File size: 100.7MB
Console: Nintendo DS (NDS)
Genre: Role Playing
In many ways, the 5th generation of Pokemon is often overshadowed by other entries in the series, and could even be referred to as the franchise's divisive black sheep. Whether it's the revamped formula emphasis on story or the fact that games released on the Nintendo DS with its successor imminent, Black and White stick out like sore thumbs even years after their debut.
But despite being a punching bag of sorts for a small but vocal portion of the Pokemon community, these titles do have a rabid following who celebrate all of the controversial features that made Black and White ROM so polarizing right out of the gate. Regardless of which side you lean towards, the fact remains: after years of following the same cookie cutter formula, Game Freak aspired to do more with the 5th generation of their signature franchise.
And if their goal is to reinvent and redefine what Pokemon could be, then they succeeded. And it's not like these games were failures or anything far from it, with sales just north of 15 million units sold worldwide and impressive review scores across the board, even the world-renowned and often stingy Famitsu gave these Junichi Masuda directed games of perfect scores.
This generation is referred to as the most JRPG like amongst the core series of games, and the massive storyline is the major culprit here. Practically every single town, bridge, route or pathway has some form of character interaction or exposition dump to move the plot along. And it can chug along at a slow pace once in a while story-wise, this was a massive improvement over all previous generations.
Though the amount of exposition dumping and dialog can get quite annoying, I don't think anyone can deny that all these details create the most lived-in and believable world to date. Does the content of the story have its weaknesses and flaws? Absolutely! However, for the first time, the series feels like it's embracing the fact that these ROMs are RPGs. Because of its massive story, this world feels connected with nearly every character or locale, having a reason to exist that makes sense within the narrative it's crafted.
Pokemon Black ROM and Pokemon White ROM has to offer the ridiculously great design. These games use what's essentially just a more refined version of Gen 4 SDS engine. Make no mistake, they're squeezing everything they possibly can out of it here, and it shows. No matter where you go throughout this region, something is always happening on screen. Whether it's water crashing down around you, a thunderstorm flashing against a vast grey sky, or something as simple as the wind blowing a patch of grass on route 1.
This sense of motion helps immerse the player immediately into this cinematic world. Speaking of cinematic, the sprite work 3d modeling and battle animations found in this game are just stunning. Everything here is rendered with bold black lines with the brightest of colors to create what can only be described as a work of virtual art.
The background scroll is the battle chugs along and with dynamic camera angles to emphasize the action and changes within the music to reflect the battling conditions. There really isn't ever a dull moment here.
Another new addition is the introduction of two new battle types. Of course, because triple and rotation battles are virtually non-existent throughout the main storyline, they don't help with the pacing all that much, but the odd late-game triple battle is a lot of fun. And eventually, when you finally do get to experience rotation battles, you'll likely have a good time with them as well. There's sort of like rock-paper-scissors, but with various combinations of Pokemon. And when you do successfully predict your opponent's moves and land that super effective hit, I can't deny how good it feels.
Another thing Gen 5 gets right is the way that it makes use of its postgame content. Upon starting up your save file post-credits, you'll be greeted by Looker who needs your assistance in order to track down the remaining stages across Unova. He also gives you a fishing rod for some reason, which is honestly the funniest moment in the entire game.
Some of the best postgame elements include: exploring the Underwater Castle to get filthy rich, running into and battling Cynthia, who's still as tough as ever and, of course, going out and catching all of the legendary Pokémon the region has to offer. You can also now gain entrance to the Poké Transfer Lab, which enables you to download any Pokémon from Gen 4.
Now let’s talk about Unova as a whole, and unsurprisingly there's a lot to cover here too. Unova likely because it's based on the United States, features a far more industrialized look than many of its japanese-inspired counterparts. It's got a massive cityscape, construction happening everywhere. Even its iconic forest, both man-made and natural elements, marrying the two into something we've never quite seen.
Game Freak decided to take things even further by giving us our first seasonal cycle in the world of Pokemon with every month that passes within the real world. The season will shift accordingly in-game, and with each new change there is a new variety and even a few secrets here and there.
Attention! To play this game you need to download an emulator for the console. To find a complete list of all emulators click on the appropriate menu link in the website header.