So, let's say I had a hankering to play a Pokemon game.

#1 Posted by HistoryInRust (6335 posts) -

I feel the need every once in a while to play through a Pokemon game. In years past, that has mostly meant booting up an old copy of Red or Blue or Yellow and calling it good, cruising through with mostly the same strategies and rolling the AI with, by the end, nearly the same team every time.

Which is fine. I have no issue with that. BUT--I want to move on with my Pokemon hankering. I think I'm ready to pony up and, well, evolve beyond Generation 1 Pokemon. And to do that, I need your help.

Here's what you need to know in order to make a good suggestion for me:

  • I have very little familiarity with Pokemon beyond Red, Blue, and Yellow. Take this to mean, ostensibly, that I haven't played through any Pokemon game post-Yellow.
  • I have nearly infinite resources. So don't hedge your suggestion by saying something like, "If you have a DS/3DS, play this, but if not, do something else." If you feel there's one Pokemon game out there that's head-and-shoulders above the crowd, let me hear it. (I say this because I'll probably only have the wherewithal to make it through one run before my hankering has been quelled. So this suggestion needs to count).

Right now, I'm eyeballing FireRed. It's a remix of the original (something I'm comfortable with), but it has the newer Pokemon sprinkled throughout, as well as some of the mechanics that've been implemented throughout the franchise's history.

Let me hear your thoughts, folks! Many thanks in advance!

#2 Edited by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

If I remember correctly FireRed and LeafGreen were more of ways for the Gen 1 pokemon to still be useable in some way in the Gen 3 games as you couldn't transfer pokemon from the orignal GBC versions to the newer GBA format. So when it came to the actually pokemon in FireRed and LeafGreen they were all Gen 1 stuff. I might be wrong on that though.

If anything, I think the best pokemon game out of ALL of them is Pokemon Emerald (The middle game of Gen 3) but since you haven't played past Gen 1 then I would honestly just go in order. So get a copy of Gold/Silver/Crystal and give it a try?

#3 Posted by Nightriff (5152 posts) -

My personal favorite is Silver/Gold or SoulSilver/HeartGold. It has new pokemon for you to experiment with and the old ones which you know and love. I actually went out and re-bought a DS when SoulSilver came out a few years ago just so I could play the game again. I think if you are eyeing FireRed just take the next step and experiment with Gen 2 games.

Haven't played Gen 3 but I know people that really like those games.

I liked Gen 4 but the pokemon aren't that great and eventually went back to old Gen 1/2 pokemon.

Haven't played either of the Black/White series but I guess it is an all new set with no old ones so if you wanted to start fresh go for it. I do know people who loved it and hated it so hard to get a read.

#4 Posted by Kyreo (4600 posts) -

@Joeyoe31 said:

If I remember correctly FireRed and LeafGreen were more of ways for the Gen 1 pokemon to still be useable in some way in the Gen 3 games as you couldn't transfer pokemon from the orignal GBC versions to the newer GBA format. So when it came to the actually pokemon in FireRed and LeafGreen they were all Gen 1 stuff. I might be wrong on that though.

If anything, I think the best pokemon game out of ALL of them is Pokemon Emerald but since you haven't played past Gen 1 then I would honestly just go in order.

Pretty much agree with this. Start with Fire red or leaf Green the Soul Silver or Heart gold. The old games have not aged well.

#5 Posted by HistoryInRust (6335 posts) -

@Joeyoe31 said:

If I remember correctly FireRed and LeafGreen were more of ways for the Gen 1 pokemon to still be useable in some way in the Gen 3 games as you couldn't transfer pokemon from the orignal GBC versions to the newer GBA format. So when it came to the actually pokemon in FireRed and LeafGreen they were all Gen 1 stuff. I might be wrong on that though.

If anything, I think the best pokemon game out of ALL of them is Pokemon Emerald but since you haven't played past Gen 1 then I would honestly just go in order.

You have a preference between Gold, Silver, or Crystal?

#6 Edited by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

@Joeyoe31 said:

If I remember correctly FireRed and LeafGreen were more of ways for the Gen 1 pokemon to still be useable in some way in the Gen 3 games as you couldn't transfer pokemon from the orignal GBC versions to the newer GBA format. So when it came to the actually pokemon in FireRed and LeafGreen they were all Gen 1 stuff. I might be wrong on that though.

