Pokémon Black and White Review
Well, everyone, the five-month wait between the Japanese release of Pokémon Black and White is finally over. There’s a lot of stuff to cover for this new generation, from new Pokémon to new features.
1. New Pokémon
Arguably Black and White’s most appealing feature, with 156 brand-new ‘Mons to collect and catch. I’m a big fan of Reuniclus, one of the newer Psychic-Type Pokémon, which is by far the cutest Pokémon I’ve ever encountered. Other Pokémon include the Dark/Dragon-typed Hydreigon, the Hearing Pokémon Audino (who looks like a mix between Chansey and Clefable), the sand-dwelling crocodile Sandile, and the mummy Ghost-type Pokémon Cofagrigus. And those are only a few of them! While most are obvious replacements for earlier generations (Conkeldurr for Machamp, Throh and Sawk for Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, etc) each of these new Pokémon are unique in their own way, and surpass many older ones. Conkeldurr, for example, does really well with additional defensive bulk and access to moves that Machamp doesn’t, such as Mach Punch. Again, this is probably the best part of the new games.
2. Animated Sprites and Cameras
While not as big of an impact as all of the new Pokémon, this is its greatest aesthetic change since the jump to full color in Gold and Silver. Having animated sprites gives battles much more depth. All of the animations are unique for each Pokémon, and are very detailed. The animated cameras zoom in on your Pokémon and your enemy, making for a lot more action during battle.
3. More 3D
No, not 3D like the 3DS. The overworld has a lot more 3D models, such as buildings and trees. It looks a lot nicer as a result. Even the battle screen has a 3D plane that looks really cool. This is a very nice touch
4. Random Wi-Fi Matches
Much rejoicing was heard when it was discovered that you can arrange for random Wi-Fi matches. No longer are players restricted my Nintendo’s Friend Codes. Granted, they’re still there, but you don’t need them to actually battle online.
This is a great addition to the wildly popular day/night cycle already in place. Depending on weather, you can access different places in the same areas. It’s a nice addtional detail that looks gorgeous. Right now in my game, it’s Autumn, but the seasons change every three weeks or so.
What’s Bad: 1. Lack of Rematches
There is no VS Seeker, or ability to re-battle the Gym Leaders. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy about this. It’ll be a bit harder to grind without this crucial training tool.
2. Lack of Post-Game Content
Aside from the Battle Subway and the Poké Transfer Minigame, there isn’t much else to do after you beat the Elite Four. The Unity Tower only contains 130 floors of NPC characters from all of the people you interacted with online on a global scale, and not much else.
3. Game Sync Not Ready at Release
I didn’t get a chance to try this yet, as the Global Link site is currently down until March 30th. The Japanese release had massive bottlenecking problems due to limited servers, and was also closed down temporarily for half a month as a result. You’d think that the US/EU releases would have prepared for that contingency well in advance; sadly, this is not the case.
So, if you’re rarin’ to go battle in the Unova Region, go for it; there’s a lot of stuff to do in the main storyline, and you can access random Wi-Fi matches early on in the game. Sadly, there’s a lack of post-game content, other than filling out that Pokédex of yours, so keep busy with the Battle Subway and more online matches. Don’t forget to get on the Pokémon Global Link website when the servers go back up on the 30th, so you can access more Pokémon with new abilities. I highly recommend this game to any Pokémon fan, or to someone wanting to try this out for the first time.
Tags: pokemon, Pokemon Black and White, Tyler Thomas