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Alternative Names

Pocket Monsters Black / White

ポケットモンスター ブラック・ホワイト‎

Developer

Game Freak

Genre

Role-Playing

Release Dates

03/06/11 Nintendo
09/18/10 Nintendo
03/04/11 Nintendo

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Community Stats

Owners: 466
Favorite: 60
Tracked: 11
Wishlist: 44
Now Playing: 30
 
8.8

Avg Community Rating:

 

Heptagon Review - Pokémon Black & White

01st Feb 2019 | 1,743 views 


mZuzek

User Score
9.0
                         

Presentation - 8.5
Gameplay - 8.0
Value - 8.5
The least black and white Pokémon games have been.

Pokémon is a franchise that has been through a lot. Across a couple decades, although its games have always sold incredibly well, it's definitely had some highs and lows. However, one thing it was never known for was its storytelling, usually restricted to either just a few lines of dialogue, or the occasional attempt at a more fleshed out story coming off incredibly shallow, with very clear-cut good guys and bad guys. Ironically, the one game that stood out in this department was exactly the one that most emphasised the theme of duality.

Black and White were the first time Game Freak was releasing a second Pokémon generation on the same system (unless we consider the Game Boy and Game Boy Color the same system, but the addition of colors was an undeniably big deal on its own), and you could tell they really felt the need to do something different here, maybe in fear players wouldn't buy another Pokémon game for the same system if it was just more of the same, as was the case with previous generations. Instead, we got an incredibly unique game that never lost sight of what makes the series great.

Gone were all the pre-existing Pokémon, replaced by a Pokédex composed entirely of new creatures (with the roster of 156 being the largest to date), which helped to create a greater sense of surprise, and really bring home the idea that this region was far away from all the others. Gone was the "3D-fied" GBA-like artstyle of the previous games, replaced by a bolder approach that made better use of the DS' capabilities even if the game was still mostly sprite-based - the most notable benefit of the new engine being the battles, which looked far more exciting and were made less tedious by a general speed up of the text speed, animations, and transitions, making for a game that's less interested in wasting your time and more interested in giving you meaningful content, most of which comes from the main story.

For the first time, you had two rivals at the start of the game, Cheren and Bianca, meaning no starter gets left behind - but what starts out as another seemingly standard Pokémon adventure between friends quickly takes a different direction as Team Plasma's Ghetsis shows up and brings about serious questions about the world of Pokémon and its people, making it immediately clear that this won't be another game about stopping evil guys from destroying the world, but rather one that tackles more human (and consequently more relatable) topics. This theme becomes even more apparent when the mysterious N shows up and continues to ask similar questions. Through fantastic writing, these characters shine as they grow over the course of the game and change their views and goals through better understanding of each other. It's an amazing take on how good the storytelling in Pokémon can be, never settling for the basic pre-established formula and instead always delivering satisfying storytelling and plot twists that really make it a great experience.

Of course, after beating the game, there's the usual post-game the series is known for, and while it isn't the best it's ever had, there's enough worthwhile content to continue playing through. Here is where the game becomes more typical in style, allowing you to explore more freely and tackle things however you like, along with several returning Pokémon appearing and the usual legendary encounters, although there are still some more story revelations to be uncovered. Ultimately, though, where Black & White really shine is in the main game, and it's saddening that the franchise hasn't reached the heights of its storytelling since.

(converted to 9.0 out of 10)

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Shipping Total

15,640,000 Units
As of: March 31st, 2019

Opinion (256)

Marth posted 06/05/2021, 08:03
09/2020 - 03/2021: No change
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Marth posted 07/05/2020, 08:04
No change in FY2019
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Marth posted 15/01/2020, 02:01
Japan: 5.54M
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S.Peelman posted 30/10/2015, 01:38
Nintendo says 15.60m as of september 30.
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atma998 posted 31/01/2015, 02:11
Reached 15.05M and outsold games like CoD MW3 (X360), Pokemon Yellow, GTA V (X360) and Gran Turismo 3, even came close to Brain Age 2 (15.28M).
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Kongfucius posted 01/07/2014, 07:13
Biggest first week of any game in Japan ever, beats FF8 by just 17k!
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