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Not gonna lie...but i completed this game with a walkthrough. However, while i am telling the truth, i could have completed it fairly easily without the walkthrough.
Pokemon Black is like so many of the pokemon updates before it. It's brilliant fun, ridiculously addictive, and it'll keep you entertained for hours on end, even after you've completed the game. I've always been a huge fan of pokemon, and this installment was no different.
Do I miss the old pokemon? Of course. I wish they'd involve more of the original pokemon, I wish you'd see the odd Growlithe and Magikarp along the way, but their absence shouldn't detract from the fact that this is still a brilliant game. The new wireless connectivity feattures are a great way to play in a group, and the aesthetics improvments to the game are all valuable, with a multitude of 3D offerings to keep you entertained.
As part of the "Pokemon Generation", I was very excited to buy this game and rushed to pre-order it as soon as I could from Amazon. Naturally I was still very excited when it arrived and rushed to play it.
Unfortunately, my nostalgic enthusiasm was short lived. Having grown up playing the games, I was expecting the same kind of feeling I'd had for the rest of the games. I bought Soul Silver and Diamond recently, but had not played Pokemon for about 6 years before that, so was naively expecting something very different from this game. I was obviously disappointed to finally realize that the game franchise had lost its "magical" feel, and was releasing rehash after rehash of the same story line with different character names.
It follows the same formula of all the other games:
- Defeat the 8 gym leaders
- Catch as many Pokemon as you can
- Defeat the Elite Four
- Defeat generic, evil, Pokemon catching team
However, I will admit I did like the graphical update that the game received. It did look much better than the previous games with it's slightly more 3D graphics and they were much more detailed than the very early editions of the game.
As a long time player, I can't say I hate this game. I do think this was a brilliant game, the first 5 times I played it, but after a while it becomes a repetitive chore and the childhood magic is lost. The story line is good, and it is a very fun game to play - if it is your first time playing. I couldn't help but feel that I'd been ripped off in buying a game that I might as well say I already own twice over already.
Summary of my review: buy only if you aren't worried about playing a game more than once.
Pokémon Black and White are the latest instalments of the hugely popular 'Pokémon' series of video games, released in 2011. I've been a big fan of Pokémon since I was six years old when I watched the anime show and played the trading card games (sort of :S) and eventually started playing the games since Silver, having at least owned one game from each generation. I bought Pokémon White several months after its release and hearing positive things? But does this game live up to its predecessors or is the Pokémon franchise going stale? Well read on to see my view!
===---Aim of the Game---===
In Pokémon you play the role of a ten year old boy or girl who is a Pokémon trainer in the new world of Unova. Pokémon are creatures that inhabit the known world and be caught and trained by humans to help them or use in battle against others.
In every Pokémon game there are two main goals. The first is, of course, to catch as many Pokémon as you can to fill your Pokedex- an encyclopaedic device given to you by your mentor-like figure of the game, Professor Juniper. During your journey you will encounter Pokémon while travelling and catch them with Pokeballs for them to be yours, but other Pokémon needed to be traded with a friend (or stranger's) game or from previous games in the series With over 600 Pokémon now available this is an increasingly difficult task and one I've resigned myself to never completing, but it certainly one that is a rewarding experience for young and old trainers alike!
The second big aim of the game (and more important story-wise) is to become the best Pokémon trainer of all. Raising the Pokémon you catch, you will progress through the world of Unova beating the Gyms and their leaders- powerful trainers whom carry a certain type of Pokémon- in each city. Upon beating each gym leader they will give you a badge. Once you collect all eight badges you advance to Victory Road and then the Pokémon League where you beat the extremely difficult Elite 4 trainers and then the champion.
The stories of the Pokémon games are pretty formulaic: you're a trainer, a professor gives you (and rival) a starter Pokémon and Pokedex, you go out into the world catching and raising Pokémon, there's an "evil" corporation around trying to mess with the world but you sort them out and eventually become the Pokémon Champion.
However Pokémon Black and White's story, whilst hardly at 'Final Fantasy' levels of storytelling, has much more depth than its predecessors. Your two rivals are your friends Cheren and Bianca, and I found that they are realistic characters with personality and development throughout the course of the story. Bianca for example is a bit of a naive ditz whose father subsequently disapproves of her going on her Pokémon adventures, but by the end she's a bit more mature and capable of being a trainer by herself. Then there is the mysterious trainer N, who you meet throughout your journey and has much more sinister opinions about Pokémon but is shown to be a very conflicted individual. The big bad corporation of these games are the rather dated looking (seriously- they're dressed as Knight Templars!) Team Plasma. They envision taking away Pokémon from their trainers so that they're "free"; the philosophy behind this is actually well-explained and treated with more thought than previous series. It is a well-enough told story and the ending, along with some surprising story battles and a predictable but decently handled plot twist, definitely held my attention.
Gameplay is more or less the same as other games in the series. At the beginning Professor Juniper lets you choose a starter Pokémon: Snivy (grass type), Tepig (fire type and my personal choice) and Oshawott (water type) and then you head off into the rest of Unova, beating gym leaders, other trainers and the occasional Team Plasma grunts on the way. Wild Pokémon are found in patches of grass, on water or in caves and can be caught with Pokeballs from your Bag, or defeated by your Pokémon, which grants them experience points. Gaining enough Experience Points lets your Pokémon level up so they get stronger, learn new moves and eventually evolve into another more powerful Pokémon! If you're Pokémon are injured or affected by one of the various status effects, then you take them to a town's Pokémon Center where they all are restored to full health. Some Pokémon are as common as mud and very easy to catch, some are only available in certain kinds of places, and some are even only available at certain times of day or year (the games introduce season cycles). but a few Pokémon are the one-of-the-kind legendaries who are much more powerful than regular Pokémon and are only available to catch once- if you defeat them you cannot find them again to catch them!
