Game: Pokemon Black & White 2 (DS)

I had a simple dream. I wanted to be the very best, like no-one ever was. To catch them was my real test, to train them was my cause. So I travelled across the land, searching far and wide. 649 Pokemon later, I’ve finished. At least for now.

pokemon black 2With the Wi-fi release of the Black & White legendaries Genesect, Keldeo and Meloetta, I’ve now got a complete set. That somewhat took the urgency out of my mission when I got Pokemon Black 2 last year. Sure, there was the usual tenuous excuse of a story to break up the action between challenging gyms for badges. But I’d already caught them all. Like Alexander the Great, I wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.

Well I didn’t really weep, it’s only a game. Still, the magic of Pokemon still took over in the end, and after a 6-month hiatus, I ploughed through the remaining five gyms in short order. There’s still an impressive selection of post-game stuff to do, including another chance to trap some legendary Pokemon from this generation and earlier.

But I guess the problem is that it just feels like any other Pokemon game, since practically the first one back in the 90s. The routine is the same, the mechanics are the same, the denial of anyone called Ash is the same. There are just new faces, new Pokemon, and new regions.

pokemon black 2 2

Well, maybe not new regions, Unova was introduced in Pokemon Black & White, which has now spawned this pair of direct sequels instead of the usual trilogy-completing third entry. It’s still a fun game, but my God am I looking forward hopefully at Pokemon X & Y, out in Autumn, hoping that this time they will finally mix things up.

It wouldn’t take a lot. New Pokemon are always exciting for me, though I do dread what they’ll look like after Generation 5’s icecream cone and rubbish bag Pokemon, and my quest will continue. I doubt there is a big market for old Pokemon games that justifies Game Freak’s reluctance to make a game where all the old regions can be visited, along with all the old Pokemon and gyms. Would it be so hard? I mean Pokemon used to fit on a Gameboy cartridge, it can’t be a resource issue.

pikachuIn B&W2’s defence, another iteration has further polished the gameplay, things are a little faster. The usual smorgasbord of new features is presented, usually for the first and last time. I really can’t be arsed with the C-Gear though. The story I felt wasn’t anywhere near as good as the surprisingly engaging Black & White story, and that added further to the feeling of going through the motions.

It’s still no fun at all trying to catch legendaries though. How much fun is it to get it down to minimal HP (usually killing it the first 20 times), then throwing dozens of Ultra Balls at it with no joy or progress, until finally the random number generator falls in your favour, and you trap the little shit? NOT MUCH!

I’m still on board, Game Freak, don’t ask me why. But PLEASE move this franchise forward before I die. Throwing in Team Rocket wouldn’t hurt either, I loved those guys.


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Filed under Computer games, Reviews

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