Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver released in North America

Nintendo has brought us some remake goodness today, officially releasing two new Pokémon games to the Nintendo DS line-up in North America, dubbed Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver. If you haven't guessed yet, these are enhanced remakes of the 1999 video games Pokémon Gold and Silver for the original GameBoy. These new games were previously released in Japan back on September 12th, 2009 and have been commercially successful thus far, selling over 2 million units in the first six weeks. The game is still awaiting release in Australia (March 25th, 2010) and Europe (March 26th, 2010).

This time around the games are bundled with the Pokéwalker, the pedometer device pictured with this article. It interacts with the Nintendo DS game card via infrared signals and can hold one of your Pokémon characters. Walking with the Pokéwalker while it contains one of your Pokémon increases its experience and closeness. The device cannot be used to transfer Pokémon to other games however, as it will only return the Pokémon to the game card it came from. As you walk, you also earn "watts," a type of in-game currency that can be used to catch wild Pokémon and shop for items. The Pokéwalkers can also communicate with each other, allowing each player to get a free gift! So far it appears that this added bonus has not increased the retail game price as compared to previous titles.

Some rom dumps of the North American versions of the games were spotted online a few days prior to their official release by the release group Xenophobia. So far however, it seems that Nintendo's anti-piracy protection has been effective in causing random crashes for gamers trying to dive into the adventure early.

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver can access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and are also fully compatible with Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games. Feel free to post your friend codes in the comments, as I plan to play through the SoulSilver version and wouldn't mind battling fellow visitors! wink

Gotta catch 'em all!

Posted in Gaming by Locke Member on March 14th 2010 at 12:18am 6 Comments
#1 posted by Charon on March 14th 2010 at 7:24am

Can't say I'm surprised. I remember the Pikachu pedometer back in the day. It didn't link to your games or anything, but it was the same deal. Walking gains watts to spend on Pikachu. It's a logical progression of that, combining the rpg element of pokemon with the appeal of virtual pets.

I'd be interested but... I don't own a DS so it's a pretty big outlay just for a pokemon game. Especially considering it's the same pokemon game currently plugged into my gameboy colour (Silver that is. Go Lugia!).

So, nice idea. but it's not gonna make me run out and buy a DS.

#2 posted by Kilu Member on March 14th 2010 at 9:19am

I didn't even know Pokemon were still relevant.

#3 posted by Locke Member on March 14th 2010 at 11:33am

It is actually not too bad for a remake, but yeah if you lack the DS or have the original readily available, there isn't a huge rush to go out and get it for sure. There are some changes vs the old version, but not enough for the average gamer to buy a second copy of the game I'd think. I use to have silver but it was sold long ago with my old gameboy color, so its nice to be able to play one of my old games on an updated system. Just got my second gym badge. xD

#4 posted by Charon on March 14th 2010 at 7:27pm

Pokemon will always be relevant. The simple fact is that since pokemon red/blue came out, the appeal of mass character rpgs has been burning. I know I keep banging on about it but suikoden 1 was around that era too. And whether it's 150 cute fluffy animals or 108 badass characters, mass character rpgs are so damn awesome when done right that some of us will always want more.

As for Locke's follow up. Having the ability to essentially carry a favourite pokemon around would be enough for me to rebuy silver, if I had a DS. But I don't, cos the DS is a silly gimmick unlike the GB, GBC and GBA. I can't help but think that Nintendo should have saved this little gem to launch their next generation handheld. The DS is getting old and whilst they retain their safe hold on the handheld market... the psp won't suck forever. And Microsoft is probably working their asses off to find a way in. If they want to maintain that dominance... then they need to start thinking about moving on. If they elave it too late then the PS4 and the next gen xbox will leave them struggling to keep pace in the home console market with no time to pay attention to the handheld. Unlike Sony and Microsoft Nintendo really can't afford to sit back and congratulate themselves. They are now Sega. Sure they struck lucky with the Wii. Even though I hate it I've said how clever an idea it was for keeping them in the game. But it won't last.

#5 posted by Locke Member on March 14th 2010 at 8:44pm

I agreed with Charon up until he called the DS simply a gimmick. If you consider how many people purchased upgrades from the initial GB to GBC/GBA, it was logical for them to continue improving the consoles in this fashion. The difference here however I feel is the quality of the games and the jump in ability the DS brings to the table. The Nintendo DS can actually produce some really decent games, gems like Chrono Trigger DS are truly portable remakes of the long-loved originals, and look, sound and feel mint on the DS console. Compared to remakes on the GBA such as Final Fantasy VI, there is a major jump in quality. Maybe the need for a second screen was not really amazing, but for some games it works really well and brings some welcomed additions to the old classics and new games. I am not a big fan of the whole touch screen thing, it works for some games like Scribblenauts and Pictoimage, but as a general 'use the touch screen to control the characters' it drives me crazy. Luckily most games allow you to choose between touch and p-pad/buttons.

I do consider it more of a next-gen handheld, rather then some part of the upgrade chain. Sure it has backwards compatibility, but that doesn't make it some mere upgrade. I am quite happy with the DS, and consider it currently my favourite console (in the aspect of most used/played) for sure.

#6 posted by Charon on March 14th 2010 at 9:22pm

Just a difference of opinion. I was never big on touch screen technology nor the use of dual screens. I'm sure the combination allowed for some unique titles... but I bet most of the decent games for DS didn't actually rely on either technology. Amirite?

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