Pokémon Black and White Ver. 2 (DS) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 10.20.2012
See what the sequel to the last DS title adds inside.
Title: Pokemon Black and White Version 2
Developer: Game Freak
Rated: E for Everyone
Whatís there to say about Pokémon that hasnít been said before?
Let me just throw this out there at the start. Pokémon Black and White Ver. 2 doesnít change anything fundamentally in the game. Instead, it adds and tweaks small things throughout, making it an enjoyable experience for fans of the series.
The game starts two years after the last game as what is the first sequel in the series. Team Plasma is rising in power again, and new locations and gyms are available to explore and take on.
Some of the gyms have the same leaders from the last game, just with a new redesign, while other gyms are new altogether, like Cherenís normal-style gym. For players of the last game, youíll notice that Cheren, Bianca, Elesa and more are back in the game in new roles.
As far as locations go, cities like Aspertia and Virbank have been added to the game, and the starting location has been changed from Nuvema in the last game to Aspertia, although the three starting Pokémon are the same.
Early on, youíll notice a nice addition to the game. The latest game features 300 Pokémon from past and present games, and theyíre mixed in from the start. You no longer have to worry about just getting Bidoofs from the start. Now, youíre able to find Psyduck, Mareep and many other older generation Pokémon from the start.
Now, instead of focusing on the base mechanics of the game that havenít changed, Iím going to focus on new modes and tweaks that have been made.
The biggest addition players will see early on is Pokestar Studios. The studio lets players make their own movies with Pokémon. While it may seem pretty gimmicky, itís actually one of the more interesting additions to the gams.
Unlike the beauty contest or musicals, the studio puts players in situational battles. They can either rent monsters or use their own to follow the script in certain ways, such as using specific moves. Afterwards, you can watch the movie and crowdís reaction, which can sometimes give you items depending on how well it was received.
Another new mode is in Driftveil City called the Pokémon World Tournament. The tournament opens up after beating the Elite Four and Champion, and lets you face off against various leaders from past and present games.
The interesting feature here is definitely the past games I mentioned. You can find Red, Blue, Brock Misty and more in tournaments that pop up. In addition, thereís other types of tournaments too, such as using rental Pokémon (Rental Tournament) and swapping Pokémon with your opponent (Mix Tournament). In these tourneys, all Pokémon get changed to level 50.
The Unova Link also introduces a new Key System in the game, letting players from one game experience the other gameís exclusive features by transferring items between the games. This means White versions can get Black City and Black version can get Regice.
The Key System also lets players change the difficulty after beating the game. White players can unlock an easy mode after beating the Champion, while Black players can unlock challenge mode. The keys for the modes can also be switched between games if wanted.
The last new thing I want to talk about is Memory Link, which rewards players of the last games and these games. By linking the games together, you can unlock NPC flashbacks that show what happened between the two year gap. In addition, some battles and Pokémon can be captured using the mode as well.
Besides these additions, many of the other features from the last game are back, such as Move Tutors and Xtransceiver. Seasons are also back in the game, changing the forms of some Pokémon or encounter rates of some Pokémon.
Graphically, the game looks nearly identical to the last. However, some sprites and animations have been updated as well.
Pokémon World Tournament is great addition.
Can catch older Pokémon from the start.
Key System can let players of one version experience the other exclusives.
No major changes to the game.
Random battles can still sometimes be too frequent.
Game wonít convince non-Pokémon fans to switch.
Like I said earlier, Pokémon Black and White Ver. 2 doesnít break the mold the game has had for years. Gamers that have never liked the game still wonít, and fans of the game will love the additions and small changes. However, if youíre on the fence about trying the game, or have a new gamer interested in the series, the latest version is definitely the best one to recommend to them.
The graphics from the last game havenít changed, but still look good for the DS title.
The gameplay is still solid after all these years, and the tweaks and improvements added are nice.
The soundtrack is still simple and catchy to listen to.
Besides trying to get all the Pokémon in the game, thereís plenty to do with the tournaments and studios.
The game is still a blast to play for fans of the game. I ran into a few frustrating battles, but they couldnít dampen the joys of capturing and leveling.