If anything, I think the best pokemon game out of ALL of them is Pokemon Emerald but since you haven't played past Gen 1 then I would honestly just go in order.

You have a preference between Gold, Silver, or Crystal?

I personally like Silver more but that's just because silver is a cooler metal than either gold or crystal. Crystal is the best of Gen 2 as it's the mixture of both Silver and Gold. Every Gen has one of these versions and they're practically a "directors cut". I'd also recommend if you're looking to play Gen 2 but with a more up to date feel then pick up the remakes of Gen 2, HeartGold and SoulSilver. They're great remakes of already great games and would do the job fine.

EDIT: Happy 500th post to meeeee.

#7 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

If you want something familiar yet with new Pokemon I say to play heartgold or soulsilver on DS. The remakes of gold and silver.

#8 Posted by Carryboy (717 posts) -

Just play red again its fucking awesome.

#9 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

HeartGold or SoulSilver for the DS. Best Pokémon game I've played to date. The newer ones looks pretty cool too(Black/White) but I like HG/SS better mainly because they have the Pokémon I'm most familiar with.

#10 Posted by Dixavd (1359 posts) -

I wouldn't go for FireRed/LeafGreen mostly because I think the map design ect... of Kanto is the weakest in the entire series (sort of like a prototype for the whole series) with odd decisions in gym placement and level stats ect... which feel but disjointed compared to recent ones - and FR/LG are fairly faithful ports so I think you will find you will just play the same game over again (and the other gen pokemon only appear in the end-game after the main story; and even then most 3rd gen pokemon cannot be captured in FR/LG and need to be traded from R/S/E).

I would recommend Heart Gold and Soul Silver - it is a remake of my favourite in the series and integrates a lot more of the non-gen1 pokemon than FR/LG do - plus you can go to Kanto in the latter half of the game so it wouldn't be drastically different. The remake also included more story elements which were put into more of a focus from gen 3 onwards.

#11 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

When I played Pokemon Gold, it was quite good back in the day. First gen pokemon are the best, you can actually understand what they do.

But apparently the newest pokemon out is the best?

#12 Edited by dungbootle (2458 posts) -

I'm gonna go with the radical position of latest game. Which, right now, is Pokémon Black 2/White 2.

The latest in the series, meaning the most refined gameplay elements. The creators took everything they've learned from every single previous game and applied it here. That's all there is to it. If you wanna go with an older game, that's fine too, it's a great series overall. Just putting this out there.

But if you wanna evolve past Generation I, this is as evolved as it gets.

#13 Posted by HistoryInRust (6335 posts) -

@dungbootle: I'm hearing a lot of positive noise about the Black/White sequels. My concern is that it might be too large a leap for me in terms of the mechanics and new types and whatnot. Probably not insurmountable, but HeartGold or SoulSilver might be a better choice for me to ease me naturally into the new changes.

Still open to being talked into a game, though.

#14 Posted by dungbootle (2458 posts) -

@HistoryInRust: Yeah, I totally understand. HG/SS is actually a great choice because it's a direct sequel to R/B/Y, so it's got that kick to it for you.

#15 Posted by Doctorchimp (4078 posts) -

SoulSilver or HeartGold for sure.

Heracross is in it

#16 Posted by Maystack (906 posts) -

I'm also going to throw my vote in for BW2. They've made such vast improvements and added a whole ton of features. Like you said, it might be a bit of a leap going from gen I to V, but it does a decent job of explaining everything.

#17 Posted by AndrewB (7669 posts) -

Yeah, if you're looking at Fire Red for a little of the old mixed with a little of the new, I'd suggest going one step up and trying HeartGold or SoulSilver. They're probably the best games in the series. And, logically, being remakes the second set of games, it's a great place to continue.

Basic combat is the same, save for many, many more attacks, and the underlying mechanics are quite different (attacks split into Physical and Special types, whereas before all Normal/Fighting were physical and all Elemental attacks were Special). Come to think of it... coming from Red.Blue to a modern game *is* actually quite a leap.

#18 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

Heart Gold/Soul Silver if you want something familiar.

