Pokémon Silver for the Nintendo Game Boy was the first videogame I ever owned. I received it as a Christmas gift back when I was about seven years old, alongside a purple Game Boy Color with which to play it on. My older brother also received his very own Game Boy Color and a copy of Pokémon Gold. I can remember the two of us devoting much of our free time to collecting, trading and battling each other. In many ways, it became an intense rivalry to see which of us was the more skilled trainer.
Recently, these games were re-released onto the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. I was notified of this by a phone call from my brother, thus rekindling that old competitive flame. Although I have since played many of the newer Pokémon releases – Sapphire, Diamond and Colosseum to name a few – Silver continues to hold a special place in my heart. Often referred to as Gen2, it served as a major expansion to the original Red, Blue and Yellow.
The second generation brought real-time clock functionality, one hundred new pokémon, time-based pokémon encounters, pokémon breeding, a variety of new attacks and items, two new move types, and so much more. There was even a “time capsule” allowing link connectivity to the original Red, Blue and Yellow (with certain restrictions). Trainers who completed the Johto League Challenge were free to then explore the Kanto region, defeat its eight gym leaders, and earn the right of challenging the greatest trainer of all time.