**

Let's Talk About: Pokémon and Black And White 2!


There is no doubt about it. Pokémon is the don, and I don't mean the Nas song. Somewhere on the internet, underneath the mounds and mounds of 'PokéMemes' you will find a thriving community of fans, and a beautiful and friendly one it is. Back in my younger years, around the time that the Pokémon craze began to die out in favour of other stuff (I think it may have been Digimon), I still quietly kept my passion alive for this franchise, most notably the games (although I love the manga too). I never would have though that years later, there would have been a whole bunch of people just like me on the internet, who just love to talk about their far from acute obsession. Really could've used the internet back then. Nowadays we have forums and websites, as well as YouTube, where official Pokémon games, as well as hacked Pokémon games have been let's played by ridiculous amounts of people, and people love to upload their own commentaries of their experiences of battling online. But way back when, it was just you and a Game Boy (I had a Game Boy Color), a link cable (if you were going to battle or trade with friends) and a cartridge of Pokémon Red, Blue or Yellow. Pokémon Red was the first game I ever owned and completed (I never caught all 151, but I beat the main storyline) and that simple yet wonderful game will always be a part of me, no matter how much saying that is going to reduce my chances of getting laid. 


The first generation of Pokémon was simple. 150 Pokémon, catch them all, get all the gym badges, beat the Elite Four. Bosh. Magic ensued. The graphics were primitive yet charming and the gameplay was easy to understand, however to master the battle system perfectly, you'd perhaps have to be a little older (or a child prodigy). Also, this generation was the generation in which Snorlax debuted. Snorlax is a true legend and really deserves a game of his own. Why do you think Hey You, Pikachu! sucked so much? Because it wasn't about Bo$$lax.


Of course 151 Pokémon just wasn't gonna cut it. There had to be more, and the second generation, in the forms of Gold, Silver and Crystal supplied us with another great adventure, one of the best in fact, as well as another 100 of the little belters. Sure, there are Pokémon traditionalists who believe that Nintendo should have just stuck with the original 151 Pokémon, but just slap them, they're not proper PokéFans. Anyway, the games of the second generation still had that familiar simpleness to them, except they were so much more. The game was absolutely huge. You could do so many new things and you could even go back to Kanto, the place in which the first set of games took place. Fans loved this feature in particular, as previously, once the Elite Four had been defeated, there was not really much in the way of after game. Unfortunately, something must have been lost in translation (the type of translation from fans to game developers) because this type of thing hasn't been done in a Pokémon game since. 



I have always whored the hell out of the Pokémon games but the games of the third generation (on the Game Boy Advance), Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, was the generation I probably played the most. I played my Ruby cartridge so much that the internal battery ran dry. These games were colourful and bright and the new Pokémon were just plain awesome. The music was okay, but the music wasn't as good as it used to be. Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald came from a nice part of Nintendo's life. Everything was about being social and this was something that Nintendo always promoted with the Pokémon franchise, but in this generation, I felt it was especially at its peak. I had a Game Boy Advance with Pokémon Ruby, while my cousin had Sapphire. I wanted particular Pokémon exclusive to Sapphire, while he wanted the ones that were exclusive to Ruby, so we met up and we did some trades via link cable. Man, I wanted Jirachi so bad... so I was finally able to get Jirachi using Josh's copy of Pokémon Channel and my GameCube to Game Boy Advance connection cable. And don't forget the whole shenanigans with secret bases. Good times. Praise Nintendo. 

It is sad to say, but despite having so much hype for the fourth generation, I didn't like Pearl, Diamond or Platinum much. To me, these games felt like some sort of Pokémon demo for the DS, they felt half-assed. The Pokémon were boring and unimaginative (except Munchlax), the storyline was stupid and if I could I'd just love to dismiss their existence from the Pokémon franchise all together. Sure, they introduced some cool new features to the games, like online battling and trading, as well as using Wi-Fi to visit people's secret bases, but apart from that, I couldn't stand these games. Cynthia can go burn in a hole.


Then came along Black and White, the fifth generation. I was excited, yet at the same time I was scared. All of the new Pokémon looked awesome this time round, but I was worried that the gameplay would suffer, just like the previous generation. When I first started playing White, up until the first gym I was thinking how boring it was and I even took to FaceBook to moan about how this may be the last Pokémon game I will ever play. Then I was taken by suprise and slowly started to fall in love. All the sprites of the Pokémon moved (when they were asleep their eyes shut, which was beyond awesome) and the storyline turned out to probably be one of the best ever once it really kicked off. So, Black and White were really good and they seemed like a step back in the right direction. It was like Nintendo had turned over a new leaf and realised what people wanted, well, except these games lacked the longevity of previous games (like what I mentioned about Gold and Silver), despite having masses of online play options to chose from... they never learn.


And I can't forget the two remakes, which kicked ass. FireRed and LeafGreen were great, although they can never beat the originals, as they added lots of new islands. These two games were also very exciting once second generation Pokémon were available to catch, as the jump from the Game Boy to Game Boy Advance meant we couldn't trade from Gold, Silver or Crystal, so this gave us a chance to re-catch 'em all. HeartGold and SoulSilver took Gold, Silver and Crystal and just made them even more awesome, as if they weren't awesome enough already, probably the best feature being the ability to have your Pokémon follow you in the overworld.
Now we come back to present day, where my hype for Black and White 2 is through the roof. Probably because of the awesome anime trailer that surfaced on the internet just a few weeks ago (I'll post it at the end of this article)! This game is the first time we've seen a sequel to another game, although I am pretty sure it is just a remake, like Emerald, Platinum etc. I even got the idea to import it from Australia, as they get it 'spring 2012' but then I realised spring in the land of Oz is Britain's version of Autumn. I realise that Japan have already got the game and this means it has been leaked on to the internets, however I would prefer to purchase and play the real thing when it has been officially translated. Tradition ftw. Some of the Pokémon have new forms (see Keldeo's awesome new form below), and there is a tonne of new features, plot lines and areas to explore. Let's just hope that this game is a fitting tribute to the style of gameplay that we all know and love, and that it doesn't jump off somewhere. I'm pretty interested to find out how these games will link back from to the plots of the original Black and White. Apparently there is a new feature called Memory Link, and when connecting Black and White with Black and White 2, it unlocks little extras in your game relating to your previous character, such as certain people talking about you and also you being able to battle Bianca, who uses the same team as she did in your previous game. Pretty cool really, it reminds me of the Pokémon fan club in FireRed and LeafGreen after mixing records.


So at the end of the day (Jeremy Kyle I see you), it is pretty clear that Pokémon kicks ass and for many of us, it is more than just a game. It is a memory of our childhoods, as well as something that never fails to make us feel happy. As we have grown up, this series has grown and improved with us, developing in to what it is today. It is really weird how a game can have such an amazing effect on all of us. This is hands down, one of the best game series ever invented and I'm pretty sure my life would have been totally different if Pokémon had never existed, it has helped me get in to so many new things that eventually came a big part of my life (for example Anime). Thank you Pokémon, god bless. Be sure to read my Black and White 2 review this autumn (haha)!

 
Alt:Mag © Kaizo Minds International 2017 | Layout designed by Rumah Dijual and Lewis Cox.