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Pokémon returns better than ever

Oct 17, 2012

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Pokemon Black, White Version 2When I first heard that the creative forces behind the Pokémon series were, for the first time ever, producing direct sequels, I was very skeptical.

Taking place two years after 'Black' and 'White', 'Black' and 'White' 'Version 2' returns players to the expansive Unova region, which was part of my problem. I wondered how much the developers would change things? I wondered how different the games would actually be?
The answer is: plenty.

'Version 2' is not just a retooling of the previous adventure. Many of the locations you can explore have radically changed and many new ones have been added. Several places, such as the Castelia Sewers, which were closed in the prequels, are now open for adventure. All of the gyms, their puzzles and even their leaders have all changed.

Pokemon Black, White Version 2 Beginning in Aspertia City, you are given the choice of Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott as your starting Pokemon. The Unova Pokédex has been upgraded and features 301 Pokémon.

As you travel around the Unova region entering gym battles and winning badges, you learn a civil war has fractured the evil Team Plasma into two distinct factions: one of which has plans for - What else? - world domination using the legendary Pokémon Kyurem and its chilling powers.

Defeating, catching Pokemon and notching gym badges is just the very start of what Version 2 offers. The World Tournament option is sure to excite most veteran fans. In the special tournament, you can fight trainers from all of the previous Pokemon games including the ever-popular Brock and Misty.

Pokemon Black, White Version 2 By entering the Pokemon Studios, you can film and share movies you create. From horror to action, you can plot out and shoot your own films top upload to the Pokemon community.

For the first time, you can score what are essentially achievements in the form of medals. There are a total of 200 medals for everything from searching particular areas to powering up your Pokemon.

'Versions 2' are also compatible with 'Black and White', 'Pokémon Dream Radar'. Pokémon from Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver can be transferred and used in 'Versions 2'.

The multiplayer options have been expanded too to include the Entralink's Fun Fest Missions which permits up to 100 players to connect locally to share quests, trade Pokemon and interact with one another.

Pokemon Black, White Version 2 While all of these changes and additions should curb anyone from thinking 'Versions 2' are just creative knock-offs, the developers do need to desperately re-examine some of the game's functionality. Although the Repel item does a fine job of allowing players to avoid wild Pokémon when it is acquired or purchased, there must be some way players can avoid these random battles without having to click their way through just to run away. There are also too many NPC encounters that don't add any colour at all. Because you are never sure which NPC could be important to your quest, you have no choice but to chat up everyone which just drags everything out.

It is also about time the developers did away with the environmental battle influences such as dust storms or rain. Having to click through more of that descriptive text is tiresome. Either remove those effects or speed them up.
With its new adventures, cut-scenes, gameplay modes and places to explore, 'Version 2' is the best Pokemon game available, even though the familiar Unova setting has been reprocessed. As the saying goes, everything that is old can really be new again.

 

Pokemon Black, White Version 2 Pokemon Black, White Version 2
Format: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: GAME FREAK Inc.
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Official Site: http://bit.ly/NFQvwQ
Rating: 9 / 10

 

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.