Back in June, Nintendo gave us a pretty surprising conference where they unveiled a lot of Pokemon games, but none we were really expecting at the time. Since then we’ve begun to feel more comfortable with the Ultra remakes of Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon and we even had fun playing the new Pokken Tournament DX; but there was one part of that announcement that never made sense to us: the Gen 2 Virtual Console releases!
Now considering the Generation 2 games were where the Pokemon series was originally intended on ending and for many represent the pinnacle of the series, the release of the Gold and Silver games on to the 3DS Virtual Console makes a lot of sense. Additionally from a gameplay perspective, it served as a way to transfer past Pokemon forward to the current generation via the Pokebank. In fact, that’s largely why we’ve had remakes of the 1st 2 Generations (ie: FireRed, HeartGold, etc) as well as why we got the Virtual Console of Red/ Blue/ Yellow. Whereas the Gameboy Advance games could be traded up into the DS games and finally arrive in the 3DS, those games originally released on the GameBoy and GameBoy Color could not.
So why did the Gen 2 Virtual Console reveal confuse so many people if it made so much sense? Simple, because unlike its predecessor – the Virtual Consoles of Red, Blue and Yellow – only a Virtual Console for Gold and Silver were announced, not Crystal.
Similar to Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Crystal gave players some new story elements but it was also the first time players could select the gender of their avatar. Players could choose to play as Kris, the female protagonist, while meeting interesting new characters and tracking down the legendary Suicune. There’s quite a few differences in the games, many of which are purely aesthetic but some carry more weight. For example, somePokemon from Gold/ Silver (ie: the Mareep and Remoraid lines) aren’t available in game, and you can only capture Ho-Oh AFTER you’ve captured Raikou, Entei and Suincune. It’s also important to note that this was the game that started to make use of animated sprites!
Though this Virtual Console release of Crystal will come with something special, a previously limited side quest that will bring you face to face with the mythical Celebi in the post-game. This was originally a special event that you could only begin with a certain distribution event item; but now you can finally get this mythical Pokemon without hacks.
Pokemon Crystal will be available for download January 26, 2018 and will be fully compatible with PokeBank.
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Joe primarily covers video games news (i.e.: Pokemon, Spyro & Destiny) as well as the occasional ‘Theory Thursday’ pieces. Before writing for FanFest, Joe was the Creator & Editor of TheInsightfulPanda.com. He is also an illustrator and is currently working on Season 3 of his not-for-profit, fan-art crossover series PokéRangers on Instagram.