On March 6, 2011 PokÃ©mon Black and PokÃ©mon White were released for the Nintendo DS. Having played the games in the PokÃ©mon series since I was seven, I made it a point to preorder PokÃ©mon Black so I would have the opportunity to play the next generation of PokÃ©mon games, which is now known as the fifth generation or Generation V.
This being said, there are differences between the Black and White versions of the game. Certain PokÃ©mon are available in one and not the other, especially the legendary PokÃ©mon. As I only bought Black, I’m therefore reviewing this version. In addition to this, I have yet to beat the game, having only defeated the gym leader in Castelia City. Those who have played or are still playing the game know that this means that I have defeated three gym leaders, which is not very far.
I admit, I was hesitant to play Black. As I mentioned before, I’ve been playing PokÃ©mon since Red and Blue came out and still believe that the Generation I PokÃ©mon are far better than any in the following generations. Playing with this new generation of PokÃ©mon meant I would be encountering PokÃ©mon that I had never thought of before. I was unsure of how powerful the new PokÃ©mon would be, in my personal opinion, the PokÃ©mon from Generation II on do not seem to meet the standards that Generation I set.
The PokÃ©mon themselves, from what I can tell, seem to be about the same as the PokÃ©mon from Generations II-IV. Out of the three starters, I chose Tepig, the fire PokÃ©mon. So far I am pleased with his fire attacks, but his fighting attacks leave something to be desired. As a fire/fighting PokÃ©mon, Tepig and his evolved forms use both fire attacks and fighting attacks.
PokÃ©mon Black brings a new feature to the series. Players of the series know that PokÃ©mon are caught in wild grass, but there are now two different colors of grass. When a player walks into a light shade of grass, they can encounter a wild PokÃ©mon. Walking into darker shades of grass means there is a chance the player gets into a battle with not one, but two wild PokÃ©mon. If this is the case, the first two PokÃ©mon in the player’s party will fight the PokÃ©mon.
I find it interesting that the PokÃ©Marts and PokÃ©Centers are now in one building. PokÃ©Marts are near the entrance to PokÃ©Centers, which makes it easier for players to heal their pokÃ©mon and to purchase various healing items.
The music changes a bit throughout the game, especially the battle music in particular. For instance, the music will change to a different melody when a PokÃ©mon’s health points fall to a critical level. When the PokÃ©mon is healed again and the health points are restored, the music changes back. The music for battling gym leaders is different than the music for a regular battle, but when the player starts to challenge the final PokÃ©mon, the music changes to the iconic PokÃ©mon theme that can be found on the title screen for Generation I games.
A new feature in Black is that the game is affected by the seasons, as regulated by the system clock on the DS. Changes are made obvious by the grass colour and can affect battle situatuions, as hail will take points from the PokÃ©mon’s health points when they are in battle when the player is playing in the winter months.
One change that I was very disappointed about was theÂ fact that the PokÃ©dex no longer enables the search option that allows players to search for specific PokÃ©mon. I used the search option a lot when I was playing Platinum and still do while I play HeartGold. This was very helpful when I wanted a quick answer as to where a PokÃ©mon could be found, as I could quickly narrow the results. The only to find PokÃ©mon in the PokÃ©dex is to go through the entire list of PokÃ©mon. This takes a while, as there are well over a hundred PokÃ©mon in the fifth generation.
As hesitant as I was to play PokÃ©mon Black, I find it to be a very enjoyable game so far. Hopefully future games will continue to improve as the series is being played by older players so that they will want to play the games in the series that they have played since their childhood.