And here it is, at long last! The Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver blowout we’ve all been waiting for thanks to CoroCoro magazine.
First up, the male trainer looks the same (like Yoshi) as he did in Pokémon G/S/C. The female trainer, however, has undergone a redesign, and looks a tad weird. Depending on which trainer you pick, the other will serve in a supporting role similar to Lucas and Dawn from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum.
The Pokégear has been redesigned as well, as have Sprout Tower and the Slowpoke Well (I don’t remember the latter…where was it, again?). Sprout Tower is used as an example to show off the return of the new area cutscenes from Fire Red and Leaf Green.
There also seems to be some sort of crossover/promotion with the new Pokémon movie releasing this July: Arceus – Toward the Overcome’s Time Space! A Pikachu-coloured Pichu and a notch-eared Pichu, both from the movie, will be available to players that pre-order the game. Pre-orders start July 20th, the same date the new movie releases. These two Pichus will trigger an ingame event at Ilex Forest, which is where you found Celebi in Pokémon Crystal.
You also get access to a special Arceus, which allows you to access a neat little pokémon history lesson about Arceus and Sinnoh in Pokémon Platinum by transferring it over to the game. You can read more about this here if you’re interested (spoilers abound).
Your starter pokémon can also follow you now, although this may or may not be restricted just to the starters. The most significant change shown so far, however, seems to be the UI. Judging by the scan on the right, most of your menu management is going to be touchscreen-enabled, which I’m a pretty big fan of after Chinatown Wars. New Wi-Fi features are mentioned, but no details on these are offered.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver will release in Japan this fall. A Western release is most definitely planned.
Food for thought:
1. Are Japanese players going to be presented with yet another way to find Celebi?
2. Will Lugia be able to influence the ingame weather?
3. Will the Pikachu-coloured Pichu be a shiny?
4. A neat bonus for DS Lite owners would be being able to plug in their Fire Red/Leaf Green cart and fight a high-level version of their Kanto trainer in the cave you fought Red.
5. Is that a camera on the Pokégear? Hmmm…DSi-enhanced hint?