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Early Impressions on Pokemon Black & White

18/09/2010

I just “got” the Pokemon Black & White today and had some fun with it ever since. I know I should’ve done something more important but my mood really wasn’t into that. Hope I won’t be doomed on Monday. XP Anyways, onwards with the photospam and commentaries!

To tell you the truth, I played the White version on my DS while the Black version just for this impression post. I’m not gonna really play Black for the time being as I’ll most likely play it when the English versions of the games are released next year. Heh.

When you turn on the game, you get the usual Pokemon Company and Gamefreaks credentials and then a short, but darn cool, animation sequence. After all that cool animation, you get a shadowed shot of the main legendary of the game which depends on the version you are playing. Reshiram for Black and Zekrom for white. Then you’ll finally get to the first menu screen whereby you can finally start your Pokemon journey!

The first person you’ll meet, obviously a Pokemon Professor, is Professor Araragi who will introduce the world of Pokemon and of course…

…ask whether you are a boy or girl. I picked to play as a boy for White (he looks better IMHO) but I decided to try out the girl while playing Black for this write-up. The good thing about Japanese games nowadays is that they will let you type in alphabets for names though it will be more limited in the number of characters you can type in. After that…

You’ll also be accompanied by two friends (rivals) in this game, Cheren and Bell. Yay, now you’ll have to battle 2 trainers!

Transition to the NEXT scene!

You see a nice “Spring” sign which tells you the current in-game season since this game uses a seasons system for certain Pokemon evolutions IIRC. After that, the camera moves slowly from the clouds in the sky towards the main character’s house. At the same time, you can see Professor Araragi walking and then out of the house. Transition into the main character’s room and we have all the three kids in there talking about a present from the professor. Guess what she gave?

YES! Starter Pokemons! ALL MINE!!! Oh wait, one for each of them. D:
Pokabu, Tsutarja and Mijumaru. Enter your not so cool starter Pokemon… and they aren’t really that good either contrary to past starters.

After you pick your starter, you’ll have your first Pokemon battle with Bell. She will pick the Pokemon which has a type disadvantage to yours though you can’t manipulate that fact yet. One thing I find odd is how Pokemon are released from their Pokeballs in this game. They come out in mid-air and literally drop onto the ground with a thud. O.o
Interestingly, the Pokemon are more lively than usual and, if I’m not mistaken, they are rendered in 3D just like almost everything else in the game now. Due to the first battle…

Your room gets wrecked! OH SNAPS! However, the next battle awaits you. Don’t ret, Cheren is a sport and heals your Pokemon before the battle. He’ll have the Pokemon with the type advantage against you.

If you manage to beat them off (since you have a good chance of losing) you’ll get a total of 1000 Yen (500 Yen each) and they will leave your messy room. To be truthful, I lost to Cheren in this game. ^^;

Before continuing on, let’s see how the new menu is…

For the Pokemon menu, you get your usual screens and you can touch your Pokemon for some reactions! FYI, the X button at the lower right will let you get out of the menu screen instant while the U will return to the previous screen.

You can touch the bag components as usual to shift around a usual. Right now I totally have nothing.

Trainer menu. When you open the menu, you might confused, like me, as to why you can only see the Gym Leaders. Clicking the lower left button on the touch screen will then let you see your trainer card which you flip and sign. FYI, “Cheer” is the closest game name I’ve used to my real name. >.>

Save screen.

Options screen. Don’t forgot to change your message speed to “fast” if you aren’t too keen on reading so much Japanese text and just laying through the game.

After looking through the available menu options, I continued on with the game.

A Wii!

I stopped the game for a while to do other stuff and continued again. This is how the main menu will look like after you have a saved game.

Go down and you’ll see them explain the “situation” to Mama.

Weirdly, Mama is all fine with the mess and will clean it up later herself. Amazing. O.o
She then gives the main character a “Live Caster” if I read it right. Every time you get a key item, as far as I’ve seen, there will be a pop-up showing said item. Good for those who are not native Japanese gamers like me. XP

After that chase after your friends.

A rather unnecessary scene but nice to see that the DS has so much power left untapped.

Look, sparkly waters!