So as always I found Pokémon Black/White's gameplay to be fun and very simple to get into. It's easy for anyone to learn about which Pokémon types work best against each and which moves are best to use in certain situations, regardless of age. However there's nothing really new or innovative in the core gameplay and it's very much more of the same, even with implements such as Triple Battles (3 vs. 3 Pokémon on at the same time), Rotation Battles (similar to Triple Battles but with only two Pokémon fighting with the opportunity to switch in/out with the third). I still find constant battling to be repetitive and the idea getting your Pokémon to the max level of 100 is too long and uninteresting a task for me to deal with. That said, there are no major changes that will annoy Pokefans either so I should be thankful.
===---Graphics and Music---===
Pokémon Black and White's graphics are huge improvement over its predecessors. Buildings, paths and landmarks have been 3D rendered to a great level that makes the towns and other places you visit truly fascinating for a handheld game such as this, especially when your character is travelling across bridges that extend into the distance or watch the coastline from a ship. They do lack polish when zoomed in (as found with some paths) but it's still impressive and it is still a large enough step from the previous games as it is that I can ignore it. In battles Pokémon have also been rendered slightly 3D and are animated too so they will move about slightly in battle instead of being a staccato image- neat! However, with regards to the new Pokémon introduced in these games, some of their designs are beginning to look stale. I'm beginning to think that the developers are taking the basis for other Pokémon and then changing their appearance and type to get a new Pokémon. They are even designing Pokémon that look like bags of rubbish (Trubbish) or having punny names (new Rock/Ground Pokémon Roggenrolla- get it?). It's pretty uninspiring and the creators need to think of some unique designs fast for the next games or start introducing less Pokémon next time.
The music is very good as always, with fittingly atmospheric tunes for various cities and different kinds of battles. I don't think they're as catchy as the music from the Gold/Silver games but that might be nostalgia talking, and besides I'm happy to listen to it rather than put my DS on mute- even when the critical Low HP song is playing!
The main story game length is about twenty hours, which I find is a decent amount for this game. Fortunately after you've beaten the final boss story wise there is plenty of extra content to sink your teeth into; defeat more trainers (quite the difficulty spike here too), re-battle the Elite Four and Champion, find more Pokémon, complete your Pokedex...all this I believe adds another twenty hours to the game and perhaps longer if you're a total completionist. This isn't even counting all the minigames you can do in the various cities (no Game Corner however) such as having your Pokémon play in sports or participate in musicals. Personally those activities don't interest me but they should be fun for other players and add further longevity.
Furthermore the multiplayer options are numerous too. You can trade or battle either wirelessly with another person's game on their DS, or go onto a network called GlobalLink and do the same with trainers all over the world via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Although I cannot access Nintendo Wi-fi myself (my DS Lite doesn't support my broadband connection), I like that the WFC has been expanded so that rare Pokémon can be received easily through special online events.
Pokémon Black and White is an excellent addition to the series with some excellent improvements and plenty of challenges and bonus content to keep you interested. If you are a fan of the games I suggest you definitely buy this if you haven't done so already! If you aren't then by all means still buy it anyway- you shouldn't be disappointed.
(Review also on Dooyoo under the username Anti_W)
I still remember in 1999 when I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of Pokemon Red for my Gameboy Colour. Pokemon was sold out everywhere and getting a copy was near impossible. I remember catching my first wild Pokemon (a Pidgey) and my first Charmander evolving. That was arguably the golden age of Pokemon. At least it was for me. Now we're in 2011 and a lot has changed. Now 9 year old kids would rather watch horror films and text their friends than play with lame old Pokemon. Wow it's finally happened ... I'm already a fogey complaining about the new generation of youth! I'm 21 years young and I've played every single generation of Pokemon that's hit the store shelves and this generation is no different. I saw it advertised and simply had to get my hands on it even though I knew exactly what to expect. So is Pokemon still relevant nowadays? Should Nintendo keep cracking out new games or just let the franchise die an honourable death? Here are my thoughts.
So in the 2011 version of Pokemon we have two versions; Black and White. To be honest I thought they would have used these titles sooner. Certainly before Ruby and Sapphire anyway! Anyway that's not the point. You can expect the usual version specific differences such as which wild Pokemon appear in the wild, the legendary Pokemon you'll encounter and also some game locations will be different. Nothing particularly new here. It's the classic formula that has worked for all these years where you need to have at least 2 other friends in order to collect all the Pokemon. This can be a pain if like me, you haven't grown up but your friends all have -sigh-..... Technology has advanced since the link cable days though and you can trade with anyone over the internet thankfully. If anyone wants a trade partner then send me a message! Maybe Nintendo will do as they always do and make a game which combines all the Pokemon so there's little need to trade? Hello Pokemon Grey version.
