Pokemon Black and White rely
heavily on mathematics. Pokemon collect experience, their stats go up and they
gain levels in order to become more powerful. In endgame and multiplayer
content players must have extensive knowledge regarding these various numbers
and how to use them to their advantage. Understanding these mechanics
thoroughly is not necessary to enjoy the game, but the more players learn about
its systems the more options they'll uncover.
Reading is a large
part of the game as it contains extensive amounts of dialogue and flavor text.
Some sort of common-sense ideas are also involved in the game's combat
mechanics; water-type attacks are strong against fire-type Pokemon, for
example, and ground-types are immune to electric attacks, though plenty of
these type match-ups are much more obscure as well.
Players assemble teams of Pokemon from the dozens (and eventually hundreds) of
species found throughout the world and can raise each individual Pokemon to
whatever point they want. Players that pursue more difficult challenges will
eventually try to build a balanced team, of which there are a huge number of
viable options. Type combinations, equipped items and movesets are all things
players need to consider carefully.
Outside of developing a team, players are also free to explore the game's
world. As always the player's route takes them through numerous towns, caves
and oceans, all of which contain hidden items, battling trainers and blocked
The range of multiplayer modes, sidequests and exploration that the game offers
all dovetail nicely with the development of a team of Pokemon over the course
of the game, ensuring that every player has a unique experience.
By the Developer:
Pokemon Black and White offer
the biggest graphical overhaul that the series has ever seen. Cameras sweep
through 3D areas as players pass through, and every species of Pokemon dances
around during battle with its own unique animation. New interface and control
options also streamline things considerably.
mechanics have also been changed for the better. Rare Pokemon are now marked by
shaking bunches of grass, and a revamped experience system means low-level
Pokemon can catch up more quickly. The game's pacing is also the most
successful yet, thanks to the addition of two rivals that follow along with the
player and a completely new cast of Pokemon that always gives players new
abilities and types to experiment with.
It's easy to say
that the game is similar to past entries, but a really impressive level of
polish and new features like an online matchmaking system make it the best yet
in an already lauded series.
Players receive money for winning battles against other Pokemon trainers. This
money can be used to buy dozens of different supplies, from healing potions to
different kinds of pokeballs used to catch new Pokemon. More expensive items
like technical machines used to teach special moves are much more expensive.
Players can use certain items to increase the amount of money they earn, and
players that scour the game world will find many valuable extras that can be
sold at a premium to certain parties.
Pokemon was designed from
the ground up for multiplayer features. Most famously players can trade Pokemon
with their friends in an effort to "collect them all," and players
can take these teams online to test their strength against human opponents. At
high levels these battles become highly strategic, more tests of players'
knowledge of the game and ability to anticipate an opponent's moves than
anything else. A new online matchmaking system to be implemented in the near
future will take the competitive battling scene to a new level.
In the main game
players can't control their interactions with other characters, but the game's
themes openly encourage players to act righteously and follow their hearts.
Characters frequently encourage the player to chase their dreams and people
that treat their Pokemon poorly are always taken down in the end. The game's
lighthearted messages seem particularly aimed at children.
Players need to constantly update their roster of Pokemon. The biggest
consideration is often Pokemon typing; there are seventeen Pokemon types that
interact with each other in a complex rock-paper-scissors web, and players need
to try to assemble a team without any glaring weaknesses. Players need to
explore and train their teams carefully, and the game so constantly offers new
options to experiment with that players will never run out of stuff to do.
For players that go this far, the main campaign is really a sort of training
for the extremely challenging end-game content. A place called the Battle
Subway allows players to bring their teams to battles against different teams
of trainers, and winning different matches earns players Battle Points that can
be used to purchase most of the best items in the game. Things are sure to get
even more challenging when the game's online matchmaking system launches in
Pokemon is not a simulation game.
Pokemon Black and White have
had the best-selling debut of any Pokemon games - or DS games in general
- yet. As usual there are reviews that criticize the game for having dated
visuals and failing to change up its basic premise. More numerous are bits of
praise for the new Pokemon designs, graphic flourishes, new multiplayer
components and general level of polish.
A few basic audio and visual options are available. Players can also toggle
battle animations in order to speed up battles considerably.
Pokemon Black Version and White
Version were rated Everyone by the ESRB with descriptors for Comic Mischief
and Mild Cartoon Violence.