Pokemon has got to be one of Nintendo's most valuable franchises. They have proven time and time again that no matter how much we boo and hoo each time they create a new entry with 100 some odd new Pokemon, no matter how much we vow tor rage quit because they are making our hard work obsolete, no matter how much we said "that is IT!" we always end up buying the new game anyway, and playing it to death. Not only that, they have now proven twice, once with FireRed and LeafGreen, and now with HeartGold and SoulSilver that they can make us buy a game we already bought a few ears ago by making it shinier and including a new peripheral. I'm not sure rather to rejoice or complain about that, to be honest.
HeartGold and SoulSilver are Ds remakes of the original Gameboy and Gameboy Color Pokemon gold and Silver games. The graphics have been totally redone, and it has been made compatible with the 4th generation games as well. Of course, all the Pokemon introduced since then have also been included. These are honestly the best graphics in a hand held Pokemon game to date. It uses the isometric viewpoint on generation 4, but there are a couple or rendered cut scenes that are pretty cool as well. The in battle graphics are the same as usual. Flat sprites with a short animation when they first enter the battle.
The story is the same as the original Gold and Silver. You are a trainer. You want to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them is your real test. To train them is your cause. You will travel across the land, searching far and wide. Teach Pokemon to understand the power that's inside. In the world of Pokemon, trainers battle their trained Pokemon for supremacy, and by defeating gym Leaders in officially sanctioned battles, trainers earn a badge. Badges serve as status symbols, and without all 8, trainers are not allowed to battle the elite 4 to claim the title of Champion. This is the main plot, but there is more however. Team Rocket is up to no good again, but they are just as dumb as always, equipping their recruits with such useful creatures as Zubats and Raticates.
Though the majority of the original remains intact, a few things have been added or changed, but they are small things. Some of them are cool, like using the newer generation's PC systems. The first Pokemon in your party now follows you ala Pikachu in Pokemon Yellow, and I think it is pretty neat.
When Nintendo remade the first generation for the Gameboy Advance, they included a small infrared wireless adapter, allowing players to battle and trade without a link cable. This remake, they included a new device called the Pokewalker. The Pokewalker is a small, pokeball shaped pedometer like device. using an infrared signal, you can transfer a Pokemon from your game onto it. as you walk, the you collect watts, which can be spent on various things within the device, which can then be transferred to the game with the Pokemon. The Pokemon also gains a bit of experience this way.
Although I feel Pokemon has been going down hill for some time, HeartGold and SoulSilver are nostalgic romps for those of us that grew up in the series' golden age (pun unintended). In fact, the only thing more nostalgic that playing these remakes is playing the originals. Even if you've been out of touch with Pokemon for a while, if you played Gold and Silver, you should give the remakes a go.