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|| Release dates
|| September 18, 2010
| North America:
|| March 6, 2011
|| March 10, 2011
|| March 4, 2011
| South Korea:
| Hong Kong:
| Japanese boxart
Boxart of Pocket Monsters Black.
Boxart of Pocket Monsters White.
Pokémon Black Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ブラック Pocket Monsters Black) and Pokémon White Version (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ホワイト Pocket Monsters White) are the primary paired versions of Generation V. They are, like Generation IV's games, on the Nintendo DS.
Black and White follow the trends set up by previous games in the series. Two player characters (one male and one female) travel a new region, Unova, on their Pokémon journeys. This region is inhabited by various Pokémon, and unlike before, none of those available prior to the defeat of the Elite Four have appeared prior to Black and White. The first of the new Pokémon to feature in these games, Zorua and Zoroark, were revealed on February 10, 2010 in CoroCoro magazine, and the starter Pokémon were revealed in May.
The games' names were revealed on the official Japanese Pokémon website on April 9, and scans from the subsequent issue of the magazine were leaked on April 10. These scans revealed some of the graphical enhancements that are featured in these games. There is a higher level of 3D graphics than in previous games, as shown in some shots of the overworld. Initial sprites can be seen for Zorua, Zoroark, and the player characters.
In addition to the improved graphics, a number of aesthetic changes have been made from previous generations, including an altered battle scene containing fully animated Pokémon battle sprites as well as a dynamic camera that changes focus to highlight specific parts of the battle. Also, when talking to people, speech balloons for dialog will appear over people's heads, rather than as simply a dialog box.
Black and White are compatible with all five Generation IV games through use of the PokéShifter—unlike Pal Park, however, items cannot be held by Pokémon being sent over. Pokémon can be sent from Generation III games, as well, by transfer through Generation IV. The games also have the capacity to connect to the Internet.
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The game starts in Kanoko Town in the player's room with Cheren, a childhood friend. Professor Juniper has left a gift box for the two and Bel, another one of the player's friends, who arrives a little later. The box contains three Pokémon that the player can choose from. After the selection, Bel will request a battle. When the battle is over, the room becomes cluttered due to the battle. Cheren heals both the player's and Bel's Pokémon, and begins a battle with the player as well. If the player loses to Cheren, he will gloat about his victory. The three then go downstairs, and Cheren and Bel will leave the house while the player's mother will heal the Pokémon.
The player visits Bel's house, where she and her father are having an argument about her going on a Pokémon journey. Bel storms out of the house, and the player follows her to Professor Juniper's lab, where Cheren has been waiting. In the lab, Professor Juniper will give the player a chance to nickname the selected starter Pokémon, and give each of the three a Pokédex. Upon leaving the lab, they will be greeted by the player's mother, who will hand everyone a Town Map.
From then on, the player will set off on adventures through the Unova region. Along the way, the player will battle eight Gym Leaders, while trying to complete the Pokédex. After managing to obtain all eight badges, the player will head to the Pokémon League to battle the Elite Four and the Champion.
However, the adventure did not go as expected as the evil Team Plasma will be encountered along the way to the Pokémon League. The player will encounter N, the leader of the evil organization. One of the Seven Sages, Geechisu, has a different goal than their leader. The player must thwart the plans of those two and save the Unova region from being destroyed.
However, unlike previous games, the player will not be battling the Champion of the Unova region when after first defeating the Elite Four; instead, N is battled. After defeating him, he promises not to separate the world of humans from the world of Pokémon.
After defeating N and Geechisu, however, the game is not over, as there are further activities to be done, such as capturing the other legendary Pokémon in the game, re-battle the Elite Four and battle the champion, Adeku, and finding the seven sages who are in various parts of the Unova region.
Black and White returns features present in previous generations, such as day, time, abilities and the split between Physical and Special moves. Certain ones, however, such as Pokémon following their Trainers and the Battle Frontier, have been left out.
- Main article: C-Gear
The C-Gear allows players to use certain multiplayer functions while anywhere in the game world. These functions vary with the type of communication used: wireless, Wi-Fi and infrared. The C-Gear is similar to the Pokétch in that it fills the bottom screen, but its applications are much different.
On the C-Gear, as well as in battle, the current time is displayed in 12-hour format, however, at the hours of 12:00 AM and PM, the hour displays as 0, rather than 12, as a 24-hour clock, such as that on the DS and in the Generation IV games, would display midnight.
