Pokémon Black Version Review: 5 Reasons To Buy

Two legendary Pokemon in Black and White.

Pokémon Black Version Review: 5 Reasons To Buy

An oldie but a goodie, Pokemon Black, first released in the 2010s, is the game that took players to the Unova region of the Pokemon world. There, the players discovered all-new ways to get around, and like every title, has graphical updates. But this time around, there have been major shake-ups that change the very formula of this Pokemon Adventure.

Two legendary Pokemon in Black and White.

©Pokemon.com – Original

Much like the plot of the other games, you play as either a male or female trainer of your choosing. And a fun fact! Their default names are Hilbert and Hilda respectively. As Hilbert is recognized as the canon master of Pokemon Masters and Hilda is the protagonist of Pokemon Black in Pokemon Evolutions.
At the beginning of the game, you start in the humble town of Nuvema. There, you go to meet the first female professor, Juniper, who in turn gives you your standard starter set of Pokemon.

But unlike other games, you don’t get one rival to fight against. Oh no, this time, you get several, and you’ve known each other since you were little.

Furthermore, unlike other games, which had regions based on Japanese prefectures (which are roughly similar to States or regions), Unova is based on cities like New York.

Finally, unlike the others, this game did not receive a remaster. Instead, it got a direct sequel in the form of Pokemon Black 2.

So, let’s go over 5 reasons to buy this old but still well-loved game!

5. Connection to other devices.

One of the biggest changes introduced in Pokemon Black was the ability to connect your DS to another without the use of a cable. Done solely through Wifi, this new feature allowed players to engage in Pokemon Battles across the world. What’s more, unlike the DS’s previous connections, this one was far more secure, using a revised WPA2 encryption instead of a WEP encryption.

For those not in the tech know, this meant it was less likely for your game to be hacked. It also makes it easier to connect to other players.

4. New Pokemon!

As with every new Pokemon game, there is an entire roster added to the ever-growing list of Pokemon. Standouts from Pokemon Black include the fearsome Excadrill (yes, that’s a pun on Excalibur), the edgy Zorodark, the mysterious Chandelure, and of course, the Legendary Zekrom.

In total, there were 156 Pokemon added to the Pokedex with the release of this game, bringing the number up to 493 at the time. What’s more, there are only Pokemon native to this region throughout the game, Pokemon from gens I-IV aren’t appearing.

3. New Region!

The Unova region is just as wide as its variety of Pokemon. The most obvious one? The twin rivers, which seem nice on the surface, but are remarkably dangerous. They are reported to be polluted to the point where no life can be sustained in them. Which is problematic, considering that they lead into the sea. So much so that Pokemon nor humans can Surf on the water, otherwise they would likely melt from the pollution.
Unlike other regions, their roads do not follow the same number system that others do with a jump. Instead, the roads are numbered starting from 1 to 23. Essentially resetting the system from the ground up.

2. New Rivals!

Like the previous titles, Pokemon Black has a childhood friend turned rival to battle throughout the story. Except, unlike those stories, you don’t get one rival, but two. Cheren and Bianca. Cheren is a Gym Leader, and someone, much like you, who wants to be a Pokemon Champion. Bianca, on the other hand, is more of a free spirit. She’s less interested in battles and is more or less just using the Pokemon thing as an excuse to travel around.

What separates these two from other rivals is that they have their character arcs rather than just being guys you run into from time to time. Cheren, for example, has a very one-track mind, but grows out of said mindset by the time of the sequel. While Bianaca’s story is about finding a focus for her life. Essentially, the two learn from each other.

And in turn, you get a pair of satisfying rivals who aren’t just obstacles in your way. So all in all, a pretty good deal!

1. A pretty good plot!

The majority of Pokemon game plots started as basically the same. Travel from town to town, collect Pokemon, and train them along the way. Encounter and defeat Gym Leaders, earn their badges, and take on the final boss. Along the way, you do have to deal with the local crime element in the form of a Team (such as Team Rocket, Team Earth, etc.). But those are usually side stories and even then, it’s fairly simple. Stop them from unleashing a calamity by accident, or from stealing Pokemon from trainers.

But Pokemon Black poses a question that’s been lurking in the background. Is it okay to make these creatures fight for our amusement?

Even the local Team Plasma has questions about this setup, though they do tend to go about it the wrong way. One of the leaders, N, has many concerns that have lingered in the back of a player’s mind. With an engaging backstory that makes the player understand where he’s coming from.

Throughout the story, we learn more about the Pokemon world and come to understand that it is more than just Pokemon battles. Bianca, for example, takes up Pokemon Husbandary, a distinctively non-combat career path.

All in all, Pokemon Black’s story is one of the highlights of the game. And it’s the number one reason why a player should pick this game up.

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