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murkurie

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Developers: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo, ThePok?mon Company
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Release Date: JP: September 18, 2010, NA: March 6, 2011, EU: March 4, 2011

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Pok?mon Black Version and White Version (?????????????????? Poketto Monsut? Burakku Howaito, "Pocket Monsters: Black & White") are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. They are the first installments in the fifth generation of the Pok?mon series of role-playing games. First released in Japan on September 18, 2010, they were later released in Europe on March 4, 2011, in North America on March 6, 2011 and Australia on March 10, 2011.

Similar to previous installments of the series, the two games follow the journey of a young Pok?mon trainer through the region of Unova, as they train Pok?mon used to compete against other trainers, while thwarting the schemes of the criminal organization Team Plasma. Black and White introduce over 150 brand-new Pok?mon to the franchise, as well as many new features, including a seasonal cycle, fully animated Pok?mon sprites and triple battles. Both titles are independent of each other, but feature largely the same plot, and while both can be played separately, trading Pok?mon between both of the games is necessary in order to complete the games' Pok?dex.

Upon their release, Black and White received positive reviews; critics praised the advancements in gameplay, as well as several of the new Pok?mon introduced. Reviews, however, were divided on some of the character designs, and some critics felt that the games did not innovate as much as expected. Nevertheless, the games were commercial successes; prior to the games' Japanese release, Black and White sold one million consumer pre-orders and sold five million copies as of January 2011, making it one of the best selling DS games to date. Sequels to Pok?mon Black and White, named Pok?mon Black Version 2 and White Version 2 are set for a release in Japan for the Nintendo DS in June 2012, with third quarter releases in North America and Europe. [Source]

 

Plot:

 

 

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Black and White are set in the Unova region, a continental mass located far away from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh. Unlike the previous regions which were based on locations in Japan, Unova is modeled after New York City, an idea developed by game director Junichi Masuda when he visited the city for the launch of Diamond and Pearl. One particular example of this is Castelia City, which served as the region's central metropolis and had such inspirations as its "Brooklyn Bridge-style suspension bridge" and its "huge skyscrapers". Masuda also wanted to convey a "feeling of communities" in Castelia's streets. Unova is host to large urban areas, a harbor, an airport, an amusement park, several bridges, and several mountain ranges. In addition to a diversity of new landscapes, the Unova region is also home to a diversity of people who vary in skin tone and occupation. The region's Japanese name "Isshu" (????) is derived from the Japanese words tashu (??, meaning "many kinds") and isshu (??, meaning "one kind"); the many kinds of people and Pok?mon seen up close look like only one kind of life from afar.

Like previous Pok?mon games, Black and White's gameplay is linear; the main events occur in a fixed order. The protagonist of Pok?mon Black and White is a teenager who sets out on a journey through Unova to become the Pok?mon master. At the beginning of the games, the player chooses either Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott as their first Pok?mon as a gift from Professor Juniper. The protagonist's friends, Cheren and Bianca, are also rivals and are Pok?mon Trainers who occasionally battle the player. The player's primary goal is to obtain the eight Gym Badges of Unova and ultimately challenge the Elite Four of the Pok?mon League, and its Champion, to win the game.

In addition to the standard gameplay, the player will also have to defeat the games' main antagonist Team Plasma, a group whose uniform is modeled after the Knights Templar, but who claims that Pok?mon are oppressed by mankind and seeks for a means to liberate them. Team Plasma is led by N, a young man who was brought up alongside Pok?mon and sees them as friends rather than tools for sport. Throughout the game, the player has some encounters with N, who claims that by capturing one of the legendary Dragon Pok?mon of Unova and defeating the Pok?mon Champion Alder, he will be recognized as Unova's hero and will be able to convince the humans to part with their Pok?mon. Depending on the game version, N will capture the Deep Black Pok?mon Zekrom in Black while he will capture the Vast White Pok?mon Reshiram in White. After the player defeats the Elite Four and enters the Champion's chamber, he or she finds that N has defeated Alder and has become the newest Pok?mon Champion. Soon after, he summons a large castle that surrounds the Pok?mon League, challenging the player to find him to take part in one final battle. When the player finally reaches him, Reshiram in Black or Zekrom in White appears before the player, and the player must capture the legendary Pok?mon before challenging N. After his defeat, N laments the possibility that his ideals are mistaken, as Ghetsis intrudes and angrily reveals that his true intentions were to use N to ensure that only he would be the only human left with control over Pok?mon and use them to rule the world. In his rage, Ghetsis challenges the player to battle. After Ghetsis's defeat, he is arrested, allowing Alder to resume his position as the Pok?mon Champion of the Unova region. N then thanks the player for helping realize his mistake about the nature of the relationship between people and their Pok?mon before leaving the castle on his captured Dragon Pok?mon to a far off land.