Now I'd like to reply to those who are outraged at how 'unoriginal' the new Pokemon are. I can definitely understand where you are coming from. There IS a Pokemon which looks like an Ice-cream and evolves into a double scoop. There IS a Pokemon based on a rubbish bag. I'll admit it took some thought to make me happy with some of these new additions but I've decided it's all fine. The original 150 creatures were essentially based on animals! You can't get more unoriginal than that really if you ask me. Rattata was a purple cartoon rat, Pidgey was a cartoon bird, the three legendary birds were birds which were surrounded by either Ice, Fire or Electricity, Pikachu was even described as the 'electric mouse' Pokemon. Pokemon designs have never been original but we've grown to hold the original 150 dear because they're the ones we grew up with. Younger kids might have grown up with Gold/Silver versions and remember that generation more fondly. The new Pokemon are good enough to capture the imaginations of young kids all over again in my opinion. OK so we've established that the Pokemon are good to go, so what's the game actually like?
Gameplay works very much like it always has but attempts to make the formula fresh again and less of a chore for those who have always found the pace of Pokemon too slow for their tastes. I'd say the game has enough to make it feel fresh while maintaining the original formula we all know and love. You'll be travelling from town to town battling gym leaders, exploring multiple routes and caves and of course catching and training Pokemon. I'll talk about some of the new features for those who are thinking about taking the plunge but don't want to play the same game again.
You don't name your rivals and you'll battle them more regularly. They are also more involved in the story than rivals have been before. Tall grass now 'rustles' in certain patches and contains rare Pokemon which as well as being rare will give much more experience than other wild Pokemon battles and probably trainer battles too. This is a welcome change and really mixes up the game a bit as some Pokemon can only be found in rustling grass in certain locations. Any help with training is always welcome right? Your first gym battle factors in your choice of starter Pokemon (if you chose a fire type you'll face a water type etc). The Pokemon centre and Pokemart have been combined into one building to save you walking all over the place. You can run indoors since some inside areas can be quite large. Some areas of grass are even taller and can contain 2 wild Pokemon simultaneously to make training more efficient. There's more but I like to keep my reviews a certain length because I'm weird like that.
Graphically the new games have come along way even since the last generation. The whole of a Pokemon's body is now displayed in battle and they are slightly animated whilst not attacking. The camera also zooms in and out during the battle depending on what's going on. The environments are made much more lively with nearly 3D graphics being used and camera angles showing the scope of some of the landscapes. Pokemon gyms are made to look particularly good, there's even a roller coaster system in one of them so look forward to that!
I'd recommend Pokemon Black/White to anyone who's been a fan of the series, young kids who've never had a taste and RPG fans in general. I firmly believe that it is the best game on the DS platform and an excellent last send off from Nintendo for the now last generation handheld. You can guarantee that as soon as Pokemon 3DS is released, I'll be making the switch. The series has given so much over the years and it's still going. Get involved people.
Thanks for reading, if you have any helpful comments I'd love to read them and again if you want someone to trade with send me a message.
Pokemon Black and White is a simple enough game to play. The graphics have been highly improved since the last generation and there is also a whole new online way of playing. Once you have completed the initial game, you can nattle other players from around the world online, wherever, whenever! The storyline for the initial gameplay is surprisingly well scripted, and the new generation of Pokemon firstly seem to have downgraded, quality wise, but once you start playing they seem to improve. One problem with this game is that the story is easily and quickly completed, leaving you with little else to do. There is a similarity between this and previous generations of Pokemon in that you need to buy both of them (Black and White) to fully complete the game and 'Cath them all'. My verdict would be that this game would be a good buy for a gamer who doesn't take it too seriously.
Nintendo are now on their fifth generation of Pokemon games, but have they simply done too many now? How they gone from the slightly bizarre to the sheer ridiculous? Having played the game for about three months ago, there is no obvious answer either way.
For Pokémon black and white, they have decided to modernize the games to fit in with the ever modernizing society of today, but it somehow seems that they have changed it a little too much for the games to have that old pokemon charm that we all know and love.
The main basis of the game is exactly the same as all the others, you start off in a very small town with only 4 tiny houses and by the end of your journey you've just past a huge city with 30-40 buildings and you've beaten the elite four etc... Also the same as the other games is the storyline. There is a big team of bad guys - in this case 'team plasma' - who want to steal yours and everyone's pokemon and they also want to take control of one of the main legendaries, but by the end everyone has their pokemon back and you have have the legendaries and the bad guys are never to be seen again. This repetitiveness is what makes all pokemon games great, there's nothing drastically new, it's never too difficult and to play through the storyline doesn't involve a huge level of thinking.
What I feel is wrong with these games is that it relies too much on connectivity. First of all and the problem that annoys me the most is the 'Dream World'. This is a website you can go to on your computer and look after your pokemon and help them sleep and stuff like that, if I wanted that I would have bought a Tamigotchi. I want to be able to play a pokemon game and complete it possibly with a few trades and a few downloadable event pokemon from Nintendo. I don't want to have to go on a website that was clearly designed to be aimed at 3 year olds to bring back friends and more items.
Another thing I find it a tad odd about this game is simply a lot of the pokemon. It was always going to happen right from the very start, there's only a certain amount of pokemon they can design before they are all just inanimate objects with eyes, for example: 'Trubbish' Basically just a rubbish bag with eyes; 'Litwick' A candle with eyes. The list could go on. The other types of pokemon which annoy me are once which are clearly just an animal: 'Sandile' it's literally just a picture of a crocodile; 'Lillipup' and the rest of it's evolution family are just dogs!
