Video Game Review: Pokémon Black Version

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It’s the first day of 2015 and it’s time for a review and overdue for this!


What is it you may ask? Well….for the past three years I haven’t finished a Pokemon game and still have one in waiting to be played an that is Pokemon: Black Version! I know I know I know! Gotta understand that due to school and more Pokemon games like its sequel counterparts, Y, and Alpha Sapphire to name a few. Also getting Pokemon Conquest and getting new copies of Diamond and Platinum while borrowing Pearl from a friend on top of thatmade me lag in finishing!


Pokemon Black is pretty much the game right after Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum where the newer region, Unova, gets discovered and you get to see the last generation of Pokemon, Fifth Generation, to take place. I did enjoy some things and others I didn’t like and have problems with this gen and the game itself! Let’s see what I think!


The Pokemon! First off is the Pokemon! And good god the Pokemon! I understand with most regions that are new there comes new Pokemon to be added to the Pokedex and like with Hoen, Unova was where there was a restart of new Pokemon, as in no recent gens until you finish the game. Well, this one is just new Pokemon to start with and well it felt like the Pokemon in this region were really running out of ideas! How so? Well, even though Dunsparce was kind of the start of this and then Hoen reflected that in some points but this region was all over the spectrum! You have Pokemon that look human-like, inanimate objects, and food! Yes food! I am so glad with the sequels, Black and White 2, bring in the other regions’ Pokemon. Whenever I ran into some of them in this region I was like “WTF?” Especially with Vanillite, Vallish, and Vanillux! I did like LitWick, it’s second form, which I forgot its name, and Chadelor since they take on the idea of the Will-o-wisp myth from the Scottish as a Pokemon. But having food as Pokemon is something way beyond! It was even weird with Timber its evolutions since it evolved the lumberjack thing a bit too much! I am thinking Paul Bunyan whenever I saw it until I went up against one of the Elite Four where one of the members had this thing. Anyways, Japan was really running out of ideas on this region’s Pokemon. At least they made some that they never made before such as a zebra, a flying squirrel, well an actual flying squirrel, and more monkeys but for the stone evolved ones like Evees. The legendaries on the other hand though, they looked pretty badass! They were pretty much going back to the dragons thing like with the ones from Sinnoh, Polkia and Dialga, and can’t forget Giratina. What else I don’t like about this….well…


Leveling Up! Another new aspect that this game and its counterpart is a new leveling system that was tried and yet it was a pain to do and hard to level up and that is reaching a level cap in the wild! As in, you can hit a certain level in order to get EXP to get to levels until you get to a certain higher level than the area gives you in Pokemon training then the EXP gets lower. I had a hard time training for gym battles in certain areas because of this and even before the Elite Four was painful! I understand it was trying to be fair and creators wanted to make it more interesting but level grinding was hard and level grinding is important when it comes to RPGs and playing these games made it important, especially when I played Diamond at the Elite Four. At least this engine was taken out for Gen 6 since the EXP Share was improved and with the newer versions of Gen 3 on top of it. I am not sure what White 2 (Gondras and I preordered these games and I would play Black 1 and White 2 and vice versa with him) holds for the leveling system.


Gyms and Elite Four! Speaking of leveling being hard, did I mention the gyms? It felt with Unova and it being a new region, the game made it more challenging for the gyms. I noticed how the challenges to get to trainers and the gym leader was hard and at the same time more interesting than the previous gym leaders in Sinnoh. I remembered how in Kanto that Koga was the only one with a gym challenge with invisible walls and I guess it evolved from there. Even when I played Sapphire with the third gym that there was a maze added to it, which makes me wonder if they put that in Alpha Sapphire. Anyways, the challenges kind of made it fun and made you go to farther reaches of the buildings you never knew existed! For instance, Driftveil City Gym was an entire system of mine carts going up and down underneath the gym and Mistraltin made you shoot out of cannons to get to each trainer and the gym leader. I think these were more fun than sliding on ice in Snowpoint Gym.


With the Elite Four, it also got interesting, instead of just going up to rooms in one go, you go into four different rooms that show you what you might face! For instance, Chantal’s room shows that she is a ghost trainer by having whisps take you to her instead of walking. Never seen that before! Speaking of ghosts, I was happy that they re-introduced ghosts to the Elite Four since it’s been a while for a ghost trainer being among them. I remembered how Agatha was the ghost member among them in Kanto before Koga took her place to use his poison types in Johto since they share the same Elite! I did enjoy having the bugs during Sinnoh’s Elite but having the ghosts back was a nice call back to an old member.


