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Back To The Good Old Days ! ***Slight Spoilers***,
This review is from: Pokmon Black Version (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
Pokemon Black and White are typical of their predecessors. You begin your journey within the quiet tranquillity of Nuvema Town and soon enough in Pokemon style you and your protagonist disturb the peace by having your first battles with your two friends Cheren and Bianca. The pair soon become your rivals throughout the rest of the game, which is a slightly different approach as previous iterations of Pokemon games feature only one rival. But before the battle you must choose a Pokemon and, as per usual, you are given the choice of three. There is the grass snake Pokemon Snivy, the fire pig Pokemon Tepig or the sea otter Pokemon Oshawott. I started with a Tepig simply because it looked cool. Bianca will choose the Pokemon that will be weakest against your chosen type; Cheren will choose the Pokemon that is strongest against your type, but despite type advantages you should have no problem beating your friends.
Pokemon Black and White Gameplay. Soon after the battle with Cheren and Bianca you're sent to the local Pokemon Professor's Lab to thank her for the Pokemon she gave you. Professor Juniper happens to be the first female Professor of the Pokemon franchise, make of that what you will. At the lab she will task you and your friends with the very important job of traversing Unova and cataloging every Pokemon. You are also advised to collect all the Gym Badges of Unova. There are 8 to collect with each Gym specialising in a specific type so it is advisable to train a variety of types for your Pokemon Party. Once all 8 badges are yours you continue on to the Elite Four and the Champion of the Pokemon League, defeat them and you can claim the title of Pokemon Master. Your travels around Unova are not unhindered however; there is always a troublesome team to make your life difficult. Team Plasma are a villainous team whose goal is to free Pokemon from the humans of Unova. Like Team Rocket of old, who I miss dearly, Team Plasma and their wicked antics will pop up throughout the main story.
There are a few differences between the two games one being two different areas. As suggested by the name, Pokemon Black plays host to Black City and features many characters and tasks that do not appear in the other game. Black City's population changes with time, leading to the alteration of its appearance. When you visit the city for the first time the population is determined by the number of days it took you to reach it. In addition to the visual changes, the city's market will sell items to the player at inflated prices, dependent on which Trainers are in the city. The items are rare, with most being either evolutionary stones or valuable items. At maximum population, Black City is a sprawling metropolis with many large buildings and skyscrapers. With a smaller population there are fewer buildings that are smaller in size. To juxtapose Black, Pokemon White houses White Forest. Unlike Black City, White Forest has a variety of wild Pokémon as well as characters and tasks that are not available in Pokemon Black. Just like Black City however, the appearance of White Forest is reliant on the number of people currently liPokemon Black and White Reviewving there. When you first enter the forest the total number of residents is, again, determined by the number of days it took you to reach it. In addition to visual changes, some wild Pokémon will only appear with a certain resident. When White Forest is full it contains large trees, several water surfaces and many patches of tall grass, all there being filled with Pokemon to aid you with your Pokedex. At times when there are few people in the forest the trees are smaller, there are fewer or no water surfaces and patches of tall grass are sparse. As to be expected with two different Pokemon games of the same generation, there are also several Pokemon that are exclusive to each version.
Probably one of the most interesting differences is the presence of two new battle types. They come in the form of Rotation Battles, my personal favourite, and Triple Battles. Triple Battles are simple, if you can imagine the Double Battles from some of the previous games and simply add two more Pokemon onto the screen you've got a Triple Battle. A Rotation Battle on the other hand is a little bit more complicated, but not too much. Essentially you have three Pokemon each on the field placed on a turn table. You may switch between those Pokemon at any time without losing a turn; some very interesting can be developed during these battles. If Triple Battles tickle your fancy you'll want Pokemon White, if you're after Rotation Battles you'll want Pokemon Black.
To summarise, Pokemon Black and White are two very solid and enjoyable games. Their graphical boost is welcomed and it is clear that Game Freak have pulled out all the stops. They provide Pokemon Black and White with some impressive, but arguable unnecessary, 3D aspects. The main example of this comes in the form of Castelia City. Game Freak included new graphics on the Pokemon themselves too. This may mean little to some but I was very impressed by the fact that the Pokemon now look asleep when they fall victim to Hypnosis, etc. They now even have their individual animations during battle. They are of a calibre to satisfy the oldest of Pokemon fans and to attract a new gamers to the pokemon franchise, all in all, very good.