|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Game Freak||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 14, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2-4)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Of course, the one component of the game that fans are probably most excited for is the Poké-Walker accessory. This accessory is a pedometer that is like the old Pokémon Pikachu pedometer. However, instead of just playing mini-games and training just one Pokémon, the Poké-Walker allows you to transfer any Pokémon you want from HeartGold or SoulSilver and level it up, just by walking. This is a great accessory, and gives you a whole new way to interact with the game.
Getting outside and walking around is also a great alternative to grinding low-level areas with new Pokémon, and low-level Pokémon can easily gain three or four levels just after a half-hour walk. Of course, using the Poké-Walker isn't very practical at high levels, but it is still fun to use early-on. It is important to note, however, that the Poké-Walker is in no way essential to the game. If you are planning to buy the game used or rent it and are worried about losing out on some of the experience, don't be. Although it is a nice leveling shortcut, the game never forces you to use it, and the in-game experience will be exactly the same whether you use the Poké-Walker or not.
In addition to all these features, HeartGold and SoulSilver also help those who are still working on their Pokédex in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Pokémon that are exclusive to Gold/Silver can now be transferred to other DS-based Pokémon games, and you can also transfer Pokémon from the LeafGreen and FireRed GBA titles (as long as you have a DS Phat or DS Lite). This makes HeartGold and SoulSilver a "missing link" and help completionists fill in any holes in their collection. However, like the original Gold/Silver, there are some differences between the Pokémon available in each version. For instance, Mantine, Phanphy, and Claydol are only available in HeartGold, while Meowth, Persian, and Teddiursa are exclusive to SoulSilver.
It's easy to balk at these rereleases as a "cash-in" attempt by Nintendo, but before you give in to your cynicism, know that HeartGold and SoulSilver have been completely redone. Everything from the look of the game to the addition of new gameplay modes make HeartGold and SoulSilver a must-buy for Nintendo fans. Although the Poké-walker accessory isn't absolutely essential to the game, it is a nice addition and gives players a whole new way to interact with Pokémon. If you have never played a Pokémon game before, HeartGold/SoulSiver is a great place to start, as it represents (arguably) the best in the series. However, if you are a longtime fan, there is enough new content in this rerelease to merit a repurchase. Between the updated graphics and the bonus mini-games (not to mention the new online features), there are plenty of new things to experience in HeartGold and SoulSilver; it is a must-buy for fans.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor