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Review: 'Pokémon Black 2' and 'White 2' for the Nintendo DS

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (8 votes)

Pokémon White 2Pokémon Black 2Nintendo threw everyone for a loop when the newest Pokémon games were revealed. This is the first time since Pokémon Gold and Silver that a Pokémon game has been a direct sequel. It takes place explicitly two years after the events of Pokémon Black and White.

This is just another Pokémon game. It follows the path set by the series, and does not deviate. It does not take any risks, and if you have played any other game in the series, well, you know how it goes. You pick a starter, fight gyms that do not specialize in Dark type Pokemon, ever, fight off bad guys, and become the Pokémon Champion. Same old, same old.

But, it is still as fun as its ever been.

Story and setting

In my review of those games, I praised the story. This game's story is not quite as good. Team Plasma, the villains from last game who wanted to free all the Pokémon from the bondage of Poké Balls, have split into two groups. Some, the true believers, are genuinely sorry for what they have done, wear the same old odd robes from the previous game and spend their time taking care of the Pokémon they have inadvertently orphaned. The rest were in on the real scheme, and spend their time stealing Pokémon and basically being the bad guys.

PurrloinYou play a brand new trainer, not your original character from the last game, so you start out with a brand new level 5 starter Pokémon. You have a new nameable friendly rival, who has a grudge against Team Plasma for stealing his little sister's Purrloin. He spends the rest of the game leading you to attack Team Plasma at every opportunity. As a side note, the game does not allow you to name him Dick. That's a real name, Nintendo!

The story plays out pretty much the way it always does, you thwarting the evil team while attempting to beat the Elite Four and become the Unova region's champion. In the last game, these two story threads were fairly well woven together; here, they're pretty divorced. There are some obvious twists near the end that I admit did catch me by surprise, but mostly because I am still not used to twists from my Pokémon games.

The setting is more interesting, and I compared it to Gold and Silver for a reason; remember revisiting Kanto? This is a lot like that, except the Unova region has changed even more dramatically. You start in an entirely new section of the map, in a town that did not even exist during the original Black and White.

Once again, both versions have exclusive areas, with Black 2 featuring battle-specific areas with sci-fi decorations, and White 2 featuring collector-specific areas with fantasy trappings.

Gameplay and Pokémon

The gameplay has not changed at all from Black and White; all the battle modes, evolution and trading are exactly the same. You can trade with any Black, White, Black 2 or White 2 game at any point after the first gym battle. Interestingly, you can trade for any Pokémon at any point, even if you do not yet have the National Pokédex. The Unova Pokédex has been doubled, bringing in a bunch of older Pokémon, though still bravely skipping over Pikachu.

The list of version exclusives are about the same as the last games, with one key exception; if you play Black 2, you will find yourself only able to catch the White exclusive legendary, and vice versa. This is a bit of a spoiler, but the cover legendary Pokémon, Black and White Kyurem, is actually not catchable, as the game makes it clear that this is basically a one off fusion of two Pokémon that must be seperated, and therefore an abomination before Arceus. So don't worry about which version of that monstrosity you want, you'll get the normal, grey version eventually.

While I'm spoiling things, the game features catchable Riolu, which evolves into furry favorite Lucario, very early on. Also, to make up for only being able to obtain Zorua with a special giveaway that was easy to miss last time around, a character just hands you one at certain point.

Conclusion

It's the same as it ever was, without even any new Pokémon to catch. But it took me a little over a week to beat and review this game, as compared to the months it took for some other games. You see the difference here? It's formulaic, but the formula works.

That being said, unless you are a fanatic, it may be best to just keep your Black and White and wait until the next generation.

Note: This review is based on a playthrough of the 'Black 2' version.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Breaking news!

Okay, actually rumor, but I just got told by a guy at work that the 3DS generation is coming next year!

Follow up when I can, though given work and computer situation, someone else might need to follow up first.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

apparently just a simple placeholder announcement; it's coming eventually, but, duh.

Just a hopeful goal for next year, at most.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

This whole self-censorship thing is silly really. I mean you really can't name him dick? Was that really such a huge problem that the programmers had to go out of their way to have a check algorithm for the name? If the kid is putting that as a joke, then he know what the word is already, Nintendo can't erase a word the player already knows from their vocabulary for pete's sake.

On the other hand, I guess if a parent saw the name they wouldn't want to take the blame when little Billy lies and goes. "Well that's what Nintendo named him." I guess in that sense it would make sense.

Your rating: None

But, like the review says, Dick is a real name. It stands on it's own, like in Enid Blyton's books, or, I believe, as the shortened form of Richard. It'd be quite lame if you can't use your own name in a game. I suppose they have problems with naming a female character Fanny too. Words can have different meanings in different contexts.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Would it really be so hard for Pokemon to actually get a more open world? You know one where trainers and pokemon of various strengths are spread throughout the world, or maybe level slightly with you? Or perhaps one where you can travel from town to town without needing special HMs. Not everyone's a trainer. Or maybe a world where the gyms are not in a set order or there are side-quests and stuff? I know it's never going to be Fallout or Skyrim but I doubt the hardware is limiting it from becoming more open and, importantly fun. The whole level grinding and linearity was old by the third generation. I couldn't even finish Black before I got bored and left it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Actually missed this in two reviews now, but you can pretty much go anywhere without HMs, only missing some after game bonus content and some items.

Your rating: None

You are able to fuse Kyurem and Reshiram/Zekrom with the DNA fusers.

Your rating: None

I just saw The Pokémon Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice, this year's Pokémon theatrical feature, on the Cartoon Network yesterday! (My sister recorded it for me on her TiVo for my birthday.) A 70-minute movie in a two-hour time slot, which means that it had 50 minutes of commercials; and it felt like it, too. What impressed me the most was how much better the animation quality, or at least the background paintings, are in 2012 vs. the first Pokémon movie in 1999. The story was the usual "Ash & Pikachu and their friends must fight The Most Dangerous Pokémon Of All, And Learn A Valuable Moral Lesson In the Process". Eeeehh.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

what a terrible review that says nothing about the game at all. possibly a formulaic review?

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About the author

crossaffliction (Brendan Kachel)read storiescontact (login required)

a reporter and red fox from Hooker, Oklahoma, interested in movies, horror, stand up comedy

Formerly Wichita's only furry comic.

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