The run through Johto in Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver seems incredibly fast relative to run through the Sinnoh region in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
And it is, frankly.
I am less than 24 hours into the game and am ramping up to take on the regional champions. And I play slowly, generally exploring side paths and spending time leveling up all the Pokemon in my party, as opposed to my daughter who has raced headlong through the game, concentrating only on her main Pokemon.
So she muscled through the 8th gym badge with a level 52 Typhlosion at about the 18 hour mark, while I managed the test with a mixed party of level 33-40 Pokemon well into my 23rd hour.
And as we go from town to town, I have to remind myself that there are TWO regions in Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. There is the venture through Johto and, once that is complete, 8 more gym leaders and a regional champion to face in the Kanto region.
And that is a good thing!
It is a good thing because Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver is a good game and I was starting to worry that I was getting to the end too quickly.
There isn’t anything astonishingly new in the game I suppose. Having played as far back as Pokemon Emerald after starting with Diamond, if you’ve played the core Pokemon games before, HeartGold and SoulSilver won’t be a mystery.
But they have managed to polish up the game even more. It is the same formula, but a further refinement of it. Every time the do a new release, things not only get better, but they also cram in a few more features. I highly recommend the companion book if only to be a guide to all of the extra activities that are available in the game. And because, while it does guide you, it is not too bad on the spoilers. It won’t solve puzzles for you, it only makes sure you can find them. To really cheat, you have to go to the internet.
Now we’re just getting ourselves set for the final Johto battle, at which point the Kanto region will be available to us. And the timing is just about right for that, as the guide book for the second half of the game just arrived at our house, right on release day.