In the history of mainline Pokémon games, it’s not uncommon to revisit a previous game region. This is usually done through remakes of previous games like HeartGold and SoulSilver, or the third game of the generation like Platinum that perfects the generation. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 were the first direct sequels of a previous game.
This change broke Pokémon’s tested and true formula that had earned them success for years. Although it was an interesting departure for the series, it also created some issues that made Black 2 and White 2 some of the weakest entries in the franchise. Here are five reasons why you should skip Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 on your Pokémon journey.
The Same Region
Because Black 2 and White 2 are direct sequels to Pokémon Black and White, the games take place in Unova again. Players are traveling to the same region that they had just finished exploring in the previous game. To be fair there are some significant changes that have been made to the region to make it feel new.
New locations are made available, and certain parts of Unova have been frozen over. Although these are welcomed changes that improve the game, they still don’t match the experience of exploring a brand-new region. At best, Black 2 and White 2 serve as a nice remix of a game that isn’t old enough to be nostalgic.
Missing Pokémon From the Region
Despite being in the exact same region, there are certain Pokémon that were available in Black and White that aren’t in Black 2 and White 2. Worst of all, these missing Pokémon are legendary. The Forces of Nature, Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus are notably missing in the sequels.
Notably these are the only Unova native Pokémon that can’t be caught in Black 2 and White 2. The Forces of Nature can be caught in a separate game, Pokémon Dream Radar, and then transferred to the main game. It’s a strange decision to remove Pokémon from a game that’s supposed to be its direct sequel.
A Weak Storyline
Storytelling has never been considered one of Pokémon’s strong points. Most of the games focus on a young trainer trying to become the Pokémon Champion. While trying to become the champion, the protagonist battles against a criminal organization trying to take over the world with a Legendary Pokémon.
With that being said, Pokémon Black and White represented some of Pokémon’s best storytelling. The character N quickly became a fan favorite. He presented a compelling story that actually questioned whether or not it was ethical to catch and battle Pokémon.
It was a bit disappointing to go from this nuanced story about morality back to the usual evil mastermind storyline again. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 fails to expand upon the incredible storyline it had created in the previous game.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 represented a hard wall in Pokémon graphics. By the time the games were released, Pokémon had been using 2D pixel art for over a decade. While this art style became iconic, it did not mesh well with the pseudo 3D environments created for the DS era of games.
This issue was especially obvious in Black 2 and White 2. It was very clear that the developers wanted to create these grand and complex 3D areas but were limited by the Nintendo DS and the 2D art style. The poor graphics of locations like Skyarrow Bridge are the perfect example of this conflict. The 3D models and locations in Generation VI were the way Black 2 and White 2 were supposed to look.
No Real Improvements
During previous generations, the third versions of the main games were always considered the perfect versions of the game. Pokémon Platinum was better than Diamond and Pearl, which proved needed improvements to the original game. There were more added Pokémon and improvements made to battling and exploration.
That wasn’t the case with Black 2 and White 2. Despite being a sequel, Black 2 and White 2 didn’t offer many improvements. The game includes Pokémon from previous generations that weren’t present in the original games. It’s a nice addition, but there’s no significant change to Pokémon battles or exploration that make it feel worth it. All Black 2 and White 2 provide is a lackluster new story.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 may not be the worst Pokémon games, but they’re far from the best. The games are supposed to be sequels that improve on the originals but fail to meet that standard. Black 2 and White 2 is unfortunately worse than Black and White in most ways. It has a weaker story that retreads through the same region again. There’s little graphical improvement, and it lacks all the original Pokémon. If gamers are thinking of playing through each generation’s games, it might be best to skip Black 2 and White 2 and jump straight into X and Y.