Product Type: Nintendo Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
Who Knew Pokefever Could Last So Long?!
Pokemon Black (DS)
Member Name: PureDark
Pokemon Black (DS)
Advantages: New Pokemon, New Region, It's all New
Disadvantages: Not Really a Solo Game
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.
Summary: Great for Fans, Non fans and Kids
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