After Team Plasma's defeat, Looker arrives in Unova and tasks the player with finding the remaining Sages of Team Plasma, so they can be brought to justice. The player can also challenge the Elite Four once again, and challenge Alder, ultimately becoming the Unova region's new Pok?mon Champion. The player also gains access to the eastern portion of Unova, which contains Pok?mon from the previous games in the series, as well as access to an area unique to each game version: the ultra-metropolitan Black City, home to powerful Pok?mon trainers, and the White Forest, home to humans and Pok?mon living in harmony. Cynthia, a former Champion of the Sinnoh region, is also found in this area of the game and can be challenged. A non-player character named after Shigeki Morimoto, a Game Freak programmer, creature designer, and the director of the HeartGold and SoulSilver games, can also be found in the game and the player can battle him. [Source]

 

Gameplay:

 

 

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Pok?mon Black and White are role-playing video games with adventure elements, presented in a third-person, overhead perspective. There are three basic screens: an overworld, in which the player navigates the main character; a battle screen; and the menu, in which the player configures their party, items, or gameplay settings. The player begins the game with a single Pok?mon, and is able to capture more using Pok? Balls.

When the player encounters a wild Pok?mon or is challenged by a trainer to a battle, the screen switches to a turn-based battle screen where the Pok?mon fight. During battle, the player may fight, use an item, switch the active Pok?mon, or flee (however the player is not permitted to flee a battle against another trainer). All Pok?mon have hit points (HP); when a Pok?mon's HP is reduced to zero, it faints and cannot battle until it is revived. If an opposing Pok?mon faints, then all of the player's Pok?mon who participated in defeating it receive experience points. After accumulating enough experience points, it may level up. A Pok?mon's level affects its battle statistics, and some Pok?mon will evolve upon reaching a certain level threshold.

New features
The graphics were further improved from previous games, and include more cutscenes. When talking to people, the dialog box has been changed to speech balloons, which appear over other characters' heads, allowing more than one character to speak at once. In addition to this aesthetic change, Japanese players will be given an option to switch to having kanji appear on screen, rather than just hiragana and katakana.[7] During battles, the sprites of the Pok?mon are fully animated and the camera changes position to highlight specific parts of the battle.

In addition to the day and night cycle first introduced in the Gold and Silver games, Black and White introduces a seasonal cycle, with the seasons advancing every month, cycling every four, rather than being linked to the actual calendar. Outside areas appear differently depending on the season, such as changing of leaves in autumn or snow on the ground in winter. Certain areas are only accessible during certain seasons, and different Pok?mon can be found in the wild in winter where others are encountered in the other seasons. In addition to these features, the Pok?mon Deerling and Sawsbuck were designed to change their physical appearance along with the seasons of the game.

There are two new battle mechanics in Black and White: Triple Battles and Rotation Battles. In Triple Battles, both teams must send out three Pok?mon at once. The Pok?mon that can be targeted by any specific attack is dependent on the position of the Pok?mon in the line up; Pok?mon on the left or right sides can only target the Pok?mon directly opposite of them and the two Pok?mon in the center position on both sides, while Pok?mon in the center can target all Pok?mon in the field. Positions can be changed, but this uses up the player's turn. In Rotation Battles, both sides send out three Pok?mon at once, again, but instead of a three-on-three match as seen in Triple Battles, it is a one-on-one match where the Pok?mon in the front can be switched with either of the two other Pok?mon sent out without using up a turn. Depending on the game version, one of these two new battle types will be found in greater quantity than the other, with Black having more Rotation Battles than Triple Battles, and vice versa in White. Related introductions are the Combination Moves; the starter Pok?mon from any game can be taught one of the three moves that can be used in combination with each other to produce more powerful attacks. Another battle mechanic is found in the wild, where differently colored and styled tall grass enable Double Battles against wild Pok?mon.

