Review: Pokemon Black & White

As the newest generation in a long line of games, Pokemon Black & White has changed the face of the game. Although still on the old NDS system, instead of on the 3DS, the guys at Pokemon company has outdone themselves with the pretty aesthetics and the brand new battle animations. In battles in Black & White, the Pokemons are no longer a static sprite on a static background. Instead, almost everything is in constant motion. The sprites of both your and opposing Pokemon will constantly be moving, and sometimes even change their movements based on scenarios that has occurred. On top of all of that, the camera is very active during batle. When you attack and when you are being attacked, the camera will zoom out to show your entire Pokemon during that attack. Although this sounds like a lot of animation, but this feature is so seamless such that the battle actually moves on faster than ones in the past generation.

A new feature introduced in Black & White is the new triple battle and rotation battle. Triple battle, as the name suggests, is the battle between 6 Pokemons at once, 3 on each side. Now, it works very similar to the double battle that we are all used to, but with a little twist. Now in double battle, each Pokemon can only attack the opposing Pokemon that is directly across from it, and the one that is adjacent to it. With this new system, it capitalize on the importance of planning out how to position your Pokemon, so that the one that is the most versatile in the middle so that you can increase your chance of winning. Rotation battle is a completely new concept introduced in Black & White. It is also a three on three battle, but the difference is that the Pokemons are spread out in a triangle formation, and you can only command them one at a time. This is a lot more strategic than normal triple battle in that since you only command them one at a time, you must read your opponent’s move and rotate your formation properly to counter what you think your opponent will do. When you choose attack, you can choose to rotate the battle field either clockwise or counterclockwise and then command the Pokemon that you will be rotating to the attack you want it to perform. It is a really interesting concept, and it is a really fun and new system that i can not wait to try out with my friends.

Do you ever dread the fact that you can not use items during connection battles? Well now there are some items that you are allow to use during battle through the Wonder Launcher. Basically the Wonder Launcher is an option for multiplayer that, when turned on, will enable the ability to use specific items in battle. However, it’s not like normal item using while playing the single player game. In order for you to use items, you must earn them throughout the battle. When you take your turn, you will get a point, and once you have accumulate enough point, you can purchase the use of the item. As always, this item will take up your move for that turn. All items are based on a point scale. the items range from common things like potion and status recovery, to revive ether, and even items that force abilities to activate before they would normally. I personally think that this is a great idea, though probably won’t see the light in competitive play, but will be an interesting mechanics to try out among friends.

The newly introduced C-Gear allows the players to communicate so much faster than before. Before C-Gear, we would have to go in pre-designated rooms in the game, go through the long saving process, and then wait for the wireless connection to pick up each other. Now, the C-Gear takes care of the saving process and uses the build in inferred on the game cartridge to communicate with one another and saves a ton of time on looking and waiting for partners to communicate with. The only true down side to this is that when the C-Gear is active, it will actively go look for other players with their C-Gear on and notify you of their existence, but by having the C-Gear on constantly will drain the battery  really quickly, so it is probably not a good idea to have the capability on for a long period of time without a power source near by.

Double battle can now be done with wild Pokemons. Through out the game, there will be taller patches of grass, that when stepped in, will give the player a chance to have a double wild encounter instead of the traditional single battle encounter. Nothing about this battle is different from normal battle, except for that fact that if you want to catch one of the Pokemon in the wild double battle, you must find a way to knock out the other Pokemon first before the game will allow you to throw any ball at all. Speaking of catching Pokemons, there is a new catching mechanic introduced in Black & White called the Critical Capture. Basically,  it is a lucky throw that will greatly increase the catch rate, Critical Capture rarely fails, but at the same time, it rarely occurs.

On top of all of the new features introduced, the most important thing was still the fact that there are now over 150 brand new Pokemons for us to catch and collect, now after you have beaten the game, you will be given the chance to transfer in Pokemons from older DS games so that collection all 649 Pokemons will not be a dream.

All in all, this game is great, not only from the aesthetics point of view, but from the capability and creativity stand point as well. This game has answered many concerns and issues we had in previous games. Now that we are able to trade in a much lower time, and that we can trade directly from the PC saves the players a lot of trouble while transferring their Pokemons around. With the beautiful graphics and enhanced battle style, this is a must get for all Pokemon lovers out there.

Grade: A

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Benson Chen
Benson Chen 71 posts

Benson Chen is a contributing writer for Nerd Reactor. <a href="http://nerdreactor.com/about/">Meet the Nerd Reactor Team</a>