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After playing Platinum, I'm disappointed
on March 23, 2011
I love the Pokemon games, and I have gotten at least one game for every generation.
Pokemon Black and White does a lot of cool things, but also gets rid of a few. For instance, we finally get moving Pokemon, but your Pokemon is really pixelated, which just doesn't look nice. And the screen moves a bit when a Pokemon attacks to seem more action-like, but it is unnecessary. Many people say these Pokemon are horrible - I didn't like a few of them at first too but as you travel with them and win battles you'll get attached, just like in any Pokemon game. It also does serve their purpose well; all trainers start on the same level, so no one has an advantage over any one else really, since no one knows much about these new ones (sadly, I trained one of my Pokemon a lot only to realize he evolves through a trade).
In terms of difficulty, the game tries to help you out by giving you just the Pokemon you need for the first few gyms, but this is a minor issue since you don't HAVE to take them. The gym battles aren't that difficult, but one thing I DID find is that the random grass battle Pokemon have higher levels. Sometimes they even sent me back to the Pokemon center! After you beat the Elite Four the game gets way harder, and you probably will have to grind.
The story seems to try to do something for older players, but it seems almost an insult to one's intelligence and is completely useless. You have Team Plasma who is wants to release Pokemon from human control - but the trainers in the game are mostly too dumb to see WHY they would want to. (What? Pokemon NEED people in order to reach their true potential). But I guess this is a minor complaint since this is a different world and ethics are different - making Pokemon fight each other in the Pokemon world is not the same as having animals fight each other in the real world (though its interesting to see how the creators bring up the issue just to keep brushing it aside).
Heartgold and Soulsilver were awesome because your Pokemon could follow you around (which is just cute) and because it had the Battle Frontier, and also the Pokeathlon. This game does away with all 3 of those, which I just lame. Instead you get the Battle Subway (no more variety), musicals (whats the point?), and "better" visuals. You get more 3d looking cities, but they don't really add anything to the game. And what's with the obsession with bridges? Couldn't they have spent their time adding more things to the game instead of bridges?
The music too is not as good as in HeartGold and SoulSilver - tunes are not as memorable. But perhaps this is because I had heard them as kid and they will not have the same effect now.
The thing with these newer Pokemon games (Diamond, Pearl, Black, White) is that they're not as engaging as previous generations. Up until Emerald I had been stuck to Pokemon games, and those games will always have a place in my heart and I would replay them over and over if I could. Black and White do not make me want to start all over again to re-experience them. I don't really know if it's because I'm older now or if the games just keep getting less good. If you think you can, just wait for Pokemon (Gray?), as it'll probably have more features than this one - which is what they ALWAYS do with a new generation of Pokemon games.
I initially gave this a higher score but I just bought Platinum so I could replay the story line without the slowness of battles in Diamond. I have to say, that game is a ton better than this one. The music is very well-done - its got a beauty to it that I find lacking in this game, save for a few tracks. There is much, much more to do. In B/W, you can no longer grow your berries (you have to get them in the Dream World), you can't go underground and dig for fossils and stones, you can't make your own secret base, and you can't participate in Pokemon Contests. If you're new to Pokemon, get Platinum instead. I played Diamond for 347 hours, and I only played Black for around 80. And seeing how Platinum is an improved version of Diamond and Pearl, I suggest you try that one instead.