by Ronan Forman
Pokémon Black and White are the newest additions to the Pokémon franchise, set in the region of Unova. The Pokémon have had a complete overhaul and 156 new Pokémon have been created. The main character in the game this time round is 16, a change from the usual 10 year old child, with gender of your choosing, and a mission to catch every Pokémon and beat all the Gym leaders (bosses). Joining you on your quest are two friends called Cheren and Bianca. At the start of the game you have a choice of 3 Pokémon: Oshawott, Tepig or Snivy, and don’t think about picking the one best for the first Gym because it changes Pokémon to have an advantage. Cheren will proceed to pick the one most effective against your choice and Bianca will choose the remaining. Annoyingly in this game the two will choose to fight you at every plot point.
Interestingly the game brings up an ethical issue of capturing these wild animals and training them to fight. Using the the mysterious band by the name of Team Plasma and N they will fight you in order to liberate your Pokémon, ironically using their own Pokémon in these fights. Of course the game will point this out to you, making Team Plasma seem hypocritical, this quickly dispels the feeling of guilt towards keeping the Pokémon and labels Team Plasma and N as bad guys within the first 10 minutes of gameplay.
Along with the two annoying rivals and the ethical questions raised two new types of battles have been added to the game: Triple Battles and Rotation Battles. A Triple Battle is essentially the same as a Double Battle except with three Pokémon on each side, these are mainly in Pokémon White. In a Rotation Battle, three Pokémon are on screen but only on is active; this is the only one that can attack or be attacked, these are mainly in Pokémon Black. The only problem is that the sprites will often cover the other teams, making the screen cluttered and confusing. There are also not many of these types of battles in either game, there are only four Rotation battles in Pokémon Black and one in White.
The game’s main feature is still the grinding of Pokémon levels and because what Pokémon you find to battle and the strength of the moves are random, this makes the game very monotonous. If you are a Pokémon fan then this will be normal for you, but new fans should beware there is a lot of using the same attack over and over until the enemy stops using Defence Curl and the last bit of heath is finally chipped off (I’m looking at you Roggenrola). The battle system is mainly the same as the previous games except that the Pokémon have an idle animation and will move even when not attacking or being attacked.
In my opinion the game is too much like an expansion, not enough new ideas have been added into the game the game is almost entirely sold on the fact there are new Pokémon. If you are a dedicated Pokémon fan then your sure to enjoy this game, but if you didn’t enjoy the others then don’t think anything has changed.
Images source: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page