Team Plasma! You can’t be a new region without your own syndicate in your plot! Team Plasma is pretty much the newer team in Unova and there idea was different from the past teams and it was to liberate Pokemon from humans. Doesn’t that sound a little familiar? They did show up a lot in this game unlike their predessors, Aqua, Magma, Galactic, and Rocket, which was spread out throughout different points of their games. It feels as though the creators wanted to make the syndicate seen more in this game and have more story with them and I did like it despite how there was a lot of it. Even though they were annoying, the role of Plasma was very good and it shown a nicer evolution to one of the characters and it happened to be N, who traveled across Unova to do their bidding and gets Counseled by the sages, yes this team has a group of elders known as the sages. I do like this idea since I never seen a team have elders and the story did develop whenever you run into them or N himself! It even gave the Elite Four ending a great end! As in, you never seen a team take over the Elite in the games until you play these two! I also can’t help mention that they do have a catchy battle song whenever you run into members.


Main Story: And finally, the last thing I have to mention is the main plot! If you watched the anime which I sometimes catch on my Pokemon TV app, it follows the idea that many years before two heroes saved the region from destruction by two Pokemon, Zekrom and Reshiram, by sealing two stones that have their essence as dark and light stones! You get one of these stones depending on what version you play and you must use that in order to take out N before he takes over Unova to make Plasma succeed!


I like this story more than the ones in the past despite Johto being my favorite of the regions since some of the mythology followed Asian style myths. This region, on the other hand, takes on the yin and yang idea of using light and dark to keep the destruction from happening. Avatar: The Last Airbender anyone? I am not sure how this will work in White 2 since that was the other game I haven’t really touched, which I had to start in order to make room for the GameStop downloads into it. Even though there was a lot of plot with Team Plasma with this, but it did have a decent plot leading to the main event at the end! I did like how in the beginning how you, Bianca, and Cheron are childhood friends and choose one Pokemon based on the other’s choices, for instance I had Snivy, Cheron having Tepig, and Bianca with Oshawott, and went the same with the monkeys who are the weakness to your starters like how I ended up with Panpor.


One part of the story, even though it was a side and special event, was going to Liberty Island to get Victini. If you guys who have played Black and White when it first came out and got this, the Freedom Pass, you get to go to Victory Island to go against Plasma as a side adventure in Castelia City and catch the legendary, Victini, early on in the game. Gondras and I did do this event and catch this Pokemon and kept him on our teams, especially mine since I got to the end in Black and he did come in handy when I had to go up against Bryson and some of the Elite Four guys. Like with level system, it was hard to level him up and getting new moves for him along with it. At least Zen Headbutt helped me against the main Plasma leader. Besides Reshirom and Lypard, Victini is my fave Pokemon from this region.


Final Thoughts! Pokemon Black Version was one of those games you have to have a lot of patience with, especially when it came to leveling. The plot was pretty good and you did get a lot of cut scenes in this game, which you rarely see in the past couple of games, but Gondras believed that these games should have been made with the X and Y design because with the 3DS specs it would look nice with each scene, especially with the final battle against N! I agree since X and Y and Alpha Sapphire now have the Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2 style battles we all remembered and loved! Who knows, probably with later versions of the 3DS it may get that nice look to it and if it does, hoping the past region Pokemon are in this one because a lot of the designs looked ridiculous. This is why I wished they stuck with what happened in Silver, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, and many others to keep past region Pokemon.


What About New Players? Like many players alike,Like most generations of Pokemon, there has to be new players rising up! I noticed how new kids are getting into Pokemon and decide to start with Black and White and if you know a kid who wants to start with Pokemon, I would say try hunting these games down because it gives a nice challenge once they get to the gyms. Also, try buying the guide on Amazon or EBay if you can because I didn’t get a chance to get it back when the games were new and I had to use the internet, which the one I used was misinformed at certain areas like Mistraltin having Aeriel Ace in the air field. If you can’t find the games, X and Y should be a good starter as well because it has Pokemon from the previous generations through six and gives you a variety in each route to catch and you can explain any of them to a kid who may have seen the show for Gen 5 and 6.


Rating: I give this game 3.5 paws out of 5!


Well, that’s it for this review! What is next for Nerdy Shique Universe? Hoping more info on Omni Expo and other stuff to come!

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