Shine on, shine on me.
Pokemon Black 2
Developer: Game Freak
Posted By Shaun K. about 4 months ago
Well it is that time again folks: free Pokemon for all! Well all who own one of the most recent generation mainline Pokemon games at least. Yes the semi regular giving-away-of-the-Pokemon-at-specialy-game-stores will soon be upon and this time around players will be able to get their hands on no less than the Creation Trio themselves aka Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina aka the Legendary Mascots of Pokemon Generation IV. But wait, there is more! Because these are not just any regular old Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina but instead are brand new shiny (i.e. alternate color scheme) versions of the famous ‘Mons.
The giveaways will begin in August and will be available through participating GameStops in the US, EB Games in Canada, and the oh so creatively named GAME in the UK. Each ‘Mon will be available for a separate period of time in the lead up to the upcoming worldwide release of Pokemon X/Y this October and there will be slightly different schedules across regions. Speaking of which, here is the full schedule for the release below:
Dialga: Monday August 9 – Sunday September 8
Palkia: Monday September 9 – Sunday September 29
Giratina: Monday September 30 – Sunday October 20
EB Games and Game:
Dialga: Friday August 30 – Thursday September 12
Palkia: Friday September 13 – Thursday September 26
Giratina: Friday September 27 – Friday October 11
Interested players will need to have a copy of Pokemon: Black, White, Black 2, or White 2 in order to claim their prizes and will also need to have less than eleven Wonder Cards stored as well. Stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of gaming news the world over and be sure to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Finally the Pokédex is real!
Posted By Shaun K. about 4 months ago
Shine on, shine on me.
Ahh Pokemon. What can be said about it that hasn’t been said already? Upon first release, it quickly became a massive phenomenon and I can’t remember any kids during my younger years who didn’t at the very least know about it. There just seemed to be a certain magic to the idea of catching a team of little monsters, your personal team, and defeating all of the most powerful trainers in the region until you were the very best, like no one ever was.
Catchy anime openings aside, things seemed to change as time went on. As the newer generations came and went, many of those same kids who had become so enraptured seemed to drift away. New fans were always attracted, many older fans stayed, and the brand has continued to sell extremely well, even after all these years. However, it almost seemed as though the magic was gone and while it was still popular, it was nowhere near what it once was in terms of its impact on culture. Personally, the last generation I bought and played through was the 3rd, specifically Emerald. While I did enjoy the game, it didn’t get me excited as it once did and when the 4th and 5th generation games came out, I passed them by as there were other games I wanted more. As such, getting to play Black 2 was like opening a time capsule to my childhood. However, does the tried and undeniably true formula still hold up today? Allow me to tell you.
|PROS||Refined gameplay, Dynamic music, Still fun|
|CONS||Graphics could be better, Won’t change your mind|
|WTF?!||The random Zoroark in Lostlorn Forest. Where did that thing come from anyway?|
If there’s one thing the main Pokemon games aren’t lacking on, it’s consistency. Even with these “5.5 gen” games, the basic gameplay and story ideas seen in the original three are still in full force. In fact, considering the extremely heavy similarities, I’m going to do a little something different with this review. I’m going to compare each of the major aspects of a main Pokemon game for this particular entry against those in previous generations, while still talking about how it works toward the overall experience. The way I see it, it’s impossible to avoid comparisons, so let’s just get right into the thick of it with the story.
I’ll be blunt here. From a story perspective, the original games had practically nothing going for them. Yes, there was the whole “become the Champion” point and yes, there was also the whole deal with Team Rocket’s constant attempts to muck around. However, there wasn’t really much, if any, depth to be seen and, even as a kid, I was a bit disappointed at how there could have been so much more to it. In comparison, the story of Black 2 and White 2 is better, with Gym Leaders interacting outside the gyms, a resurgence of Team Plasma from the original Black and White with actual stakes, and constantly reappearing characters like your rival Hugh and previous game rival and new gym leader Cheren. However, the story is only good in that comparison. Outside of that scope, it’s still lacking rather painfully. Hugh’s constant motivations against Team Plasma can get irritating, characters seem to pop up with little rhyme or reason, and supposedly big payoffs aren’t built up to enough to make them feel as important as they should be. To me, it comes off as kind of amateur when I really believe they can do better than this, although the effort is there.
Considering the setting in a short aside, the region is still the same as the original Black and White, the Unova region. However, if you are worried about the game being a complete retread because of this, fear not. From the info diving I’ve done, it’s clear that many things are significantly different, from the all new starting region in the lower left corner of the map to the reformatted northeast section. On the flipside, many things are still the same, with five gym leaders and the Elite Four reprising their roles, but even they manage to differentiate themselves at least slightly, with new gym designs and Pokemon teams. The Unova region is not exactly the same by any margin, and you won’t be feeling like you’ve seen it all before.
Also notable is the Pokemon available in this revamped Unova region. In the original Black and White, before beating the Elite 4, the only available Pokemon were those native to the Unova region. While I, unlike some people I’ve seen, have no problems with the newer Pokemon, it does feel a bit limiting to only focus on those new ones in the main game. This is completely different in Black 2 and White 2, where previous generation Pokemon are scattered all over the region, setting the number of available Pokemon before the Elite 4 to an unprecedented amount of around 300. This makes for a lot more variety and choice in choosing your personal team and, as previously stated, that’s a large part of what makes the Pokemon series good.
As for the gameplay, the basic idea is still the same as it’s always been. You catch Pokemon, form a team with different movesets and types to conquer any other team, and get into battles against other Trainers to try and knock out all their Pokemon before they do the same to you. However, there are many different aspects to consider and variations to try on this basic idea. Particularly interesting to me are the Triple Battles and Rotation Battles, specific fights each involving three Pokemon, the first simply having six Pokemon battling it out at once and the second involving six Pokemon out at once, but rotating the main attacker between those choices. It’s nice to see some differences in the formula, although these particular types are merely carried over from the initial Black and White, so it’s nothing new. With that said, the design is still very solid and despite the fact that little of the groundwork has changed since the series’ inception, it’s still rather fun to battle against both trainers and friends.