B2W2 in retrospect is possibly the best Pokemon outing yet
by, 26th January 2013 at 11:06 AM (423 Views)
I gave the story flak, and I didn't appreciate much what it did for the series on a whole. So consider this a kind of review/love letter to what may be GF opus magnum swansong for the DS. Review's gonna be in 3 parts, cause I have a lot to say, as is apparent by the below article.
Unova in BW was interesting, and it had a lot going for it. The region although linear, had interesting routes, and some really fleshed out ones as well. I mentioned that in the favorite region thread because it truly is a masterpiece on how to build routes. However, the region was lacking, and the truly linear nature of it did not help at all. Enter B2W2. 6 or so new routes, 4 new rural colonies, a massively reworked Victory Road, several new dungeons, and an amazingly beautiful underwater portion, all were added to the games with varying quality.
The route through the region is quite linear as always, but it was done in such a way where it didn't feel as bad as it did in BW. Pokemon was always a point A to point B game, but B2W2 really stepped it up. The addition of travelling with various means, even if they were small additions, added some layer, and the brilliance that Undella Town has to be noted. Castelia might be the center of Unova, but man oh man do I love how Undella is basically the hub of travelling for Eastern Unova.
As for the actual routes some noteworthy additons had been made, especially the brilliance of route 23. All the other routes were natural in their form, either being the opening routes, or a route for the sake of being a route(the one between Undella and Humilau), but route 23 is a dangerously brilliant time waster. It gives you an optional puzzle, on an optional extension to the route that leads to the Victory Road, something that hasn't happened year, and some really good trainer battles to get you prepared. It fills a void that a lot of the Pokemon games have, and that's the option to do some final training outside of the Victory Road. I understand that the victory road is supposed to do that, but as a final challenge, I was always irked at how the route before it never gave you some training as well.
Another thing to note is that the dungeons this time round made us realize in a really subdued way that they don't have to be 5 floors of otherworldly architecture to be deep and rewarding. If its a cave, then it should be 1 floor, but with varying levels, not Mount Moon or the Ice Path. Chargestone Cave and Twist Mountain gave us the foundations for it, but Reversal Mountain and The E4 built the rest of this. Both are single floored, with the exception to the exits, Hetran's room and a random ranger battle, but have multiple layers that all intertwine. Undella Cave doesn't do much in this department however, with it being somewhat lack luster in terms of size and usefulness. Just a boring way to fill the game before the juicy bits.
Then we come to the man made stuff, which like the natural dungeons, had foundations in BW, and was built on here. Both Castelia Sewers and Team Plasma's Frigate are excellent dungeons. Castelia Sewers not only is a maze, but when you get to really exploring it, the awesome surprise at the end really gives you a rewarding end to your endeavor, and promotes exploration more then anything in the game. TPF on the other hand, like BW, give us an alternative to the Team Bases, and is a nice twist on the whole TP is mobile thing. The puzzle was nice, and I liked how for the 2nd bit, I have B2 btw, they made you battle the trainers to get the password.
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