Although the newest English-language trailer for Pokemon Black and White Version 2 reuses a lot of the footage from the games' last trailer, it does reveal that the games' North American release will be on October 7th.
Other information the trailer provides are the English names of the "rival" character and the Water Gym Leader, which are Hugh and Marlon respectively. The previous English-language trailer revealed the Poison Gym Leader's name to be Roxie.
For the first time in its history, the Pokemon franchise will feature direct sequels, starting with Pokemon Black Version 2 and Pokemon White Version 2. Sequels to Pokemon Black and Pokemon White respectively, Pokemon "BW2" - as the games are called in shorthand by fans - will place you two years later in the world Black and White begun, and will feature new male and female player protagonists, new gyms, new forms for Pokemon such as Kyurem, and a changing Unova. The first English-language trailer for the games can be seen above.
Pokemon BW2 will be released in Japan on June 23rd. Its North American release will be sometime in the fall.
My rating system:
5 = Perfection.
4.5 = REALLY good, but lacking that oomph to make it 5.
4 = Great.
3.5 = Above average. Definitely worth a look.
3 = Average.
2.5 = Below average. If you like its genre, you probably would like it.
2 = Not terrible, but not something you would like.
1.5 = Bad, but still worth checking JUST to make fun of how bad it is.
1 = BEWARE! EVIL! NOT EVEN WORTH MAKING FUN OF! WILL LITERALLY MAKE YOU SICK!
Pokémon Black and White is the latest entry in the massively popular Pokémon video game series – but you all know this already. Every child…for that matter, the adults – who were alive in the late 90’s know this game series. It's right up there alongside Mario and Zelda as the most popular game series of all time – all of which are owned by Nintendo. In fact, you probably already own the games without me having to tell you to go get them. With that said–
Ah, Pokémon. What person who grew up in the 90s has not played this? Who would’ve thought that a video game series about kids capturing creatures with fantastical powers in the wild and forcing them into cockfights would be so much fun and rapidly become a runaway hit for Nintendo and then relatively unknown Game Freak? Of course, the series did peak not long after the release of the second generation of games. Nevertheless, Pokémon had proven its staying power and I highly doubtful of an end for it any time soon.
Besides the obviously superior quality games, there was one other aspect of Pokémon media that contributed to its overall success: The anime based off of it. I shouldn’t even need to explain what its plot (wait…it has a plot?) is, but for those who have been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, I’ll allow you this gimme:
Yes, Ash. Even God hates you.
Ash Ketchum has a simple dream: He wants to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them is his real test. To train them is his cause…. I can’t hold it in!
I will travel across the land! Searching far and wide! DA-DA-DAAAAA! Each Pokémon! To understand! The power that’s insiiiiiiiiiide! POKÉMON!
Ahem, my apologies. Basically, this Pokémon Trainer wishes to become a Pokémon Master. What’s a Pokémon Master, you ask? We have no clue, and I doubt the characters do either. Along with his best-pal-who’s-totally-not-meant-to-represent-the-series’-mascot Pikachu and his travel companions, he will accomplish his goal!
Yeah, the show pretty much sucked. Never-ending plot, characters flat as a board, nonsensical storylines, and all around bad writing. And yet it lasted fourteen years. It must’ve been doing something right…I guess? Probably not. Had some pretty sweet songs, though. It could be argued that the anime was/is better known to the general public than the games themselves. Why was that? Well, if any of you were like me, I got turned on to the games thanks to this silly little anime series; which I’m quite sure was the intention on the creators’ part. Hell, this series actually got me into anime itself! As such, it managed to squeeze itself into pop-culture alongside Cowboy Bebop and Evangelion.
Kind of depressing if you think about it too hard.
Tastes like chicken!
Anyway, enough back-story. Let’s get to the topic at hand: The latest of the Pokémon anime’s story sagas: Black & White. Or Best Wishes, as it is known back in its motherland. Like with every new game generation, the anime continues its storylines following some aspects of the newest games. In this case, Ash and Pikachu have once again decided to start a brand new journey in the new Pokémon region called Unova. Fun fact: The game designers based Unova off of leetNEET’s home base, New York City!
However, Game Freak wished to reinvigorate the series with the new Black & White games, trying to recapture (no pun intended) the same feel of when the first Pokémon games came out. As such, the anime followed suit by trying to be like the first season. I wasn’t too impressed by the news. Games look good, though!
I decided to sit myself down for its two-episode premiere, mainly for nostalgia’s sake. What I got was a surprisingly decent children’s show. Much like the first impressions I got from the revived Power Rangers series, Best Wishes banked on the older fan’s fond memories of their youth watching this show while at the same time being pretty fine for young Pokémon fans.
