The following article was written by Daniel Gooda, who is a friend of George Marriott.
Having only played Pokemon Red and Blue when they were first released and a little bit of Soul Silver since then, it has been some time since I played Pokemon. However, I was tempted with Pokemon White.
At the start of the game there is a very comprehensive tutorial unlike the two I played, it takes a while to get through but is very useful for new players and shows you what Pokemon is all about. While Pokemon players from other games may not need it, you only have to do it once so it’s not a big deal.
The new graphics are a big step up from Soul Silver, not only is the game world looking good but the battle animations are superb. It keeps the old pixelated style in battles and 8-bit style icons, which I personally like, but has detailed pictures in the Pokedex. While the music has been kept largely the same (as far as I remember) but with making it a bit more complex, I tend to play with the sound off. Unfortunately I can’t comment about Global Link as it’s not available yet and haven’t had a chance for linking up with friends, it does appear they will either do events over the Global Link or offer DLC like most games are now doing, starting with a promotion Pokemon for buying the game close to launch. Using Pokemon online is quite a big part of Black and White and as such the touch screen is usually the “Communication-Gear” with a choice for Infra-red, Online or Wireless connections easily accessible. There is a lot of features for co-operative play with rewards in the form of Pass Powers that benefit you and others around you.
Game play seems to have changed a great deal, before you got about the same experience from a trainer’s Pokemon as you would for the same Pokemon in the wild, now you get much more from trained Pokemon. Not only does this reduce the point and need (mostly anyway) of grinding wild Pokemon, it means the best way to progress is moving forward. Another big change in trainer battles is most trainers now have only one Pokemon maybe two but are a bigger challenge, gym leaders feel much more like gym leaders should be with the new system. Something else that helps with moving forward is that a lot of people are walking Pokemon Centers, they just look at you and play the healing tune and TA-DA your Pokemon are healed. There is a place where you can get on a train and fight seven battles in a row, you can play singles, doubles or multi, for standard you get bumped to level fifty and fight as long as you can. For each seven you get three Battle Points, which is a really lame reward as seven level fifty fights takes a while depending on the Pokemon in the battle and the most expensive items are forty-eight battle points.
As with Soul Silver you can give your Pokemon items that offer certain bonuses, and abilities appear the same. The bag seems much more organised and has an auto-sort button and a scroll bar, which makes it quick and easy to use the stylus for the menu. Before only HM’s were re-usable however TM’s are now the same so you don’t have to hold onto TM’s for the “right” Pokemon, it does mean you don’t get powerful TM’s early on however.
While you start off in a completely new area, with all new Pokemon…the Pokemon names and designs seem somewhat lacking such as Trubbish, which is a bag of rubbish turned Pokemon. Another is the evolutions of my choice of starter Pokemon, Tepig, it evolves into Pignite and then Emboar. Seems are far cry from the originality of Red and Blue but it is understandable with a grand total of six hundred and forty-six Pokemon!
The story seems the same as usual, you are a kid given a Pokemon, given a fancy toy that some professor could easily do and kicked out from home by your single parent mother. You have a friend who mistreats his Pokemon and just cares about strength while you (who never talks but people respond as though you had) are the person that loves and cares about their Pokemon. Team Plasma turns up this time to be the bad guys with their mysterious leader apparently trying to recruit you or so it seems. This time you do have a second friend but she seems rather confused about everything so just goes with the flow. You’re challenged to take on all others and prevail. However Team Plasma’s leader, the mysterious N, acquires the legendary Pokemon of legend and tells you to get it’s counterpart so the two can fight it out.
I’ve enjoyed playing Pokemon White, it’s also rare for a game to take more than maybe eight hours to complete and so far I’ve spent sixty-five on Pokemon.
Daniel Gooda is a dude with a beard. He spends his day trying to do nothing, and succeeding. He also looks like the last person you would expect to be playing Pokemon.