To progress with the story, go to Bell’s house situated at the bottom left. You’ll see her dad raging and she walks out of the house to…

…Professor Araragi’s laboratory. The professor will look at your Pokemon and you’ll be allowed to keep and nickname your Pokemon, finally. She’ll then, as all Pokemon Professors do…
I’ve been waiting young girl(s) and young boy!

A Pokedex! So far when playing this game, you get your stuff fairly fast! Which is really good but somehow I felt there were quite a bit more story elements this around. Not that it is bad move since a game with story will make me want to play the game more. Well, it would fuel me more if I can completely understand the game but I don’t since I shift through the dialogue pretty fast. ^^;

After that, she’ll move out of the lab for the next session.

Suddenly, you Mama appears to give you an all important Town Map! I miss the PokeGear now… since it is back to the old Key Items pouch method. D:

Continue on to the top right path until another cutscene.

FYI, every time you enter another area, you’ll see a nice sign on the top telling you the name of the area as per usual.

Araragi will teach em’ how to catch em’ Pokemon. Right after that, she will give you 5 Pokeballs to use! Wow, you can catch Pokemon the moment you start walking into the grassy areas in this game! Very, very nice.

Before continuing on, here is the new Pokedex.

The new Pokedex has a slide up screen and has the now common dual screen moniker ala DS. You can also see the new region, Isshu, from the screenshots above. The map is done really well this time around. Very detailed.

Continue on until you meet a girl who will give you your first Potion! YES! FINALLY! I really wished I had it before though…

Go along the route, catch Pokemon as you wish, train your starter and you’ll get another cutscene when you hit the entrance to the next town. Nice art for the “Live Castor” scene I have to admit. I decided to remove some text layers using the emulator’s settings to take the nice extra screenshot above. ^^

Welcome to “Karakusa Town”. You’ll be introduced to the new Pokemon Center/Mart hybrid place when you meet up with Araragi at the place in the screenshot.

I stopped here for this short run I did since my main game is on my DS (although not the “real thing” either) and is the White version. My sister is playing the Black version as well so there is little to no point for me to continue this unless I want to do a visual walkthrough or something. Haha.
Note: You get your Running Shoes, finally, after leaving the second town.

Overall, the game is actually pretty good and makes a nice sequel thus far. I’ve only played until the first gym on my main game so I can’t really say so much but the game isn’t really the usual thing. Your starter doesn’t get the starter hax anymore, it seems to be as leveled as every other Pokemon so maybe running the one Pokemon team will be harder now.

Animations, oh my gawd, animations! There are so many animations as well as small animated details here and there for this game. You can see the grass moving with the breeze and the sakura petals floating in the sky. Best of all, these animations does not tax the system at all! Unless you run it on an emulator though. The Pokemon are more livelier now then they ever was. Pokemon trainers also exhibit more animated movements though not really more than throwing a Pokeball and making a remark when they are losing but more animations are present now.

The menu is a little disappointing though since you’ll have to open it via the X button unlike Heart Gold and Soul Silver whereby you can press the menu items anytime. Thus, the bottom screen is mostly blank right now unless there is something obtainable later on which I don’t know of (since I actually didn’t spoil myself much before “getting” this game).

The camera is also abused a lot in this game, we gets lots of zoom ins. When we enter a building, when a Pokemon battle is initiated, when Pokemon is brought out and attacked/initiating an attack and so on. It makes the world seem to move and not something you just see through an overview rectangular screen.

If you are a Pokemon fan and loved HG/SS, you will love this one as well. Take my word for it. It is quite fun, it even has a more story elements! We get tons of characters as well. So, if you got the cash or maybe the right “links” you can have fun with the game as well.

Emulator used: Desmume 0.9.6
ROM: Patched

That’s all from me for now. *Soul is now lost to Pokemon again.*

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryu permalink
    18/09/2010 10:45 pm

    Pirates!

  2. 19/09/2010 5:50 am

    I have yet to get a DS eventho I wanted to get one just to polay HG/SS xD
    Black n White looks pretty good! but I seriously don’t like the starter pokemons =/ is it me or are they getting weirder and weirder?

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