Friday, 11 October 2013

Review No. 60 Pokémon Black and White - DS (3+)

Strong Points:
156 new Pokémon
Great gyms
Good soundtrack
Lots to do post story
New pseudo 3D
Two EXP shares makes training a whole lot easier

Weak Points:
No VS Seeker or the ability to re battle trainers at all
The elite four are all the same level
You can't get any old Pokémon until post story
The musical is awful compared to contests
Entralink is terrible
Map is very linear (it's a circle for heaven's sake)
Except for ones given to you, berries are only available on Global Link

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
Japan: September 18, 2010
North America: March 6, 2011
Australia: March 10, 2011
Europe: March 4, 2011
South Korea: April 21, 2011

D-Pad: move player
A: Select command
B (hold): run
Y: key item
X: menu

Pokémon Black and White are the first 5th Gen Pokémon games and are great. These Pokémon introduce the greatest amount of Pokémon ever (a staggering 156) as well as a new and improved psydo 3D and a lot of other game mechanics.

The storyline now follows something like this: yet again you have picked a Pokémon and set off on a grand adventure with your friends. Gather all eight gym badges and you get to enter the League. But watch out as the dastardly Team Plasma led by the mysterious trainer N and his seven sages are trying to liberate Pokémon (mainly by stealing them of course).

So then, same old, same old, what's new? Well there is a new (albeit not very good) world to explore and another eight gyms and a whole new league system which makes this game is a decent size. You also get the musical and entralink but let's not sour this paragraph, shall we.

But this paragraph I will sour slightly. The musical, the only question is why? In it you get to dress your Pokémon (reminiscent of the contests in the previous two gens) and then... get to watch them dance and press two buttons. That's it. No battling, no competing, no showing off (really) not to mention your skills have no correlation with if you win or not (mainly because you don't have to do anything). It should have been called Pokémon dress up more than anything. The there's the entralink. It sounds great, visit another player's world and complete missions to win powers and Pokémon. There's only one problem, part of the map (the line not the circle) is not accessible and (most importantly) there's no interaction with the world, the other player or the people who inhabit the world.

But there are many other things you can do such as explore the Ruins of Alph in search of expensive items and Elemental Plates or challenge the Battle Subway to get BP or for the glory of beating the Battle Brothers. Or challenge masses of trainers at the Big Stadium or Small Court which, while no VS Seeker, makes training easier.

Another thing introduced is the C Gear which lets you battle and trade with people through wireless or infra-red connection as well as explore your Pokémon's dreams through Dream Sync and Global Link. When you explore your Pokémon's dreams you can catch Pokémon as well as get items and improve your online home. Warning: you need a Global Link account to do this.

The final thing introduced is the Triple and Rotation Battles. Each involve you sending out three Pokémon at a time but you have to handle them differently. In triple battle its three on three with the middle Pokémon being able to attack all three Pokémon while the ones on the right or left only being able to attack the right or left Pokémon as well as the middle one. So, it's a lot more strategic than Double or Single Battles. In a Rotation Battle its one on one with all three Pokémon visible. If your Pokémon on the front line is at a strategic disadvantage (or if you feel like it) you can rotate it with the Pokémon on the right or left sides of it. But be warned as your opponent can do this too. Sadly, these battles are only implemented a few times in the games. It would be nice if we saw more of them.

Overall this game brings loads of new gameplay and features to the Pokémon series but is seriously overshadowed by the might of its sequels.

Rating: 94% 

Goodbye for now, Harry

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