When Pokémon White arrived in my mail I was extremely enthousiastic. Finally after four years a new version has arrived! I admit, I love Pokemon! Everyone probably has something of a kid inside him/herself and this is it with me. We’ve arrived at the fifth generation of Pokémon and the first two parts are, as known, Black/White. Let’s see what Game Freak has in store this time.
Pokémon Black/White introduces you to the Unova region, far away from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh. According to Game Freak director Junichi Masuda Unova is modelled after New York City. At the start there’s a traditional welcome and you also get to see for the first time two youth friends (Bianca en Cheren) with whom you need to go to Professor Juniper to pick a Pokémon. As usual you can choose between grass, fire or water-type Pokémon and after this choice your adventure starts and you head off to become the best training.
The goal is of course still the same. Catch and train as many Pokémon as possible so they rise in level and possibly evolve. Take on all Gym Leaders, acquire the eight badges and then win the Pokémon League. All sounds very simple but those that want to do it right and explore as much as possible will be busy for about 40 hours.
Pokémon/Black White of course couldn’t do without bad guys. Everyone probably remembers Team Rocket from the first series and here we meet Team Plasma. They fight for the freedom of Pokémon and therefore steal from people. But what else are these crooks up to? Up to you to find out and dismantle their organisation. While playing you also meet “N”, a mysterious dude who says he wants to find the truth behind his convictions. He’ll also have an impact on your adventure.
In the Unova region over 150 new Pokémon can be discovered. Thanks to the Pokédex, which you got from Professor Juniper, you can keep track of everything you’ve encountered. Both versions of the game also hold different Pokémon. The legendary Pokémon Reshiram for instance is only present in Black while Zekrom is only available in White. Luckily you can exchange Pokémon through the infrared connection or Wi-Fi with other friends.
There’s also a Pokémon world included where everyone can connect to each other. In the heart of the Unova region is “Entralink” where you can travel between your world and that of other players.
Most surprising new twist in the game is the addition of seasons. These make that you for instance will meet other Pokémon during Winter time than in the Summer. Some even come with different colors depending the time. A month in our real time is equals a full season in Pokémon. March for instance is Autumn while April is Winter. Definitely a new highliht that brings the game to a new dimension.
There are also some new forms of Pokémon battles like the Triple Battles where you can fight with three Pokémon at the same time. The sound doesn’t start to bother after a few hours of playing and is more varied than in previous games. Graphically things aren’t too great though. The graphics have been improved, and there are some really nice cut-scenes, but as soon as a Pokémon is in battle you quickly notice things could have been a lot better. The Nintendo DS isn’t a PS3, but this is below the DS’s capabilities.
Pokémon Black/White is without a doubt a breath of fresh air compared to the fourth generation. Thanks to some nice additions and addictive gameplay it’s a must-have for Pokémon fans. Graphically things could be a lot better and the game is a bit easy at times, but both young and old will no doubt have fun with this one for hours.