I've played this game right through to the end (in japanese) and all I can say is WOW! This tops the original in every possible way. The graphics, the sound, the moves and the gameplay in general is simply light years ahead of the original. The battles are simply spectacular! Almost all of the existing moves have been beautifully redesigned and there are an extra forty as well. The otherwise dull Quick Attack for instance looks superb on this game. And to make training even easier, the pokémon have an extra blue "experience meter" which fills up as you gain experience. It's a wonderful innovation and it allows you to more accurately judge when a pokémon is ready to reach the next level. Even pokémon from the red and blue versions can evolve even further!
The story is situated three years after the red/blue versions and you play the role of an ambitious young boy destined to catch all the pokémon. There are initially eight gym leaders to challenge and defeat, then you have to face the Elite Four. When you've defeated them, you get to move on to the "Old World" where the original pokémon game took place and visit all the cities! You can even challenge the old Gym leaders including Brock, Misty and Gary (the new Viridian gym leader) bringing the total amount of badges up to sixteen! Be warned, after three years of experience they have become much tougher than when you last faced them.
I think the games biggest feature is the introduction of a real-time clock. Special built-in batteries allow the cartridge to act like a realistic clock, meaning that if it's one-thirty on Friday in the real world, it's also one-thirty on Friday in the game! It's a revolutionary breakthrough in video game technology! This allows the game to track whether it's day or night and it is reflected in the game. So if you want to find some nocturnal pokémon, you'll probably have to wait until dinnertime to catch them. On a larger scale, there are also some special events or pokémon that appear only on certain days of the week. Lapras for instance only appears in its cave on Saturdays, which means that you'll have to wait until Saturday if you want to catch it.
Another cool feature is that the pokémon can be either male or female (which will undoubtedly lead to outrageously sexist arguments on which is the stronger) and you can get baby pokémon by making them ... er ... "mate". So if you catch a male and female Pikachu and get them to do their thing, you'll get an adorable little Pichu. You can even crossbreed pokémon of the same type to get a new pokémon that is of the mother's specie, but has the father's stats. Just think of the combinations!
The new gadgets available in the game are surprisingly modern: e-mails, cell phones and a realistic radios. The latter is surprisingly fun to use; it sports a tuner than can change its frequency so you can listen to different radio stations and their music, just like in real life. Unfortunately, you won't find anything like Britney Spears. Possibly the coolest items are the "mysterious" ones that you receive by e-mail from time to time. The only way to access them is by trading them to another Gameboy or a Pocket Pickachu Colour game. When you do, you can either receive decorative items for your virtual room like carpets, plants, dolls and consoles or you can receive battle items like potions, evolution stones and even rare candies! No other game in the world has been so universally interactive!
On a side note, the pokémon that cannot be caught in gold or silver are: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Omanyte, Kabuto, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo, Mew and any of their evolved forms. The reason being that there is only one of each and they were already caught in the red & blue versions three years ago. And finally, when you have finished absolutely everything, there will be one last trainer left for you to face. I won't spoil the surprise, but I think it's pretty obvious who it is.
This is simply the best game on any console! With 251 monsters to catch and an ultra-rare gold or silver version of each one to find, the pokémon relive in this epic adventure that will last for years. So what are you waiting for? Pre-order it NOW!