Important Importables Review: Pokemon Black

October 10, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports Review: Pokemon Black

Section: Reviews, Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, Role-Playing

Pokemon Black DS

Title: Pokemon Black
Price: $64
System(s): DS
Release Date: September 18, 2010
Publisher (Developer): Nintendo (Game Freak)
ESRB Rating: N/A, Cero A for All Ages.
Pros: All new region and characters, 156 new pokemon, pokemon can take part in musicals, there are day and night phases as well as seasons, animated battle sprites, some 3D environmental features and can battle the Elite 4 in any order. 3 on 3 and rotating battles join typical one on one and two on two battles. There are also the Pokemon Global Link and Dream World, which lets you encounter pokemon not in the game.
Cons: Region-locked so only Japanese DSis can play it. People will either love or hate the new pokemon designs. Can’t transfer items from other Pokemon games and players can’t trade pokemon from other entries until after Team Plasma and the Elite Four are beaten.
Overall Score: 9/10

Fortune has smiled upon me and I’ve been able to borrow a friend’s copy of Pokemon Black, so this week Hot Japanese Imports will go through a full review of the latest entry in the series. Pokemon Black

Pokemon Black

Traversing Isshu, catching pokemon and thwarting Team Platinum

Pokemon Black has all the hallmarks of a typical portable Pokemon game. Players are able to travel through an unfamiliar continent as a male or female avatar, in the hopes of researching to fill a pokedex, training pokemon and battling to become a pokemon champion. This journey starts out slightly differently than before, as there are now two friendly rivals from the same town as you, Cheren and Belle, and the hometown’s pokemon professor is a woman, Professor Araragi.

Of course, the land of Isshu isn’t quite peaceful. While players are journeying they’ll often run into Team Plasma, the Team Rocket and Team Galactic of Pokemon Black. Team Plasma are troublemakers, but their intentions are quite different than other Pokemon series teams – they want to free pokemon from humans, rather than steal and capture them to abuse their powers.

So, all in all, it’s the same routine. Grab your pokeballs and your favorite pokemon team and head out to capture more pokemon and fight any other trainers to prove you’re the best.

Pokemon Black

Filled with lots of new features, and a with a few annoying quirks

Pokemon Black manages to make the whole Pokemon RPG experience feel new again. The two friendly rivals help make the story seem more like group effort to journey throughout the world and stop Team Plasma, rather than a solo experience to single-handedly take on the world. All of the new pokemon and 3D environments also rejuvenate the series, as Isshu truly looks like no other region in the Pokemon world. As for the new pokemon themselves, there’s a wide assortment and, as usual, players will have no trouble accepting the new creatures and picking out new favorites for an almighty team.

One of the changes that I found most helpful is also one of the most simple. Pokemon centers, the Global Trading System and pokemarts in the game have been combined into one building. So no matter what town you’re in, you know if you head to that one building that you can find all your pokemon healing, item and online needs. The local and online wi-fi sections are the biggest help, since you don’t have to try and remember what town had the Global Trading System to exchange pokemon online.

As good as Pokemon Black is, it isn’t without its minor flaws. Most notable is the way it connects to previous Pokemon games, like Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum and Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver. You can’t start trading pokemon with those games right away – you must first actually beat the main storyline. Also, items imported from those games can’t hold items as extra gifts for Pokemon Black owners. Most unfortunate is the fact that Pokemon Black is a DSi-enhanced game, meaning that DSi and DSi XL owners who don’t own Japanese DSi or DSi LL units can’t play this version. They have to wait until 2011 when their region’s versions are available.

At least the game connectivity issue is made more bearable by two new additions to the series, the Dream World and Global Link. The Dream World lets players sent a pokemon into the Dream World via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to allow players to expand their pokedex to include pokemon not seen in Isshu. The Global Link accomplishes the same thing, except that it allows players to head to the Global Link website to actually catch pokemon from other regions. You can also update your C-Gear, grow berries and get extra content like a new musical feature or pokedex entries by uploading data to the Global Link and playing online. You can even battle random people over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on your DS to boost your Global Link ranking.

Pokemon Black

A refreshing new look at the world of Pokemon

Pokemon Black is refreshing. It isn’t terribly innovative or unique, but it does greatly improve upon one of Nintendo’s most popular series. While there are lots of new things to see and do, it still provides a nostalgic gaming experience that will warm the heart of any Pokemon fan. Some features are a bit troublesome, like how you can’t connect to other games until you’ve pretty much beaten Pokemon Black, but overall it’s another must-have for any DS owner’s library.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports talks about K-ON!.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports looked at Nippon Ichi Software.

Site [Pokemon Black (Japanese)] Site [NIS America] Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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