Because it isn’t like I have other games to run through and finish, I decided why not add another one to the log? I recently purchased Pokemon: Soul Silver Edition for the Nintendo DS. The last game in the frighteningly huge franchise that I owned was the Diamond Version, which was lost, possibly stolen. I had completely lost touch with the series after running through the Blue and Yellow versions in my much younger days. I’m from the era when there were only 150 Pokemon to be caught, and now I’m not even sure of the number.
After creating my male trainer and named him (Gooster, of course), I chose the Totodile, the fiercest looking Pokemon in my three choices. Totodile follows you around on the world screen, taken from the Yellow version that was directly based on the animated series. It amazes me when I think about how many children play these games as they advanced in design, and many of them are no doubt experts and old hands at this when I feel incredibly overwhelmed. Usually in RPGs, you have your characters in a party and move on through the story. Here, I have to capture as many of these creatures as possible and, in typical RPG fashion, grind and grind to watch a Kakuna evolve into a Beedrill or a Squirtle into a Wartotle. There’s so much dedication into it, and you forget how complex this game can be.
I’m about 7 hours into Soul Silver, and I’ve captured about 11 or 12 Pokemon. Currently my goal is to teach one Flash, a Technical Machine move that will illuminate dark areas and also assumingly serves as an attack move in battle, which uses a “Rock-Paper-Scissors” type of battle system, which was always a charm for the series. I traded my Bellsprout to an in-game child for an Onix and I’m working on leveling him up for some rock-type Pokemon moves. One of the more interesting gimmicks to me is the use of the DS clock to set the game as night or day, depending on what time you’re playing it, which means different Pokemon to run into in the game’s tall grasses.
The new feature in this game, which I have absolutely loved from the beginning, is the Pokewalker. It’s a tiny device in the shape of a Pokeball that the player uses to “take a Pokemon for a stroll,” the fun part is that you do the strolling for real. The device connects with the game cartridge and a Pokemon that is stored in the Pokemon Center Storage System can transfer to the Pokewalker where actual strolling earns Watts, which can be used to unlock items, new “places” to stroll, and even capture Pokemon within the device. Your Pokemon can gain a level and will incidentally like you more. I took a few on a stroll, and my Totodile never wants to leave my side, and I’ve managed to capture two Pokemon in it so far. You can’t say Nintendo isn’t trying to get people more active.
I’m actually excited to continue the game. I’m not as overwhelmed as I was since this and Diamond are my first Pokemon games in over 10 years.