Pokemon: The Gold (and Silver) Standard | NowThis Nerd

Pokemon: The Gold (and Silver) Standard | NowThis Nerd

– Hey trainers, I’m
Andrew and I am so happy that we’re finally
getting to explore Galar in ‘Pokemon: Sword and Shield.’ And while I’m having fun
leveling up my Scorbunny and catching new Pokemon in the Wild Area, I have to get something off my chest, I kinda miss the old games. (panting) Pikachu! (screaming) I know, I know, I’m
really showing my age here but there’s something so magical about the first few entries,
something the latest releases haven’t captured in a really long time despite all the new bells and whistles. I’m still waiting for Nintendo to live up to the standard set by what I think is the perfect Pocket Monster game, ‘Pokemon: Gold and Silver.’ So today, in honor of the eighth gen critically hitting the Nintendo Switch, I want to talk about how the
mainline Pokemon games evolved. How did Game Freak develop a formula fans would play for more than two decades? What are newer games lacking that ‘Pokemon: Gold and
Silver’ have in spades? And what other game series
can we leave in the Day Care with Sword and Shield to hatch
the next great Pokemon game? This is, Pokemon: The Gold
(and Silver) Standard. Before we can talk about ‘Sword and Shield,’ and even before we talk
about ‘Gold and Silver,’ we have to talk about Pokefever. – Bulbasaur! – Vinosaur! – This Pokefever is making my head sore! – As a kid, Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri roamed the Japanese countryside, catching insects with a net, leading to his childhood
nickname, Dr. Bug. Soon, he found a slightly
less disgusting hobby in video games and he founded a fanzine called Game Freak in 1981. When Game Freak decided
to actually branch out into development in 1990, Tajiri took a look at Nintendo’s Game Boy and came up with a concept
inspired by his insect obsession. He envisioned bugs crawling
between the Game Link Cable that connected two systems, allowing trainers to not
just battle their creatures, but trade and exchange them in the great pursuit of catching them all. ‘Pokemon’ featured 150 unique monsters that players could add to their ranks, but Tajiri split them up
into two seperate games, ‘Red and Green,’ each with 11
version-exclusive monsters, meaning players would have
to trade with each other in order to fully complete their Pokedex. – [Announcer] Grab a Link Cable
and a friend with a Game Boy and with both packs, you
could catch them all. – Got ya! – Now, recruiting monsters
wasn’t new to JRPGs, ‘Dragon Quest V’ and ‘Shin Megami Tensei’ popularized the concept years earlier, but it was the social aspect that made Pokemon revolutionary. It took four developers, six years to create ‘Pokemon Red and Green,’ and even when it was finally complete, Nintendo had no idea how successful their collect-them-all franchise would be. – It’s such a craze. People like them so
much, they tend to steal. – Oh no, I, don’t shoot me, please! – The games were released in
Japan on February 27, 1996 on the aging, Game Boy console. It received a fairly positive reaction, but things really took off thanks to the popular
Japanese magazine CoroCoro, which ran a contest awarding
the legendary 151st Pokemon Mew to only 20 lucky entrants. CoroCoro received 78,000 entries, and sales of ‘Red and Green’ skyrocketed. Nintendo, who considered the ancient, black and white Game Boy to
be at the end of its lifespan, was stunned by the sales, and quickly capitalized on Pokefever. – Hey little buddy, wanna ride? – Pikachu! – Yeah, whatever. (tires screeching) – The games made their
way to the United States as ‘Pokemon Red and Blue,’
together with an Anime, a trading card game,
toys, clothes, backpacks, and anything else you
could slap a Pokemon on. Soon, ‘Pokemon’ had sold 20 million copies in Japan and the US alone. It was a full-fledged phenomenon and with fans hungry for more monsters and the flashy new Game
Boy Color on the horizon, Game Freak started to
work on the next chapter of Pokemon history, one of
the most crucial moments in The Evolution of the Series. Few games in history were more anticipated than ‘Pokemon: Gold and Silver.’ Thousands of people bought tickets to ‘Pokemon: The First
Movie’ just to get a glimpse of second gen Pokemon
like Marril and Snubbull along with a highly-coveted
holographic Pikachu card. Believe or not, Game Freak
thought that ‘Gold and Silver’ would be the final game in the series, which is why they set out to create the “Ultimate” in Pokemon games. And boy did they deliver. – But it’s gonna take more
than that to impress m– (growling) – When ‘Pokemon: Gold and
Silver’ were released in Japan on November 21, 1999,
players found themselves in a brand new region, Johto. Complete with 100 new Pokemon to catch, a day and night system, Pokemon
breeding, Shiny Pokemon, new Pokeballs, two new types
of Pokemon: Dark and Steel, full color graphics and
sprites, and, best of all, a proper, utterly mind blowing end game. After conquering all eight gyms
and the Elite Four in Johto, trainers unlocked the ability to return to the world of the very first game. Future Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata built special compression tools to help fit the entire Kanto region on the same cartridge as Gold and Silver, complete with its signature
gym leaders and Elite Four, with a few changes here and there. And once you kicked Kanto’s ass, you headed to Mount
Silver to challenge Red, the protagonist from the first game and inspiration for Ash
Ketchum in the anime. Essentially, you have to
battle you from the past, in the future. – Future! Future! – ‘Pokemon: Gold and Silver’
definitely delivered on the ultimate Pokemon experience. My 10 year old brain couldn’t handle it. – Ah! Okay, bye. – And it established a precedent
