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March 28, 2011 | by  | in Games | [ssba]

Pokémon Black/White

Nerds rejoice! Another Pokémon game has been released! Pokémon Black/White is the latest game in Nintendo’s mammoth Pokémon franchise. This is the fifth generation of games and the second (and assumedly last) on the Nintendo DS platform after the Diamond/Pearl games and the Gold/Silver remakes.

Again Nintendo haven’t changed the formula much and the same gameplay mechanics that have sold a billion copies remain. You start out in a small town and your mother lets you go visit some weird Pokémon expert who entrusts you with a dangerous animal as you venture around the region fighting preschoolers and men with a strange disposition for wearing shorts.

That isn’t to say Nintendo have been lazy with this effort, rather the opposite. In terms of changes this generation probably brings the biggest amount of change and difference since the very first Red/Blue days. Previous games were rightly criticized for only slightly augmenting the Pokédex with some additional Pokémon, however in Black/White you are placed in an entirely new world with an entirely new cast of Pokémon. Each one you face is new to the franchise with this game and it’s a lot better for it. The new Pokémon are also a lot better designed than in previous generations and it’s actually interesting to see what you come up against and how they fare once you’ve captured them.

The ‘two versions’ concept that is central to previous titles remains and if anything is heightened with these two. In previous games the only difference with each version was the cast of Pokémon available to capture in the wild (necessitating trades to “Catch ‘em All”). In the two versions this time around you’ll face different gym leaders depending on which you choose as well as an entirely different city for each game. You’re also introduced to two rivals at the start instead of one, although unfortunately you aren’t given the option to name them that means no more battling against Professor Oak’s mystery grandson CUML0RD.

The interface also remains the same, which to me seems a little primitive on a system with a touch interface. Moving Pokémon or items around often seems unwieldy just like it’s always done, and with the option to use the stylus to drag and drop you’d think they would have done it by now. The story is also a bit lacking and often almost preachy (you fight against a PETA type group for Pokémon) but none of that really matters when all you want to do is get to the battles.



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