My ranting above may make it seem like I don't like these games, but I do honestly think that they are still brilliant installments into the work of pokemon games, but they need to scrap the dream world and be a bit more imaginative when it comes to their new pokemon. That is all.
First off I must say I was chuffed with how good the graphics have become. Playing pokemon since the first red version came out in the mid 90s I have been playing all the different games ever since.
Its a completely new world with all new pokemon that awaits you. I wont b giving away to many secrets as thats whats so great about the pokemon games, all the little extra bits and that you have to think to progress in the game.
Besides the normal story (collecting, training and batteling with your pokemon, eventually beating all 8 gym leaders and then off to the elite four) its got a few new additions. The pokemon musical, where you dress your pokemon up in different props. You dont win anything, but it can be quite fun sometimes. The battle subway let you win special prizes and status enhancers for your pokemon - that part on its own is VERY time consuming should you choose to try and clear all of it.
Pokemon being famous to be able to go off to different worlds (previous games) once you have cleared the main one sadly doesnt accur in this one. That left me quite dissapointed on what had so far been the best pokemon game by far.
Its still a big game, takes around 40 hours to clear if you investigate everywhere and try to catch everything you meet - so not bad but not as brilliant as the old ones.
Pokemon has been around for a long time. I can still remember my original excitement and joy when I got the original Pokemon Blue when I was about 8 years old. I loved it, and I have been a fan of the series of games ever since. So, when Pokemon Black came out I had a similar reaction to when every single other Pokemon game came out: I had to have it. It didn't matter that over the last couple of games I become rather disappointed in Pokemon (maybe I'm finally growing up), there was an impulse that could not be denied and within a week of it coming out I was a proud owner of it (maybe I'm not growing up after all!).
Pokemon is a franchise that is owned by Nintendo and created in 1996. The whole thing started with the release of Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue on the original hand held Game Boy, and has since spiralled into one of the most popular and most lucrative video game based media franchises in the world. According to the Wiki it is only behind Nintendo's other series Mario. But since that fateful release Pokemon has moved into collectable cards, a children's show, anime, mango, toys and just about anything else you can imagine. They've been through many games throughout the years and have always released two almost identical games side by side (slightly different Pokemon in each) with a third following as a mix of the two.
But basically, Pokemon is the name for the 649 critters that are a fictional species that inhabit the various countries/worlds in which the games are set and the basic concept of the game is to catch 'em all, hence the catch phase that has become so well know "Gotta catch 'em all!". I've found out today that the idea for it actually stemmed from the hobby of insect collecting, which the executive director of the game enjoyed doing as a child. But this theme runs throughout the entire Pokemon franchise.
===Basis of the game===
You as the Pokemon trainer collect Pokemon; you collect them, train them and fight with them. There are two main aims; to own every Pokemon in the realm of Unova and to become the strongest Pokemon trainer and defeat the Elite Four. It is basically a role playing game which is presented in a third person view. From the beginning of the game it is obvious that this is an adventure game; you are a child who is going on their first big adventure with a Pokemon of your choosing. As you go through the game you will encounter wild Pokemon which you can catch or fight and other Pokemon trainers who you will fight against. As you fight more trainers your squad of Pokemon will get stronger and stronger allowing you to take on tougher enemies.
Although I said fight, I should point out that at no point are these lethal battles; a Pokemon will never die it merely faints. If it's in the wild or another trainer's that means that you have defeated it and if it belongs to you then you need to make a hasty trip to the PokeCentre where you can restore its health to full. To catch Pokemon you need an item called a PokeBall which you will throw at the wild Pokemon once you have weakened it (you can never catch another trainers Pokemon) and if you are lucky that Pokemon will be yours. If it can't get out of the Pokeball then you have caught it and you can now train it. You can really tell the old hands at the game because as soon as the Pokeball is released you hold the B button and then start tapping the A button - this doesn't actually work in the new games but in the original Red and Blue it increased your chances of catching a Pokemon and many of us never lost the habit!
===Gotta catch 'em all===
I have already briefly covered collecting Pokemon by catching them, but there are a couple more things which need to be covered here. The reason why you are trying to collect the Pokemon is always the same; you are trying to complete a Pokedex (an encyclopedia of all the Pokemon in the region) for the professor of that region. In this game it is Professor Juniper but in the original games it was Professor Oak. When you get a new Pokemon its data is automatically added to the Pokedex, although minimal data is added as soon as you have seen the Pokemon including a name, picture and where you can find it in the wild.
But catching Pokemon is not the only way you can complete the Pokedex, because Pokemon have a strange ability to evolve. Evolution is what happens when a Pokemon morphs into a new, stronger version of that Pokemon, in most cases this happens through levelling a Pokemon up by fighting with other Pokemon. However, there are other ways some Pokemon can evolve and as time has gone by more ways of evolving Pokemon have been invented. In the original games you could use an evolution stone on some Pokemon, but by the time we have reached Pokemon Black there are many different ways including friendship levels and levelling up in certain environments.
