I imported Gold and Silver from the States as soon as they were out, essentially 6 months before they were out in the UK (seems ridiculous doesn't it). Anyway, I came home from school on the Friday to be presented them by my Mummy and had the whole weekend to experience the first NEW generation which in a lot of ways to a kid like me was more exciting than Gen I itself. I was going to a new region to discover new Pokémon... DAY AND NIGHT PASSED LIKE IN REAL LIFE! And I could breed my Pokémon. And I could finally get Togepi and Marill in a game! New gyms! 16 gyms! I pulled my first ever all-nighter playing Gold. My mum would probably still kill me today if she realised!
So the nostalgia factor was pretty huge when I heard HGSS were coming. And yup, they looked great in the pre-release screenshots. I was finally going back to Johto!
I got there and I realised it just wasn't as interesting as it had been back then. I clocked up hundreds of hours on both Gold and Silver, and then even more on Crystal when it came out. Playing SoulSilver, I realised Johto was a bit small... and the story wasn't so great. And going back to Kanto?? Meh. It was over in a flash - the gyms really needed some sort of level scaling up. Plus I'd already had my fill of the Gen IV mechanics through playing Pearl and Platinum fiercely. And Sinnoh actually stands up as a more interesting region to me.
Still, there was a lot of nostalgia to be gleaned from playing, and the post game features were exceptional. But it never quite matched the feeling of playing the original Gold and Silver as that 10 year old. So in some ways the flaws of Johto and Kanto soiled that for me.
HGSS fell short of expectations in many ways, but it was still a treat to relive those countless hours I invested in catching 250 Pokémon (never got Celebi!) back in the day, the visuals were nice, the post game experience was brilliant and the games fit very well into Gen IV.
I think this is an excellent depiction for just how much nostalgia really means, when it comes to games, tv programmes, films and so on.
I was relatively late in proclaiming my love for Pokemon, I never actually played any of the first two generations when they came out at all. At the time, I probably didn't even know they existed. I was more of a passive fan to the anime and TCG, really. My first ever Pokemon game was LeafGreen, although I had briefly watched my friend playing Sapphire and thinking that it was everything I looked for in a game. I, almost literally, worshipped those games. I had clocked over 400 hours since the last time I've played, and I had done everything there was to do several times. I never grew bored and I was just as excited at the 300th hour mark as I was when I chose Charmander as my starter. Compare this to HeartGold, in which my time stands at fifty hours or so and with a large number of Pokemon to catch and trainers to beat. This was my first time playing through the Johto region, and I even got to go to the Kanto region, although in truth, they could've done a lot more with Kanto. Everything was new and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it didn't have the effect on me that my first Pokemon game did. Nostalgia is a truly powerful feeling, particularly as our childhood can be the happiest and most care free of times.
Anyway, that's enough from me. The things I liked about the remakes were the culture of the region. It had a distinctly more 'oriental' feel to it. The Johto region really was like Japan to me, with the soundtrack and locations in the game. This really appealed to me. I also have to complement the looks of the game, definitely a contender for the most beautiful Pokemon game. The story was enjoyable, and was certainly more like a realistic criminal organisation. Although, I probably prefer the far fetched criminal ideals.
But, despite all those great things I never enjoyed these games as much as some of the others. I can't really name many things in particular I didn't like, but the other games just gripped me more I guess. Maybe it's because I didn't have the nostalgia factor when playing through this game. I certainly think a remake of the Hoenn games would have me as giddy as a schoolgirl!