I have been playing Pokemon since its first iteration on the DS. I know that’s not a very long time, but I can safely say I know my way around a Pokemon game. I have beaten all the gym leaders, defeated the elite 4, and captured a legendary Pokemon. Get ready to do that all again with Pokemon Black and White Version 2.
Set two years after the events of Pokemon B&W, you start a new adventure as a new up-and-coming Pokemon trainer. You begin small time: capturing Pokemon, traveling to cities taking on gym leaders and running into a new Team Plasma. Yes, they are back and are still up to no good. It has the same formula as all the other Pokemon games, but with a little more to it.
I really enjoyed Black and White’s approach to a story. There is one in version 2 as well; it tries to live up to its predecessor, but the pacing is very slow compared to version 1. The game doesn’t waste any time bringing up events and characters of the first game, either. If you didn’t play version 1, you may be lost.
The region has changed a little but not drastically. There are some new areas, but for the most part, it actually feels like two years have passed. Along with the new look of some things and new areas, there are also new things to do.
You can make your own movies at the PokeStars Studio. You basically choose a scenario and act it out using a script and dialog lines. Each scene takes place in the form of a battle and choosing certain lines to say or actions during the battle will result in different scenes. Making fun and enjoyable movies can reward you with fans who may give you special items.
Funfest missions are much like the Entralink missions from version 1. You and other players compete in different challenges like capturing a number of Pokemon or finding a certain number a berries in an allotted time. This is all done through local wireless.
Finally, one of the best parts of version 2 is the Pokemon World Tournament. Much like the Battle Frontier, you participate in tournaments with different difficulties. There are a ton of them to participate in and some even have gym leaders in them. You earn battle points which you can spend on prizes.
Of course, with the Global Link integration that was in version 1, there were a ton of things to do even outside of the game itself. This all carries over to version 2. You can log in and enter the dream world where you can gather new items to transfer over to your actual game and even find Pokemon to add to your party who span the entire library of games. You can also still interact with your friends through trading and battling.
As far as the feel of the game goes, it feels like a Pokemon game. It’s still that RPG that fans have come to know and love. One thing I do have to mention, the battles against other trainers seem a little more varied this time around. You will compete in more dual battles and rotating battles. Still, the game is still a grinding game. I ran into a number of gym fights that forced me to go outside and battle wild Pokemon for experience points. The small upgrades are really nice, and the animations and overall look of the game are still impressive for a DS game. The in-game music is still catchy at times, and traversing the environments is still fun.
For the most part, version 2 is as good as version 1. There are some new additions that give it a little more flavor, and the small changes are always nice. The story progression and leveling grinding are really the only problems I had with the game. If you have been playing Pokemon for generations, you are used to this by now. One thing is for sure, with the features in the game as well as all the features through the Global Link, you will have plenty to do. There is no shortage of content in Pokemon Black and White Version 2. If you played the first game and want more or are wanting to get more out of the Pokemon universe, this is one of the best games to do just that.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.