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Pokemon Black & White review

Pokemon Black & White

Pokemon tread new ground

Same old formula, but new game?


In 1995 a small series called Pokémon was released, with young players asked to answer the call to become the Pokémon master. Since then, Pokémon has taken the world by storm and has gone down in history as one of the most successful franchises ever. With over 20 handheld Pokémon games that have been released since 1995, how is it that the same old formula still manages to draw in millions of players worldwide with every new release? With Pokémon Black and White has Pokémon finally run its course and dried up?

The answer is no.

Pokémon Black and White proves why Gamefreak are masters of the handheld RPG genre. Pokémon Black and White is an injection of life in to the series that players old and new will be happy with.

Tepig I choose you!


“Liam, what Pokémon would you like?” stated Professor Junpei.

It is with this classic line that you begin your journey. It may have changed slightly over the years; each with different professors and different starter Pokémon, but this line has been seen and heard by millions for the past 16 years. Even with the newest journey to embark upon in Black and White, this line is still fond upon my ears.

You begin your journey in the small town of Nuvema. It is here where you and your two friends Cheren and Bianca are given your first Pokémon, and from there you wander aimlessly into the wild for an adventure of a lifetime. Same old story, but would you have it any other way? In B/W you are encouraged by the new professor, Professor Junpei, to begin your journey to become a Pokémon master. I was slightly disappointed by not being able to name my friends, a feature that was available in previous games.

After choosing your starter Pokémon from the three new starters Tepig, Snivy and Oshawott you leave your mother and the town you grew up in to catch them all and become the master. I chose Tepig for my journey, my small pig Pokémon and myself left together ready to battle anyone.

New Pokémon, cool!


I am always sceptical when it comes to new Generations of Pokémon being announced. But as soon as I entered the wild and caught my first couple of Pokémon, I was won over by the new Pokémon available to catch. This is also the first time in the series that I have felt a sense of balance between the Pokémon, with each Pokémon having something that they can bring to battle and being able to hold their own without just being a number in the pokedex.

Unfortunately, a lack of creativity was definitely in the air at the Gamefreak studios. Many Pokémon now have such obvious and boring names as the crocodile Pokémon “Sandile” which then evolves into the much taller looking “Krookodile”. This naming system is a rule throughout in B/W which is a shame. However, most Pokémon in B/W are some of the best looking Pokémon in the series so far, with some of them growing into huge epic screen-filling last evolutions such as Tepig’s last form Emboar. Some Pokémon within generation V are borderline ridiculous such as the rubbish bag Pokémon “Trubbish”, a Pokémon which is literally made up of a trash bag.

Some new Pokémon also feature the ability to change appearances depending on the season. In each season you can catch Pokémon and they may look different or act differently. This is a nice idea, but Gamefreak did not put much effort into making this feature stand out. The ingredients are all there for this to be a game-changing feature, but it is not as thought out as it could have been.

In all aspects, you can sense that this is be the last generation. The creativity is gone and these Pokémon are so distant from their original 150 counterparts, that it seems it would be hard for Gamefreak to create a new generation with it still being Pokémon.
Fun score 9.0

Pros

A rejuvenation for the series and the best since Red and Blue

Cons

Pokémon are lacking creative thought, hopefully last generation of Pokémon

Game Screenshots