize. The main game, which clocks in around 25-30 hours, is significantly easier to beat than the original. There’s a good reason why, however, and it’s one of the reasons why Silver is so revered among longtime Pokemon fans.

Pokemon Silver’s post-game content is incredible. Once you’ve beaten the eight gym leaders and become Pokemon League champion, you are given the opportunity to travel to the region from the original games to embark on yet another, more familiar Gym Leader challenge. In Kanto, you’ll come across familiar locales, along with a few new ones (it’s been three years, after all). Not every location from the original game is here (Cerulean Cave is blocked off, Safari Zone is closed, etc.) but it really is an amazing technological achievement to cram nearly two games worth of content into one Game Boy cartridge. And just for the record, the final battle on top of Mt. Silver is one of my favorite video game memories of all time.

It’s easy for me to look at this game with rose-colored glasses, so I have be realistic and admit there are faults to a game that’s being released as is 18 years later. The item management system, for one, still suffers from limit caps that can really bog down gameplay. You can use the PCs in the Pokemon Center to store unneeded items away, but at least twice during the game I had to completely stop what I was doing just to go to the Pokemon Center to clear my bag.

Another annoyance is that some of the best TMs like Thunderbolt, Ice Beam and Flamethrower can’t be obtained in Silver -- you have to go back to Red and Blue in order to obtain them. It’s frustrating, but what is it really annoying is that you need 2 3DS systems and 3 different game packs just to trade between one generation to another. This could be solved with a Pokemon Bank update, but as of this writing there’s no compatibility between the two (though it will be added sometime in the future).

There are signs here that Pokemon Silver doesn’t hold up as well as its later counterparts, but in the end is still a fantastic game. There’s hundreds of hours of gameplay, not just to complete the main story but capturing 250 Pokemon will also take a good chunk of time. It’ll be tough to catch ‘em all due to the aforementioned trade limitations, but regardless there’s lots of things to do in this game. If you can look past some of its more archaic features, Pokemon Silver is not just a great Pokemon game, but a fun RPG to boot.

Summary

Pros
  • Easy, simple gameplay
  • Massive post-game content
  • New variety of Pokemon, moves and types
Cons
  • Archaic item management system is a real chore
  • Some TMs aren't avaliable
  • Trading from Red/Blue to Silver is a hassle on the 3DS

Talkback

RPG_FAN128October 02, 2017

To me Pokemon's gen 2 was a disappointment.  In fact as of all 7 gens it is my second-to-least favorite (behind gen 4).  To be fair the gen 4 remakes were really amazing and I had a lot of fun with them.


Things that I considered to be design flaws are the following.
1)  At the time it was still essentially impossible to score a Mew, and gen 2 added another mythical Pokemon to further frustrate it's players.
2)  In-game clock fixing.  Without starting over a new game it was impossible to alter the in-game clock.  Not an issue until I had been playing it for about a year and it had lost a considerable amount of time and was completely out of sync with real time.
3)  Legendary dog hunt.  Until you first encountered these in battle you couldn't even search for them via Pokedex.  (See remakes which add the entry to your 'dex and then you may hunt them)  With only 1 master ball finding the other 2 was a ridiculous tedious horrid game-play-design idea.
4)  Only one metal coat per game....but two Pokemon that required it to link trade evolve.
5)  Everything was only one-time use.  TM's, link trade items, and unlike the incredibly broken and glitchy gen 1 games you couldn't hack extra TM's or items in Gold/Silver. 


I remember creating a huge list of about 25 things I hated from these games but these were the glaring ones that immediately popped into my memory.  And honestly, that's probably enough of a rant.  :)



SteefosaurusOctober 02, 2017

Quote from: RPG_FAN128

5)  Everything was only one-time use.  TM's, link trade items, and unlike the incredibly broken and glitchy gen 1 games you couldn't hack extra TM's or items in Gold/Silver. 

There was a risky glitch people used a lot in Gold/Silver. It involved giving an item to hold to a Pokémon, and then I think you moved it from one box to another. If you switched off the Gameboy exactly when it was saying "saving, don't turn off the power!" it would duplicate your Pokémon including any held items.

A lot more involved in the long run than Missingno glitching, since it was one-at-a-time, but people totally did this a lot for extra master balls or multiple Leftovers/XP shares. My team of 6 Meganiums stomped the league once haha.

ClexYoshiOctober 03, 2017

yeah, there are dupe glitches involving trading and box switching.

As for this review's subtitle, I feel like you could say that for mainline series pokemon. I'd argue though that you dont' truly begin any of Nippon Ichi's games UNTIL you get to the robust post-game, filled with narrative thrusts that introduce characters from their previous games and that involve you getting up into those level several-thousands to crush superbosses. The metroidvanias also are pretty good about this, with Dawn of Sorrow's Julius Mode and the 'good ending' section of Order of Ecclesia being stand-outs.

That being said, I do have that soft spot for Gen 2. the quality of the new pokemon is somewhat lacking and it'd take later generations of pokemon to essentially fix so many pokemon here. I feel like Johto was the first region to really have an ethnicity and flavor to it. the pagodas that dot places like Ecruteak city and the little grines and more japanese archetexture had me curious and had me learning about the rich history of Kyoto for the first time.


It makes me smile when you realize that the so revered Post-game of Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver is all possible thanks to Satoru Iwata coding a memory compression algorithm that opened up so much space on the catridge that they were able to include that half of the game.

Nakara3October 03, 2017

You can actually get more metal coats from wild magnamites, there is a way to change the clock(though it's a huge Hassel and requires looking it up)and tms are single use to encourage use of the breeding system as they will be done down as egg moves(and the cloning glitch exists as others mentioned).

So other than the legendaries which was done to make it feel awesome if you actually did manage to find them (I found one and it was a great feeling)it seems rather than problems with the game it's just you not having a full understanding of them.

ForgottenPearlOctober 03, 2017

I never really considered Kanto to be "post-game" content.  I always thought of it as more of the actual game.  After all, there's still more story, and the credits even play again after beating Red.


But anyway, the Pokemon games have improved vastly since the days of old, so I can't imagine going back.

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Genre RPG
Developer Game Freak
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Pokémon Gold And Silver
Release Sep 22, 2017
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Pokémon Gold And Silver
Release Sep 22, 2017
PublisherNintendo
eu: Pokémon Gold And Silver
Release Sep 22, 2017
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
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