With the MASSIVE… ok saying Pokemon was massively successful is a huge understatement. Pokemon back in the 90s was a phenomenon unlike any other and this was before the games came out in the west. But as I mentioned before Gen 1 was far from perfect, compared to modern Pokemon games its flaws stand out. So here we come to Gen 2 Not just adding new Pokemon but also fixing the many flaws of gen 1, Good news, they succeeded.
Just like calling the success of Pokemon a massive understatement, the massive buzz about gen 2 was beyond belief. Pokemon was at its height in popularity and now we were hearing it was going to have 100 new Pokemon including those that had been teased in the animated series since its start. But not just 100 new Pokemon there were 2 new types Dark and Steel, but I’ll go into those later.
Gen 2 consists of 3 games, the first 2 Pokemon Gold and Silver (I owned Silver) and the third released later Crystal. These games were set in the region of Johto directly adjacent to the Kanto region of gen 1, in fact it’s just to the left of Pallet town. Johto was a much more Japanese setting with towns and buildings drawing more inspiration from Japan than Kanto did. The games are also set a few years after that of gen 1 as certain people mainly Team Rocket reference the events of gen 1. One of the first things that’s new about gen 2 is that these are Gameboy Colour games, Gold and Silver being workable on the older Gameboys aswell while Crystal being Colour only.
Another feature right away is that they had a clock and 3 different times of the day, morning, day and night which different Pokemon appearing at different times be it just in greater numbers or only obtainable during them. The game however mainly follows the same plot like most Pokemon games would until gen 7. Get your starter, a rival gets the one that’s strong against yours, though this time he actually steals it, but you have the ability to fight wild Pokemon before this so he’s not a problem (actually Silver as he is known in the fandom became one of the fan favourite rivals), beat 8 gym leaders take down an evil organization (it’s rocket again) then a new feature, grab the legendary on the cover of the game before fighting the elite 4 (get Silver, Lugia is better than Ho-Oh) and then that’s the game other than getting all the Pokemon…. OH WAIT after beating the league first time you can return to the Kanto region where as mentioned time has passed and you fight all its 8 gym leaders (to be honest this doesn’t take nearly as long as the Johto ones so anyone who says the game is twice as big is lying to you) allowing you access to Mount Silver where you can fight against RED the protagonist of the first games in what is a truly epic battle.
Ok time to talk about the part I want to talk about, what this game fixes from the old game.
1: no MissingNo bug. Yeah game is much less buggy so no huge error that can destroy the game.
2: Psychic type is no longer broken. In gen1 because Ghost and Bug types had no real moves (in fact Ghosts were bugged to the point the only actual attack lick didn’t even hit Psychic types) to speak of and nothing was resistant to Psychic types, they were massively broken. Now not only do Bugs and Ghosts have attacks (Shadow Ball being very useful) but also the new Steel types were resistant to them and the new Dark type Pokemon are completely immune to psychic attacks (of course only Umbreon was worth using out of those types back in gen 2… maybe Tyranitar)
3: the special stat is no longer broken. Tying into the psychic problem, in gen 1 the special stat covered both attack and defense against special attacks, now it was split into 2 special attack and special defense, so now Alakazam couldn’t tank flame thrower nearly as well.( he got broken again in gen 3, which they fixed in gen 4)
With the major fixes to the gameplay I always felt Pokemon gen 2 was more a 1.5 as it felt like a fix on Pokemon as a whole. That’s not to underplay its new features, many of the Pokemon in gen 2 became long term fan favourites, of course none of the starters ever matched up to Charizard in appeal but Lugia and Suicune became long term favourite Legendaries amongst the Pokemon fandom to the point Suicune became the cover Pokemon to Crystal.
Crystal was the equivalent to Pokemon Yellow for gen 2, with some changes to the story (namely the focus on Suicune) further improved graphics and the first time ability to choose your character’s gender, I didn’t own a Gameboy Colour so I’ve never played it and thus I will not be going into depth about it.
Gen 2 is a massive improvement on gen 1 as no longer does the game feel broken due to odd choices, though it will still be till gen 3 that Ghost and Dragons properly increase in numbers and Dark types despite being hailed as the answer to the Psychic problem were few in number and bar Umbreon not worth taking… of course you should use Umbreon as it’s awesome… oh right forgot, Gen 2 introduced genders to Pokemon and breeding… odd I forgot about that till now, it’s how you get all the cute babies.
If you want to check out classic Pokemon these are the games I would recommend. The settings no longer feel generic thanks to Johto’s much more Japanese inspired look and no one Pokemon type feels as dominating, plus there is more to the story now, though it’s still basic though if you didn’t play gen one you won’t realize the odd choice to destroy the tower filled with graves and build a radio station over them. Yes they did that.