Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: Pokemon Black/White 2

*The version played was Pokemon White 2, though differences between versions are minimal and do not even slightly effect the core gameplay or story.*

Pokemon is a series so fun, so addictive, and so perfect that a countless number of hacks, rip-offs, and bootlegs have been made to attempt to repeat its success. Nothing has ever touched the Pokemon series, though has the series lost some of its magic after many years since its debut? Have its competitors, such as Dragon Quest Monsters, finally caught up? At first glance, Black/White 2 are very disappointing and Pokemon fans young and old will be swift to dismiss them as pointless cash-ins on the success of the fifth generation of the Pokemon video games. However the deeper you dive into this return to Unova, the more you understand why these sequels are necessary to fully enjoying this new era of Pokemon. Black /White 2 lead you in with your curiosity and keep your eyes glued to the screen of your DS for days, weeks, maybe even months to come.

Despite me having already established that Black/White 2 are great games, it is important to understand that the true test is whether or not they can stand up to what remains after all these years their only competition, past games in the franchise. Pokemon was perfect from the beginning, but each new journey is still exciting because even more perfect features are added to the games. The core gameplay is identical to Black/White, but ultimately Black/White 2 are more fleshed out versions of their predecessors, like any good sequels would be. Almost every gripe fans of the series had with the launch of the latest Pokemon generation has been fixed.

Unfortunately, improvements and refinements are the only things Black/White 2 delivers on. If you are looking for an even mildly new Pokemon experience, this will not end your search. The awkward 3D animations with 2D sprites graphics return and look the exact same as these games predecessors. Story is the main focus of Black/White 2 which is a refreshing direction for the Pokemon series. N is as mysterious as ever and revisiting characters from the first games is very entertaining and will keep you exploring the map after beating the Elite Four. Speaking of the map, the map is the most noticeable improvement. Black/White severely lacked hidden areas, legendary Pokemon, and places to go in general. Black/White 2 remedy all of these things to make it feel like a truly new generation of Pokemon. Of course the problem is, if you played Black/White, these sequels may easily feel stale.

There is not much to say about Pokemon Black/White 2. I wish I could tell you about the new and improved battle system, the awesome new starter Pokemon, or the massive new region to explore, but Black/White 2 has none of those things. Black/White 2 is what Black/White should have been, which means it is unfair to say it is a bad game alone, because it is not, but it is a bad sequel. I began the review praising this game and I will always praise this game but that is only because I can not get enough Pokemon. Hardcore fans of the series will love this game and invest hundreds of hours into it, but those who already thought the series was feeling dry will be especially disappointed.

Find Pokemon Black/White 2 on ebay | Amazon

Released: 10/7/2012
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak


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