Black & White if you want a fresh start to the series (I'd also say these are the best games, nostalgia aside).

#19 Posted by Bollard (5663 posts) -

@Nightriff said:

My personal favorite is Silver/Gold or SoulSilver/HeartGold. It has new pokemon for you to experiment with and the old ones which you know and love. I actually went out and re-bought a DS when SoulSilver came out a few years ago just so I could play the game again. I think if you are eyeing FireRed just take the next step and experiment with Gen 2 games.

I would go with this. I never played HeartGold/SoulSilver but I feel Gold/Silver were the best pair of games in the franchise up until Black and White. What they did with the two world maps was awesome, plus you still have the familiarity of the original Red/Blue world in there. I see no reason not to check out the new updated version of them instead.

#20 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Soul Silver is pretty baller, however B/W - B/W2 are pretty good as they're super streamlined.

Also, playing BW for the first time gave me the same feeling i had of playing RB for the first time. All new pokemans all the time. At theyre actually not as doofy as every other gen before it.

I have to say, Diamond/Pearl/Platinum is my least favourite of all of them. By a long way.

But of course that is just personal preference.

#21 Posted by JackSukeru (5921 posts) -

Way I see it you have 3 games to choose from for the best Pokeman experience.

  1. HeartGold/SoulSilver are great remakes of Gold & Silver with all the additions that Crystal added and all the additional systems added for the Gen 4. In the post pokemon league you will be ably to visit Kanto (the region from R/B/Y) again and challenge its gym leaders as well as face the protagonist from the first game. The menus are very nicely set up so that you can easily control the game with the stylus always in one hand, something the other 4 gen games didn't do as succesfully and that unfortunately didn't persist in the B&W games (because the second screen now has a bunch of Wi-fi features there instead).
  2. Black&White I haven't played but it was notable for a number of improvements that remain in B2&W2, the biggest difference between them is that you won't find any old pokemon until the post Pokemon League game, which could be a reason to get this over 2. On the other hand, getting 2 might let you meet some recognizeable faces such as Psyduck and Growlithe if that's what you want.
  3. Black2&White2 was positioned as more a sequel instead of the usual Director's cut they make. It takes place 2 years after the original B&W and you play as different characters than those in 1, but you will still encounter some of the villains and supporting cast from the first, as well as start in a new town and the order in which you visit the towns and gyms will be different, I think. As someone who didn't play B&W the references it made to the events in the original didn't really bother me, but it might make you feel like you're missing something.

Black 2 & White 2 also added a achievement-like system added with Medals that you receive for doing things like winning battles or saving a number of times, it's neat. It also has the PWT, the Pokemon World Tournament where apparently you can face old Gym Leaders and Elite Four members once you've won a bunch, I haven't dived into any of that yet. The battles there are a lot tougher than anything you find in the main game as you can't use items and your pokemon will all be the same level as the opponents, they are basically what battles against other players is, where it's more strategic and less about pure force. Can be a lot of fun though.

There are also double battles in these games, and in B&W & B2&W2 there are triple battles and rotation battles as well as double battles against wild pokemon, did I mention Pokemon can now carry an item? That their Nature affects their stats? ..uh these things are all pretty well explained in the games though so there's not much to worry about. Things like how pokemon evolve or their abilities are also explained by NPC's in the game that you can call whenever, at least in B&W. It'll be good.

#22 Posted by fox01313 (5081 posts) -

Just throwing this alternative out there if you haven't played it: Pokemon Snap.

#23 Posted by Fallen189 (5034 posts) -

I have played every pokemon game, after a monumental childhood of playing Red. I still don't understand how dark/psychic/steel work.

#24 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

I haven't played BW2 yet, but I think HGSS definitely are the best games to be released since FR/LG. 

#25 Posted by Maystack (906 posts) -

@Fallen189: But Psychic were in the originals. As for Dark and Steel, just remember Fighting beats both.

#26 Posted by Petiew (1353 posts) -

I'll echo Heart Gold and Soul Silver too. There are enough old pokemon so it doesn't seem like a huge leap. Although the basic structure of the games has always been the same, they've made a lot of improvements to the formula over the years. R/B/Y are basically broken by todays standards, but you won't have any trouble adjusting to the new games.  Hidden stat values, breeding and natures allow for more customisation of your pokemon and the online trading and battling systems can keep you busy.
 
