Published on March 11th, 2011 | by Jasmine1
Leave Luck to Heaven #9: Pokémon … Need I Say More?
Well Pokémon Black and White came out on Sunday and I picked it up to review. I’ve played almost every generation, though I fell out for the third group. This round adds more Pokémon, new battle styles, and some other changes.
First and foremost the starters are a little weird. Unfortunately, I based my choice on aesthetics and not their final forms aesthetics. Not sure why the water type goes from adorable to samurai to suddenly giant four legged monster. Then the grass type evolves to having no legs, again not sure about these choices. In fact, a lot of the Pokémon seem uninspired this time around, such as the floating ice cream cone. On the other hand there are some fun additions, which leads me to a real issue. In the last pair, Heart Gold and Soul Silver, the first Pokémon in your roster got to follow you around. Why was this taken away? I thought it added a really cute aspect to the game and actually showed why that Pokémon’s affection would increase toward you.
Another big change is the store and healing centers have been combined. This is convenient but not something I have gotten use to just yet. This not only saves time for the player but my guess is that it adds more area to the city for other buildings and may also save on memory putting both areas into one room’s code. That’s more of a guess though and I have no proof of that. Although with the continued increase in the number of creatures memory would need to be saved somewhere. I have to wonder if at some point the franchise will have to move to a console or if the games will require a hiatus between handhelds.
New battles include a rotation battle and a three-on-three. Well three-on-three is the same as two-on-two except less strategy. Actually strategy is even harder with this group and it is better to just muscle through these battles. Now in fairness, they do add a tweak to this as most moves cannot attack diagonally across the entire field. The rotation battle however lets you switch between three Pokémon during battle without it wasting your turn. This lets you take advantage on the fly of weakness and strengths. Between the two, I really think the rotation is a fun idea and much more inventive then just adding another number of sprites on the screen.
On the same note as adding numbers to battles, there is now taller grass. In the taller grass you have the chance to run into two Pokémon at once. This potentially gives you the chance to get more in less time. I actually like this because it also lets you level up even faster. Kind of surprised that after the first addition of double battles, they didn’t think this should be added.
The other new thing is the first gym. Most of the time you had to pick a starter that might help you in the battle. In this case the gym is controlled by three guys and no matter what you are going to be against a type that trumps your starter. This is cool because it forces you to have other Pokémon leveled up by the first gym, unless you pay attention. In this case, they negate this challenge immediately by having an NPC just hand you a Pokémon that trumps the gym leaders. Not sure why they add this challenge only to take it away.
The shining point in this game is the story. You don’t go into random warehouses to battle the bad guy or get forced into situations the average person would avoid. Instead the enemy is woven into the story, even making the character, and maybe the player, question the underlying concept of the games.
Overall, you won’t like this if you don’t like RPGs and you probably won’t play it without having played or at least having some run in with the franchise previously. This one easily adds a wonderful story that shouldn’t be missed on that level. If you do miss out maybe get the third one that I have to assume will be Pokémon Grey.