Step Forewards: Zooming sprites, fluid animation, tms unlimited.
Step backwards: Same graphics engine as DP, removed features (to be added at later date in grey/dlc), linearness
There really wasn't anything in the gameplay to improve other than adding adding new battles, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Random Match-Ups were indeed a step into the right direction, but the GTS remains the same with its insane offers. Once the move tutors return, then the series is perfect.
Defiantly, the games brought so much to the franchise, and evolved it into something much better. They do have their flaws, but these are not large enough to hinder the overall picture.
The plot in Black & White is great, as evident by the huge amount of praise. It isn't the most original, but I think what this plot so notable and memorable is that, unlike the past games, it actually involved the characters, as opposed to the players just passing it whenever they feel like it. In past games, you had no sort of attachment to the villainous teams, but Black & White actually engaged you and the characters with Plasma.
The characters themselves are also an improvement, as they have their own development and their own personalities, aside from being the usual helping character. And even though the player doesn't have any dialogue, they did help other characters in one way or the other.
I also personally loved the fact that the cities and the region itself was given it's own memorable feel. And the Pokémon introduced in those games were great and actually useful. In the past games, there would always be a few Pokémon that were useless, or easily surpassed, but I haven't found a Pokémon that I didn't enjoy using in Black & White.
And finally, all the features introduced are more than welcome, and they enhanced the experience. So overall, yes, they were a leap in the right direction.
I did love what it did to make the game world more realistic, but I despised the changes that were made to prioritize "practical" before the aforementioned "realistic".
Obviously voting "Both".
I'd say it evens out somewhere.
- Unbreakable TMs. I've read the reason for this was that people were hoarding the once use TMs and never ended up using them. Boy were they right on that one.
- Triple and rotation battles. I dreaded the idea of triple battles, I hate double battles. However I ended up loving them and becoming pretty good at them. Still hate doubles though. P:
- The dex. More new pokemon than even first gen and no old ones until the post game. I remember someone asking what we would want most in the new games and I had said something to the effect of, "A regional dex without pikachu." and I was told not to hold my breath. I finally got my wish. \o/
- The fact you are often asked before being engaged in a triple or rotation battle. I used to actively avoid in game double battles, this made it easier for those who didn't want it.
- The zooming in the sprites was a bad choice graphically. I love pixel sprites but they were not meant to be zoomed in on in that kind of setting.
- The PC system. HGSS had my favourite, DPPt was a close second. The one in BW just seems more awkward in comparison. At least in HGSS the box list stayed there when you were moving things.
- The lack of VS seeker. Even HGSS had the phone calls (and you could even call certain people besides the Gym Leaders for rematches on certain times and days). It's been a long time since they've taken that away from us.
- Not being able to take items. Those TMs were not the only things we were hoarding. So much berry growing and now they have to stay there. The Dream World has really helped restock my EV berries but I so miss my event berries. :c
- Black City and White Forest. The concept is really interesting, the fact that it empties so quickly and can't be replenished without someone else nearby is very hindering.
- Entralink. Again, hard when people can't get someone else nearby to help. Wifi has been a wonderful addition to the series and it would have been much more helpful if there had been an option for that with this. As the pass powers, when you can actually get them, can be very helpful.
I think I'm not regretting playing Black and White. The improvements, I think, outweigh the shortcomings the the games have. Especially when great improvements outweigh minor shortcomings, like speedier battles and text, streamlined battle progression, improved frame rate, general aesthetic improvements, a more flexible events system that stores more event data... OK, let's just say that I cannot go back to an earlier generation.
I would say that Gen V's biggest steps forward (making TMs reusable, eliminating the need to duck into a Pokémon Center to trade with someone 3 feet away, the moving sprites and general graphical updates, as well as some other stuff I can't remember right now) outweighed its steps backward (eliminating the cool touchscreen stuff that HGSS gave us, mainly). Thus, Gen V was definitely a step in the right direction.
I can think of only a few things that were a step backward:
- The removal of HGSS' brilliant touch-screen menu and permanent run features.
- The prompt to turn on the C-Gear every time you load a file.
- I do miss the "walking Pokémon" gimmick, though this is rather minor.
Other than that, everything else was a wonderful step in the right direction. The plot was much more involved and the battle system has continued to stand its ground while naturally improving, which are the two biggest things that I hoped for from this game. In addition, the two games were notably distinct from one another, which I find to be a very good thing, and there are a ton of minor additions (variable soundtracks, ability to trade anywhere, etc.) that make the game much more enjoyable. The series continues to steadily improve here.
I believe Black and White were a step in the right direction. The constantly moving sprites and full bodied back sprites seemed to make battling more lively. TMs being reusable was a nice feature. Having the Pokémart in the Pokémon Center was very convenient. Towns/cities, among other places, were much more enjoyable to explore. The music was pretty nice, too. Personally, what I enjoyed most was the story and characters.
My only complaints come from a lack of interaction with the bottom screen (B/W's C-Gear isn't as useful as DPP's Pokétch or HGSS's touchscreen menu), the removal of the Vs. Seeker, and the triple/rotation battles. I really enjoyed double battles, and triple/rotation battles are quite fun, but I wish there were more in-game.
Naw. It didn't do anything besides introduce more pokemon.
Gen II brought us breeding and genders.
Gen III brought us a revamped IV/EV system and a vastly improved box system.
Gen IV brought us the special/physical split.
And Gen V brought us...what? Purrdy graphics? (. .)
I think it was quite a step forward. I mean, the animated sprites, the reusable TMs, the faster battle system, the Unova-only-PKMN-in-the-'Dex, the Dream World, the two (3 with N) rivals......they all seem to trounce whatever was introduced before.
The plot, in fact, seemed to be a little more mature for the PKMN games. That I like.
And I don't really care about the touchscreen controls. It doesn't matter.
Heck, my only complaint is this:
That's pretty much it.
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I'll go along with the consensus here and say it was a step forward. Most of what they did was innovative and neat.
However, the major thing they lack is poststory content. That was the biggest step backwards.
@Articwolf10 : the thread asked if it was a step in the right direction. Considering the poststory content that DP had, I definitely think it's a step in the wrong direction in that context.