Review by theproazngamer
"Pretty much the same mechanics with a now spiffier delivery"
Since it's release 15 years ago, Pokemon has continued to be an enormously addicting game played by people of all sorts; from kid to elderly. The cute, cheerful environment and sprites have appealed to many and Pokemon is still known by pretty much everyone.
Since it's first release, Pokemon has not encountered any major game-play changes. You still begin your journey with a fire, water, or grass starter and receive a Pokedex and begin to collect info on all sorts of different Pokemon. However in this generation Gamefreak added an enormous addition - The Dream World. The Dream World mostly changes the competitive scene for Pokemon as casual gamers are not likely to take advantage of the Politoed's and Ninetale's new perma-weather effects. It has still however, create a massive addition that will add hours of game-play.
In B/W, the main character is now not a scrawny 10 year old but is now a teenager. You begin the journey in a new region based off New York, called Isshu.
Gamefreak hasn't changed any mechanics by too much. The player still uses HM's to traverse the Pokemon world and collect badges and battle the Elite 4. However, there are still a few minor changes. TM's are now reusable, a few moves/abilities have changed a little, and The Dream World, to name a few. Gamefreak has, however, made a pretty large change. They changed the EXP system. Pokemon will gain more EXP when they are lower levels and less EXP when they're higher levels. Some may be frustrated by this because solo runs are now difficult, but some enjoy the new mechanic. It makes using a team of 6 much easier than before. It does, however, make grinding much more difficult than before making this help more for casual gamers, their largest audience.
The story in Black and White remains virtually the same. You still begin your journey Pokemon-less and eventually climb the top. You need to stop an evil team. The story requires no previous Pokemon knowledge and can be played as one's first Pokemon game. Although previous Pokemon players will attain a few surprises - namely recurring characters from other generations. However, so as to not spoil it, I'll leave the story section untouched.
The graphics in this game is probably the largest difference. Battles are no longer boring as Pokemon will move from side to side and moves are now fully animated. The entire game now not as 2D, but the wondrous grid-floor still remains.The music in this game is now MUCH better. The songs are now addicting a enjoyable to hear. Many of the songs are better than the Kanto region's, which I find to have the second best music.
The playtime is going to take a long time. It took me roughly 30 hours to complete most of the story, although it may be due to my lack of strong Japanese knowledge. There is still re-playability as there are 156 new Pokemon to enjoy having on your team. Playing through the game another 2-3 times with different Pokemon still remains a fun part for me. The same EV/IV system still remains for the most part.
I'm not one of those people who's been playing Pokemon since it first came out as it came out before I was born, but I have, however, been playing Pokemon since my childhood. Since then, Pokemon has been a very positive experience in my life. The cool looking sprites are nice to look at and the game mechanics have caused to spend over 2000 hours on Pokemon in total. Playing post-game and replaying games has been one of my favorite things and now that Gamefreak has created new graphics and a new Dream World, Pokemon just becomes better and better. I found myself enjoying Pokemon Black and White as much, if not more, than the other Pokemon games.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/22/10
Game Release: Pocket Monsters Black (JP, 09/18/10)
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