Pokémon Global Link
- Main article: Pokémon Global Link
The Pokémon Global Link is a multiplayer feature that makes use of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and is the equivalent of the fourth generation GTS. In addition to providing the features of the GTS, it allows players to upload their save files to the Pokémon Global Link website to access the Pokémon Dream World. Players can also go to the Pokémon Center to enter Random Matchup where they can battle a random person also connected to Random Matchup. The Global Link is also the place where players can download exclusive content including C-Gear and Pokédex skins.
Pokémon Dream World
- Main article: Pokémon Dream World
The Pokémon Dream World is a special feature of Black and White which is operated via an Internet website, Pokémon-GL.com. The Dream World allows players to send a Pokémon to the Internet to obtain items and meet other Pokémon, making the website in a way such that it is a Generation V analog to the Pokéwalker.
Many Pokémon that are found here are not found in the Unova region, and would otherwise have to be migrated from a Generation IV game to be used. All of the Pokémon available here are given Dream World-exclusive hidden abilities that their species cannot have by normal means.
- Main article: High Link
The High Link is a new feature in Pokémon Black and White which allows contact with other players over local wireless. It is a multiplayer area in central Unova; Pokémon obtained in the Pokémon Dream World can be caught here. In combination with the C-Gear, it is possible to travel through Unova with other players and battle, trade and perform various multiplayer sidequests.
- Main article: Pokémon Musical
Pokémon Contests, which have been present since Generation III, are replaced by the Pokémon Musicals. Similar to the Super Contests in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Trainers have to dress up their Pokémon with different accessories. The Pokémon will then compete by dancing on the theater stage with the other entrants. They are held in Raimon City.
- Main article: Seasons
Much like Generation II introduced a system of time, Generation V features a system of seasons. Seasons change every month, which cycles thrice for each year. With it comes aesthetic changes in the region, as well as some changes with the Pokémon found in the wild. Additionally, Shikijika and its evolution Mebukijika change forms every season. Some areas can only be accessed in certain seasons.
While already featured in previous games, Pokémon sprites in Black and White remain animated throughout the battle. Additionally, full back sprites are now present in the games. Some, but not all, Pokémon use animated versions of their Generation IV sprites. All Trainers, on the other hand, with the exception of Bel, Cheren and N, return to sprites with no animations.
- Main article: Triple battle
In a triple battle, three Pokémon on each side are sent out at once. There are restrictions as to which Pokémon can attack which opponent. The Pokémon in the middle can attack all three on the other side, but the ones on either side cannot attack the Pokémon on the far side of the opposite end. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, through the use of moves such as Acrobat. The Pokémon Pansage, Pansear, and Panpour were introduced to showcase this new feature. The position of each Pokémon can be changed during the battle; however, a turn will be used up.
- Main article: Rotational battle
Rotational battles are similar to triple battles in that three Pokémon in each team are sent onto each side; however, they are sent out onto a circular platform. The platform can be rotated a third of the way around without wasting a turn. The Pokémon which is in the third of the circle facing the opponent is the one currently active. Strategy revolves around predicting which Pokémon the opponent will switch to and switching to the appropriate Pokémon on the player's side.
Pokémon Black and White brings back the traditional eight Gyms, but with it a total of eleven Gym Leaders. They are Dent, Pod and Corn (Grass, Fire and Water, respectively), Aloe (Normal), Arti (Bug), Kamitsure (Electric), Yacon (Ground), Fuuro (Flying), Hachiku (Ice), Shaga and Iris (Dragon). Dent, Pod or Corn are battled if the player has chosen the Water-type, Grass-type or Fire-type starter Pokémon, respectively. Shaga is battled in Pokémon Black while Iris is battled in Pokémon White.
Unlike previous games, the Elite Four can be battled in any order. After battling all four, a path to the Champion is unlocked. The Elite Four members are Shikimi (Ghost), Giima (Dark), Caitlin (Psychic) and Renbu (Fighting). However, the player is not able to battle the Champion before defeating Team Plasma. Later, after defeating them in a rematch, the player will face Champion Adeku, who uses a variety of types. It should be noted that Caitlin is the same person present in the Battle Castle who was alongside her butler Darach in Generation IV.
- See Category:Generation V Pokémon
Black and White bring a total of 156 new Pokémon, bringing the overall total to 649 from the 493 present in Generation IV. While some new Pokémon may have similarities to previously introduced Pokémon, none of the new Pokémon are related by evolution to any of the 493 introduced previously.
