Hello! My name is Aron, and I’m a Pokeholic. I’ve played nearly every version since the beginning. When the Pokemon cartoon’s theme song stated there were “150 or more” Pokemon, no one ever quite expected the ranks of these little critters to reach the staggering total of over 600 they are at today. As soon as Pokemon Black and White were announced, naysayers were talking about how a fifth generation of Pokemon was overkill, but somehow Game Freak recaptured the magic one more time.
When you make your first trip to the Unova region, you will notice that on the surface, not much has changed. You are still playing the role of a youngster setting out to complete a Pokedex, just like in each preceding game. However, instead of one rival you will now have two, but unfortunately neither one can be named. This is also the first time that the region’s Pokemon professor has been a woman. Once you set out into the world, you will notice a level of graphical refinement previously unseen in this franchise. Autumn leaves blow through the air and speckle the pavement in some areas, buildings and backgrounds look better than ever, and there is now a city rendered in full 3D. In a battle scene, the Pokemon even have a few frames of animation so they no longer just stand still. These graphical goodies pair up with a new dynamic battle camera to make a Pokemon game like none other.
Opening cinematic for Pokemon Black and White. GEE THANKS IGN!!!
As mentioned, those were only some of the surface changes. There are huge amounts of changes made to game mechanics that have yet to be explored. Tons of new abilities and moves have been thrown into the mix, along with new battle types such as Triple Battles and Rotation Battles. At this point in the game, the only new battle type I’ve had is a Rotation Battle. It was a little confusing at first, but once the concept of it clicked with me I could definitely see the appeal. If you’re planning on doing a lot of these Rotation Battles you may need to construct a specially designed team.
So far it seems like the developers crammed enough stuff into Pokemon Black to keep raging Pokeholics like myself hooked for a very long time. There is a ton of material here to delve into. So much, in fact, that at 16 hours of play time I am just feeling like I can write about the first impressions the game has made on me. Whether this is your first for tenth Pokemon excursion, there is bound to be things in this game to entertain and delight you. There is a simple enough base game here for younger people, but more mature trainers can find plenty of complexity. What are your thoughts on the game so far? Is it more of the same, or a true step forward for this flagship Nintendo franchise? Get the ball rolling in the comments below!