Pokemon Black Version 2
Review by NarutoAxel3
"A step backwards or a step forward? *spoilers*"
Here it is, a review for Pokemon BW2. BW2 is the sequel to the original Pokemon BW. In my opinion, this was a large improvement over the previous game with additions like Pokemon World Tournament and PokeStar studios. On to the review.
Story - 9/10
The story in Pokemon is rather straightforward. You get a starter, explore areas and battle Gym Leaders while thwarting the plans of the evil team in the games. In BW2's case, Neo Team Plasma. Usually, for the older games with the exception of BW1, Story would've received a 0 because it's just battling Gym Leaders, capturing Pokemon, that kinda crap. However, GameFreak outdone themselves in BW2 and expanded the original story and the story itself is an ACTUAL sequel compared to past games and their sequels.
In BW1, Team Plasma's goal is to capture Zekrom and Reshiram but their plans were thwarted by the BW1 MC. Team Plasma was divided due to this and led by the mysterious Akuroma, Neo Team Plasma focuses on the other member of the Tao Trio, Kyurem. Without spoiling too much of the plot, that's the basic idea and other than that, there's not much to say.
Gameplay - 10/10.
Ah.. The meat of the game. The games progresses similarly to past games and it's just the basic level up and turn based strategy game. In BW1, GameFreak decided to somewhat reboot the franchise and made only the Fifth generation Pokemon available to be caught in the wild until post-game when you beat the Elite Four. In BW2 however, GameFreak made Pokemon across all generations available for capture early on. Other than that, it's the basic formula.
Get starter -> Capture wild Pokemon -> Battle Gym Leaders -> Thwart evil team's plan -> Battle Elite Four
Multiplayer - 5/10
Now, now, other reviewers might give it a flawless 10/10 or a 9/10, but there's a reason for me giving it a 5/10. I'm not going to say that I hate the multiplayer in this game or that it sucks, but you could say that I'm trying to say that the multiplayer is the greatest asset yet it is the greatest downfall in Pokemon.
Multiplayer in Pokemon has always been fun, some of you might even remember playing it with your friends in elementary school using cables, as I did. Some of you might now about a hidden factor, known as EV or effort values, which is just values that can make your Pokemon stronger and have higher stats then it should when trained normally, and once you achieve the perfect EVs, I can't forget the satisfaction of beating my friends, even till today.
There are other factors that influence a Pokemon's outcome, but this is a review, not a guide. Now, on to why it's a 5/10.
Why? Let's take Starmie and Golem for example. In Generation 1, Golem was my favorite Pokemon to use. It was at the height of it's battling potential as it could tank hits and deliver them twice the amount back. In Generation 5, Golem is outclassed by almost every Fully evolved Pokemon there is. Even if it could survive a hit, the best thing the Megaton Pokemon could do is Explosion to deal the best damage possible to the opposing team. Starmie, on the other hand, has always been in the Standard tier from Generation 1 to 5. Honestly, I don't like Starmie that much, but the least GameFreak could do is make all Pokemon equally balanced. The main reason for this is due to the addition of more Pokemon, more moves and abilities and thus, there are more threats in the competitive battling industry.
In short, I don't think anybody likes the way that they need to use Pokemon for their battle strengths to win, not because they like it.
Graphics - 9/10.
The graphics in BW2 are a definite improvement from the first. The 3D cut-scenes are rendered beautifully and the varied environments and wonderfully done. The only problem I have is that the Pokemon's back sprites are slightly pixelated.
Sounds - 10/10.
The soundtrack in this game is amazing. The variety in the soundtracks from Gym Leader tunes to overworld tunes is so varying, that you hardly get bored listening to one track after another. Not much to say about it, really.
Replayability - 10/10.
In my opinion, this is where the game truly shines. After you're done with the Elite 4, the social aspects of the game like Multiplayer and trading will provide you with countless hours fun. You could either be the best Pokemon trainer in BW2 history online, or be one of the many Pokedex completionists.
That's not all. With the advent of PokeStar studios and World Tournament, you could make your own film by partaking in various scenarios and it's a quite interesting addition to BW2. It's also a better replacement over the Pokemon Musicals in the previous game.
World Tournament will take you back to your past. It allows you to fight Gym Leaders from past games like the energetic Lt. Surge(pun intended) and Champions of other regions like Cynthia, Steven and even Red, the original MC of Pokemon.
Overall - 9/10.
Sure, Pokemon BW2 is a very nostalgic ride for me. Improvements over BW1 can be seen and there was no step backwards at all in BW2. All in all, GameFreak outdid themselves with the sequel, and nobody should even think twice before buying it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/08/12
Game Release: Pokemon Black Version 2 (US, 10/07/12)
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