Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by Dembonez190
Review: Pokémon Black Version 2 & Pokémon White Version 2
Developer: Game Freak, Inc.
Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
System(s): Nintendo DS
Release Date: October 7, 2012
Perfect (or close enough to it)
Rather than creating a repeat of the same game with a few added touches, Game Freak completely remixed what was originally in Pokémon Black and White in order to expand the story that already existed. This is more than merely the same story on replay, and it is what a third installment should be.
In the past, when the third installments of Pokémon were released, there were usually some added extras that players couldn’t get in the first two including move tutors and different Pokémon. At the end of the day, these are things players could mooch off of other players that were willing to buy the third games. There wasn’t a lot of newness to them since the story was relatively the same in each one. This time, on top of the move tutors and extra Pokémon from past generations appearing early on in the game, there are a number of cool places to visit. The gyms have all been revamped, the path has been changed, and new gym leaders have appeared!
Some of the new locations range from cities and towns to small additions to pre-existing cities and towns. For example Pokéstar Studios is like Pokémon’s answer to Hollywood. Since this generation was heavily based off of American culture and design, it makes sense to have a big-time movie studio added to the mix of places to visit. This, like the contests and musicals from before, is an area that can be replayed as many times as a player wants. It acts as a fun activity players can participate in off the main path. Musicals also still exist from the previous games, and there is just overall many more things to do off to the side if you ever want a change of pace from what the main path gives you.
Join Avenue is one particularly interesting new area as it brings the world together in a whole new way. The players that are connected with each other through trades, battles, Dream World, and other activities either online or through an infrared connection will appear in each others’ Join Avenue which is a mall type place that provides a variety of special services that players couldn’t get anywhere else. This is a great place for competitive and casual players alike because there are lots of shops that could be opened to fit their specific needs.
This is barely scratching the surface as far as where to go in Unova. If you thought there were plenty of hotspots before, then you should be pleasantly surprised to discover everything that you can do now.
Because the map layout has changed, some standard Pokémon locations that typically appear earlier on in the game, do not appear until later. Some don’t show up until after the game has been “beaten” the first time through. The clever positioning of certain game locations means that the player is more likely to become engaged in the storyline rather than being worried about building a proper team so early on in the beginning. Because of the new Pokémon, this aspect shouldn’t be an issue anyway.
The battle system has remained the same, however Pokémon and trainer sprites have been adjusted to allow more smoother animations by adding more frames. Gym leaders aren’t the only trainer sprites with animations now either. Also, there are a few more triple and rotation battles scattered throughout Unova than there were in the original Black and White. Before, they were more specialized. The player had to seek out specific trainers if they wanted to partake in the new battle types. Now there are more opportunities to practice with them, and Pokémon Breeders are even available for rematches along certain routes.
Other things that have remained the same are the bag system, the save system, the PC, etc. These are things that should not change anyway. Just like in Black and White, the Pokémon Centers and Pokémon Marts are merged for convenience. TMs are also multi-use items. The C-gear has been altered ever so slightly in appearance from what it was before, but its functions are still the same in order to connect with players who own Black and White.
Connectivity stretches beyond the GTS and battle stations also. Dream World, which is found on the Global Link website, has expanded itself now to include Unova Pokémon that were unobtainable before. The people met in Dream World also appear in Join Avenue and is possibly the best method of gaining shoppers since Dream World has almost 3,000,000 regular visitors! Unova Link and Memory Link are new additions that give players the opportunity to connect with other games. Unova Link makes it possible for Pokémon that appear in the newly released Pokémon Dream Radar game to be transferred over to their games. This is the only way to obtain the Therian forms of the legendary genies with special abilities. Memory Link is a new addition that connects to the previous Black and White games. This unlocks new dialog and events from in-game characters met along the way.
Finally, Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 allow players to shoot for even more goals than before with a newly implemented medal system. The more you do, the more you earn. The number of medals someone could earn is enormous. I have yet to earn them all, and even taking part in simple tasks will allow players to earn medals. The Medal Box will constantly be filling up during the course of the game, and you may not even know you met the conditions to earn a medal. It is a great new addition.
Along with medals are keys that give players with different versions of the game the chance to unlock things they couldn’t unlock in their own games like game play difficulty and unlockable locations. This promotes connectivity even more with the exchanging of different types of keys to help each others’ games grow much like the franchise has since its beginning.
+ Story continuation
+ New towns, gyms, and extras
+ Extra connectivity
+ Dream World Unova Pokémon
+ Pokémon from previous generations appearing early
– Same plot format
Final score: 5 out of 5