Saturday, 2 November 2013

Pokemon Black/White 2

Gamespot Score: 6.5 (Fair)

My Score: 8.0

(+) Pros: - Continued story from original "Black/White" games are great, - Main journey through the region of Unova feels well padded out, - New in-game features improve the user experience, - Plenty of in-game content, both during the regular playthrough and during the post-game, - PWT is probably the best thing that the series has ever done.

(-) Cons: - Its just a rehashed version of "Black/White" with the same areas and Pokemon, - Most of the fun comes post game, honestly.

Playtime: 50 hours+

I'm quite sure I haven't been showing it lately, but for the past 2 months or so I have been crazy about "Pokemon". It all started in "White 2", then I finished it but it wasn't enough, so I moved on to "Black 2", and recently I just got "X" and have been playing the living shit out of it...but we'll leave that for another day. To me, "Black/White 2" were the last good games for the NDS, and they were the last games I played, from the day I finished "Black 2" I bid farewell to my NDS and bought a 3DS in preparation for "Pokemon X & Y". For the last games on the NDS, I couldn't have asked for more. I enjoyed the living hell out of the 2 games and spent more than 100 hours on both of them combined, it was definitely the peak of my life for "Pokemon" (following behind in 2nd place was the "R/S/E" era back in the day)...I didn't regret it. Think of "Black/White 2" as a rehash game for the original "Black/White" games, like "Platinum" was for "Diamond/Pearl" and "Emerald" was for "Ruby/Sapphire".

So the plot for "Black/White 2" takes off 2 years after the events of the original "Black/White". N disbanded Team Plasma and the world had life a little bit easier. The main character (you) has been living in Asperetia City for his entire life, and was about to get his firs Pokemon from Professor Juniper once again, but since she couldn't make it personally, she sent her assistant, Bianca, to bring you the starter Pokemon. After he gets it, he leaves his town along with his childhood friend Hugh for a journey, to beat all 8 gym leaders, fill up the Pokedex, beat the elite four, and become the very best.

According to a select number from the Pokemon community, Gen 5 had the best story line, and even after "X/Y"  I have to agree. Gen 5 had the best story, the best characters and the best gym leaders...of course, this is all my opinion. After the twist we got from the original "Black/White", it wasn't over apparently, and what it could not finish....."Black/White 2" took it from there and concluded the Unova saga with style. The characters from "Black/White" made a return, and while it may not have an epic end to the main story as "Black/White" did, it still did a pretty darn good job wrapping it all up going into the 6th Gen.

As with every Pokemon game and as in the original "Black/White", you will be travelling through the entire Unova region, defeating gym leaders and taking their badges. In the past 2 years, Unova has gone through some changes, and some gyms have been changed around. Cheren from the original "Black/White" takes over the normal type gym, Chilli, Cress and Cilan's gym have been removed, and so has Brycen's gym. They have been replaced by different gyms entirely, and throughout your journey between these gyms, the experience feels well padded, not too draggy or too rushed, something that I feel is important in Pokemon games.

The decision of your LIFE! 

The difference and distance between each and every gym in the game feels equal, except for maybe the gameplay time between Drayden's gym and Marlon's gym, that one felt too damn short. Throughout the game you'll be going through routes that you've gone through in the original, fighting trainers, wild may even be able to spot out some things here and there that might throw you back. Of course there'll still be arcs where you'll be battling Team Plasma, and with their new team formation, these encounters are made more impactful, and you'll come to resent them more as villains.


First of all, there have been many newly added features that make the game feel more improved than its predecessor. The habitat list is my personal favorite, and it should be for all your Pokemon "gonna catch 'em all" completionists. This allows you to see what Pokemon appears in which areas, so that you may catch any Pokemon that you may have missed out in an earlier area. Ever wanted a really awesome Pokemon that you saw but forgot or don't know where it came from? Snap, the habitat list saves your ass, look it up the Pokedex and you're on your way to happiness. Just note that some Pokemon are so rare that it might take stupid amounts of time to encounter (f**king Tynamo).

The medals serve as an accomplishment or trophy feature for you to measure yourself throughout the game. Naturally, more medals means you did better, and if you have less that just means you have quite a ways to go. Version exclusive keys have also been added to the game, though these usually only kick in during the post game. Examples are the version exclusive Registeel or Regice, once you catch them in your own version, you get a key which you can send to someone with an opposing version via infrared so that they can have a chance to catch your version exclusive Pokemon in THEIR game.  There are more features to talk about, but going through all of them will make the review three times its size so lets just stop it here and move on for now (Grottoes, Memory Link, The four seasons that change according to your NDS date and time..).

Poke'star studios, one of the many optional things you can invest your time into.

The best thing in "Black/White 2" however, has got to be the amount of content that's in the game....its madness, really. The main story is decently lengthy, but the fun comes post game...the entire world is opened up to you. You do not travel the entire Unova region during the main story, and you get to visit the rest post game, from the Iccirus city, where the previous Ice gym was located to Nuvema town, where the protagonist of the original "Black/White" originated from.  There are a good deal of legendaries to capture, the three legendary golems, the three pixies, Reishiram and Zekrom, Heatran, and more. 

Many other miscellaneous optional content include managing your own avenue, which makes you the boss of an avenue of Pokemon stores that YOU decide to set up. There's the Poke'star studios, a movie studio that allows you to shoot films with your character in skimpy clothing saying cheesy lines (you can see these movies yourself to see how well you did). Hell you can even get into a relationship with a cute girl/guy by picking up a lost transceiver and calling her/him 600 times to get them to fall for you, then they will trade you some spectacular Pokemon. 

Versus Cynthia? F**K!

However, in the post game, nothing comes close to the satisfaction of playing in the PWT, short form for "Pokemon World Tournament". It's a lot like the Battle Frontier of previous gens, or the Battle Subway from the original "Black/White" games (by the way, Battle Subway is STILL in this game, its just less interesting now that we have the PWT). The context of PWT is that you enter your team of Pokemon to fight against a group of trainers in a tournament style bracket, either in single battles, double battles or triple battles. Your Pokemon levels are set to 50, but so are your opponents', that means that no matter how powerful your Pokemon are, they are all leveled out against your opponents.

Fighting to the end of each tournament and winning grants you BP to get items or TMs that are particularly useful for competitive Pokemon battling. In the PWT, you face off against many opponents, most of which will induce nostalgia into your minds. You can battle gym leaders from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova here, as well as the respective region champions, which is INSANE. There are more than 50 types of opponents you can face, and all of them you will know if you've played previous Pokemon games. Hype hype hype HYPE! And if you managed to squeeze through the gym leader tournaments, you can fight champions. Yes, ladies of gentlemen, even Blue and Red. 

Bring it on, hot chick!

So what sucks about the game? Well, I generally hate secondary releases of these new gen titles, I've never played "Emerald" or "Platinum" despite playing their predecessors "R/S" or "D/P". "Black/White 2" marks the very first, because I was interested in the story/plot. Despite the many new things you can have fun with, you're still traversing in Unova, most of the areas are the same, and there aren't any new Pokemon. Its also not a stretch to say that the most fun you can get is only post-game, so it'll take awhile for you to really feel that feeling of freedom when you got a whole lot of shit at your disposal.

"Pokemon Black/White 2" is probably the most enjoyable Pokemon game for the NDS, and its the last too, so it fits very nicely. Its the best, its too bad that its not a proper gen release, since most of the game is recycled from the first "Black/White". I loved the game to death, but that doesn't mean it has the proper amount of new innovative content to have the highest score. This, was the game that revived my love for the series once more.

Happy gaming!