===Champion of them all===
But if the game was only about collecting Pokemon it would probably be very boring indeed, so your other aim is to become the champion of all Pokemon trainers. To do this you need to prove yourself by training a strong set of Pokemon that can go through eight gyms and finally the Elite Four and the resident Champion. Once you have defeated a gym you are handed a badge to prove it and then you move onto the next gym! This is also what gives the game its longevity because training a squad of Pokemon takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. So fighting is given a massive importance in the game and has its own rules and strategies, and is in essence what the game is based on. You can't do anything without battling.
Each Pokemon has an elemental type and there are 17 to choose from - some Pokemon even have two types. But these are important because they effect how a Pokemon will behave in battle; for example fire is strong against grass so any fire move used against a grass Pokemon will do double the damage, but it's weak against water so it will do half the damage against a water Pokemon. All of the types have strengths and weaknesses so any battle will have to be planned strategically and carefully; sending in an electric Pokemon against a ground type for example would be complete suicide, sending in a fire type would be silly but sending in a water or fighting type would work very well and you'd be on your way in no time. Whether you have the correct Pokemon types in your party will have a massive difference on how you play the game, although some people make life deliberately hard for themselves by deliberately having a party of just one type.
And like all Pokemon games they have an overarching plot. At the same time as collecting all the Pokemon and becoming the worlds Pokemon Champion you have to find the time to destroy Team Galactic's nasty plans. They want to kidnap Pokemon from people and free them because they believe that Pokemon are enslaved by people. You know this isn't true, the bond between a Pokemon and it's owner is strong and they are more like friends than pets, but unless Team Galactic are stopped it could have catastrophic outcomes for the regular trainer. What they're willing to do to get their goals is up to you to find out though. Historically the plot has always been about you beating a team of bad guys (Team Rocket, Team Plasma/Magma), but it's always been a bit weak. There's no reason for them being bad guys aside from the fact that they are. Nintendo have attempted to address this in Black and White and there is a political/moral side to their actions, which in turn gives you a little bit more to think on and work with.
In previous games they've always added new Pokemon to the game with a new release, but they keep a lot of the old Pokemon, or even all of the old Pokemon. In this game they've shaken things up a bit by releasing 157 new Pokemon and not including any of the old Pokemon in the old game. This was quite a brave move considering how attached many of us old hands to the old favourites, but it has worked quite well. The new Pokemon are cute and well drawn and animated, and probably most importantly it makes it seem like a new game instead of just being a re-run of what has been before. My only complaint would be the names of some of them are awkward and difficult to remember; I mean I can still recite the original 150 in order but Cofagrius? Come on, give me a break - go back to Charmander! I think it was probably this though that reminded me of how infuriating the old game was, you get lax when you know all the Pokemon and so you have a battle plan ready...when it's all up in the air because you can't remember the Pokemon it's a little trickier!
This is where this game truly comes into it's own in the Pokemon franchise as they have worked wonders with the graphics. There is a certain three dimensional feel to it rather than the standard 2D that has always been there previously. Because the world itself is much bigger with towns having several screens whereas previously they only ever had one, the game designers have been given more freedom in what they want to do. It's not a scratch on a PS3 game, but you don't expect it to be, it is however spectacular for a DS game. The cut scenes that they have included are stunning, and the Pokemon themselves are very cutely done. But just to go one step forward, all of the Pokemon are animated in a very cute manner which is something that Pokemon has attempted before but never quite got right. This alone will be a nice surprise for any Pokemon fan!
Like all of the Pokemon games there is the ability to connect to another gameboy and trade Pokemon; in particular with its sister game Pokemon White which will be the same basic game with slightly different Pokemon. This is a well known tactic to pick up a little extra cash as some people will shell out for both games, and I know me and my brother always used to synchronise our buying to ensure that we could get all the Pokemon. However, because the DSi can connect to the internet there are new options available including chatting through the wireless and connecting to the 'Dream World' via the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. Unfortunately, I don't have any friends as sad as myself and so I have nobody to talk to online!
This was always going to be the biggest question with any new Pokemon game; how does it do in comparison to what is already out there. Unfortunately this game both excels and fails at the same time. This may sound strange but bear with me and I'll explain myself.
Firstly the difficulty level of the game; in one way it is harder because it seemed to me that you got less experience from fighting and so it was far more tricky, particularly at the beginning to get your little darlings up to the standard required to fight the gyms. Unfortunately this is the one area that they really didn't need to make any more tricky as it just makes it a pain in the proverbial backside and an absolute grind to get anywhere in the game. This isn't helped by the fact that for the first time the experience is levelled so you actually get less experience for defeating an enemy the higher the level you are...on top of needing more experience to level up anyway. But then they made it much easier by kind of handing everything to you on a plate. In terms of the actual game it is much more linear than the previous games were; you actually can't leave an area until you've defeated the gym and you have to do things in a step by step, logical manner. This may suit some people, but I liked the fact this I wanted to try and take on a harder gym I could, I liked the fact that it was up to the player - the only thing you couldn't do was challenge the Elite Four if you had less than all eight badges. Likewise there is far less of a reliance on Hidden Moves, which makes it a little less interesting as you don't have to cut things down or smash rocks to the same extent to figure out what you need to do next. And Technical Machines which teach your Pokemon moves don't disappear/break after use meaning you can use it as many times as you like.
Pokemon has always tried to have puzzles in key areas of the game to keep your mind engaged, but I don't think they've ever really succeeded before. In this however they have made the puzzles more challenging and that in turn means that I can quite happily sit scratching my head over something for quite a while. I think before it had been aimed solely at the kiddies market whereas they've kind of clued up to the fact that a lot of us a have been following it religiously and loyally since we are knee high to a grasshopper.
