To be honest, you"re probably not going to marvel at the Pokewalker technology, nor are you going to give awards to the mini-games that you play on the device. But it definitely opens up a new avenue of things to do in the Pokemon adventure. Idle Pokemon that would normally sit in your storage box collecting dust can now have function in the real world: beam one to the Pokewalker and use it to collect items and watts. Your Pokemon can only gain a single level during a walk so it"s not a good exploit for leveling up the creatures to crazy high levels, but it"s fun to have the ability to drag along a rare Pokemon just as you would a Tamagotchi or a Digimon.
There are other new elements too. Along with the same ol" quest in HeartGold and SoulSilver is the Pokecathlon, a single player series of DS-focused mini-games. They"re all stylus based so it"s pretty clear that these were added into the mix and not a part of the original design. These mini-games are fun additions that utilize the new Pokemon sprites -- the ones that tag along behind you during the adventure -- in side games that are cool, if basic, additions.
Plus it brings back a few elements that were abandoned in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, such as the events that are tied in with the system clock and calendar. These come in place of the Poketech gadgets you collected in the previous games, so you give a little to gain a little. I love the fact that you have events on specific days and times, but I do miss the ability to pull up my Pokemon creature"s status on the lower screen.
Everything else about the design, from the local trading to the online battling, remains completely intact. To keep HeartGold and SoulSilver compatible with the other versions on the Nintendo DS nothing has changed with the local wireless and online components. You can also still pull in your creatures from the Game Boy Advance Pokemon if you play on a system with a GBA cart slot -- in other words, not the DSi.