Reviewing a Pokemon is not always an easy task to accomplish.
There’s not a single soul on Earth who hasn’t experienced the franchise is some way or another: this may indeed be an exaggeration but the truth is that the Nintendo Pocket Monster craze may be one of the most successful and lasting ever.
This incredible popularity has divided gamers into two factions, those who love Pokemon and can’t wait for each new iteration and those who hate the franchise with a burning passion.
Let’s be clear about something: Black and White 2 aren’t going to change your opinion on the series: if you liked the latest entries you’ll love B&W 2 too. If you couldn’t stand them, there’s nothing here that will change your mind: there’s no big change, nothing revolutionary in these new entries to really attract detractors. At the same time the formula has been so masterfully refined that I can say, as a long time fan of the series, without a doubt that Black and White 2 are the best Pokemon games ever released.
Back to Unova
In a way B&W 2 stand out from the rest of the series for being a direct sequel, something that’s never happened before. It has become customary for each Pokemon game pair to receive a tweaked version with different balancing, some extra content and some minor changes here and there: everything else stays the same.
Black and White 2 are true sequels and pick up after the ending of the first Black and White.The plot is completely new with new trainers, new gym leaders and the return of Team Plasma who wishes to free pokemons from the chains that bind them to their trainers. Just like in Black and White, the plot is a little bit more focused than previous games but it still isn’t anything deep or enticing: it’s just an excuse to travel the region, catch pokemons and become the best trainer.
Even though the region is the same as in the prequels, a few new locations are introduced in Black and White 2, preserving that sense of discovery typical of new entries in the Pokemon games.
Gotta catch’em all!!! Or not?!
Content wise, Black and White 2 are absolute monsters.
For the first time in the series there are over 300 Pokemons available, with some new entries and a good selection of pokemons from other regions. Many long time fans will be happy to see some familiar faces pretty early in the game: I did crack a satisfied smile when I saw Psyduck on the screen! Catching all Pokemons is no easy feat: not all 300 Pokemons are present in each version, to encourage trading between players. Also, some pokemon will show up only on day or night or in specific seasons, which whill change according to the seasons cycle system, first introduced in Black and White: everytime a month passes in real time in game season will cycle, changing the scenery and the pokemons available in certain areas. It’s a system that definitely encourages playing for a long time.
Battle after battle
Gameplay wise it’s standard Pokemon fare: players will travel through the Unova region in a top down view, battling with the typical turn based system 1 on 1 battles, with some variations with the 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 battles and rotation battles where teams of three pokemons fight 1 on 1. Once a battle is over, the pokemons who partecipated in battle will receive experience points and once a certain amount of points have been obtained the little guys will level up and improve their stats. As you can see, the formula is still the same old, but addicting one. Like in the first Black and White pair, trainers won’t be able to grind to high levels without progressing through the game first: with the Gym Badge obedience system, where pokemon only up to a certain level can be controlled.
If I have to choose, I’d go with Gray.
This time there’s more than a few differences between the two versions. You can expect different regular Pokemons and Legendaries available like always; in addition opponents’ parties will be slight different depending on the version. Some areas will be different too.
The differences aren’t game changing so there’s not a really superior version, it’s all up to personal preferences. Only Pokedex completionists will feel the urge to buy both versions of the game.
Maybe I should take a break
Traveling and catching pokemon isn’t everything in Pokemon Black and White 2. In Pokewood trainers will shoot short movies made mostly of scripted battles where players are required to do precise actions and win in-game rewards if they do well.
There’s a Pokemon tournament where trainers will battle some known faces of the series for rewards, an achievements system, the Pokemon Dream World where player can transfer a sleeping pokemon with Pokemon Global Link and play various minigames and the usual trading and battling multiplayer modes.
At the top of the PokeWorld
Graphics aren’t that different from the prequels: each location is beautifully colored and detailed and the use of 3d objects allows for more dynamic camera angles, making Black and White 2 the best looking Pokemon to date. Battle animations have also been upgraded , giving to battles a smoother feel. Music is always catchy and each of the pokemons’ cries helps them feel more distinct.
As I said before these new Pokemon iterations aren’t going to change anyone’s opinions: Nintendo had a good chance to really spice things up but decided to go on the same old path. Pokemon enthusiasts are surely going to love Black and White 2 for its massive content and small improvements of the formula. Everyone else will probably dismiss these two games as just “more of the same” which is a shame.
- Great amount of content
- Balanced difficulty
- Huge number of Pokemons included
- Nice graphics and sounds
- Multiplayer modes
- No really major change in the formula
- Game can get repetitive after a while
8 out of 10
Article from Gamersyndrome.com