The first Pokémon to be revealed are Zoroark and Zorua, who were both featured in Zoroark: Master of Illusions. Unlike previous generations, no other new Pokémon were featured in the anime prior to the games' release.
- The following Pokémon can only be found in the White Forest, which is exclusive to Pokémon White:
- Note that while Monmen and Churine are only available in the wild in Black and White respectively, there is an in-game trade in Shippou City for the Pokémon which is exclusive to the other game. By extension, this also allows Erufuun and Doredia to be obtained in the versions they are otherwise unobtainable in.
- While Volbeat and Illumise are only available in the wild in Black and White respectively, Illumise can breed with any male Pokémon in the Bug Egg Group, Humanshape Egg Group or Ditto to produce eggs that have an 50% chance of hatching into Volbeat. However, breeding Volbeat with Ditto will not produce Illumise eggs.
Black and White are able to connect with all fourth generation main series games. Pokémon from Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver are able to be traded forward to these games using the PokéShifter. Like the transfer available in Pal Park, Pokémon sent to Black and White cannot be returned to their original games. Some event Pokémon released in Generation IV have the ability to unlock more events in Generation V: specific Raikou, Entei, Suicune and Celebi, transferrable via an exclusive method called the Transfer Machine, unlock Zorua and Zoroark. Likewise, the Lock Capsule transferred from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver yields TM95 (Bark Out), but this event has yet to take place.
Black and White also have the ability to connect to the Internet, accessing the Pokémon Dream World; Pokémon acquired in this manner are obtained in the High Link forest. Although the game cartridges contain infrared technology similar to that used in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Black and White are unable to connect with the Pokéwalker.
Black and White's perfect score
Gaming magazine Famitsu has given Pokémon Black and White Versions perfect scores. The reviewers were highly impressed with the fresh approach that the game has taken, from the graphics to the new features to the diversity of the Pokémon. The reviewers were also impressed by the Wi-Fi and PC features.
Only 14 other games have received a perfect score of 40/40, the first of which was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the most recent being Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
- Pokémon Black and White each have a mascot of the color of their counterpart version.
- Game Freak spent about one and a half years developing the story and characters.
- Also, some of the new Pokémon appearing in both games were designed by James Turner of Nintendo of America instead of Game Freak's design team. This is to tie up with the American feel of Black and White.
- Two figures were given away with pre-orders in Japan. People could receive a Reshiram sound drop by pre-ordering Pokémon Black and a Zekrom sound drop by pre-ordering Pokémon White.
- Pokémon Black and White are the first Pokémon games to have different exterior designs for every Gym.
- They are also the first games where the Gyms have logos.
- Black and White do not have some aspects that were considered conventional in the past generations, some of which include:
- Three fishing rods (Old, Good, and Super), now reduced to just the Super Rod.
- The presence of a Department Store in a city; Unova's is in the middle of Route 9.
- The lack of a Game Corner and Coin Case, presumed to have stemmed from the dispute of gambling within the games.
- Unlike the games before Black and White, the game doesn't pick up the Pokemon Count headed by the Grass Starter, but with a Psychic/Fire Type.
- The credits of the Japanese versions are shown in English if kanji mode is selected.
- The ??? type has been removed, with Curse becoming a Ghost-type move.
- The font used by the Japanese versions is the same one seen in pre-release media of the Japanese versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
- Pokémon Black and White are the first main series games to require the version mascot to be caught. The story will not continue if ReshiramB or ZekromW has not been caught, and will keep acting as if the battle had not occurred yet.
- However, if the player has a full party and PC, the game does not require the Pokémon to be caught; instead, the Pokémon appears at Dragon Spiral Tower after defeating it at N's Castle.
- When the games were advertised or reported on Pokémon Sunday, the song Black or White by Michael Jackson was played multiple times as a reference to the titles of the games.
- These games are the first main series games to be available in Europe before the United States, being released 2 days earlier. However, these are not the first Pokémon titles, being preceded by the spin-off games Pokémon Dash and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure.
In other languages
|| ポケットモンスター ブラック・ホワイト
| European French
|| Pokémon Version Noire et Version Blanche
|| Pokémon Schwarze Edition und Weiße Edition
|| Pokémon Versione Nera e Versione Bianca
|| 포켓몬스터 블랙·화이트
| European Spanish
|| Pokémon Edición Negra y Edición Blanca
- ↑ Game Freak's blog