A new Pok?mon capture mechanic was also introduced in these games, referred to as "phenomena" in supplementary materials. Occasionally, the player can find rustling patches of grass and rippling water. If the player enters the tile that featured the phenomenon (or uses the fishing rod on the tile), they can encounter either a rare Pok?mon, a Pok?mon more common in the other game version, or the highest evolutionary form of a Pok?mon that can normally be found in the area. This method is the only way to capture Pok?mon such as Audino, Emolga, and Alomomola. In addition to these, dust clouds in caves and the shadows of flying Pok?mon on certain bridges can also be entered to either find a rare item or encounter Drilbur, Excadrill, Ducklett, or Swanna, none of which can be found in the wild otherwise.

In addition to the standard battling and Gym challenges, the player can compete in Pok?mon Musicals, a side-game similar to the Pok?mon Contests of previous games; the Battle Subway, similar to the Battle Towers and Battle Frontiers of previous games; and on the Royal Unova, a cruise ship that the player can ride daily and fight various trainers aboard to win otherwise rare items.

Connectivity to other devices
The C-Gear (C?? Sh? Gia) is a new mechanic that replaces the Pok?tch on the Nintendo DS's second screen. It allows the player to control the various wireless capabilities of Black and White. These include connecting to other players through infrared communication (battling, trading, friend codes, and the "Feeling Check" function), wireless communications with friends in the Xtranciever video chat or access to the Entralink to transfer content from the Pok?mon Dream World, connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to sync with the Pok?mon Global Link servers, and the new Pass By mode which allows the game to communicate with other games through infrared (IR) when not being played.

The Feeling Check (?????????? F?ringu Chekku) function tests the compatibility between two players, awarding them with one of two items depending on the level of compatibility. The Pass By feature is another side game in which the player answers various survey questions, and depending on how many other games are interacted with, the players receive an item. Another new feature is Random Matchup, where the player can battle a random other player. When playing against other players online or in IR battles, a new mechanic called the Wonder Launcher allows for items to be used in battle to heal or improve the status of the players' Pok?mon.

To transfer Pok?mon from the older games, Pok?mon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver versions to the new games, Black and White, two features have been placed in Black and White. For normal transfer, the Pok? Transfer feature is available after completion of the main storyline. Unlike the Pal Park feature that was in the previous games, the Pok? Transfer is a mini-game in which after six Pok?mon are transferred, the player uses the touch screen to launch Pok? Balls at the transferred Pok?mon which are moving about on the top screen to catch them within a time limit. Another feature called the Relocator is used to transfer the Pok?mon given away in promotions for the Pok?mon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions film so the player can activate the special events to obtain the rare Pok?mon Zorua and Zoroark. Unlike the Pok? Transfer, this function is available before the main game is completed.

Unique to Black and White is the Pok?mon Dream World, a game mechanic that is dependent on the official Pok?mon Global Link website. In this, the player can befriend Pok?mon not normally obtainable in gameplay with unique abilities, which are later captured in an area known as the Entralink. This is done after syncing the game back with the Dream World, in a mechanic similar to the Pok?walker used in HeartGold and SoulSilver. The player can also maintain a house in the Dream World that other players can visit as well as grow berries. In addition to allowing players access to Pok?mon acquired in the Dream World, the Entralink also enables players to interact with each other and perform side games which award points that can be traded for "powers" that improve normal gameplay, such as increasing experience, improving capture rate, or lowering prices of items in Pok? Marts. [Source]

 

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Screenshots:

 

 

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Wanderermy

They should create a 3D version and go multiplaform.

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murkurie

They should create a 3D version and go multiplaform.

If by multiplatform you mean 3DS and DS/DSi then sure. Otherwise Nintendo would never let there own game go on other system. As likely as Mario or Zelda on a PS3 or 360

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Wanderermy

If by multiplatform you mean 3DS and DS/DSi then sure. Otherwise Nintendo would never let there own game go on other system. As likely as Mario or Zelda on a PS3 or 360

I mean 360/PS3/Wii. True that they would never make it. But I have never seen a 3D version (graphic like FF/Tales Series) ... and why they have not create one for the Wii.

