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Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver: The Official Pokemon Johto Guide & Johto Pokedex: Official Strategy Guide (Prima Official Game Guide) Paperback – March 14, 2010
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About the Author
Michael Knight and Trisa Knight are experienced writers on a variety of subjects, including parenting and children. They live in Rocklin, California, with their three children, who they never tire of taking to Disneyland and the surrounding attractions.
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But the previous Platinum guide didn't help, since that was both Diamond and Pearl guides in one, just on cheaper paper to save on costs.
This guide has the majority of the walkthrough and the Gold/Silver Pokedex. The paper is very high quality, and the guide is very clean and organized. I wish more guides for handheld RPGs were like this.
To me this was a huge disappointment after purchasing the complete guide for Platinum. When I first received this guide book, I couldn't believe how small it was in comparison (for the same price). Then to learn there's a whole second region to work through and nothing to help you with it. I guess it's intended to lay the game down and wait until the next volume is released (for those who rely on the books for help).
And then there is the cost of the book(s) with the company splitting the book into two guides. Here I have a complete platinum volume - twice the size in comparison for the same retail cost as one of these newer volumes. If you want the complete set (Vol1 and Vol2) for Heartgold/SoulSilver, you will end up paying out at least twice the amount.
So unless you don't mind wandering around aimlessly after the first championship or laying down your game until the publishing company is prepared to release the rest of the game guide for HeartGold/SoulSilver AND you have extra money burning a hole in your pocket, I highly suggest searching for a complete walk through found on the internet. They are out there.........that's what I had to do just to continue playing the game.
Such a shame too after the last complete guide from this publisher I found to be very good for Platinum!!!
I've had mixed feelings towards this book. As a strategy guide, it seems to be lacking some things that I am used to. Also, some of the information is not as in-depth as I would prefer, while other information is remarkably in-depth.
So, I'll break this up into sections for my review.
Section 1: Introduction of characters.
-This section has a few pictures and names of the various characters you'll meet in your adventure. While I understand this is a flavor section, many of these characters are introduced later as well. I feel that this section was a waste of a few pages.
-This section was done rather well, with other sorting methods used to try and find things quickly. This made for a nice reference section.
-Nice detail, and a general list of interesting items at each location. I will probably use this quite often.
"How to Use This Book"
-I'm not sure why this was added... it is another index page.
Primer for Pokémon Training
-Some information here seems to be reiterated a few times, but there is some interesting information here. There is a list of the event Pokémon, advice on using False Swipe and sleep to catch Pokémon, and other listings for those that are both new and familiar to Pokémon. I learned a few things about increasing and decreasing Pokémon encounter rates as well. Useful information is provided on how the damage is increased or decreased from typing, and nice source of data for other things. I liked most of this section.
-Sample team building is provided as well, for ways to work around each starter. For instance, it says to put a Sandshrew and Krabby on your team to assist Chikorita, creating a nice triangle of resistances and strengths. A sample of what the guide says: "Chikorita is weak against Fire-type movies. That's why you want Krabby, a Pokémon who's strong against fire-type Pokémon. However, Krabby is weak against electric types, so add Sandshrew for its advantage over Electric types. Water types that have the upper hand against Sandshrew are at a disadvantage against Chikorita." This gives you a solid foundation for building a sample team.
-I would have loved for this section to go more in-depth with teams. People have been playing with competitive teams for years, and advice on team strategies would have been interesting. There could have been advice on building a sandstorm team, on what types of Pokémon become good physical and special walls, and sweepers. Even general descriptions of what these terms mean could be a drastic addition that can give people a large advantage.
-Radio Programming charts were useful, but overly descriptive. Looking at them, I realize they used the same set of charts for all of them, but some space could have been saved condensing the data.
-A list of items is provided of what your mother buys if you have her saving money. However, it does NOT state how much money you have to have saved for each of these.
-Shiny Leaf guide was rather interesting. This is something I wasn't actually aware of, until I saw it. A nice chart displays where to get different leaves for your Pokémon. I really liked this charge, but I'm not sure if this needed to take up an entire page.
-Overall, this section is full of information for a new player. Old players might learn something new,, but not as much. I do wish some of the information was more in-depth, but I'm happy with most of what I have. To improve this section, a bigger guide on team building with a handful of teams and strategies would be nice. There are websites out there providing this information for now, though.
-Pay good attention to the first page of this. There are keys here that are NOT repeated elsewhere (though some of it could easily have been at the bottom of pages associated with it). Notice the Encounter Rate chart, Version Differences, and field moves. These are not repeated, which is something I kind of disliked.
-There are good step-by-step instructions, though I dislike the blue section. There are orange steps that you preform the first time you enter somewhere. When you get to the blue steps, they are "after x event has happened." In the early part of the guide, this information gets repeated, so that creates redundant information.
-There are notes on many pages to the right of steps, and some are useful tips or advice. Sometimes this is just flavor text, but I found it to be useful information more times than not.
-In the guide, there is a "differences between Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver" section. This explains some quick information, but the information is not complete. The Pokémon that are different between the two does not have a complete listing, but that is the only thing that wasn't complete. Note, however, that it says here that you can get both Lugia and Ho-Oh on both versions, just at different times and levels. The Pokédex later on does NOT state the same information.
