(Note: Due to the fact I have a laptop, I can't put the accent above the e in Pokemon. I really want to, because I am a stickler for accuracy.)
So, lately I've been playing four different versions of Pokemon. I've been alternating between LeafGreen, HeartGold, Emerald, and Diamond; one of each generation. I keep switching between the four because each is unique, offering a particular feeling of nostalgia or an endless list of new things to do.
Emerald is my least favorite in terms of gameplay, but has the cleanest visuals and speediest engine. It is commonly the least appreciated generation due to the silly and oddly designed Pokemon. (See: Luvdisc.) I had to restart this version once I reached the trainers Liza & Tate. Their Pokemon are insanely strong, and me, being the failure that I am, didn't train well enough for them. I highly recommend a Sableye or a Bug-type Pokemon to destroy them. I am curious to see what the inevitable remakes are going to be like.
LeafGreen is wonderful, taking us back to the Kanto region,. But, it lacks the insanity of the original games: Missingno. There is something extremely anti-climatic about reaching Cinnabar Island in this remake, like you played through the entire thing for nothing. Where is the chaos that once delighted and terrified young trainers? Gone forever. The addition of the Sevii Islands seemed unnecessary, especially because they took out the ability to capture Mew in the American versions. (A trend that has existed throughout the franchise: cockblocking American trainers on the legendary Pokemon.) At this time, I would like to remind everyone that shorts are comfy and easy to wear.
HeartGold seems promising, although the gameplay seems much slower than its predecessors. I feel like it takes FOREVER to do anything in this game. This is also my first time playing through the Gold/Silver/Crystal generation, so I must explore and take my time rather than plow through it like those who have played the generation before. I'm only at Ecruteak City, as I had to restart this game as well. Once again, poor leveling strategies screwed me over once I advanced. The Pokewalker included with the game is really interesting. One problem with the device is that it seems to erase the number of steps I've taken whenever it damn well pleases, which is not cool. I've taken to strapping it to my shoe and bouncing my foot while I do shit at the computer to increase my steps, since different numbers of steps unlocks things (like XBox achievements). We'll see how well the game holds up after I get all 16 badges. I am extremely curious to see Red at the top of Mt. Silver.
Diamond is the winner in my book. Diamond is a fast-paced game, and it has SO MUCH TO DO. You can go to The Underground and dig for items. You can make Poffins from Berries. You can become a Berry farmer. You can chain Shiny Pokemon using the PokeRadar. After receiving the National Dex you can go capture as many Pokemon as your version offers. You can go to the Battle Zone and fight Trainers as much as you want. You can breed as many Pokemon as your heart desires. You can capture GOD. (If you have a Japanese version of the game.) I got this game a couple years ago, and I'm still playing it. Same saved game, too. Because there is that much to do in this game. I suppose Platinum might superior, as most third-versions are superior, but I have not played it myself due to its severe lack of Murkrow. Go out and buy any of the three Generation IV games. They are seriously worth your money.
I'm really interested in seeing what Generation V is going to be like. The games are titled Pokemon Black and White. They are in 3D, the protagonists seem older (and look straight out of Yugioh. I'm looking at you, "N".), the Pokemon designs are incredibly detailed and weird looking. The starters have already found love on the internet, nicknamed Wotter, Emboar and Smugleaf. I recommend checking out the best Pokemon websites for updates:
Serebii.net (Best website for the games, in my opinion.)
Bulbapedia (Best general site.)
Marriland (Great walkthroughs.)
Pokebeach (Also has great walkthroughs.)
I might also be posting soon about some Pokemon silliness and awesomeness found throughout the bowels of the internet, so stay tuned.