Game Freak released a new set of Pokémon games Sunday with Pokémon Black & White Version 2, which is the first true sequel since the franchise began in 1996. The hero (or heroine) once again battles for the eight badges of the Unova region and battles only to take on the Elite Four and become the new Pokémon champion. Sounds the same, but it’s a working formula that seems to include more and more enhancements with every release.
Two years after the events of Pokémon Black & White, the main character encounters Bianca, who happens to be helping out Prof. Juniper research Pokémon. Bianca has traveled to the southwest corner (previously unavailable in Black & White) of the Unova region to meet the hero. She allows the hero to pick a starter (Snivy, Tepig or Oshawatt) and hand out the Pokédex, which happens to have a few upgrades. The Unova Pokédex now contains 301 entries compared to the first’s 153. Second, an upgrade comes shortly into the game with the Habitat List, making finding a particular Pokémon easier to locate.
Other new additions to this release include Medals, Pokéstar Studios and the Pokémon World Tournament. The hero will now be rewarded with medals for completing certain tasks with medals, such as hatching 100 eggs or saving 10 times. The Pokéstar Studios is a side quest that caters to the moviemaker in a trainer. The script does not give the character the lines to say, only the Pokémon moves to use. This means, depending on the director, the lines necessary to win over the audience. The Pokémon World Tournament (PWT) places practically every major Pokémon trainer in the franchise. The PWT uses Battle Points (BP) to purchase items. Essentially, it’s a more rewarding version of the Battle Subway (first introduced in Pokémon Black & White) or the Battle Tower (released in Pokémon Emerald).
Visuals for the game are noticeable on many occasions. The game returns with all Pokémon and commands having animations that continue throughout the battle. Besides the previous additions, all trainers have animations upon beginning a battle and the field now has animations. Also, upon entering a different area, depending on the version, pop-outs from above and below will let the hero know the area being entered.
Re-playability is a high factor involved in games. Pokémon Black and White Version 2 will have more than enough content to satisfy gamers. Besides the retail game, the Dream World can be accessed online to port more Pokémon into the game.
The 3DS eShop also released Pokémon Dream Radar alongside the retail game. It allows players to catch Pokémon using the 3DS gyro controls.
For more information about the Pokémon franchise, visit http://www.serebii.net/
Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 released in North America Oct. 7, 2012.
The official site for the games is http://www.pokemonblackwhite.com/pokemon-black-and-white-2/#en-us/home
- Review: Pokémon Black and White 2 is classic creature catching fun (o.canada.com)
- Review: Pokemon Black and White 2 (destructoid.com)
- Pokémon Black and White 2: The Kotaku Review [Video] (kotaku.com)
- Pokemon Black and White 2 review: A generation’s true form (joystiq.com)
- Pokemon Black and White Version 2: Long in the tooth, but still has bite (games.com)