But just about everything is a massive improvement on all of the previous Pokemon games, although some of the new Pokemon are a bit generic and boring...but considering there are now 650 Pokemon this is quite understandable; it must be getting hard to think of ideas!
I loved it. At least for the first section but then I got peeved with the endless grind of training; something I usually enjoy but was much more difficult in this game. Usually with a new Pokemon game I will be hooked on it for months and will have to be forced off it to do normal things like sleep, eat and wash. I didn't find that with this. I don't know whether this is a fault of the developers or whether it just means that maybe I am growing up after all. However good the graphics, however cute some of the new Pokemon I found that I was plodding through it instead of racing, and fairly shortly put it down for my new Harvest Moon game. Without a doubt it is better, it is smarter, it is fancier and I should have loved it...but I think, personally, I'd prefer Charmander to Tepig and I want my Pikachu back!
This is a game which a lot of people are raving about, and I can't blame them. But it just didn't hit me like the older versions did (still do, I started playing Gold again). To ardent fans of the Pokemon series, you may love it. Or you may come away with a certain amount of disappointment like I did. To newcomers to the Pokemon series; you will love it. Without the attachments and the knowledge of the older games this is not something you can really fault all that much if you're honest. The only issue there is that new players will probably be fairly young and a decent reading level is required for the game.
Unfortunately, I seem to be one of the few people who was impressed but not enamoured by this game. I can see the work they've put in and I can see the results in the detail and the story. But, it's not for me.
Ok, let me start by quite simply saying this game is fantastic, after being quite disapointed by the 4th generation of pokemon games i was a little concerned that i would let down by black and white, but i need not have worried. Whilst there are many new scary features in black it has the same basic game mechanics and fundemental features of a traditional pokemon game: ie: choose your starter and go of on an adventure aiming to become the pokemon champion, meeting new pokemon on the way and going of on several other sidequests.
Ok, so thats what stays the same but what about these new games is different, well i won't go too much into it or i'll spoil it for you but heres the basics.
Tripple and rotation battles:
I personally really enjoy these, basically in old pokemon games you could only fight pokemon 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 (starting in ruby/ sapphire), however in black and white you can pit your pokemon against each other 3 on 3, now i find these really interesting as you can't rely so much on raw force as so much tactics, this is because you've really got too consider which of your opponents pokemon too attack, as with 3 on your oppnents side they could very easily focus on just 1 of your pokemon resulting in a quick KO in just 1 turn! and perhaps causing you too loose the battle.
Right i'll admit when i saw the first few pokemon unveiled online i thought, "oh my god their hideous" and i'm sure many others thought the same thing and desided not to buy this game based on the design of the new pokemon, but i assure you now that you made a mistake. Whilst sprite design in this game is very different from previous generation the pokemon themselves are far from ugly and as you set of on your adventure through the new region you really do learn to love them.
Theres a few other differences in gameplay mechanics which i haven't mentioned here but they don't really effect the gameplay experience so their not really worth listing and shouldn't effect your descision on whether or not to buy. So in conclusion if you haven't already got this game go out and get it, or pick up a copy "for the kids", just remember no-one really outgrows pokemon its for kids and adults alike.
Pokemon has been around since the year I was born so I naturally grew up with it, my first proper game was Pokemon Gold and the one thing I remember doing was continuously using the Train to go between regions. 10-14 years later however Pokemon has drastically changed for me, exactly like The Simpsons it has grown off me. I remember encountering a Legendary Pokemon in the classic games and was in awe but now it's not really a big deal other than thinking "I better catch this because it's unique". Pokemon Black to me is probably my least favorite Pokemon game mainly due to the reason that it is just so different to the original games. It's also so much more complicated with all the new features that have no influence over the story which itself hasn't changed AT ALL, before you would go through 8 gyms, get the badges and beat the league and in every game since it has been just that.
I actually haven't completed Black yet because I am just so bored with it now, the story is repetitive, it feels a lot different to the classics (This isn't a contradiction) and it's over complicated now with all the online features. Pokemon Diamond was really the last game which I actually enjoyed however I enjoyed HeartGold also but that's an exception due to it being a remake of Gold.
In conclusion I would not recommend this game unless you are a newcomer to Pokemon, it's like Doctor Who, you each have your own favorite "Doctor" and then when he regenerates you don't like the show as much anymore.
Sorry for the lag in review writing and rating, it is because I've been hooked on this game which I have now finished and thus, here is a review of it!!
A new generation of Pokemon has arrived! The fifth generation of Pokemon games come in the form of Pokemon Black and White (back to the colours, eh?) and feature 150 new Pokemon.
Among the 150 new Pokemon are some rather silly additions such as Woobat (we already have the Zubat family) and Trubbish (A rubbish Pokemon, literally!). This was a problem with the last generation, where many additions were completely unecessary, such as evolutions to first generation Pokemon such as Lickitung, Magmar and Electrobuzz. Thankfully, Game Freak have learned from their mistakes and these 150 are all original, with some lovable ones, my favourite being Emolga, a flying squirrel Pokemon which will go very nicely next to my Pachirisu from Pokemon Diamond.