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murkurie

Pokemon Colosseum had 3d graphics, technically Soul Silver is 3D according to Nintendo. thought you meant 3DS 3d

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idk_

Looking forward to how they move the series ahead. The current ones are good but they're still very grindy.

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Explore

Hopefully it will also be on the 3DS.

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Chasethebase

Looking forward to how they move the series ahead. The current ones are good but they're still very grindy.

I haven't actually had to grind levels once in this playthrough of SoulSilver.

Sounds good, who's to bet Black will outsell White? I'm calling it.

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Minifig

I for one, don't want 3D. Unless it's like a portable Gamecube.

If we're talking 3D like Glasses and all that, .. forget it.

I love the psudo3d in the current HeartGold/SS.

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thealexweb

Pokemon Colosseum had 3d graphics, technically Soul Silver is 3D according to Nintendo. thought you meant 3DS 3d

Pokemon Colosseum and XD were awesome.

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Yusuf M.

Interesting. I stopped playing after Gold version on the GBC. I gave HeartGold and SoulSilver a try on the DS (brothers bought it) and it's pretty good. I'm considering buying a DS myself for HeartGold. I might even try the other Pokémon games for the DS.

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Andrew

Nice, I wondered why they didn't announce it last week with the first 2 new pokemon.

Glad they finally did!

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Chasethebase

Pokemon Colosseum and XD were awesome.

Oh how wrong you are, they're not even real Pokemon games...

Anaron, it's worth getting the others, but just go for Platinum, the artwork within the game is better and it's generally got more features, including the Battle Frontier.

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thealexweb

Oh how wrong you are, they're not even real Pokemon games...

Anaron, it's worth getting the others, but just go for Platinum, the artwork within the game is better and it's generally got more features, including the Battle Frontier.

There were a good change from the same old games, the graphics were good especially from the gamecube.

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Calum

I really loved the Pokémon games when I was younger and I know I would still love them, but I'd find it really hard to play them nowadays because I'm out of the loop as to the names of Pokémon and just everything about Pokémon nowadays. I remember the first 150 and some from the Gold and Silver games, so I guess I'd feel lost if I picked up one of the newer games :/

Watching the TV show around the same time as playing the games really did help. Do they still have a TV show which includes all of the latest Pokémon, lining up with the Pokémon contained in the games?

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Andrew

Yeah, the tv show & games are released in generations, which is set chronologically & with time inbetween. They introduce new breeds of Pokémon with each generation.

Generation 1: Red, green (blue) & yellow.

Generation 2: Gold, silver & crystal

Generation 3: Ruby, sapphire & emerald

Generation 4: Diamond, pearl & platinum

White & black obviously the start of a new generation (5).

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Minifig

I think you're right Munky.

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Angel Blue01

I really loved the Pok?mon games when I was younger and I know I would still love them, but I'd find it really hard to play them nowadays because I'm out of the loop as to the names of Pok?mon and just everything about Pok?mon nowadays. I remember the first 150 and some from the Gold and Silver games, so I guess I'd feel lost if I picked up one of the newer games :/

Watching the TV show around the same time as playing the games really did help. Do they still have a TV show which includes all of the latest Pok?mon, lining up with the Pok?mon contained in the games?

That's pretty much my experience as well.

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Minifig

I really loved the Pok?mon games when I was younger and I know I would still love them, but I'd find it really hard to play them nowadays because I'm out of the loop as to the names of Pok?mon and just everything about Pok?mon nowadays. I remember the first 150 and some from the Gold and Silver games, so I guess I'd feel lost if I picked up one of the newer games :/

I hadn't picked up a game since yellow or red, and I bought HeartGold amigo, and it's like riding a bike, you never forget.. HeartGold / SoulSilver is AMAZING.

And it contains all the previous pokemon in the games before it.

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Damo R.

last one I played was Red so its come a long way since then!

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Andrew

That's pretty much my experience as well.

The core gameplay hasn't changed. It's still the same catch + battle + evolve.

They introduced things like breeding pokemon & how you can play with friends, but afaik you don't actually need to do any of that to finish the game. I never did when I played Yellow.

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+Audioboxer

I just hope it receives a good facelift for once. Yeah yeah don't break what doesn't need fixing, but Pokemon has been stale as hell for me for about the last 3000 iterations.

