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| Generation V
| Title screen of Pokémon Black Version
The fifth generation of Pokémon, known by fans due to its version names as the monochrome generation, is the fifth installment of the Pokémon series. Like previous generations, the first installments, Pokémon Black and White, were released as a pair. However, unlike previous generations, the games were followed by two sequels, Pokémon Black and White 2 instead of a third version. For the first time since Generations I and II, the games were released on the same platform as all five of the previous generation's main series titles, in this case the Nintendo DS.
Unova, the new region introduced in this generation, is known to be far away from the regions of previous generations. Unlike the past four, Unova is based on an area outside of Japan, drawing inspiration from the New York City metropolitan area.
The Generation V games are able to communicate with the five Generation IV games in the same way that the Generation III games can communicate with the Generation IV games, with players able to transfer Pokémon via a method similar to Pal Park. Pokémon caught in a Generation III game are able to move forward to Generation V by passing through Generation IV games.
Black and White occur an unknown amount of time after Generation II and Generation IV. The Team Rocket Grunt who stole the Machine Part makes a cameo appearance, saying that while he had intended to revive Team Rocket upon returning home, he instead fell in love and had a son. Cynthia mentions visiting the Distortion World and being defeated by a young Trainer as Sinnoh League Champion.
Black 2 and White 2 occur two years after the events of Black and White.
Advances in gameplay
Being the first games on the same console as their predecessors since Generation II, the Generation V games enhance the Pokémon experience on the DS in several ways. Advancements introduced in Generation V include:
- The addition of 156 new Pokémon, bringing the total to 649. No Pokémon from previous generations can be found in Unova itself until after the National Pokédex is obtained.
- The addition of 92 new moves, bringing the total to 559.
- The addition of 41 new Abilities, bringing the total to 164. Many older Pokémon are allowed to have new Abilities, including some that were introduced in Generation III and Generation IV, by transferring them from the Dream World. This effectively gives most Pokémon three legitimate abilities, rather than the two which have been standard since Generation III.
- Yet another region to explore, the Unova region, far away from the previous four and based on New York City, rather than a region of Japan.
- A new villainous team, Team Plasma, whose goals include separating the worlds of Pokémon and humans to make a black and white world.
- Triple Battles and Rotation Battles are now a part of gameplay, which are variations of battling like Double Battles.
- The introduction of the Wonder Launcher, a new battle mode which can stack with double, triple and Rotation Battles.
- The introduction of dark grass, where Double Battles against wild Pokémon can occur.
- The introduction of phenomena, occurrences which involve wild Pokémon or items moving and making sounds to indicate their position, somewhat similar to the Poké Radar.
- The introduction of seasons, which alternate every month.
- Expanded variance in camera placement, making the cities and towns of Unova more realistic and lifelike. There are also curves in places like Castelia City, Dragonspiral Tower, and the Skyarrow Bridge.
- The Poké Mart is now combined with the Pokémon Center.
- Introduction of the Entralink, which allows players to visit each other in-game, rather than just inside of the Union Room or the Underground.
- The new Pokémon Global Link, which allows players to connect their games to the internet to view statistics or download some changes to the games, such as the design of the Pokédex. This also grants players access to the Pokémon Dream World, where players may befriend Pokémon and send them over to their games.
- Weather conditions and the current time are now displayed on the bottom screen during battle when making selections as to what to do during the turn.
- One new variant of Poké Ball, the Dream Ball, retaining the 25 found in previous games.
- The Apricorn Poké Balls and the Sport Ball are inaccessible without hacking and do not function as Poké Balls even if acquired; however, Pokémon caught in these Poké Balls in HeartGold and SoulSilver retain them when sent to a Generation V game.
- Pokémon now animate constantly throughout battle, rather than simply animating upon exiting a Poké Ball as in previous generations. These animations are reminiscent of those of Pokémon Crystal, rather than the two-sprite distortion method that has been the standard since Pokémon Emerald. The speed at which Pokémon move slows as the HP goes down and with most status ailments, and frozen Pokémon do not move at all.
- When a Pokémon is affected by a status ailment, in addition to slowing movement, it also glows a color depending on the status ailment (except for sleep). When a Pokémon is asleep, it uses a different sprite that depicts it sleeping, usually with its eyes closed.
- The back sprites of Pokémon show the Pokémon's body in full, with their poses and animations being the same as the front sprite, but seen from behind.
- The battle music changes under certain conditions. When one of the player's Pokémon on the battlefield has less than 25% of their HP, the music changes to a faster, more suspenseful music. When battling a Gym Leader's last Pokémon, the music also changes.
- The overworld music also changes in certain circumstances. Almost all the routes now have instruments that differ between the seasons, and layers that activate and deactivate when the player walks or stops, respectively; while music that plays in some towns and cities have layers that can be added by talking to citizens. These people can be seen playing different musical instruments like piano, guitar, etc.
- In the Japanese version of the game, the option to display kanji in game menus and text is available, in addition to hiragana and katakana as in the previous four generations.
- In international versions of the game, Pokémon names are displayed with only one capital letter, rather than having all capital letters, as it was prior to Generation V.
- The number of boxes in the Pokémon Storage System has been increased from 18 to 24. However, players only start with 8 boxes. Additional space is available once the player has placed one captured Pokémon in each of the 8 boxes, then receiving an additional 8 boxes for storage, bringing the total to 16. This cycle continues until the player finally has 24 boxes, for a storage total of 720 Pokémon.
- TMs have expanded from 92 to 95. Many of the 92 TMs found in Generation IV contain different moves.
- In addition, TMs now have infinite uses, like HMs.
