The sequel to the highly successful DS game Pokemon Black and White has finally arrived, and it’s launched on the Nintendo DS platform instead of being exclusive to the newer 3DS handheld, probably because Nintendo doesn’t want to neglect the gamers who have yet to upgrade and still play on their DSes.
Pokemon Black 2 is set in the same continuity as Pokemon Black and White, albeit in a different time. The game’s story is set roughly a couple of years after the events in Black and White and there are noticeable changes in the Unova region. There are new locations now open in the northeast and southwest parts of Unova, including the player’s new hometown, Aspertia City. The player will be given a choice to play as either the boy Kyouhei, or the girl Mei, and travel across the region in pursuit of the main rival, Hugh.
As mentioned above, the game is still made for the Nintendo DS and probably uses the same (or a modified version of the) Black and White engine, so don’t expect any major changes to the graphics outside of minor changes to the interface here and there. It still uses a subtle blend of 3D and 2D sprites, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Besides, if you’re looking for ultra HD super realistic oil-coated graphics, you’re playing the wrong handheld and the wrong game. Pokemon has always been about the addictive RPG/collecting gameplay first, and the graphics second.
Majority of the changes in Pokemon Black version 2 concerns new content instead of the technical aspects. Aside from the expected changes to the story and the additional pokemon to fight and collect, new Challenge and Assist Modes have been incorporated, which will raise and lower the strength of opposing trainers respectively, as well as the Memory Link, which contains flashbacks from the NPCs, allowing users who didn’t play Black and White to know what happened in the previous games, making Black and White 2 a standalone game, not requiring the purchase of the previous game just to know the full story.
Whether you’re new to the Pokemon franchise or not, picking up Pokemon Black 2 will be a good idea as it’s a deep and enjoyable enough portable RPG, and makes full use of what the DS hardware can offer. It’s even better if you’re a fan of the franchise, as Pokemon Black 2 is more than just the newest iteration of the franchise – it is currently the best representation of the series so far.