I was way into Pokemon back when it was a Big Deal. I’m talkin’ like back in third grade or some shit with Red and Blue. I was a HUGE pokefag. I did everything in those games. Had two game boys, both versions, played ‘em both, traded with myself, grinded the elite four jillions of times getting all my team to level 100, caught ‘em all, everything. And all I got out of it was a shitty useless diploma from some fucking troll in Celadon City. FUCK that guy man. There I was busting my ass getting all 150 pokemon thinking he was going to give me something amazing for getting them all and then THIS. I wanted to murder his dick off.
But yeah, I loved Red and Blue. I knew every pokemon by heart like it was the alphabet. Their types, their pokedex descriptions, everything. Then Gold and Silver came out. Hoping to revive the old Red and Blue days I got ‘em both. I played them, but it just wasn’t the same. I was juuust a little bit older, and juuust a little bit less stupid. Only a little bit, but enough that I couldn’t be assed to get my team to level 100 or catch ‘em all for no reward anymore. Plus, what was up with all these shitty new pokemon? These weren’t my precious original 150 pokemon. I just couldn’t care about them. And man, 250? 150 already felt like a lot. 250 is just pushing it.
By the time Ruby and Sapphire came out I no longer gave a shit about Pokemon. In fact, I don’t think I even bought those games. I waited until Emerald to play it. And it was a totally forgettable experience. Same deal with Diamond and Pearl. Maybe even worse? I dunno. I do remember the pokemon selection being really shitty. There were just barely any good pokemon to choose for your team until endgame. Almost everyone I knew ended up with a similar team, which was dumb.
But enough with the history. Despite Pokemon not being all that special past the first generation, they’re still enjoyable games overall so I’m all for playing them like normal RPGs from start to finish (but that’s about it). So I got the new Pokemon White because white is just universally better than black. That’s just a fact of life. I mean, who could argue. So if you’ve played any of the other Pokemon games, and let’s face it: who hasn’t, you already know how this shit goes. You choose a grass, fire or water type starter pokemon and then you’re off on your adventure to catch more pokemon and be the very best like no one ever was or whatever the fuck. They should let you choose different starter types just to spice it up if you ask me. Ghost, Bug or Poison instead of the usual would be cool. Ice, Fighting and Psychic. Who even gives a shit that they don’t have a rock-paper-scissors relationship. Not me that’s for sure.
Anyway, the formula for the games remains surprisingly unchanged. And I mean, why would they change it when the series is always selling by the shitload? But as we all know by now, just because something sells a lot doesn’t mean it’s good. In fact, it probably means it’s trash because people are idiots. Not to say that Pokemon sucks, because they are pretty fun games, but they also definitely have a lot of flaws that Gamefreak will probably never acknowledge.
Probably the most overarching problem with the Pokemon games is that they are very clearly intended for 5-year olds. This intention manifests itself everywhere from the story to the gameplay. I mean jesus, the story in this game is some retarded ass shit. Not only is it inane, but with the way it’s written, it’s like I’m reading a fucking children’s book. The story is that there’s this group you’re fighting against called Team Plasma that wants to take Pokemon away from their trainers because they’re supposedly against how people overwork and oppress them by making them cockfight each other all the time and want to liberate them: a criticism that has actually been leveled at the Pokemon series in real life by PETAfags and pussies in general. Now, this could actually be a good story, but they completely ruin it by making absolutely fucking SURE, in the most heavy-handed way possible, that you’re aware that Team Plasma are the evil bad guys and you’re the kind-hearted hero. I’m talking shit like having Team Plasma kick Pokemon right in front of you, and even having the evil boss commit unbelievable Freudian slips during his speeches to give away the fact that he’s lying about his intentions. Obviously they do this because they don’t want to cause any moral dissonance in the fragile minds of their 5-year old target audience, and it’s been scientifically proven that kids are dumb shits, so clearly the only way to get around this is with shitty storytelling. Now, if they made it more ambiguous, or if they made Team Plasma look noble and made you look like the bad guy, THEN it would interesting.
It’s not just the story though. As an RPG, the gameplay is very shallow and simplistic, with the vast majority of fights being a 1v1 where you choose one of your pokemon’s 4 moves and most likely 1-shot the enemy pokemon or maybe 2-shot it if they’re lucky. Yes, even bosses are easily 1-shotted most of the time. 2v2s and 3v3s happen so rarely that they’re not even worth talking about, and feel more like a poorly implemented gimmick than anything else. I will say that hitting an enemy with a super-effective attack is always fun, but other than that there’s hardly ever any strategy or challenge in any fight. So again, the game is very simplistic because it’s aimed at infants. Something I’ve always found hilarious is fags that defend Pokemon by being like “Pokemon is actually pretty deep and complex if you play it hardcore and competitively.” BWAHAHAHAHA! First of all, no it isn’t. Second of all, who could POSSIBLY be enough of a wolfshirt failure to play a game like this competitively. Ohhh nooo, you EV trained your pokemon team, I’m sooo scared of your madd skillz! Faggot. Why the FUCK would I play this shit competitively when there are so many way better alternatives? I could be playing Street Fighter or Starcraft or just about any other game that takes actual skill and doesn’t involve me falling asleep as I grind through the elite four for the 845th time or whatever.
