Back in the late '90s, I got into the Pokemon craze, just like every other kid at the time. I played the original Pokemon games(the first I played was Pokemon Red)on Game Boy, and they had the distinction of being the only turn-based RPG other than Earthbound that I've ever genuinely loved. I played Earthbound many years before on the Super Nintendo and I just fell in love with it. I guess then, it's no surprise that I also loved Pokemon, because Pokemon had quite similar gameplay, graphics and story structure to Earthbound. I still always preferred Earthbound though but that's another blog.
Anyway, the odd thing about me and Pokemon is I was a huge fan of the first games, but never even heard of the second set of games until years after they came out. By that point, I was no longer following Game Boy games as my gaming life was wrapped upcompletely in Playstation and later even more strongly with the PS2. I guess I didn't have the room in my heart for more than one game system back then.
My Game Boy was sold. Years later I got a Game Boy Color (which I still have)and Pokemon Blue (which got sold itself a while later), also from the original series. Fell in love with the game all over again. Still didn't play a sequel or even really look into it.
My theory is that back in the late '90s and early '00s, I still cared about fads. As a national fad, Pokemon after the first 151speciesnever caught on. It seemed to die down almost overnight.
Fast forward to2010. I'm now more of a "gamer" than I've ever been as I try to seek out and play the most fun games. I don't give a flying poop (that's an airplane dump) about fads, they just don't interest me anymore. Fads nowadays strike me more as a freak show than anything else.
I began to seek out Pokemon one more time. I bought Pokemon Yellow, which was the special edition of Red/Blue. I played it to death, and captured more species of Pokemon than I ever had (about 120, which is nearly the most that is possible with a single cartridge). Pokemania was back in this household.
So I finally looked into a sequel. I planned to buy one, but it took a few more months before I finally pulled the trigger. I bought Pokemon Gold, my first Pokemon sequel, last week. Managed to get it for $8, shipping included on Ebay. Pretty good price considering Pokemon Gold, Silver or Platinumusually runs at least $10used before shipping.
I've been playing it for a few days now. I think it's incredible. It's extremely similar to the first series, but there are some huge improvements. Two of the somewhat annoying things I found about the first games were fixed in the second ones. The first thing is the item system. Too often in Red/Blue/Yellow, I ran out of space to keep my items. But in Gold/Silver/Platinum, you can carry a lot more items so you rarely if ever run out of space.
The second improvement is more subtle, but big for me. In the original games, the only way you could figure out how close your Pokemon is to leveling up is to open a menu, and even then all you got was the number of EXP points you needed, so some math was involved too. Inthe second games, there's a sliding bar that shows during fights. Getting EXP fills the bar, and when the bar is full, you level up. It's much better this way.
There are other changes, such as a bunch of new Pokemon and moves, and some balance issues were fixed (the ghost Pokemon for example are nowhere near as dominant as they were in the first games). And of course, a new world to explore. But other than that, it's the exact same game. And that's why I love it. I don't know why it took me so long.
My only issue is, I still don't know why they release 3 different versions of the same game? Why can't they just release one version, like 99% of the other video games out there? Oh well, whatever. cya.
P.S. Two times in the last two weeks I've been mentioned in another Gamespotter's blog as having been an inspiration, but zero times said blogs have mentioned my name. So I'm 0 for 2 there. But hey, I'm not in this for the publicity, I'm in this for the games.:P