2019 will mark 20 years since the release of the popular second generation of Pokémon games: ‘Gold & Silver’ which originally hit shelves on November 21st in Japan. These games including the later released Crystal have been some of my favourite video games to date and in 2019 I believe it is the perfect time for another iteration of these classics.
In addition to its original release, ten years down the line in 2009 came the enhanced remakes ‘Heart Gold & Soul Silver’ which released in Japan on September 12th. These were two excellently remade titles and had the option to have your Pokémon walk alongside you outside of a pokéball. What is great about the second generation is how it opened up the Pokémon universe and were basically a better version of what creator Junichi Masuda had tried to make in the first games.
One could ask what is possible for a third version of these games and I think looking at last year’s Nintendo Switch releases ‘Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee’ is the best example of where previous Pokémon games could go next. The main issue I have with those games however is the lack of battling with wild Pokémon as you level up your team by catching them as well as battling trainers. This may be something that goes hand-in-hand with any future releases in this line of Pokémon games.
The Let’s Go games are remakes of Pokémon Yellow, and it would be up for debate if the mascot characters should continue be the chosen Pokémon to begin the game with instead of the traditional starters Cyndaquil, Chikorita and Totodile. The game could play out as in the predecessor where you are given the opportunity to be gifted the starter Pokémon at different points in the game.
The look of the new games is bright and colourful with the best use of 3D the series has ever seen which is pretty obvious seeing as the games were released on the Switch. They brought back the ability to have a Pokémon outside of its pokéball as well as interacting with it. The Pokémon Company haven’t shied away from anniversaries since the 20th year of Pokémon celebration back in 2016 and nostalgia is an easy seller for video games so it only seems fitting.
The second generation games featured many fun updates to the series such as hunting for the legendary dogs, bug catching competitions (both of which could be internet timed events now) and parts of the game such as the ice path, Ruins of Alpha and lighthouse were really inventive features that provided a challenge when traversing through either Gold or Silver. They were games bursting with content that had you playing for hours and a makeover is truly what they deserve.
One thing to argue is that we have waited a long time for remakes of the generation four games Diamond and Pearl which were also great games for the series and were the first to introduce online interaction with the capabilities of the Nintendo DS. These games certainly had one of the best stories in the game but are a bit long-winded in terms of gaps between gyms. One of my favourite features was the underground bases and digging for gems and fossils. If i have to wait for a new version of Gold and Silver, I guess I can let it slip for the fourth generation.
Whilst the first two versions of the games didn’t release in the UK until a couple of years later, with most Pokémon games nowadays they usually release at the same time and to follow Japan would make more sense than the United States. I’d happily settle for a 2020 release though if that was the case.