for what fans could expect from future releases: A
new setting, new Pokemon, new systems, and a meaty, tasty, end game. But unfortunately, none of them ever really
lived up to that promise. Every main series release that followed added very meaningful
additions to the formula, but they never journeyed
back to regions past. They emphasized battles and backtracking, instead of giving us an
entirely different environment to explore through battles. Now, before you “Okay,
Boomer” me in the comments, there are a lot of things
that newer games gave us that I could not live without. ‘Ruby and Sapphire’ gave
us Abilities and Natures, ‘Diamond and Pearl’ gave us
Global Trading and WiFi battles. ‘Black and White’ gave us 156 new
Pokemon and the Dream world. ‘X and Y’ gave us full 3D
models, Mega Evolutions and Pokemon Amie which let
us finally play with Pokemon instead of battle them. While ‘Sun and Moon’ gave
us regional Pokemon forms and, you know, Z-moves. So, you know, good stuff. Each one of these games
also gave us a Battle Tower, or Battle Subway, or Battle
Tree as our end game, which is great if you’re
a competitive player, because a lot of the rewards helped you EV train your Pokemon which
is a whole other video. But this, brings us to gen eight. ‘Sword and Shield,’ baby! There’s a Wild Area! Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing! Pokemon Camp! Raid Battles! And now that we finally
have the game in our hands, we know that there’s no going
back to any previous regions. For the record, I’m having a blast and will say that ‘Sword and
Shield’ is a fantastic game that is just a joy to play. But hear me out. Why are Battle Insert-Place-Here
still the standard end game for a series that has
just moved from a portable to a full fledged console
that yes, is also portable? 20 years later, why are we still unable to travel to past regions? And more importantly,
why has the game’s plot and gameplay core remained
the same since its inception? Pokemon is a series with
some serious staying power, and during its lengthy reign on top, a lot of other franchises
have entered the fray, games that have actually improved on formulas and systems that
were pioneered by Pokemon. While I am enjoying the new games, I still think Pokemon is far from perfect so how could we, Fix The Formula? With its massive pop culture presence, it’s easy to forget that,
at the end of the day, Pokemon is still a role-playing game, which got me thinking about
other established RPGs that have innovated while aging, series that Pokemon could learn from and build upon to improve as a whole, series like ‘Fire Emblem.’ Pokemon gives us a ton of interesting NPCs but the bonds you form with other trainers could benefit from a
little more functionality. For example, ‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ gives it’s supporting
characters an opportunity to actually improve your
party with skill lessons. Imagine if gym leaders had
an unlockable membership upon defeat, like if you
could drop off your Bulbasaur for a week at the Grass Type Gym, so it could learn to take
less damage from Fire Types. It’s just as rewarding as some
TM I’ll probably never use, plus it’d finally give all
those trainers you juked on the way to the gym
leader something to do. They kinda did this in ‘Sword
and Shield’ with Poke Jobs, but to me it’d be cooler to
know my Wooloo is training and not working an internship. Pokemon could also learn some lessons from ‘Persona’s’ confidant system. In ‘Persona 5,’ the main
character forms bonds with supporting characters and NPCs, unlocking new abilities and perks that can be used in and out of battles. Pokemon already has a version of this, bonds in earlier games, like X and Y prevented Pokemon from fatal injuries. But what if bonding with
your Pokemon for a bit meant they could learn
moves a few levels earlier? Or even evolve earlier? Ultimately, I’m just
asking for more options to help me create my
own Pokemon experience. Last year, ‘World of Warcraft’
introduced level scaling, allowing players to go anywhere in Azeroth and challenge whatever
monsters and enemies they found without fear of dying
an unthinkable death. Can you imagine such a system in Pokemon? Players could tackle gyms in any order, with leaders scaling down
or up for an even challenge regardless of your party’s level. It would blow the game wide open, so trainers could create their own journey instead of having to follow the same story beat for beat each and every time. I’m sure every trainer
has their own wishlist of what they want from the
series, like, I don’t know, a National Dex with all of my
hard-earned Pokemon available. But despite the controversy of Dexit, ‘Sword and Shield’ has also
made some very cool tweaks to the experience. For decades, we’ve been clamoring for a full-fledged Pokemon MMO and the new four player Raid battles are definitely a step
in the right direction, injecting some Monster
Hunter feel to co-op battles, which I’m personally a huge fan of. It’s also adapting a cooking system similar to ‘Breath of the Wild,’ allowing trainers to cook
different kinds of curry rice to boost the stats of their Pokemon. ‘Sword and Shield’ might lack
the end game I had hoped for, but it does prioritize systems and quality of life improvements that are steering the franchise
in the right direction. Do I think it can touch the
godlike ‘Gold and Silver?’ Honestly, I can’t answer that right now. Maybe in time, I’ll truly
appreciate ‘Sword and Shield’ as the definitive upgrade to a franchise I felt was going stale. But for now, it’s a solid foundation that with a little inspiration, can bring us back to that
ultimate Pokemon experience, a man obsessed with bugs and his small team of programmers
achieved 20 years ago.


