Pokemon Black Version 2 Nintendo DS Review

Nearly as iconic as Mario himself, Pokemon is a Nintendo RPG mainstay.  To drive home that point, just prior to Nintendo’s upcoming WII U console release, two new Pokemon games have been released for the Nintendo DS.  Pokemon Black and White Version 2 were both on display at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles and the San Diego Comic Con.  It’s no secret that Nintendo has looks at the 3DS as the primary handheld device and that is why, even though Pokemon Black and White V2 have been released for the original DS, there are and will be more downloadable apps and features available for download for the Nintendo 3DS.

The new Nintendo Wii U is due out in November but Nintendo is not quite ready to shut the door on the older systems.  Adoption has been slow on the for the both Sony’s Playstation Vita and Nintendo’s 3DS.  For that reason alone, it makes sense to release both Pokemon games, Pokemon Black and White Version 2 to the largest audience possible.  Released in 2004, the Nintendo DS has been one of their best sellers and the subsequent DS models have retained backwards compatibility.

Pokemon, for those unfamiliar with the games is essentially a turn-based role playing game, where in addition to defeating your enemies, you must collect them.  As you collect these little pocket monsters, you can build a team to fight other Pokemon teams.  Think dog fighting, without the gore and tragedy and with really cute monsters.  These Pokemon will level up as you fight them and can eventually be evolved into more powerful monsters.  Each of these monsters has basically an elemental attack that is more or less effective against other types of enemies.  This is all wrapped up with a narrative geared toward younger gamers.

Pokemon Black Version 2 returns players to the Unova region two years after the events of the original Pokemon Black game.  The player and their rival begin their journey on the western side of Unova in the new Aspertia City.  The player receives their starter Pokemon from Bianca, who served as one of the player’s rivals in the original Black and White games. The same three Pokemon as in the first games are also available to choose from.

The new locations feature several Pokemon that were previously unavailable in Black and White but not new to Pokemon, featuring a total of 300 unique creatures available from the start of the game.  Some of the Pokemon from outside the Unova region, such as Eevee, Riolu, Tyranitar, Arcanine, and Mareep can also now be found pretty early on.  Those that played the original Black and White will recognize Cheren, who is now a Gym Leader to be battled.

Pokemon Black and White Version 2 have some small differences but actually more than the previous two titles.  Opelucid City is portayed a futuristic place in Pokemon Black V2 and in Pokemon White V2 it is an old rustic town.  The road connecting Nimbasa City and Castelia City, Route 4 also varies between the two versions. In Pokemon Black V2 it is a modern street and in Pokemon White V2 it is littered with ancient ruins and sandstorms.  The metropolis of Black City and the White Forest also make a return to their respective versions.  Of course to collect all of the new Pokemon, you will have to trade between versions.

While none of the Pokemon basics have been changed, there are a few new features.  First is the new “PokeStar Studios” where players can make their own movies by picking a scenario, completing a battle by meeting a certain condition and then choosing a dialogue option.  This works as a new battle mechanic.  There is also the “Pokemon World Tournament,” where players can work their way up to fighting against various gym leaders and eventually the final tournament against the champions. A new multiplayer mode is the “Funfest” missions where you compete against up to 99 local players and try to complete various tasks.  These new modes offer prizes in the form of bonus item to help in your quest.

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