Like the predecessors, you start as a budding young Pokemon Trainer, enroped into helping complete the Pokedex, this time by an all time first female professor, Juniper. She gives you one of three starters, Snivy (grass), Tepig (fire) or Oshawatt (water) before you begin on your typical journey of gym battling, Pokemon catching (Gotta Catch 'Em All!) and training.
Most unfortunately, Team Plasma are here to stop you. They believe that Pokemon should be free to roam and not captured by Trainers, our use exploitation of them obstructing their development as a greater being. This darker plot is probably the best they've come up with thus far but is never developed deeply enough, due to the short storyline and the surprising ease of getting through the game.
This may be due to the linear progression through the world map, which is literally a straight line from home town to Pokemon league, with very little need to revisit previous towns. Each town houses a Pokemon centre so your Pokemon can be healed, which is now merged with the market to buy goods, the most convenient upgrade. Another noticeable upgrade is the ability to register multiple key items which can be accessed with a touch of a button. Now there is no need to go into the bag every time you want to use the rod or bike! Most of the towns will also have a gym, eight in total, which you will have to defeat to collect the badges necessary to fight the Pokemon League.
Gym Leaders are notable opponents, each mastering a certain type of Pokemon. Whilst gyms in previous games were rather laborious, the puzzles are now so much more fun and less of a chore. The complexity of originality of the ideas in each gym really make going to the next gym an exciting prospect. One of my favourites was the roller coaster gym and the dragon one.
Upon beating all eight gyms, the Pokemon League awaits. Whilst many reviewers slate the game for being too similar in storyline to other games, I personally found this the most refreshing. The team behind it successfully spruced things up, offering surprise after surprise. This time round, you can choose the order in which you want to tackle the league and once you do, there will be a big surprise for you which is totally unexpected and is definitely the highlight of the whole Pokemon game series.
The completion of the game took me about 25 hours, including talking to all the trainers and exploring every crevice to pick up items. Whilst this was much shorter than previous games, which took me an excess of 40 hours to complete, this game offers a vast amount of post game content.
Three towns and new routes are unlocked upon completion of the game, where Pokemon from previous generations can be found and obtained, as well as trainers with very high level Pokemon (60+) for you to battle. Daily Swarms also activate where special Pokemon will appear on certain routes each day.
Most notably, an exclusive location is available for each game, Pokemon Black has Black City (with tough trainers and rare items up for purchase) whilst White has White Forest (with rare Pokemon to capture and items to find). A connection from the game to the Internet can also be made via Dream World (used on the computer) where berries can be grown and exclusive Pokemon to be captured (via mini games?) and sent to the DS game, making full use of the DS's wifi capabilities. This is open on the 30th March 2011.
Multiplayer has also been given a revamp with the C-Gear accessible on the lower touch screen, offering infra-red, wifi sync and wireless capabilities a touch of a button away. As well as playing friends you know, you can battle and trade with people across the world over Wi-fi, accessible at every Pokemon Centre. Matches can be played via free mode or rated, with official tournaments also held on here, making this game a must for competitive players.
Perhaps the most stunning thing about this game is the graphics. Exploiting 3D capabilities, for the first time ever, the Pokemon World is truly life like. Whilst the whole game isn't rendered in 3D, special aspects and locations here and there really bring out the beauty of Unnova, especially the bridges and spiral staircases, with a moving camera which will WOW you the first time you see it.
Overall, Pokemon Black and White offer the most comprehensive Pokemon experience, set in a beautifully rendered landscape, with the short storyline made up for by the extensive post game content. With over 600 Pokemon in all to catch and numerous side quests and games, these two games will undoubtedly last longer than all the other games combined.
This game can be picked up for just over £25 on Amazon, which as far as I know is the cheapest out there.
Pokemon Black/White has been released, meaning it is time to grab a new starter Pokemon and head out on the familiar journey of the Pokemon games. Travel from city to city, challenging Gym Leaders until you are ready to join the Elite Four. The developers, Game Freak, have been on to a winning formula since the original games reached Japan in 1996. The problem however, is that even a winning formula can get stale, and though there have been slight changes to the series, the recent games have felt somewhat familiar.
Pokemon White, thankfully, leads the way in terms of changes. It is still very familiar, though the recent changes keep the series feeling fresh. There is no radical change, but it feels refined. The aim of the game remains the same - you will still be travelling around a new region with the aim of taking on the Elite Four. The combat remains the same - brilliant turn based action where various strengths and resistances of the Pokemon Types come into play. What is different however, is the Pokemon.
As you travel around the new region of Unova you won't be fishing up any Magikarp, nor will you come across a Pidgey. Until you complete the main story, you will only see new Pokemon, and though this doesn't seem huge, what it does is take you out of your comfort zone. If you can ignore the calls of the Internet at least, you won't know what you are up against. Is this new Pokemon a fire type or an electric type? The best way to find out is to attack and hope for the best and the game feels less familiar, because the discoveries aren't just linked to the regions to explore this time.
This does have its downsides however. Though there are some brilliant new designs of Pokemon, too many of them look like the rejects in an Art Attack competition, a far cry from the glory days of the first generation of Pokemon. The positives outweigh the negatives however.