- To prevent repeated usage of TMs for the purpose of PP restoration, when a Pokémon forgets a move in order to learn from a TM or HM, the move learned takes on the current PP of the move replaced (up to its own maximum).
- The number of HMs has been reduced from eight to six. The first four remain the same as during the first four generations; HM05 is now Waterfall and HM06 is now Dive.
- The trading process has been upgraded: players may now trade Pokémon directly from their PC boxes, without having to place offered Pokémon in their party first. The Global Terminal also allows players to trade using this method. Furthermore, players can trade outside of the Pokémon Center via infrared.
- The expansion of key item registration to include access to several menu screens. After being registered, the player can access a quick access menu by pressing the Y Button.
- While the framerate for the overworld is still 30, the framerate has been increased to 60 for battles, the title screen, and 2D menus. However, the opening only has a framerate of 15.
- When Pokémon are sent out, there is a sound effect and visual effect as they land which varies depending on the weight of the Pokémon (unless it's a Pokémon that stays airborne like Hydreigon, Ho-Oh or Goldeen; or it is Diglett or Dugtrio).
Alterations from Generation IV
- The abandonment of Pokémon Contests and the Pokéathlon in favor of the Pokémon Musical, a different type of competition which does not factor in a Pokémon's moves.
- Seals and Ball Capsules are no longer available for use on Poké Balls.
- The ???-type does not exist in this generation. Curse is now a Ghost-type move.
- Rotom's appliance forms are now no longer Ghost-type Pokémon; instead, they are Electric and the type of their special move.
- Pokémon in the party can no longer follow the player outside of battle in any point of the game.
- The abandonment of encounter rate differences based on the time of day.
- The option to have the Running Shoes on at all times, as in HeartGold and SoulSilver, has been removed.
- In the Wi-Fi Club, there is no longer an option to set all Pokémon at level 100.
- Items are displayed in a list format rather than the six-cell pages that were seen in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- Mixing records is no longer a feature.
- The persistent bottom-screen menu from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is no longer present, as that screen now displays the C-Gear. The menu is brought up on the touch screen in the same way, though, with X.
- The way some key items are used, such as the Dowsing Machine, has been altered.
- Poison no longer inflicts damage outside the battle.
- Badges are no longer necessary in order to use HM field moves.
- The Elite Four no longer have to be battled in a set order.
- Shiny Pokémon no longer sparkle if they break out of a Poké Ball.
- Many Pokémon have their experience yield changed, which is no longer limited to 255.
Additions in Black 2 and White 2
- A sequel pair to the primary pair of games, with an all-new story.
- New attractions, such as Pokéstar Studios and the Pokémon World Tournament.
- Challenge Mode and Easy Mode, which raise and lower the NPC opponents' Pokémon's strength, respectively.
- All opponent Trainers now have fluidly animated sprites that move before battle.
- Main article: Unova
Like previous generations, another new region, the Unova region, is introduced in Pokémon Black and White. Unlike the previous four regions, which are relatively close in respect to one another, Unova has been revealed to be distant from them, with the only way to travel between it and the other four being boat or airplane.
The starters of the Unova region, like the starters of the previous four regions, follow the Grass-Fire-Water trio, with Snivy the Grass-type, Tepig the Fire-type, and Oshawott the Water-type.
Discussion of Generation V
Unova thematic motif
The fifth generation of Pokémon games focuses on the relationships between opposites, such as nature and industry or humans and Pokémon. This comes from the concept of Yin and Yang, which the legendary mascots of Pokémon Black and White, Reshiram and Zekrom, are based on, with another reference being that Reshiram is the mascot of Black and Zekrom being the mascot of White-- both are opposite colored to the game's color, while version mascots beforehand had always matched. The Swords of Justice also represent this theme as they are trying to prevent Pokémon from losing their natural habitats to human industry. The generation's main antagonists, Team Plasma, also fit in with this theme, as their goal is to separate Pokémon from humans. Some of the cities also reflect this theme by being aesthetically different depending on the version of the game; two major examples of this are Black City and White Forest, two version-exclusive locations. The Dream World, which is supposed to combine dreams and reality, also fit into this theme.
Japanese title screens
- The Japanese logo of the Pokémon games was redesigned once again for Generation V's releases; the first logo was used in Generation I and Generation II, and the second during Generation III and Generation IV.
- The text for the English boxes also received a new design.
- Generation V introduces the most new Pokémon to the series, with 156 (five more than Generation I introduced).
- Generation V is the first generation since Generation I not to introduce any baby Pokémon or cross-generational relatives.
- Generation V is also the first generation where the number of legendary Pokémon introduced did not increase from the previous generation. In this case, Generation V introduced 13 legendary Pokémon, and Generation IV introduced 14 legendary Pokémon if Phione is a legendary Pokémon or 13 legendary Pokémon if it is not.
- Generation V is the only generation where:
- Generation V is also the only generation without:
- A new move as an HM: all six HM moves have previously been available in HMs.
- The introduction of a new branched evolution: all Generation V Pokémon which can evolve only evolve into one Pokémon species.
- A Game Corner: this likely is due to changes in European law, which caused the European release of Pokémon Platinum to lack Game Corner games and caused international versions of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver to completely alter the Game Corners to feature Voltorb Flip instead of the traditional slot machines.
- A Cycling Road: no place in Unova specifically requires the player to ride his or her bicycle.
- All member games occurring at approximately the same time.
- A visit to Kanto for the player, and the appearance of its regional professor, Professor Oak.
- The introduction of a move that can't be Sketched: Generation I introduced Struggle, Generation II introduced Sketch itself, Generation III introduced Shadow moves, and Generation IV introduced Chatter.
- A solitary main series game.
- Any game released on a Nintendo console.