Was it really needed?

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Alejandra Rangel
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The announcement of Pokémon White and Black version 2 has sparked quite a few controversies. There's no denying that the franchise is Nintendo's proverbial cash cow, but we've always turned a blind eye to every new revision of the main series because, in fact, they're really great games. The process has almost always been the same: a new pair of Pokémon comes out in parallel and after some time a new neutral title belonging to the same generation also comes out, a sort of crossroads between the two titles. For example, Ruby and Sapphire had Emerald, for Diamond and Pearl there was Platinum instead.

The same thing did not happen with the White and Black versions: those who expected the predictable Gray version were stunned by the announcement of the first, true sequel in the history of the brand. Finding that Game Freaks was focusing on this Nintendo DS "2" rather than the highly anticipated 3DS edition left a lot of fans puzzled. At this point we must ask ourselves how justified this sequel is: is it really something new, or are we facing the most striking recycling in the history of Pocket Monster?

Return to Unova

The first Black and White version of Pokémon was distinguished from previous generations by the presence of a more incisive plot and less superficial characters than usual, in particular the mysterious N. At the end of that adventure, some issues were left unresolved and Game Freaks has decided to provide some more answers with this sequel, set two years after the events of the previous episode: Unova has changed a bit since then and the new protagonist, our alter ego, will come across various familiar faces that now they have different roles.

There are those who have become gym leaders and those who have moved, and even for Team Plasma the situation has changed, as it has split into two factions, one of which is still intent on conquering the world. The problem is that Game Freaks has unintentionally created a real mess: not only is the new story decidedly forced, but also full of inconsistencies that clash with the plot of the previous episode. The aura of mystery that surrounds Kyurem, for example, is a little incomprehensible, given that most likely you have faced and even captured it in the previous adventure, and the quotes and unlockable skits by importing the old save do not add anything special to the already very weak intertwining.

If anything, it is pleasant to rediscover the areas explored more than a year ago, now modified for the occasion, and to visit some previously inaccessible areas of Unova. Even from the point of view of the PokéDex the situation is really meager: Pokémon White and Black version 2 adds to the now long list of pokémon only five creatures, and all five are alternative forms of monsters that already exist. To be precise, and this is further mocking, we are talking about the fusion of Kyurem with Reshiram or Zekrom and the special forms that Landorus, Tornadus and Thundurus can take ... after having unlocked them with the Pokémon RAdar software for Nintendo 3DS, available on the eShop . In short, at the level of new creatures to collect, which is the reason why someone should play Pokémon, we are faced with a really weak proposal, moreover based above all on a paid software designed for another console. It could be argued that the "neutral" versions of previous generations of Pokémon offered even fewer unreleased pokémon ... but this is a sequel, isn't it?

A matter of collecting

Not that there are few pokémon to catch, of course. Indeed, the PokéDex of this edition is certainly the largest ever: we are now talking about almost six hundred and fifty pokémon and most of them can be captured in Unova, regardless of the generation they belong to. The new routes available in Pokémon White and Black version 2 allow us to catch old pokémon absent in the prequel and

the large amount of challenges and areas accessible after completing the game and defeating the traditional Super Four allow us to further flesh out our personal collection. It is of course possible to transfer the pokémon captured in the White and Black versions and in all the previous ones and some pokémon that were forbidden to us in the prequel based on some choices are now accessible in the same or different circumstances. Just think of the three starting pokémon: you will be able to choose again between Snivy, Oshawott and Tepig, in anticipation of the moment in which you will transfer your previous starting pokémon in this cartridge.

As much as it may seem very beautiful and exciting, it must be said that at this point most of the players coming from the White and Black version will have already exchanged and obtained most of the Unova pokémon, including the initials. The sense of wonder and discovery of the prequel is therefore lacking; everything knows already seen, from the choice of pokémon to the circumstances in which we will be able to obtain them. It almost seems, and in fact from this point of view it makes much more sense, that Game Freaks has thought of this sequel to allow new players to get their hands on old pokémon absent in the previous version. For veterans, however, there are not many surprises even from the point of view of the gameplay: Pokémon is always played in exactly the same way and the new skills are really counted on the tip of the fingers. The fact remains that it is always an incredibly deep and intricate RPG, despite the childish appearance and the carefree atmosphere, and in this respect you cannot be disappointed: Pokémon White and Black version 2 and, hands down, the most complete Pokémon experience ever.

What about the news?

At this point you might be thinking that Pokémon White and Black version 2 is a mere copy and paste of the prequel with some new creatures and little more, but it would be unfair to the work done by Game Freaks who, all in all, added a generous dose of new content. The first and less interesting we have already mentioned: it is the Unima Link, a menu that allows you to import the saving of the prequel or Pokémon Radar. However, the Unima Link also allows you to transfer the "keys", prizes that are received by reaching specific moments of the adventure or by completing particular challenges.

The keys can be activated once the first part of the game is completed and basically they are options that modify some parameters of the game, such as the difficulty or access to some special areas. The most interesting feature of this feature is the ability to send unlocked keys to your friends, influencing their games. Similar to the keys, but not as useful, are the medals: in practice, the "achievements" of Pokémon White and Black version 2. As you can guess, the medals are unlocked by performing particular actions or by meeting specific requirements; they are useless but testify to the progress and skill of the player, constituting another collectible element that will delight the most persistent users.

To various tricks and improvements a little less visible of the mechanics, such as the streamlining of the interface or some new function of the C-Gear, especially as regards the still excellent multiplayer infrastructure, there are two other extra activities that can be undertaken in any time, once unlocked: the Tournament and Pokéwood. The Tournament is just what the name suggests: a competition between the best coaches from around the world, the perfect opportunity to strike longtime fans to the heart, pitting us against gym leaders and other well-known faces from previous episodes in a series of elimination challenges. Pokéwood, on the other hand, is a mini-game like the previous Pokémon Musical, but much more inspired and captivating: our pokémon can become movie stars in a series of scripts that mimic various movie genres. The most interesting thing is that you can make simple choices that modify the script, allowing us to customize the "film", in the hope that it will meet the tastes of the public and make us become richer and more famous, resulting in a shower of prizes and rewards. .




Readers (139)


Your vote

Pokémon White and Black version 2 it's a complicated business. It's the usual Pokémon, chock full of content that will keep players busy for tens of hours, and Game Freaks has also managed to come up with some truly enjoyable extra events. The problem is that everything else looks even more recycled than usual. It is the first time we have dealt with a sequel in the series, but the impression is that of simply being faced with what the developer was unable to put into the first cartridge. More than a sequel, it looks like an expansion: consequently, it's difficult to recommend it to those who have already thoroughly stripped the prequel, unless they are dying to return to Unova for five new pokémon and a little more history. Fortunately, the adventure is perfectly usable even by those who missed the first chapter and, in that case, Pokémon White and Black version 2 it is definitely recommended due to the wealth of content and various technical improvements.


  • Long-lived and rich as ever
  • Improved gameplay and interface
  • Great new extra content
  • Recycling at the highest level
  • Only five "new" Pok√©mon
  • Few news for those who have stripped the prequel

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