Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver

Pokémon Black & White

You know, for kids.

Imagine a world where Pokémon isn't a success. No animé spin-offs, no cuddly plush toys or plastic figurines and most importantly no stigma attached. Instead this niche little RPG is revered among gaming connoisseurs, its players free of the apparent social embarrassment that such associations currently bring.

Pokemon HeartGold / SoulSilver

Pokemon HeartGold / SoulSilver

The golden days return.

Like FireRed and LeafGreen on the GBA, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are updated remakes of older Pokemon games - in this instance, the original Pokemon sequels, which first arrived in Europe in 2001 on the Game Boy Color. I first played them when I was twelve years old, which, distressingly, was nearly a decade ago. Reaching the stage at which your own childhood classics start getting remade to delight a new generation is a sobering milestone in one's gaming life.

I'm probably a sizeable portion of HeartGold and SoulSilver's audience. We're in our twenties, now, the kids who were playing Red and Blue 15 years ago and taking Pikachu lunch boxes to school. A lot of us have probably failed to keep up with the series in the intervening years and find its ever-expanding menagerie of increasingly weird-looking monsters intimidating.

HeartGold and SoulSilver are artfully designed to draw us back in with familiar Pokemon in a familiar world, wrapped up in updated graphics and gameplay systems and packaged with a new gadget, the Pokewalker. The question is not so much whether HeartGold and SoulSilver are good games - they're excellent, always were - but whether they're good enough to merit buying again, or to draw in a new, nostalgia-immune audience.

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New Pokemon coming in spring

Enhanced DSi versions of Gold, Silver.

The latest instalments in the Pokemon series have been slated for a spring 2010 release in the US and Europe.

Pokemon remakes come with pedometer

Level up Pokemon by walking.

Forthcoming DS remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver are to come with a "PokeWalker" peripheral, a pedometer that levels up your Pokemon as you stroll about.