Team Plasma is the enemy this time - they have the aim to liberate Pokemon from their evil trainers and though this brings the usual theme of compassion towards your Pokemon seen in all Pokemon games, the plot this time round certainly feels more integral to your journey also. It is just another example of the Pokemon game not fundamentally changing, just refining. However, for the most part the game does remain the same, and though the story feels more important it doesn't change the gameplay. The turn based combat is as addictive as ever, easy enough for the casual gamers, yet it has ample depth for those looking for a deeper RPG and those who are looking into competitive battling. The casual players will have their fun learning of type advantages. Water beats Fire for example, but Fire is strong against Ice, reminiscent of a more complicated game of rock-paper-scissors. Those looking for the deeper gameplay however will be looking for the nature of Pokemon and Effort Values - stat affecting attributes.
It is not all positives however. The greatest negative shows itself once the main game has been completed, when there is still so much left to do. Unlike the brilliantly structured main game however, where you are lead from town to town at a decent pace, once the main story has been completed you are left in a world with a fair amount to do, but little guidance, which leads to a lot of slow grinding. Post-game feels like fun and more like a way for the developers to drag out the game. Pace yourself with the main story and it will take over a days game time to complete however so it does give value for money. The trading system is equally confusing - you can no longer trade Pokemon up from your GBA games, meaning aside from the flawed Global Trade System, the only way to trade from game to game requires two DS's.
The same happens with the interface. Instead of the touch screen providing instant access to your inventory and Pokemon, it is instead used for the C-Gear, which allows fast wireless interaction between Pokemon Games. The problem however is that if you live outside of Japan or aren't heading for a bring-your-own-games-to-school day in primary school, it has little practical use. The touch screen could be used much more effectively.
The graphics have been given a slight update. It still feels very reminiscent of the old Pokemon games, though there have been touches of 3D added, instead of the birds eye 2D style games. In the main city of the game for example the camera situates behind the character in an obvious attempt to give the city a grander feeling and though it had its charm, the city feels confusing because of it and the pixel graphics are quite off-putting.
You know what you are going to get with a Pokemon game. The Pokemon, the combat and the music all give the game a brilliant appeal. It's a game you can't help but like. It has its problems and the game is far from original - it is largely the same game you played 15 years ago. However, there are enough changes to keep the old fans happy and for any youngsters looking for a DS game out there - it would be a great shame if you missed out on Pokemon. Let's just hope the next game on 3DS innovates a little more.
The game can be purchased from ASDA for just short of £28 new.
Pokémon is an RPG with slight elements of adventure; this is the 5th generation of the series which remains one of the biggest sellers of all time. In the game you start off with a single Pokémon (fire, water or grass type) and have to catch and train more Pokémon as you progress through the game, earning 'exp' every time you successfully fight a trainer or wild Pokémon. There are a few more game mechanics included in this version, triple battles and rotation battles, both fairly explanatory, combination moves (your Pokémon an learn these to create more powerful attacks), and double battles with wild Pokémon.
As a Pokémon fanatic, I was ecstatic when I heard a new Pokémon game was being released, so much so I ordered a copy from Japan! Anyway, this game offers you a completely different sense of Pokémon, although it is pretty much the same thing as previous games, it feels like a lot of improvements have been made and the small things which annoyed me about games before, appear to be fixed. With every Pokémon game there are different Pokémon and this is no different with 156 brand new Pokémon to catch, it is set in the Unova region, also with the addition of new legendary Pokémon which is exciting! The storyline itself is fairly straight forward with you having to train your Pokémon to beat gym leaders and eventually the elite four, who I have to say seem more challenging than previous games, and instead of the classic team rocket from games like 'Leaf Green' and the popular anime series, you fight against team plasma. Also in order to complete the pokedex you have to trade with 'Pokémon White' (like with Ruby/Sapphire). The game in total still hasn't been fully completed and I have a total of 20 hours play time so far (which is extremely good for a game like this), and although the storyline itself has been completed (in about 7-8 hours play time) i am not yet bored of playing and am continuing to train my pokemon and battle on-line.
Feel for the game
Unlike previous Pokémon games, when I play this I feel involved in the Pokémon world, and almost feel a part of the battle. This creates a tense and exciting atmosphere in those tough battles, which really makes you want to play the game. Unlike the previous Pokémon games, instead of the bird's eye view you are given more of a third person type view, which does get a bit confusing, however makes the game feel smoother. Overall the multi-player mode has been improved significantly, it is now much quicker to enter games and with the addition of the Wi-Fi there is no need for long cables to connect to another console.
Most of the Pokémon are easily comparable to the classic ones (golbat, snorlax etc.) as they look remarkably similar, which is helpful because it means you do not have to learn what each Pokémon does again. Personally I go with an all fire team and the majority of fire Pokémon in this game are clear and easier to find, which is a blessing, also as the game is on DS and there is a Wi-Fi function it is so much easier to find partners online and play against people, which adds to the fun you can have on this game. The on-line itself is quite good, it matches you up with partners according to the level of your strongest pokemon, this makes it easier for new players to gain experience and for the advanced players to have intense and thrilling battles!
Would I recommend it?
If you enjoy playing Pokémon, and love adventure based games then this is the game for you. If you found previous games disappointing but liked the idea, then give this game a try as it is completely different to previous games, but with the same concept and idea behind it. And if you don't like Pokémon games full stop, then you will probably waste your money buying this. Also, if you are unsure whether to buy it, and have never played a Pokémon game before, this is a great place to start as it takes little effort and can play it in your spare time (e.g. 30 minutes before you go to bed etc.).
This review was originally posted on Ciao, by me (warda010)