Black and White are great too. Though most of the praise comes from the fact they locked all of the old pokemon out of the main game and made it seem like a new experience. Great for long time fans, but not everyone liked it.

#27 Posted by Fallen189 (5034 posts) -
@Maystack said:

@Fallen189: But Psychic were in the originals. As for Dark and Steel, just remember Fighting beats both.

Duh. Whatever the "New" types were, added later on, I have no fucking idea how they work. Boo!
#28 Edited by SpaceRunaway (870 posts) -

@HistoryInRust:

I'm actually in a similar situation. I'm playing Black 2 right now. Before that, the last Pokemon game I had played was Red. The first Red. So there's at least a 12 year span of time since I last touched a Pokemon game. I'm not having too much trouble with the game, despite not knowing any of the Pokemon, and guessing at type matches a lot of the time. Actually, I thought getting through the Unova Elite 4 was a lot easier than I remembered in Red. There are a ton more systems in place, but that's what Bulbapedia is for. Be aware though: If you are the type of person who feels that most non-OG Pokemon are just the worst, looking at around 500 of them probably won't change your mind.

Anyway, looking back and reading about the games that had come after Gen 1, I'm thinking about picking up Heart Gold or Soul Silver, which appeal to me since they have a connection to the Kanto Region.

#29 Posted by HistoryInRust (6335 posts) -

Much appreciated, bombers. I bought SoulSilver and Black. The general consensus isn't really advising to skip the generations in between, but it seems like I'll be able to get up to speed regardless, and that mechanically these might be the games to really lean into.

#30 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5801 posts) -

Heartgold and Soulsilver is a great place to start.Theres definitely enough content to keep you going for a while.Also,who doesn't love the whole Pokémon following you feature?

#31 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4419 posts) -

@Vexxan said:

HeartGold or SoulSilver for the DS. Best Pokémon game I've played to date. The newer ones looks pretty cool too(Black/White) but I like HG/SS better mainly because they have the Pokémon I'm most familiar with.

#32 Posted by MikkaQ (10317 posts) -

I'd just dive in with the latest one, Black or White 2. I never finished Black 1 but I'm not having any trouble keeping up with the story, seems all pretty self-explanatory.

#33 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (941 posts) -

Gold and Silver were the only sequels that actually added a sequel's worth of mechanics and new content, so I'd say play those. No idea how good the DS remakes are, I'd personally say just play one of the Game Boy Color versions, maybe even Crystal. Fuck everything after Gen 2.

#34 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1380 posts) -

Fire Red is almost exactly the same game as the original generation 1 games. That's fine, but not if you're overly familiar with those oldies, the pokemon formula is homogeneous enough throughout the games already.

My suggestion would be Black; new enough to be fresh and unusual but grounded enough that you don't scoff and complain that the pokemon are too silly now/were better back in your day. I'm pretty much speaking directly from my experiences of playing Fire Red/Black.

#35 Posted by CrazyBagMan (849 posts) -

I'd definitely go with Heartgold or Soulsiver. They're excellent remakes of Gen 2.

#36 Posted by Venatio (4491 posts) -

Well I'm playing Pokemon White on my DS right now, it's my first Pokemon game so hey what do I know but It's fun

#37 Posted by Petiew (1353 posts) -
@Taku128: Unless someone only owns a GBC/GBA or just wants nostalgia I can't think of a reason why the original Gen 2 games could be better than the DS remakes.
#38 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (941 posts) -

@Petiew said:

@Taku128: Unless someone only owns a GBC/GBA or just wants nostalgia I can't think of a reason why the original Gen 2 games could be better than the DS remakes.

Because it's the original, and it's a lot cheaper than buying the still full-priced DS remake.

#39 Posted by Petiew (1353 posts) -
@Taku128: But it's basically the same core game. Only the graphics are better, the mechanics are better, there is more extra content, online battling and trading among others. The GBC one is only about half the price of the DS game when I checked on UK Amazon. My copy of the original Gold has already succumed to the battery issue where the save deletes itself which is a danger of going with an old game like this.

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