Continuing the Pokemon Journey: Second Gen. Pokemon Review
We’ve enjoyed reliving the classic Pokemon games, and were ecstatic playing Pokemon Gold once more on Gameboy Advance. Gold was my first Pokemon game. It was the second gen that really got me into the franchise. After playing it again, We’ve picked up on some obvious faults it had. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game. It is the perfect sequel. It’s the best of all the other sequels I have seen, and it’s by a long margin as well.
Compared to the original Pokemon games, the second generation of games had a vast improvement with the characters and story. An example is the rival. Instead of being a childhood friend and choosing a starter Pokemon with you, he is an outsider who steals a Pokemon from Professor Elm’s laboratory. But what is more amazing is his character. He starts off as an arrogant and mysterious person with a low opinion of you. However, throughout the story, he does develop into a caring person. He belittles you, almost through the whole story, but eventually he gains respect for you. Your final battle against him is not out of his usual malice, but as a means of seeing if he is a good trainer. He also plays a big role in the story, both as your rival, and as an ally against Team Rocket.
Professor Elm was also an interesting character. As a Professor he is completely different from Oak. He panics, he makes mistakes, and he actually acts like a human being. There are very realistic moments that are portrayed perfectly in the second gen games.
As for the plot, honestly the basics haven’t really changed. There’s Team Rocket, there’s the path to becoming the champion, and of course collecting all Pokemon. But there are defining additions that tweak the overall story. The first is the journey you take is more unique, with the addition of the Pokegear. It’s pretty much a phone, and the story uses it to get you to travel back to the over towns. So instead of being very linear, the games push you to travel differently around Johto.
There were other additions to the story as well, like the egg that is given to you, that ties in the concept of breeding into the game. But none come close to the true ending of the game. After becoming champion, you travel to Kanto, the Pokemon region from the first gen games, where you battle those eight gym leaders, before you find yourself at Mt. Silver, where you confront…Red! Or as most people would know, the person you play as in the first gen games. A literal showdown between you and the previous protagonist, which is epic because it was probably one of the first games to drop a bombshell like this. It is not only one of my favorite video game moments of all time, but it is a satisfying conclusion to the story. A journey to become the best finally ends when you defeat the best.
Of course not everything is perfect. Even with all the new additions and improvements in the story, it doesn’t really change the fact that the scale was quite small. As I said before, the overall story hasn’t changed, they just added more stuff to it. Some characters were made perfectly, but a couple of characters can’t define a game as a whole. There weren’t any improvements on the relationship between you as a player and your Pokemon. Team Rocket was recycled and was beyond bland. Team Rocket was a solid adversary in the first gen, but when you recycle your villains in a sequel, it is a disappointment.
The best part of anticipating a sequel is to see what has changed. The second gen of Pokemon did not disappoint with new and revised mechanics. The biggest change has to be the day/night system. This changes the encounter rate of some Pokemon. The XP bar is visible now, so you can see when Pokemon will evolve, which is handy. They added more variations of Pokeballs that can be made, and breeding introduced baby Pokemon into the world. It was new and refreshing to the franchise. I didn’t really know what to think of the region of Johto as a whole. It was pretty much the same as Kanto, but with different locations and a map. Nothing really stood out, but I didn’t mind that, so I couldn’t really call it a fault.
What I definitely didn’t like though, were the introduction of the genders, which is of course needed for breeding. Don’t get me wrong, I think it was a good addition to the game, but there were problems with it. The first being that there were different stats for different genders. Specifically, the female Pokemon stats were slightly weaker to male counterparts. I found this unnecessary, and plain insulting to the female gender. Another infuriating thing was the grind. In the first game, it wasn’t as compulsory. You didn’t need high level Pokemon to complete the game, but to battle Red successfully you needed to grind far more than the first game. I personally don’t mind grinding in the games, I’m used to it, but plenty of people find it stale and boring within time.
Graphics and music
Honestly there wasn’t much change in the sound effects and music, but boy did the artwork improve. I can’t really express how much changed. Overall it still doesn’t compare to modern day games. However, if you were to compare how far it has come with defined colours, the day-night mechanic, and just the better pixelated art, the game has improved. Still a bit disappointed by the audio parts, but second gen has already changed for the better, so I can live with it.
The second generation of Pokemon games had come a long way since the first. It is beautifully designed, with a more realistic characterization and an expanded plot. There are still many changes that could be made, but what has been changed and added is satisfactory and makes the second gen one of the greatest generations of the franchise. It is by far one of the better ones, and is personally my favourite. So if you love Pokemon games, and loved the first generation, This game is compulsory. You will not regret it.
Snag a digital copy of Pokemon Gold version for your 3DS Here!
Check out the first piece of Joel’s series on revisiting Pokemon Here!
- THE GOOD
- Great storyline
- Great characters and rival
- Expansive and huge
- More Pokemon
- THE BAD
- Graphics and music outdated
- An extreme grind late game
A perfect sequel. It added more into the world of Pokemon, the story was great with new mechanics while leaving the original mechanics that made this game perfect. It has a huge grind, but once you get past that this game is perfect, and a definite must to everyone.