-Another special section describes Pokémon that are useful for field moves. This is a great section, and people should pay attention to it. Rather than teaching HMs to your fighting Pokémon, create a slave based on this chart that you can teach the extra abilities to.
-Wherever items are located, there is a graphic of a pokéball in its location. The bad thing for this, on the maps, is that the items are not listed. There is a chart that lists the items and when they are available for you to pick up, but there is nothing saying what item is what. I found this frustrating.
-Puzzles are NOT solved for you. This goes for the Unown areas and the gyms. The player is still left to figure out everything on their own. Generally, when I buy a strategy guide, it is to get past some of these puzzles quicker. Unfortunately, if there was a puzzle I was unable to solve myself, I had to go online to find the answer.
-Trainer information is ONLY provided for Gym Leaders. For all other trainers, there is nothing provided for reference. The maps do give the trainer names and numbers, but their Pokémon are still unknown. Fortunately, you can use the names to cross reference with some gaming websites to know what you need to prepare for.
-Overall, the guide section requires a little reworking, but it is manageable. I'm still curious as to how many pages could have been saved if they didn't re-iterate several steps of the guide.
-NOTE- This guide only takes you through Johto. In the games, you unlock more content, and Pokémon, once you've beaten the Elite Four for the first time. As this is Part 1 of the guide for the games, it should be safe to assume that this information will be provided in another book, at about the same cost.
Safari Zone Guide
-Interesting new section. I found this useful, and it explained the way that the new Safari Zone works. A few patterns are displayed for you, and it tells you how to get the Pokémon you are looking for within. Great addition.
-Awesome. The guide provides information on unlocking other areas, what Pokémon to use for each event, rules for the events, and strategies to win each one. I enjoyed this section, and I feel that each page was worth my time to read.
-Nice information. Consolidated lists, useful charts, and it explains almost everything about the Pokéwalker. Unfortunately, it did skip over special 'events' that happen on the walker, and how sometimes a Pokémon will start following you automatically, if you don't already have one.
-I found this information to be extremely useful. This was worth putting in, and the extra information was enjoyable.
Wi-Fi Connection Guide
-A lot of information is here, but it is yet another place where competitive teams could have been explained, or competitive battling.
-This does not give information on connecting for Wi-Fi, nor anything on troubleshooting problems. Definitely something that was overlooked.
Link Play Guide
-Useful information again, but still nothing on connecting and troubleshooting.
-Useful information abound. There is a ton of useful information here, and the data can seem overwhelming at times. I found all of the information I needed here, and more. There were well organized charts, item listing, and how to locate several things. These charts make up for the lack of the next section. If it wasn't for them, I would be completely upset with my purchase.
-Pokemon weakness charts were amazing. I've not seen this before, but only brief chart of what is effective against other types. This is a first I've seen. You can look up different Pokémon and find out what is effective, what doesn't work, and several other things. I really enjoyed this section, and was happy to find it. Unlike other guides, this lists everything per Pokémon. The data here is amazing.
-This section needed a lot of improvements. I'll actually sort this by pros and cons.
*Direct Attack in the move charts. This lets you know if the move will directly attack an enemy or not. Useful for when you are attacking Pokémon that cause status upon direct contact.
*Performance stats were easy to read, assisting you for building a Pokéathlon team.
*Stats are useful for knowing how well the Pokémon grow in each area. Useful for team building.
*Move charts have useful information attached to the move the Pokémon learn at various levels.
*Move charts do not include egg moves, TMs, or HMs.
*How to Obtain is not always accurate, complete, and is often lacking. With only two sections for it, I found it to be wanting.
*Move charts often repeated movies for evolved Pokémon. The higher evolved forms would show moves as being known by default, but would display it as being learned at level 1 again for each previous evolution. This made some lists longer when they shouldn't have been.
*The listed abilities do not have a general description of what they do. You have to look in the back of the book for this.
*There is no information on breeding Pokémon. Nothing explains the egg groups, how to breed, or egg moves. I found this information to be quite lacking in that regard.
*No separate section for evolution lines for Pokémon. Instead, you had to look at the already crowded "How to Obtain" section.
-In the Pokémon games, the Pokédex is one of the most important databases. For this guide, I had to go to online sources for everything. This is disappointing, as that is one of the main reasons why I picked the guide up. Also, only the Johto Pokédex is included... which is rather disappointing. It appears that they want people to buy the separate Pokédex guide in order to get complete information. Without previewing this guide though, I think I'll stick with the online Pokédex that I've used before.
-Overall, I was completely disappointed in the Pokédex section of the guide.
The Pokédex is one of the larger sections of the book for me, and finding it lacking really put me into a negative mood. With all of the smaller things about, I found myself cross referencing this book (mainly for the detailed maps) with guides I found online for free. A guide is not made to be a reference to use with something for free... it should be a great offline resource so that nothing else is required. This guide requires a lot of work before I will be happy with it. I hope that Part 2 doesn't seem as rushed as this one.
Unfortunately, this is the only guide available for the game. No other companies (prima, etc etc) have created one, so we are stuck with this if we want a paper guide. Rather upsetting, really.