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Andrew

Nah I think the whole fan base is really beginning to feel like that, even in the reviews this time around they have been far less forgiving.

It's only made worse when they go back & release these games. It's a different matter when you actually remake a game & release it on new hardware. There's not much to differ between Blue/Red and FireRed etc.

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Sky Black

I was disapointed that they stopped transfering pokemon (between generation 1/2 and 3+) however god me a free GBA from my bro and decided to try out Emerald/Fire Red...don't own a DS but I keep getting tempted to aquire Platinum and Heart Gold for old times sake...only downside is if I get the DSi-XL i'll not have the gba cart interface. Getting a DS Lite (If I'm getting a DS of any kind its gotta be black...im obsessed) seems redundant as i'll miss out on some of the updated ds features and connectivity. Pokemon Black/White...well obviously black...are tempting me more so now >.< especialy as they'll be DS based not DS-3D.

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Solid Knight

Wait they are making a separate version for Black and White people?

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      In case the name of the game doesn’t really ring any bells, this was the AR (or as Microsoft likes to call it, Mixed Reality) effort from Mojang that aimed to transform Minecraft into a bit of a Pokemon GO experience.

      Having been announced in May of 2019 and subsequently released in October of that same year – even being demoed on stage at WWDC -, the game seems to have had a sharp decline in interest from players. As such, all real-money transaction abilities have been removed, folks that have spent money on the game are to be provided with a copy of the main game itself, and the servers will be online until April 26. Minecraft Earth however is set to properly shut down on June 30.

      In better news for folks who enjoy gaming, Injustice 2 and eFootball PES 2021 Season Update are already playable on Xbox Game Pass, with titles like Torchlight III and What Remains of Edith Finch set to arrive on January 14. There’s also a list of titles leaving the subscription, as of January 15, so be sure to check those at this link, if you’re interested.

      Moving on to console-specific news, Microsoft has promised that the Series X controller disconnect issue will be fixed in a future update. This is the bug whereby the controller disconnects and reconnects while playing a game.

      And since we’ve touched on controllers, the company has made it clear that no, there isn’t some kind of master plan that forces you to use Duracell batteries with Xbox controllers. The more likely reason for bundling that particular brand is that Microsoft has a partnership in place. Using Sony batteries will not magically set the controller on fire.

      Ending things with another rather amusing tidbit, Microsoft actually tried to outright buy Nintendo about 21 years ago. The Japanese console maker reportedly laughed in the face of such an absurd proposal, even declining a joint partnership offer. Then Microsoft went on to release the original Xbox with Halo, and Nintendo released the GameCube, complete with a handle which made it easier to carry around.

      Dev channel
      Microsoft has highlighted the December updates to Teams. The company has also shined a spotlight on the features added to OneDrive in the last month of 2020. The Redmond giant has revealed details about requests filed by the U.S. Government to access customer data. Microsoft Launcher version 6.2.201202.9334 has brought in improvements to profile setup, app padding, and more. Microsoft’s AI model has outperformed humans in natural language understanding. The Surface Studio has received a firmware update to improve stability. Teams recordings will be stored on OneDrive for Business and SharePoint after March 1. Logging off
      We end the week, and indeed the column, with a bit of news concerning a UI overhaul for Windows 10. Yes, another one.



      Job listings have showed up for something called a Sun Valley UI overhaul of Microsoft’s main OS. Said to arrive with the 21H2 update from the second half of 2021, this will be a “sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows”.

      Folks would understandably not be too impressed with this statement. After all, this is the same thing that happened with Vista, and Windows 8 to a greater or lesser extent. Even so, Windows 9x-era dialog boxes and icons will still remain, as will hints of Aero and Metro, Microsoft Design Language, Modern, or however else to company ended up naming its previous design initiative. In the end, due in no small part to its backwards compatibility, Windows is mostly likely still going to remain a mishmash of old and new.

      Whether this is one of the waves of the larger Fluent Design System is frankly unknown at this point.

      However, if you’re eager to see what exactly this Sun Valley experiment is set to bring, you may want to use the ‘news and interests’ feature that’s available in the taskbar as part of the just-released Insider build we discussed in the first section of this column. As the name implies, it allows you to browse news and topics of interest directly from the taskbar.

      Thankfully, it can be turned off.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.