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Fans of Nintendo Game Boy Color’s "Pokémon Gold" might want to try out "Pokémon HeartGold" on the Nintendo DS.

But it’s nothing many other people will want to rush to the store for.

The developers of this E-rated role-playing game at Game Freak return avid followers to the world of Johto.

The objective becomes clear as the player moves about in Johto’s vast world. HeartGold challenges each player to become the greatest trainer of Pokémon (creatures in the game). The goal of each trainer is obtain as many Pokémon through battles and then make them as strong as possible by building up their physical and magical abilities. A bit of strategy is required when collecting these creatures as certain Pokémon will fare better against others in battle.

The overall game is pretty simple and there are plenty of tutorials in the beginning to help explain how to play.

A gamer playing this for the first time might find it a little too simple at times and get bored, as the only reward seems to be obtaining rare Pokémon creatures. HeartGold doesn’t bring anything new to the genre and only longtime devotees might enjoy this game simply out of nostalgia.

Although the sound and graphics are a step up from its predecessors, I saw very little to get excited about visually.

The game also features Wi-Fi and multiplayer modes, which allow for players to chat or trade Pokémon.

A major addition to this series is the Pokewalker gadget. The Pokewalker, which comes with the game, is basically a pedometer with an LCD screen showing an image of your Pokémon. It is about the circumference of a silver dollar and interfaces with your DS. It is similar to a virtual pet toy and allows for added interaction with your Pokémon.

Simply transfer one of your Pokémon from the game to the Pokewalker. Once you have your Pokémon in the device, take it out for a walk. Each step earns points that can be used in the game once the Pokémon is transferred back into your DS. For most children or fans of the game, the Pokewalker can be a fun little toy to play with.

Although "HeartGold" will likely please longtime fans of the series, it offers virtually nothing new. If "Pokémon" was never your game of choice, it will probably remain that way.

Platform: Nintendo DS


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