  1. Thanks for watching, nerds! Where do you weigh in on Sword and Shield? Is the controversy overblown? Where does it rank among the Pokemon franchise? And what games would you like to see Pokemon learn from in the future?

  2. I have the recent new pokemon games like X and Y, Omega Ruby, Sun and Moon, Ultra Sun and Let's go Pikachu
    My Team for X is
    Venasaur (Mega Venasaur)
    Lucario (Mega Lucario)
    Manetric (Mega Manetric)
    Omega Ruby team
    Sceptile (Mega Sceptile)
    Latios (Mega Latios)
    Manetric (Mega Manetric
    Sun and Moon Team
    Raichu (Alolan Form)
    Lycanroc (Midday form)

  3. Crazy how ever since Heart Gold and Soul Silver, they started releasing games with LESS overall features and content rather than more…

  4. Now I feel guilty for not appreciating HeartGold and SoulSilver when they were released. Something I would love Pokemon to do, wouod be a mainline game as dynamic as Pokken Tournament.

  5. Nintendo went to the trouble of creating special hardware to allow Pokemon Gold and Silver to have as much content as they did, but when game freak released X and Y, they couldnt even create at least 100 new pokemon or allow players to access another region, or even deliver any postgame content more than 15 minutes? what happened to people really trying to pack in as much content as possible? To me, the ultimate pokemon game would allow players to visit all 7 other regions after completing the main story

  6. Man i love this channel and i love pokemon honestly i completely agree gold and silver are god like but sword and shield look AMAZING

    PS Keep up the good work

  7. Gold and Silver (and the remakes) are still my favorite games to revisit. I love and enjoy pretty much all of Pokémon, but no games have quite hit the way those to have with the story and of course the best post-game ever. Generation 5 came close though.

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