But where was I? Oh yeah, the main game. Another big flaw with Pokemon and something that has always pissed me off about the games is that they’re designed in such a way to encourage only having 1 or 2 pokemon instead of a full team. The game likes to throw around lies like “The more pokemon you have, the greater your chances of winning” but that’s not actually how it works out at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. The fewer Pokemon you use, the easier the game will be, because using more pokemon simply means that the exp you get from fights will be distributed among all of them, making the levels of your entire team lower than if 1 or 2 pokemon had been hogging all the exp for themselves. And due to the way the game is designed (1v1 fights), having 2 overleveled pokemon is MUCH more effective than having 6 lower level pokemon. That’s just the way the game is, and frankly it’s retarded. It should be fixed because having 6 pokemon is more fun than having 2, but by doing that you’re actively gimping yourself. I mean, not like gimping yourself matters that much since the game is so fucking easy anyway, but that’s not the point. The point is that in a game, a player should have the most fun by playing optimally. If they’re not, then that’s just bad design and you should change your game.
I personally went for a 6-pokemon team just because it’s more fun and I gain nothing from making the game any easier than it already is, but that revealed yet another flaw with the game’s design. The absolutely dumb fucking retarded HM system. It forces you to teach a bunch of stupid moves to your pokemon that are necessary to move around out in the field and get to places. But most of these moves are shitty, difficult to delete, and not all pokemon can learn them, so the game actually encourages you to not have a full team and instead to have useless pokemon whose only purpose is to learn HMs to get around the world map. Fuck that shit. What if I want to have 6 legitimate pokemon and none of them can learn Fly (or any of the other stupid HMs)? Well, I did that, and holy SHIT it was annoying. I kept having to go back to the poke center and depositing one of my main pokemon, withdrawing an HM slave, using him to fly somewhere or get past a part where the HM is needed, then going back, depositing him, getting my real pokemon back, and doing this over and over and over every time I needed. First of all, who the FUCK came up with this retarded system, and second of all why the FUCK hasn’t it been corrected? Jesus christ, all you dipshits have to do is make it so HMs can be used without being taught to a Pokemon. There, I solved the problem. Wasn’t that easy? You god damn amateurs make me sick. And don’t even get me started on absolutely basic UI mistakes like making deposit and withdraw two separate actions instead of just letting me swap two Pokemon in one action. How do obvious things like this get past testing?! You don’t have to be a fucking UI designer to see what a stupid mistake this is. God dammit, if I have to do this in the next Pokemon, I WILL kill your shit.
Anyway, I’m not kidding when I say this game has no challenge at all. Hell, even after the ending when the game started throwing cheaters with pokemon teams 30 levels above mine I was still beating them. How does that even happen? Oh yeah because this game is too easy. Aside from that, honestly something that I think should be changed is that items just plain shouldn’t be allowed in battle. Not only is it annoying when enemies use them because it just wastes time and delays the inevitable, but as long as you don’t get hit for more than half your HP you’re basically invincible, and even if your pokemon dies, you can just revive him in the middle of battle. Normally this would be fine in a normal RPG where bosses tend to be several magnitudes stronger than you, but in Pokemon bosses are just dudes with a team of standard pokemon on your own level. You shouldn’t need items, you should be able to beat them just by your team being better than theirs. Not only would this make the game slightly more challenging, but it would also give you slightly more incentive to have a larger team (but it wouldn’t completely solve the problem because it’s still very much possible to have your one pokemon so overleveled that he just one shots everything and never gets touched).
Another very weird thing is the addition of seasonal changes. Now, instead of just the game changing from day to night based on the DS clock, there’s also spring, summer, autumn and winter based on the date, and apparently not only does scenery and pokemon change depending on the season, but there are also certain places you can only get to during certain seasons. Now, this might SOUND kinda cool, but it’s actually stupid because all it does is encourage you to change the DS clock, which kinda feels like it defeats the whole point of the mechanic. And if you don’t change the DS clock, then the feature may as well not even be there because let’s face it, who is actually going to be asshole enough to still be playing this game after a month? Not me, that’s for sure. If you don’t change the clock, either you don’t see the other seasons, or you’re the biggest pokefag ever and you somehow managed to play the game for months on end. Don’t ask me how someone can do that. I sure as hell don’t understand it.
But despite all these fundamental flaws the game is actually still pretty fun. I think what makes Pokemon compelling is the large amount of choices you have when it comes to creating your team, then having them evolve and learn new moves as you level up. It can also be fun to make your team based on pokemon you think are cool, or cute, or unique and then compare it with friends and other people to see what they chose. On this front, Pokemon Black and White delivers, giving you a very large amount of good Pokemon to catch from the very start of the game all the way to the end. I mean, usually there’s like 5 or 6 good ones, but on this one? ALL of ‘em are good nigguh, ALL of ‘em are good. Another thing I like is that the game is self-contained until the end. What I mean by this is that the only pokemon you’ll see are the new 150, making it very reminiscent of the Red and Blue experience and keeping it from being too overwhelming with 800 pokemon. In fact, Black and White in general feel a LOT like Red and Blue. A lot of the new pokemon remind me of the original 150. Patrat = Rattata, Woobat = Zubat, Roggenrola = Geodude, Timburr = Machop, etc etc. Of course, after you beat the game they upgrade your pokedex to 700 and you’re like aight, fuck this shit.
Anyway, that’s how it is with Pokemon White. Quite a bit of room for improvement, could be better if it wasn’t made for infants by tards, but still a fun game that’s worth playing.
Final Verdict: B-
Final Playtime: 91 hours