The animation for the series has never risen above average, and it still holds true here. And with the sudden increased reliance on stock footage for attacks (seriously, they even use it for non-battle scenes!), the show was very cheap-looking.
And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
However, it manages to save itself with some relatively okay writing. Yes. It was painfully obvious and annoying that Ash didn’t know how to properly catch a Pokémon after traveling across four regions, facing off against multiple trainers and gym leaders, competing every region’s Pokémon League competition, with a possibly level 100 Pikachu, and even defeating multiple Legendary Pokémon along the way in movies; but it could be allowed to slide if you just remember they’re going for a reboot to the series…maybe.
That aside, this new season really is trying to make its characters interesting for once. Ash has once again gained two new travel companions along his journey: Iris, a dark-skinned young girl that is really in-tune with nature and is pretty hyperactive. Pretty much the Misty of the group. And…holy crap, is that Tamaki with green hair?!
Uh…no. That’s…Cilan. One of the three gym leaders in the first gym that Ash goes against. He is a Pokémon Sommelier, a person who judges the compatibility between Pokémon and trainers. And he’s – really. He’s basically the Pokémon equivalent of Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club. Hell, they even share the same Japanese voice actor, Mamoru Miyano! Well, at least he isn’t like Light Yagami…
Just as planned...
And maybe I should just keep my mouth shut. Seriously though, these two really are rather interesting characters by Pokémon standards and helped carry the show for me. Even the Pokémon have started getting interesting personalities.
Three more returning characters are Team Rocket. Yeah! Remember those three goofballs who keep trying to steal Pikachu from Ash? Yeah, sadly, with the recent seasons they’ve just become unfunny living one-note gags that won’t go away. Can’t wait to see how pathetic they are this time around…
Wait. Did they just sound serious? Did they just seriously battle Ash and beat down on his Pokémon? Did they just successful accomplish missions assigned to them? Did they just escape the cops with jetpacks? Did they just not blast off? Holy crap, Team Rocket has become badass. 2012 being Judgment Day isn’t looking too far-off now.
Nobody expects the Pokémon Inquisition!
Unfortunately, as a tradeoff for awesome, Team Rocket as characters have become rather bland and lost the quirks that made them characters, as well as losing a lot of screen time for themselves. Sometimes they don’t even appear in episodes. It varies from Pokémon fan to Pokémon fan, though. If you wanted a more competent Team Rocket, here you are. If you wanted the same joke-characters, they’re pretty much gone.
The storytelling has also surprisingly gotten better. A common complaint for the anime was that it was summed up as Filler: The Series. It also didn’t help that each storyline it followed was exactly the same plot of Ash getting new badges from gym leaders and then finally entering the region’s tournament. While Best Wishes still doesn’t stray from that formula, it has been massively streamlined. Every single episode thus far has either contributed to/advanced the plot or developed the characters. I repeat: Pokémon the anime now has no filler. Is it doomsday yet?
Who's That Pokémon is back!
In a shockingly short amount of time, Pokémon Best Wishes has managed to fix just about everything Pokémon fans have been complaining about for the past few years. Does this mean I think the show is great? Gads, no. Is it worth watching, though? …Yes. For kids new to Pokémon. Some older fans probably won’t enjoy it, nitpicking some of the smaller elements, but it has managed to be a decent children’s program that just so happens to market a video game series.
My recommendation? Check it out if you’re feeling nostalgic. If not, leave it for the kids. It won’t hurt them.
For American Pokémon fans, March can't come any sooner. On March 6th, the newest generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Black and White, will be coming out in the U.S. – and with 156 new pokémon to boot (and for those who can stomach spoilers, a list of the new pokémon can be seen here). However, March will also see the release of a new Pokémon manga in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in Japan, which will presumably be based on the latest games.
According to a Nintendo press release and both the English and Japanese versions of pokemon.com, the Legendary Pokémon for the 5th generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Black and White, have been confirmed to be Reshiram and Zekrom. Reshiram will be featured in Pokémon Black, while Zekrom will be featured in Pokémon White. In addition, the U.S. release date of Pokémon Black and White has been confirmed to be in Spring 2011.
It seems it's that time again; time for us to set aside our books, grab our backpacks, our town maps and our collapsible bicycles and ride off into the horizon and fantastical adventure. Or at least it will be that time again soon, as yet another pokemon game is being released. I'm talking about Pokemon BLACK and WHITE, of course I'm sure you already knew this. The fifth generation pokemon game is slated to hit Japan this fall and features the new Isshu region with fully 3D rendered areas, slightly older trainers than the ones we're used to and of course brand new pokemon to add to the 493 that already exist.