by, 21st March 2011 at 09:37 PM (408 Views)
I finished the main story last Friday. I took my sweet time, yep, but it was worth every moment. I have to say this is, if not the best, at the very least one of the best Pokémon games in the entire series. Wall of text ahead, you know.
The main factor that made Pokémon White an incredible experience was the plot and the characters. By and far, the best in the entire franchise. No ifs or buts. They truly blew everything they had done before out of the water. I mean it. We had an incredibly solid supporting cast not just with Cheren and Bianca, who are easily the best Rivals in the series, but also both Professor Junipers, the Champion Alder, and even the Gym Leaders themselves, who finally jumped into action and got intermingled with the whole thing all throughout. You can truly feel a rush of emotions in several points of the game, and these characters felt truly alive.
I think it's obvious that my favorite was Bianca. She was just the sweetest girl ever, and she really did her best and grew a whole lot throughout the journey. I really liked how she was always the last one to leave every gathering, leaving you and her all alone. As if we didn't have enough Shippy hints already. But yep... her sweet story, adorable and clumsy stunts, her major emotional moments, and her way of speaking, alongside all the hints of her with the main character really got to me. I wasn't mistaken when I felt Bianca would become one of my most favorite girls of all times. She'll probably go up, and another huge shake-up is likely in order actually. She still lacks confidence, but Bianca decided to only do what she can do, and do it the best she can. She was definitely one of the spotlights of the game as far as I'm concerned ~
Not to demerit Cheren, who went through serious and deep development, and realized strength is not everything there is in life. He was a bit conceited and jerkish through a good part of the game, but he reflected upon his experiences and grew alongside his Pokémon. Another excellent character, and the first male Rival since Wally I can say I like. Perhaps not as much, but there's other reasons for that, besides the obvious... >_>
Then there's N. The deepest antagonist in the series yet. I can't call him a villain, because he wasn't a bad person in any way. He just opposed your view and went all the way to achieve what he believed was the best, seeking his own truth, which had been carefully warped by goddamn Ghetsis. His conversation with you at the end brought me to tears... he really had a very difficult life, but was determined to find his own beliefs and ideals, and fix all his wrongs. Excellent character that really made you think about the series' premise, alongside his Team Plasma.
Team Plasma itself was also a very interesting take on an evil Team. They weren't evil in terms of their ideology, but their actions, and focusing on the people they ended up affecting for this, you really felt they were wrong all along. They really made you think, though. Of course, seeing different points of views was what enriched this game and the whole perception of the series. My only disappointment was the lack of higher-ups. The Sages didn't seem to be Trainers, besides Ghetsis. One of them gave the impression that he was going to battle you, but was stopped by one of your partners at the time. Also, more females. There was a particular lack of them, but the female Grunts were pretty. XP And of course, Ghetsis, the most heartless villain ever in Pokémon. All he did was truly terrible for N, and I hope he somehow gets what he deserves one day...
As I said above, the Gym Leaders were much more involved this time, and so you could get to know them better. They've become my favorite Gym Leader group in the franchise, as well. Johto finally met its match. My top favorites might still be the same old, but the Unova Leaders match up with them in the higher positions nonetheless. My most favorite of all was Clay. He was the most involved and the most interesting too, by far. I really liked Elesa, Skyla, Brycen, Drayden and Iris too. All of them were awesome. I only didn't think too much of the waiter trio, as they weren't too involved as the rest, but it's fine, as I never liked them that much anyway. I'll admit I notice them now at least, after meeting them. With excellent designs, sheer involvement, and surprising character depth, these Gym Leaders are just the best Pokémon has ever had.
The Elite Four does not fall behind, either. They were all very deep characters, especially Marshal. Grimsley and Shauntal were quite poetic and fun, too. Caitlin still felt snobbish, but at least she has an interesting background and very importantly, more lines. Alder, as said above, was a pretty interesting Champion as well. His past was hinted at, but I liked his laid-back behavior and wisdom a lot. He also knows what's important. All in all, an awesome man.
Unova was a very lively Region on par with the latter three ones. I did feel it was rather small, but not that much. There was a lot of places to explore, and a lot of nice scenery and landmarks. The awesome graphic effort was also noticeable, with all the camera effects, which really made the locations have more depth beyond their own aesthetics. Skyarrow Bridge and Dragonspiral Tower were outstanding! All the Gyms were very fun to navigate too. All in all, excellent work with Unova! And I'm not done yet. Regardless, it has easily tied Hoenn as my top favorite Region now. I also enjoyed all the "new beginning" feel throughout the game. Of special notice is the gates toward Victory Road, which were so reminiscing of RBY's Route 23, but much more awesome.
