Pokémon Scarlet & Violet vs. Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: Full Comparison

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet vs. Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: Full Comparison

The Pokemon franchise has come a long way since its humble beginnings on the Game Boy. Pokemon games have appeared on many Nintendo consoles throughout the year. On each platform, the Pokemon series has advanced and grown massively. Today, we’re comparing the last mainline Pokemon game on the Nintendo DS to the latest game on the Nintendo Switch.

We’re breaking down the differences between Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. These are two vastly different games from two very different generations, but both titles represent major points in the franchise. By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to about Black 2/White 2 and Scarlet/Violet.

The Games

A promotional image for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

©Nintendo – Original

Pokemon Black 2/White 2 is the first direct sequel to a Pokemon game. In previous generations, an improved third version was released after the initial paired games launched. Generation V changed that tradition with a direct sequel set two years after the original Pokemon Black and White games.

This change in the Pokemon formula was well-received with high critic reviews. Instead of retelling the same story for a third time, Black 2/White 2 told a brand new story with fresh content. Although Black 2/White 2 was something very new for the franchise, it didn’t sell very well for a Pokemon game. The title has only sold a little over 7 million copies worldwide.

While Black 2/White 2 didn’t do amazingly in sales, Scarlet/Violet has become one of Nintendo’s biggest hits. The open-world Pokemon game was the most preorder entry in the series. Scarlet/Violet has sold over 22 million copies worldwide. Generation IX will, without a doubt, go down as one of the most memorable titles in the series.

CategoryDiamond/PearlBlack 2/White 2
Release Year20222012
Total Units Sold22.66 million 7.81 million
ConsoleNintendo SwitchNintendo DS

The Regions

As a direct sequel, Black 2/White 2 is set in the same region as Pokemon Black & White. During the two-year time skip between the original and the sequel, the Unova region has changed a lot. The design of the Unova region is still based on New York City, but certain parts have been closed off, and new areas have been added. Just like in the real New York City, there’s always construction happening in Unova.

While the Unova region changes over time, the Paldea region in Scarlet/Violet combines elements of the past and the future. Pokemon from the prehistoric past and far-distant future wander around the region. Influences from the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra, can be seen in Paldea’s architecture and music. Paldea is a truly unique Pokemon region.


A promotional image for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

©Nintendo – Original

Black 2/White 2 carries over many of the features and mechanics introduced in Black & White. While some things are the same, others are very different. Black 2/ White 2 does offer new mechanics that didn’t exist in the original.

  • They introduce a Challenge Mode and an Easy Mode, which raise and lower the strength of opposing Trainers.
  • Pokemon World Tournament: Players can battle Gym Leaders and Champions from all five regions, bringing back classic characters. 
  • Pokestar Studios: A new feature that allows players to make their own movies with Pokemon. 
  • Trainers can earn medals, which act as achievements in-game. 
  • Every Trainer in the game has their own battle animations, along with the Pokemon.
  • Move Tutors return from Pokemon Platinum that teaches moves for Shards. 
  • During the two-year time skip, Ghetsis formed a new Team Plasma and led the team again.
  • Several areas previously limited to the post-game of Black/White are now part of the main story.

Black 2/White 2 aren’t the only games to invoate on the Pokemon formula. Scarlet/Violet introduced new ways of having Pokemon battles and new methods of traversing the Paldea region. Generation IX offers the most freedom out of any previous Pokemon game.

  • Scarlet/Violet has a new battle gimmick called the Terastal phenomenon. Pokémon are able to change their typing in the middle of a battle to increase the power of certain moves.
  • New Pokémon from both the past and future have been brought to the current day called Paradox Pokémon. These Pokémon have new typings than their current-day counterparts.
  • Players will use their Legendary Pokémon, Koraidon or Miraidon, to traverse the expansive Paldea region.
  • Up to four players are able to simultaneously engage in multiplayer. Players can trade, battle, and travel through the game together.

Gym Battles

An in-game screenshot from Pokémon Black 2.

Although both titles follow the classic eight gym leaders, Elite Four, and Pokemon Champion format, they have significant changes. During the two years between Black/White and Black 2/White 2, the roster of opponents has changed. Cheren, Roxie, and Marlon are new gym leaders, and the previous Champion, Iris, has been replaced with Alder. In Black 2/White 2, players will face new Pokemon with different tactics than the ones they faced in the original.

In Scarlet/Violet, players still have to collect eight gym badges in order to challenge the Elite Four, but this time there’s a twist. Players don’t have to take down the gym leaders in a specific order like in previous games. Any gym leader can be challenged at any time and in any order. This gives players a level of freedom befitting an open-world game.

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