When it comes to the Pokemon video game franchise there really hasn’t been a sequel to any of their titles, usually they would do a 3rd game in their two color releases that would add in a new legendary Pokemon and tweak a few of the things in the game. When Pokemon Black & White 2 were officially announced I was skeptical about the “2” at the end, did they really make a try continuation of the original two games or did they simply run out of basic colors to name the game after? I’m sure Pokemon Turquoise & Khaki would have been great games. But, I was proven wrong and Black & White 2 feel like a true sequel for the first time in the game’s franchise.
Pokemon Black & White 2 feel like a whole new game, although on the outside it is basically the same as Black & White, from the fact that you get the same original three starter Pokemon to choose from and no real game mechanics are changed either. The game has you playing as a new character set a few ears after the events that took place at the end of Black & White, all of Unova has changed since then and player start off in a new town and new area of the region. While everything else location wise is the same all the towns in the game have been redesigned based on how they were affected in the last game.
The one main thing that this game offers that the others haven’t (excluding Black & White) is the story, before there were no real in-depth narrative storytelling going on but now they are story driven and beating the Elite Four is just a stepping stone and not your ultimate goal. It’s one of the main reasons why I stuck through the game to see the end as it is at it’s core still a generic Pokemon game where you battle, level up your team and evolve them, catch new stronger Pokemon, wash, rinse, repeat which gets dull and boring after a few hours of being in the game. Some familiar faces return from the previous title and Team Plasma has now been divided into two groups, those that truly believed in the positive side of the liberation of Pokemon and those who stole Pokemon and forced trainers to give them up. Which makes for some interesting scenes and dialog later in the game.
All the things that were introduced in the last game have returned, the battle system is still the same which isn’t a shocker. Single, double and triple battles are still around as well and while they are fun to play it’s still a drag to get through all those battles just to get to a new town to see when and if the story will progress anymore. There are also other new additions in the game in the form of side mini-game, one being The Pokéstar Studios where you can make short little films with your Pokémon, and view them in the theater. Another is the Pokémon World Tournament, which as you win each one unlocks more tournaments to compete in and also brings back some of the gym leaders from previous Pokemon games, including the infamous and always squinting Brock, the rock-type gym leader from the original Pokemon Red and Blue games. Which was a nice little touch and nod to those of us who have played the games from when they first came out. Another feature is that you become the manager of a strip mall style area, and you can recruit shop keepers from talking to people throughout Unova.
There’s not really much more I can say, after all it is a Pokemon game and while the story is a direct sequel which I will give bonus points to them for that, it really doesn’t bring anything new to the table and since the 3DS has been out for a while now I’m surprised this was just a Nintendo DS title, especially since the 3DS has had such a price drop that it’s not as financially strenuous to get one now compared to the DS’ price. But, with all that being said it is a good game, and I feel like a broken record for saying this, if it wasn’t for the story this game wouldn’t be worth playing as all it is is Black & White with a new story and some changes to the towns in the game, nothing new in graphic upgrades in the quality it looks the exact same. So if you are content with owning Black and White and don’t really care for a new Pokemon game just for the story then I’d pass on this and wait to see what they do next as you can only play the same type of game so many times before you just stop and don’t feel like it anymore.