Pokémon is an iconic franchise that has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide for more than two decades. Two notable entries in the series are Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2. Released roughly a year apart for different Nintendo handhelds, these games each offer a full-featured Pokémon experience and have their unique appeal to fans.
If you’re wondering how they stack up or just deciding which one to play first, then we’ll offer up a comprehensive comparison of these titles. Our side-by-side guide covers everything you need to know, including available Pokémon, pros and cons, and other notable aspects of each title.
Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: Release Year and Platforms
Let’s begin by looking at the release years and platforms for each game:
|Pokémon Black 2 & White 2||2012||Nintendo DS|
|Pokémon X & Y||2013||Nintendo 3DS|
Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 were released in 2012 for the Nintendo DS and are part of the fifth generation of games. At the time, the DS was late in its lifecycle, and the Nintendo 3DS had already launched the year prior. Pokémon X & Y launched the following year in 2013. This pair kicked off the sixth Pokémon generation and were the first flagship games in the series released on Nintendo’s newer handheld.
Total Units Sold
A Pokémon game’s sales performance is the best objective indicator of its popularity. Here’s how Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 fared in terms of total units sold:
- Pokémon X & Y sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. This ranked them among the best-selling titles in the series.
- Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 sold over 8 million copies worldwide. While still successful, they did not reach the same level of commercial success as X & Y.
Along with achieving higher worldwide sales, Pokémon X & Y also received higher review scores from fans and critics than Black 2 & White 2. The introduction of 3D graphics and new gameplay mechanics in X & Y helped to successfully launch the series on the next-generation Nintendo handheld.
Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: Available Pokémon
The number of available Pokémon in a new game is crucial for many players. (We don’t have to remind fans about the controversy surrounding the removal of the National Dex from Pokémon Sword and Shield.) Here’s how Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 compare in this respect:
Pokémon X & Y: Introducing the sixth generation of games, X & Y feature 721 Pokémon with 72 new ones entering the Pokédex. Notable new additions include the starter Pokémon Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, as well as Sylveon, Dedenne, Xerneas, and Yveltal. They also introduced Mega Evolution, a gameplay mechanic that allows certain Pokémon to transform mid-battle.
Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: These games are set in the Unova region and feature familiar Pokémon from the fifth generation. In total, they included 649 Pokémon. As direct sequels to Black & White, these entries didn’t introduce any new Pokémon but expanded upon the existing lore and story of the Unova region.
Stand-Out Characters and Factions
In addition to the gameplay and unique creatures, the Pokémon series is known for its memorable characters and regional factions that drive the story in each game. Here are some of the stand-out characters and teams you’ll encounter in Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2:
Pokémon X & Y
Lysandre and Team Flare: Lysandre, the enigmatic leader of Team Flare, is the primary antagonist in Pokémon X & Y. His charismatic demeanor and goal of using the ultimate weapon to “restore” the world make him a compelling villain. Team Flare’s style and extravagance starkly contrast their nefarious intention to wipe out most of the planet’s population.
Professor Sycamore: Professor Augustine Sycamore is the genial Pokémon Professor of the Kalos region. His role extends beyond that of earlier Pokémon professors, as he takes a more active role in aiding players throughout their journey by offering guidance and support. His friendly attitude and youthful, stylish appearance make him a favorite.
Lysandre Labs: This research facility, headed by Lysandre, plays a major role in the plot. It’s here that players discover the shocking truth about Lysandre’s plans.
Pokémon Black 2 & White 2
N and Team Plasma: N, a complex character with a deep connection to Pokémon, is central to the story of Pokémon Black 2 & White 2. His moral ambiguity and unique perspective on the relationship between humans and Pokémon make him one of the most compelling characters in the series. N’s relationship with Team Plasma, now divided into two factions, adds a layer of complexity to the plot.
Hugh: Hugh is the player’s childhood friend and rival. On a quest for revenge against Team Plasma for stealing his sister’s Purrloin, his determination and passion make him a stand-out character throughout the game’s story.
Colress: A researcher affiliated with Team Plasma, Colress is an eccentric character who seeks to understand the potential of Pokémon using a scientific approach. Despite being the second-in-command of Team Plasma, he helps the player on several occasions, making him an interesting and morally ambiguous figure.
Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 each have stand-out characters and factions that play pivotal roles in shaping the games’ narratives. Both storylines also present interesting moral dilemmas and feature villains with complex motivations that some players may find understandable – even if the methods are questionable.
Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: Pros and Cons
Next, let’s take an objective look at the pros and cons of each game.
Pokémon X & Y
- Pokémon X & Y marked a significant graphical upgrade for the series, with fully 3D models and environments.
- The introduction of Mega Evolution adds a strategic layer to battles.
- The new Kalos region gives players a fresh world to explore.
- Enhanced online features, including Wonder Trade and the Player Search System, allow for more engaging multiplayer interactions.
- Interactive features like Pokémon-Amie and Super Training add a new level of interaction and bonding between trainers and their Pokémon.
- Some players felt that the post-game content in X & Y was a bit lacking.
- Some criticized the games for being relatively easy, especially for experienced players.
- The storyline is somewhat linear.
Pokémon Black 2 & White 2
- Building upon the story of Black and White, the sequels offer a well-developed (and some say superior) narrative in an established setting.
- The inclusion of various mini-games, such as the Pokémon World Tournament and Pokéstar Studios, adds some diversity to the gameplay.
- The inclusion of the Pokémon World Tournament and new areas to explore make for a good post-game experience.
- Although they didn’t introduce new species, these games provided access to a diverse selection of Pokémon from multiple generations.
- Many trainers appreciated the increased difficulty level that provides a stiff challenge.
- The Join Avenue feature allows players to create their own shops.
- As Nintendo DS titles, Black 2 & White 2 naturally didn’t have the visual or technical prowess of the 3DS games.
- These games did not make full use of 3D models or environments due to the limitations of the DS hardware.
- The games revisit the Unova region, which may have disappointed players looking for an entirely new world to explore.
Other Notable Aspects
Finally, both games have some other notable aspects that set them apart. For instance, Pokémon X & Y introduced the new Fairy type, a significant addition to the type chart. Popular Pokémon like Garchomp and Charizard also received Mega Evolutions.
For their part, Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 expanded the Unova region and included a more mature and engaging storyline. The inclusion of the Dream World and Memory Link features added some new depth to the world, as well.
Pokémon X & Y vs. Pokémon Black 2 & White 2: Final Word
In the battle between Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Black 2 & White 2, both games offer a worthy experience. X & Y wowed fans with its 3D graphics and Mega Evolution, while Black 2 & White 2 delivered an engaging sequel story and challenging gameplay. Those looking for a more classic and accessible Pokémon journey will find much to love in X & Y, even if the storyline is more linear.
On the other hand, trainers looking for a stiff challenge and a deeper, morally nuanced narrative should consider revisiting the Unova region in White 2 & Black 2. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preferences, whether you value modern visuals and mechanics or tough battles and a fascinating plot. Regardless, these games have left their mark on the Pokémon franchise, and we’re convinced that die-hard fans will enjoy them both.