I already said a bit of the Pokémon a while ago, but I'll say it again: I love when Regions consist of as many truly new Pokémon as possible. Unova did this literal, and featured only 5th Gen Pokémon before beating the game. Excellent move, and much bolder than even Ruby/Sapphire, as there's not one old Pokémon family whatsoever. No matter, though. Black and White also raised the bar with 156 new Pokémon, officially surpassing Gen 1 as the most numerous Generation. Not just that, though. We were treated with a very awesome group of Pokémon native of Unova. My only disappointments are the Starters that, while very cool, could've been way better with different Types. Then there's the palette swap Genies, but they're not as bad after a while. They sure as hell could use more different poses, though. Also, a lot of Expies, but it's fine. All the Pokémon were very quirky, creative and quite powerful overall. I'll definitely get a whole lot of favorites from 5th Gen. :D
In terms of gameplay, it's truly satisfying. It has all the good from previous Generations, and a much-needed enhancement of gameplay speed from 4th Gen. Now it runs very fast and intense, and it's a much welcome change from 4th Gen's turtle speed. The Item menu has been overhauled, and despite the reduction of Bags, now there's an auto sort and a scrolling bar, which makes it extremely fast and seamless to get what you want. Definitely the best bag since 3rd Gen, if not even better. The rest of the menus and the PC Boxes are like HGSS, which isn't too good for the PC, but after getting used to what to do, it's not bad. I think HGSS didn't have the box list, either. If it didn't, major improvement right there as well.
Also, I thought I'd miss the Pokétch with the Marking Map and the Day Care App, but the game has two excellent solutions. For the first, leaving only one roaming Legendary per Version, and giving you a blatant indication of where he is, was an excellent solution. For the second, while you're breeding Pokés, once an Egg is made, and you're cycling around Route 3, if you pass through the Day Care Man's sight range, he'll shout out to you when an Egg is ready. It's more awesome than it sounds, and it's very convenient! This was a very nice surprise. Also, due to how things went, most other Apps became useless. Really, all that's missing is the Counter, which means, back to tracking EVs with paper and calculator. Not too bad, though. XD
When it comes to battling, this Generation didn't really make much innovations. Rotation Battles, I haven't tried, but they seem to be the most interesting change. Triple Battles are basically Double Battles + 1, and restriction in targeting, plus some new Moves to support it. Most new Moves don't help all that much, either, but many great Abilities and Items came along. Then again, I also believe there's really no more major improvements to make in the battle system after 4th Gen's Physical/Special Split, and despite the lukewarm additions to the battle scene, battles feel much more lively this time around. They really outdid themselves in this area as well. The completely and always animated Pokémon, the little details like asleep Pokémon closing their eyes, a dynamic camera, and a lot of help with attack, Ability and weather effects, really make up for the most lively battles ever in Pokémon, outside of console battling games. This is awfully good and it really is exciting to battle this time around. It took too long to get here, but finally, battles feel truly action packed, and not as bland as they used to be. Truly a major improvement in the game. Also, no more sluggish 4th Gen speed! It runs very quickly and smoothly. 8D
I have very few complaints with White, and it goes to show. Its good points are so good, the stuff that isn't in the game is completely ignorable. Unlike Diamond/Pearl, that were terrible games and a step backwards in a good deal of the advances made so far. By now, it's expected they're going to take out 3rd Version features until they start throwing some bones here and there, like the Elite Four rematches, which have become standard in this Generation. Plus, I'd rather not see features return if they're going to ruin them eventually (Hi HGSS Battle Frontier copy/paste). It's not like they completely removed stuff like rematches, either. The new level-up system is very helpful for raising low level Pokémon, as well. In fact, seeing how my Team was balanced in level, and I almost didn't have to grind at any moment of the game, and how I was comfortably on par with the game's current opponents, I'd say it's way better. Plus, with some tweaking, you can do some epic leveling up. It's simple and awesome.
Here's my complaints:
Difficulty - Even for Pokémon standards, these games were almost too easy. However, I have to say, the latter battles in the Victory Road and the League, as well as Team Plasma Castle, were very difficult at places. Mainly, Shauntal's Chandelure, and Ghetsis' Hydreigon. Both of them hit like nukes, and since my Team didn't have much in Special Defense, they almost swept me. Especially that goddamn Hydreigon! But yeah... I even handicapped myself somewhat. I had a triple weakness to Fighting and Ice in my Team, and I barely had a problem. They really made these games simple to get through, but it wasn't too bad in the end.
Inability to check Zekrom's Nature in time - Right after catching it, I had to fight N and Ghetsis in succession. No chance to bring out the Status screen, and the in-battle Status screen didn't show the Nature. OTL So I guess the only was was to catch Zekrom and let yourself be defeated by N/Ghetsis. Oh well... I guess a Sassy Zekrom isn't that bad. XD
Poké Transfer - I miss the Pal Park with all its limitations. The Poké Transfer is just too tedious. Perhaps even more tedious. Also, it eats battery of two DS's like nobody's business. You have to keep wireless communications on while you're playing and transferring. Ughhhh!! I'm really growing lazy about transferring my Platinum Pokémon now, but guess I'll have to deal with it. XD
That's all my complaints, really. These games surpassed every single expectation I had, and let me tell you, they were very high. As far as I'm concerned, these two are easily, and by far, the best pair Versions of the entire series. The excellent gameplay, plot, characters, great Pokémon pool, astounding music score, and well done 3D effects and battle dynamics make Pokémon White an extremely solid entry in the series. It's one I'll remember fondly, and might even revive if a 3rd Version comes around. All in all, I give a 10 to this game. GameFreak truly outdid themselves with this entry, which sets up the 5th Generation to an epic start. The best Pokémon game in a while, easily one of the best in the series, and quite possibly one of my most favorite games of all times. I'm dead serious.
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