Pokemon Black/White Version 2: Big fun
Pokemaniacs might have expected the pocket monsters to have made their 3D debut by now. Fortunately, the DS swansong Pokemon Black and White Version 2 should keep them happy for many months.
Even those who have already lost countless hours in a quest to “catch ’em all” will find themselves hooked all over again.
We’ve all become very accused to Nintendo recycling past Pokemon games, but Version 2 is a new adventure in the Unova region set two years after the original Black and White games.
There’s plenty of new content to ensure value for money. There are also some smart refinements to the classic monster battling fun.
The cartridge includes a bulging roster of 300 critters to catch, raise, battle, preen and breed, and the charm of the pocket monsters is still a key ingredient in what makes these games so pleasurable, even for those who should have long ago outgrown the franchise.
Pokemon’s battle system is wonderfully accessible but surprisingly strategic and tactically deep.
Assembling a well-rounded team that can defeat any opponent requires careful thought and proves very satisfying. Sometimes you have up to three Pokemon fighting at once.
As usual there are eight gym badges to collect, but you can also prove your battling skills in the Pokemon World Tournament, facing off against champions of past games.
Collecting more than 200 medals earned by specific achievements is also a long-term goal.
Other features include the chance to make little movies of your favourite critters – a cleverly designed set of battle puzzles.
There’s also the opportunity to connect, interact and battle with faraway trainers online, or tackle multiplayer challenges together.
A Habitat List function is a good addition to the Pokedex, allowing completionists to track which of the monsters you have encountered and trapped in each area. Patient players will find there’s plenty of variety in the wild critters on offer.
Immensely deep and captivating, players can spend dozens upon dozens of hours trying to foil Team Plasma.
Whether you’re a Pokemon newcomer or a veteran, Version 2 is a compelling handheld adventure. Few kids games are this well designed, offer such value for money, or are as fun for adults to play.