Review: Pokemon Black and Pokemon White (Nintendo DS)

As some of you may recall I bought all four 5th Gen games awhile back.  I actually bought Black 1, Black 2 and White 2 and an Action Replay DS (Pokemon being the only series you want an Action Replay for, LOL) the day Pokemon X and Y were released. At the time I had zero interest in playing the 6th Gen games until after I finished all four 5th Gen games. Then I bought Pokemon Y, a second 3DS, Pokemon White 1, Pokemon X and forgot about the 5th Gen in that order. When Poke Bank was released last month, I remembered I had all four 5th Gen games and shipped the Pokemon from the preowned games I bought straight to my Poke Bank on each console (Black 1 and White 2 on my Blue 3DS, White 1 and Black 2 on my Red 3DS) and then erased the save data in the games. I didn’t get much in the old save files in case anyone’s wondering–the previous owner presumably started the game, got bored/stuck and sold it in frustration.

Anyway, when I returned to the 5th Gen two weeks back I resumed my Black 1 game. Honestly, I got sidetracked playing through Y and X. On that note, I’ll say what I’m sure fans of the 5th Gen already know: Nintendo really stepped it up with Black/White and Black 2/White 2’s respective stories. This is continued in the 6th Gen, which is what led me to return to the 5th Gen games.

For those who like me skipped the 5th gen when it was current, as a reminder the 5th Gen Global Link website shut down last summer. This includes the Dream World, C-Gear, GTS and other online features. The website now only works with the 6th gen games. In addition The Nintendo Wifi Connection, which is Nintendo’s online system for DS and Wii games will be shutting down on May 18. If you chose to buy the 5th Gen games, online play will no longer be available to you outside importing Pokemon to Poke Bank via the Poke Transporter App on a 3DS after that date.

Getting back to the story, I’ll give credit where it’s due. Like the 6th, 4th and 3rd Gen you don’t pick your starter Pokemon at the Professor’s lab. In Black/White 1 you pick it in your bedroom. You’re joined on your journey through Unova by your neighbors and friends Cheren (picks the Pokemon that your choice has the type disadvantage over) and Bianca (picks the Pokemon that your choice has the type advantage over).

Cheren wants to become a strong trainer but doesn’t have an ultimate goal beyond that. Bianca doesn’t have a clue what she wants to do with Pokemon. Then there’s the player character, who gives both of them an ideal to strive toward. Speaking of which, the theme of Black 1/2 and White 1/2 is Truth and Ideals. Unlike the previous gens you’re introduced to the game’s Team–in this case Team Plasma–very early on. Team Plasma is led by a mysterious trainer named N, whose goal is separate Humans and Pokemon by convincing or forcing Trainers to release their Pokemon.

N is quite an interesting character: Having been raised by Pokemon, N has the ability to communicate directly with Pokemon. Later, N reveals he plans to force the trainers of Unova to see things his way and sets out to become the Pokemon League Champion after Reshiram (White)/Zekrom (Black) acknowledges him as a Hero of Unova in the Dragonspiral Tower. The more you learn about N’s ambitions, the more the lines between Good and Evil are blurred. That’s the point and the trend is continued in the sequels Black 2/White 2.

The character development with N, Cheren and Bianca in Black 1/White 1 was why I was so excited about playing Black 2/White 2 next. By the time you defeat N at the end of the game he acknowledges Pokemon need their trainers as much as Trainers need their Pokemon. With Cheren he is mentored by the current Unova Champion, Alder and learns the world is bigger than any one person. As for Bianca, she decides to help Professor Juniper introduce new trainers to the joy that comes with meeting and traveling with Pokemon. She works for Professor Juniper in Black 2/White 2 sporting a new look:

Bianca’s glasses in Black 2/White 2 look just like the ones Cheren wore in Black 1/White 1. Hmm…

 

As you can probably imagine, the shippers had a field day when the pair were first revealed in Black 2/White 2. While it’s never actually stated, let alone implied in the games (or even commented on by Game Freak)…as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! I’m of the opinion the pair hooked up after Black 1/White 1. Otherwise why give Bianca Cheren’s glasses just to tease folks? So Cheren and Bianca are dating in Black/White 2, the end.

Moving on (LOL!), I noticed in the 5th Gen there was less of an emphasis on the Gym Badges themselves and more on the Gym Leaders’ personalities. This makes sense late-game when all the Gym Leaders suddenly show up to take on Team Plasma. Speaking of which, The first Gym leader you fight depends on what Pokemon start with and the last Gym Leader depends on your version: Drayden in Black and Iris in White. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s the same Iris who joins Ash in the Unova Saga of the Anime.

Lots of folks say the 5th Gen was what helped bring organizarion to competative battles. It also marks the first time Nintendo formally runs Pokemon Tournaments using the Pokemon games.  The Elitists are the reason I avoid the tournaments like the plague though I’m glad Nintendo is holding official tournaments. At this point, Victini and Genesect are closed to anyone who gets Black 1/2 and White 1/2 unless there’s another giveaway in the 6th Gen games. Both Pokemon join Arceus and Jirachi in the Super-Rare club XD

Overall I give Pokemon Black 1/White 1 a 7/10. Full access to the Pokemon Daycare is gated, as is the migration process between the 4th and 5th Gen games with that stupid minigame. The mechanic used to move Pokemon from Sinnoh to Unova is the ONLY reason I didn’t get Black 1/2 and White 1/2 when they were current. When I tried using it I was reminded why I didn’t buy the games before. I don’t like feeling like I’m being punished for moving my Pokemon between gens >.>;

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This entry was posted in Blog, Brendan Aurabolt, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Pokemon, Review, RPG, Serene Adventure, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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