How do you play retro games?

Pokémon White Version 2 (Nintendo DS)

82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Zokolov (66)
Written on  :  Dec 19, 2012
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Zokolov

Summary

Possibly even better than its predecessor, with no added fan bonus

The Good

Pokémon is just an example of brilliant game design, and that's that. The playability of these games is much better than that of Final Fantasy or any other JRPG. An open-ended world, possibility to avoid random encounters and the lack of über-long cutscenes and angsty characters is what makes the Pokémon series one of the best RPG's in the world.

Everything said about White and previous entries in the Pokémon series still holds true. Collecting tons of different Pokémon is fun, the battles are nice and tactical without getting repetitive and the exploration aspect has never been better.

It also feels like Game Freak has subtly improved since the original Black and White versions. The fact that there's tons more Pokémon to catch and more variety is definitely a plus. The new music tracks feel better than in the previous versions and the added towns, routes, caves, forests and the rest make the game last even longer. Most of the new additions, like the ability to shoot films at Pokéstar Studios and to challenge gym leaders from the older games at Pokémon World Tournament, are a hoot. Simply put, like the rest of the games in the series, Pokémon White 2 is just plain fun.

Finally, while the much-hyped "plot" of the original version duo wasn't exactly anything to write home about, the added continuity suddenly improves the plots of both these new versions and the originals, as the Unova region actually has changed a little over the past two years.

The Bad

I got rather excited after hearing that the games would somehow change the formula a bit, but that seemed to be just either advertising talk or fanboy/fangirl lies. It's still the same as ever, warts and all. In fact, level-grinding seems to become even more of an issue here due to the exhausting number of battles, especially when Team Plasma is involved. The fact that the Plasma Grunts are rather weak and always carry the same Pokémon makes the encounters with them get old fast. Their dialogue is also just as cringeworthy as before.

The fact that the added "hard" difficulty mode is only in Black 2 is an inexplicable and unforgivable flaw. White 2 compensates with an "easy" difficulty mode, but Pokémon is already rather easy, as this version has little to no puzzles and the gym leaders are beaten usually on the first or at least on the second try. Even the Pokémon League didn't feel like much of a challenge this time, mostly due to familiarity. At least the Champion (not telling who it is) was fun and challenging enough.

White 2 may be better than the original White, but I also had the original version in fairly recent memory, which is why White 2 only addicted for so long, and despite the abundance of things to do, it all felt too familiar.

The Bottom Line

A respectable addition to the Pokémon series that does everything better than its predecessor, while still being a little too similar to it and the rest of the series. Unless you're bored of Pokémon by now, it's still recommended for everyone.